UCU members at West London College sites in Hammersmith, Acton, Ealing and Southall were on strike yesterday against job losses.
Fourteen staff face loosing their job as A-level teaching has stopped and cuts are being made to computing & IT and access courses. During the ballot for strike action the college warned the UCU that if it it did not cancel the ballot, it would reduce the redundancy deal for staff.
Undeterred by the threats, the members overwhelmingly backed strike action. UCU co-chair at Hammersmith Monish Bhandari told News Line: ‘A-level courses were stopped halfway through, students being told to find another college.
‘Management refused to redeploy the seven staff elsewhere at the college. There are proposals to demolish the Hammersmith site, it’s only thirty years old. It would be replaced by a technology college on only a third of the present site, the other two thirds would be retail and housing, but I don’t know whether any of it will be affordable. In 2010 there were 1,100 staff at the college and now there are about 200, it’s austerity gone mad.’
On the picket line at Southall College, UCU rep Jonathan Gurney told News Line: ‘The management are threatening compulsory redundancy for 14 lecturer and teaching staff and members are very annoyed. We have been threatened that if we do not call off the strike we will not receive voluntary redundancies but compulsory, which is at a far lower level. Some of the staff will be going to the demonstration from the BBC to Parliament Square on Saturday.’