College staff are set to protest for the third time against restructuring and job losses.
Lecturers, support staff and students at all four sites of Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College will be standing up for their positions tomorrow (Wednesday May 7) lunchtime, making clear their opposition to senior management’s reshuffle which has seen £7.5 million worth of cuts to deal with a deficit.
This has meant £5 million cuts to staff, including a voluntary redundancy package for a number of teachers and support staff.
Matthew Cookson, University College Union branch chair, said: “We have had a restructure and part of that involved 20 teachers taking voluntary redundancy, as well as some managers and support staff across all four campuses over the last few weeks.
“Management has said they are going to try their best not to enforce compulsory redundancy but we are trying to guarantee this will not happen.
“The protest will show that even though the restructure has gone through, we do not support it.
“Our students want education to come first rather than financial issues and we will continue to stand up for education in the local area.”
UCU members plan to have other protests to demonstrate their opposition and will even consider strike action if management begin making compulsory redundancies.
Senior management has been unable to provide the UCU lecturers’ union with guarantees that there will not be any compulsory redundancies of teaching staff in this financial year.
A spokesman from the college said: "In the context of significant government spending cuts - as highlighted by the UCU’s national day of protests - the College needs to strategically reposition, rebase its finances and redesign its curriculum offer to ensure it can continue to deliver innovative courses. As part of this, the College is restructuring to remain a leading provider of training and development in west London.
"We understand the concerns of our staff in response to the College’s current challenges. We are working with unions to minimize the adverse impact of these challenges on staff.
"The College has undergone a recruitment freeze and voluntary redundancy process but at this point in time, due to the savings the College needs to make, we cannot guarantee that there will be no compulsory redundancies.
"Our primary commitment is and will always be to the needs of our student and surrounding community. The College has constructive working relationships with all recognised unions and we will work with them to both facilitate protests, while ensuring our students continue to benefit from their studies and training."