Fighting fund banner


Lambeth College has huge staff retention problems, reveals college documents

9 June 2014

The south London college at the centre of a bitter dispute about changes to staff contracts already suffers a much higher than average staff turnover, reveals internal college documents today by UCU.

Lambeth College suffers a staff turnover rate of 24%, according to a report from the college's director of human resources mentioned in recent board meeting minutes. The average staff turnover for colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is just 18%, according to the latest figures from the national colleges' umbrella body, the Association of Colleges.

The union said the college's plans to slash sick pay and holidays, while increasing working hours, will do little to recruit or retain staff. UCU members at Lambeth walked out last Tuesday (3 June) in the dispute over contracts and have been on strike ever since.

Members of UCU walked out indefinitely last Tuesday (3 June). Students have received text messages telling them to stay away from the college as their classes have been cancelled.

Despite using agency staff and bizarrely promising free lunches for teachers, classes have been cancelled across the college while some departments are merging classes to try and cope with the disruption.

There are pickets outside the college's main entrances in Clapham, Brixton and Vauxhall each morning. On Wednesday there will be a rally outside the college's Clapham site from 11am. Speakers include staff and students from the college and UCU's general secretary Sally Hunt.

UCU regional official, Una O'Brien, said: 'Lambeth College already suffers from a much higher than average turnover staff. The college's own internal documents reveal that one in four staff leave. Slashing people's benefits and increasing their working hours will not fix this problem.

'Staff have been on strike for a week already now. The time has come for the college to come back to the negotiating table to get this dispute resolved.'

In the UCU strike ballot, a massive 89% of members who voted backed the call for industrial action, on a very high turnout of 72%. Staff had already backed indefinite strike action in a previous ballot.

Last updated: 10 December 2015