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Strikes at Mid Cheshire and Barnsley colleges suspended

29 June 2015 | last updated: 10 December 2015

Strikes by UCU members at Mid Cheshire and Barnsley colleges scheduled for tomorrow have been suspended. Staff will still walk out at Bradford College in a row over job losses.

In Cheshire, eleventh hour talks, brokered by the conciliation service ACAS, resulted in a breakthrough and Mid Cheshire College has now said it will not issue any compulsory redundancy notices before September.

In Yorkshire, Barnsley College agreed to explore the union's new proposals aimed at improving job opportunities for staff at risk. However, members at Bradford College will still be walking out and making their way to Leeds for a lunchtime rally protesting about cuts to colleges.

Bradford College UCU members will be on picket lines outside the David Hockney Building on Great Horton Road from 7:30am. They will make their way to Leeds later in the morning to attend a rally in outside Leeds Art Gallery that starts at 12:30pm. Speakers include UCU president Liz Lawrence and TUC regional secretary Bill Adams.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Colleges are experiencing some financial difficulties at the moment, but the answer is to work with us to explore all the options available - not axe staff. We are pleased Barnsley and Mid Cheshire colleges responded positively today and strike action won't be necessary there.

'Members will be walking out at Bradford College though, and then making their way to Leeds for a regional rally in defence of further education. Strike action is always a last resort but, in the face of redundancies and lost opportunities, members feel there is no other option.'