Strikes by lecturers off as union reaches deal with Hull College

A strike due to begin on Monday at Hull College has been cancelled after union representatives and management agreed a deal.

Next week's strike has been cancelled at Hull College Group
Next week's strike has been cancelled at Hull College Group

University and College Union members, who have been protesting about hundreds of job cuts, were due to walk out for seven days at sites in Hull, Goole and Harrogate, just as hundreds of GCSE students sit down to do their exams.

UCU regional official, Julie Kelley, said: "We have reached a position whereby it looks like there won't be any compulsory redundancies.

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"We are very pleased about that and for everybody affected by this.

"Over the next few weeks we will work closely with the college to make sure that is the position by the end of July."

A small number of staff have already taken voluntary redundancy and left, with the majority due to leave by the end of this month and next month, she said.

The two sides have issued a joint statement. It reads: "In March 2018, Hull College Group announced a restructure affecting up to 231 full-time equivalent roles as part of a five-year recovery plan following recommendations from the Further Education (FE) Commissioner.

"Hull College Group and UCU following constructive negotiations can confirm that through best endeavours and joint working they are seeking to complete the restructure without the need for compulsory redundancy.

"The group recognises the important role trade unions play in these consultations and through negotiations with the UCU, both parties are pleased to agree that the planned strike action has now been called off due to a Memorandum of Understanding being agreed.

"We would also like to acknowledge the contribution all our staff have made during this difficult process as we work to achieve a successful and sustainable future and resolve serious operational and financial issues inherited from the previous management.

"We mutually recognise that the past few years have been very challenging for staff and students at Hull College Group and we share the joint ambition to bring about positive changes to ensure we continue to be vibrant and exciting places to learn and a good place to work.

"We will work jointly to lobby for better funding for FE colleges.

"Hull College group is very sad that we cannot take all staff with us as we rebuild and refresh and we remain focused on delivering the vital role our colleges play in providing skills and education to our local communities."