Students and staff set to protest at City College jobs cull

Posted On 02 May 2014 at 5:36 pm
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Students and staff are set to protest outside Brighton’s City College tomorrow at plans to shed up to 50 jobs and close courses.

save city college flyerThe demonstration is set to start at 2pm in the Pelham Tower car park off Trafalgar Street in the North Laine.

It comes as the two unions representing college staff, Unison and the University and College Union accuse principal Lynn Thackway and management of presiding over a “deepening financial crisis”.

The Brighton and Hove Independent today reports claims that suppliers – including examination boards – are owed hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Some local suppliers are reportedly refusing to do business with the college and at least one is believed to be threatening legal action to recover a debt of less than £200.

Dr Alison Kelly, UCU co-branch secretary, said: “We heard rumours – at least we hoped they were just rumours – that a senior manager had told finance staff to ‘borrow’ from staff pension contributions.

“Some of us contacted the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) this month and – to our horror – the TPS confirmed they had not received the latest pension contributions, and that because of that the college is being charged interest payments on the outstanding amounts.”

Mark Webb, a Unison representative, claimed: “Last week, we had cleaners, premises officers and laundry staff pulled out of the college by the agency that provides them because the college couldn’t or wouldn’t pay them the £23,000 owed.”

A totaly of 48 full-time roles are likely to be lost – half of them teaching staff and the rest from other services – subject to a 30-day consultation.

Many staff blame the current cuts on the college overstretching itself for an ambitious £79 million rebuilding scheme.

A Facebook page called Save City College Brighton, which has more than 500 likes, calls the rebuild “pointless”.

Principal Lynn Thackway told the Argus this week: “We are determined to ensure the college remains strong and serves the city and all of our current and future students.

“The restructure is not linked to our capital development plans. This is about realigning the staff costs at a time when funding is being cut or reduced with many of our costs rising.”

It’s not yet clear which courses are affected, but at least one is to fall victim to the cuts.

The college’s journalism course is to close at the end of the term. Media commentator and Kemp Town resident Roy Greenslade, who gives an annual talk to students there, reports one staff member as saying: “One of the most popular, successful and friendly NCTJ courses is going to the wall. It’s very sad.”

  1. Margaret Williams Reply

    What are the Governors at City College up to ? Why are they not listening to the staff issues ?

  2. Margaret Williams Reply

    What are the Governors at City College up to ? Why are they not listening to the staff issues ?

  3. Specialist teacher Reply

    It was always an effort to get my invoices paid but last time took nearly five months.

    It’s a shame because there are great courses there. An educational institution shouldn’t be in hi his situation.

  4. Specialist teacher Reply

    It was always an effort to get my invoices paid but last time took nearly five months.

    It’s a shame because there are great courses there. An educational institution shouldn’t be in hi his situation.

  5. Linda Thackers Reply

    The executive management are planning for next year’s course hours to be cut massively. This will mean that full time courses will have 11 hours a week. Most of the examining bodies the college deals with expect 15 hours a week. All this just to fund a new building that is not fit for student needs.

  6. Linda Thackers Reply

    The executive management are planning for next year’s course hours to be cut massively. This will mean that full time courses will have 11 hours a week. Most of the examining bodies the college deals with expect 15 hours a week. All this just to fund a new building that is not fit for student needs.

  7. jane Banks Reply

    i cannot believe they are taking out of the pension fund. This is deemed in law terms as ‘illegal practice and can result in prison. Do they know this?
    I saw this happen in another college. Needless to say there were two prison sentences and the college closed down !

  8. jane Banks Reply

    i cannot believe they are taking out of the pension fund. This is deemed in law terms as ‘illegal practice and can result in prison. Do they know this?
    I saw this happen in another college. Needless to say there were two prison sentences and the college closed down !

  9. Jane Shiers Reply

    They owe us thousands. We will not be working with them again!

  10. Jane Shiers Reply

    They owe us thousands. We will not be working with them again!

  11. Lydia Giannetti Reply

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