Date: 1 June 2009
Telford UNISON members vote to fight job cuts
as college bosses get big rises
UNISON members at Edinburgh’s Telford College have
voted overwhelmingly to campaign against redundancies
and the imminent privatisation of jobs over the
next two weeks before any meaningful consultation
with the union.
The union has warned that the cuts and restructurings
risk creating chaos in the day to day running of
the college putting courses at risk and affecting
In the result of a consultative ballot announced
today, 98% voted for possible action on a 71% turnout
of the 128 members at the college. The union will
now seek further negotiations before considering
whether to go to a formal ballot.
John Ross, UNISON Edinburgh Branch Service Conditions
Convener, said, "This result shows how angry our
members are after senior managers shocked the workforce
by announcing compulsory redundancies in an unprecedented
move to reduce a forecast deficit of £2.9 million
for this year.
"Apparently the college has been running at a loss
over the past two years but it was not made public
until two weeks ago when it was revealed in staff
briefings. This is astonishing given the college’s
lead role in the regeneration of North Edinburgh."
"We have been told that 12 middle manager posts
are to go due to a £300,000 cut planned by a review
of the college’s support staff structure On top
of this, lower paid staff are to have their ‘unsocial
hours’ shift allowance stopped at the end of July."
"Our members who accepted a 3% rise last year are
particularly angry that 28 senior managers will
get substantial salary increases at the end of July
2009, while the assistant principals have enjoyed
a 32% salary increase over the past three years.
Management have said that they are ‘comfortable’
with these decisions."
John Ross added: "We understand we are in a recession
but as we see so often this looks like senior managers
rewarding themselves for failure."
Staff have told UNISON that, despite regularly
restructuring over the past 10 years, the college
has repeatedly failed to introduce systems that
allowed staff to function efficiently. Over the
past two weeks the management has set up yet another
review and restructuring to arrive at their current
Even more restructurings are proposed with the
threat of further job losses yet to come. After
the failure over the past 10 years, staff have lost
all confidence in the management’s ability to arrive
at a workable solution.
"Our members are asking, if the college management
can’t get it right in 10 years what chance have
they got of doing so in two weeks?" said Mr Ross.
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