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Taking action in higher education

Cambridge MP joins college staff to oppose cuts

20 April 2016 | last updated: 26 April 2016

Cambridge MP, Daniel Zeichner, will join staff from Cambridge Regional College this Friday (22 April) as they stage a protest about a cost-cutting drive which spells job losses and a potential narrowing of courses for students.

The college is currently undergoing a business review which has set a target saving of £4.1m. The review will mean job losses equivalent to 100 staff at risk of losing their jobs. It comes after four years of restructuring and cuts which have already seen staff numbers fall from 743 in 2012/13, to 617 this academic year.

The protest has been jointly organised by three trade unions: UCU, the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) and UNISON.

UCU regional official, Lydia Richards, said: 'Staff are proud of the hard work and commitment they have put into the college which is rated 'good' by Ofsted, despite the ongoing challenge of restructuring and job losses.

'The college provides valuable skills training and wider education for young people and adults - areas which need investment, not cuts. We are very concerned that in squeezing college budgets, the government is failing to recognise the significant contribution they make to their local economies as well as to individuals who want to improve their job prospects. The high standards and range of courses at Cambridge Regional College are in real jeopardy.'

Daniel Zeichner MP, will say: 'Cambridge Regional College students and staff are at the sharp end and are bearing the brunt of government cuts and reorganisations. You cannot build a 21st century economy with falling investment in education. You cannot run a thriving further education college on a shoe string. You cannot expect staff to pick up the slack when the government systemically underfunds a sector.

'At a time when we rightly want all young people to stay in education until 18 years old, we need to be scaling up resources and opportunities, not cutting back.'

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