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Protest at Darlington College over pay cuts as merger collapses

20 June 2017

Staff at Darlington College will stage another demonstration tomorrow (Wednesday) lunchtime in a row over proposals to slash lecturers' salaries by up to 10%. The news come as it has been revealed that a proposed merger between the college and Stockton Riverside College has been scrapped.

Staff will gather outside the main entrance on the corner of Vicarage Road and Haughton Road from 12pm. UCU has demanded to know how much money had been spent looking at the merger and criticised the government-backed area reviews, which had recommended the merger.

UCU regional official, Joyce McAndrew, said: 'The money spent looking at the potential merger and the government-backed area reviews, which recommended the merger in the first place, could have been far better spent on education for the people of Darlington.

'Now the merger issue is out of the way, it is time for the college management to turn their attention to staff protests about pay cuts. We have seen teaching hours go up but no pay rises here in recent years. After wasting time and money looking at a merger, the college now needs to get back to properly rewarding its staff.'

At a union meeting on Friday 26 May, UCU members passed a motion of no confidence in the senior management team at the college. The vote came after the college increased teaching hours by 4.3% last year and is now seeking the pay cuts. Lecturers have not received a pay increase since 2012. 

The union has said it wants to seek a negotiated resolution to the current dispute. It has made a number of proposals to the college management about how to mitigate the pay cuts and even requested a meeting with the college's board of governors, which has been refused.

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