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College refuses to consult on job losses

25 April 2016 | last updated: 24 August 2020

A college planning to make redundancies and close a campus is refusing to afford those staff affected a proper consultation over their plight, even though they signed an agreement to do so, say education unions UCU, UNISON, NUT and NASUWT, representing staff at the college.

Central Sussex College announced that it will close its Hayward Heath campus in 2017 and reduce the number of jobs at its Crawley campus by at least 29. This is devastating for the community and for those education professionals who will lose their jobs.

The refusal to consult with the trade unions properly is indicative of the attitude of the college leadership team over since they took control over three years ago. This comes despite the FE Commissioner, Sir David Collins, noting that communications with staff, unions and parents needed to be improved.

The college has a formal agreement with unions that any kind of organisational change or redundancy programme should be consulted upon, but has thus far declined to honour its part in the agreement.

The college did not have the courtesy to inform students, parents or the relevant unions about this decision in advance of the press release. These proposals follow on from the failure of the college over recent years to manage its finances, leading to a 'black hole' of several million pounds.

UCU regional official, Michael Moran, said: 'When there are as many job losses as there are in this case, any good employer would consult with the trade union to explore if there could be ways of lessening the impact on those staff affected.'

'Watching staff in effect get dismissed without consultation will be bad for the morale of all staff at the college, as well as devastating for those that lose their jobs. We urge the college to rethink its approach and afford staff the decency of consultation.'

'Staff are at the end of their tether and have reluctantly requested their trade unions organise a vote of no confidence in the current college leadership'