College staff set to strike

Kirklees College Dewsbury
Kirklees College Dewsbury

Kirklees College staff are set to go on strike tomorrow.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) said the day of action stems from a row over job losses and pay cuts.

It said almost 60 staff face pay cuts of between £2,000 and £12,000 a year, or ‘detrimental’ changes to their terms and conditions, and that six staff are still at risk of losing their jobs, despite the college’s recent investment in new buildings.

The UCU has accused the college of prioritising buildings over staff, students and the quality of education.

Julie Kelley, the union’s regional official, said: “UCU members will be on strike tomorrow to defend their pay and the education of their students. Strike action is always a last resort, but there is a genuine anger about the way the college has mismanaged recent events.”

But college Principal Pete McCann said the college will be open as normal.

He said: “We will be open to students as usual. The majority of staff will be attending as normal, so we must maximise success for our current students and make sure that there is minimal disruption for final year assessments including exams and moderations.

“We have made every effort to ensure these to go ahead unaffected by the industrial action.

He added: “While I am disappointed that the strike action is going ahead while discussions are ongoing, I am pleased that the college is able to give students the support they need at this crucial time of year without disruption to them.”

UCU members will be on picket lines from 8am outside the main college building on New North Road in Huddersfield. There will then be a rally starting at 10.30am outside the Waterfront Building on the college campus.