Teaching staff may strike over jobs cull

Members of UNISON, the GMB and UCU demonstrated last year at Leeds City College against budget cuts.
Members of UNISON, the GMB and UCU demonstrated last year at Leeds City College against budget cuts.
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STAFF at two colleges in the region are to vote on strike action over hundreds of job losses.

As many as 146 staff could go from management, business support and teaching at Leeds City College, while another 140 are at risk at Bradford College as a result of £8m cuts.

Leeds City College wants to make nearly £11m worth of savings, with Joseph Priestley Campus in Morley among sites in line for closure. The latest cuts at Leeds come on top of 100 redundancies last year.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: “We believe cuts of this size would cause real damage to the region’s chances of offering high-quality training and education for students and local businesses. Industrial action is always a last resort, but UCU will be announcing a timetable for the ballots in the next few days and regrettably strike action cannot be ruled out at either college.”

The union blamed an expansive building programme that Bradford College believed would attract new students.

Bradford College said staff would be offered redeployment where possible and voluntary redundancy. A statement added: “Any form of industrial action is regrettable and is something the college will work with the unions to avoid.”

Leeds City College confirmed the scale of the cuts and said they would seek to minimise compulsory redundancies, saying they hoped a “substantial” number would be achieved through a recently launched voluntary severance scheme.