100 jobs at risk at Newcastle and Stafford College

Around 100 staff at Newcastle and Stafford College risk losing their jobs after the college announced plans to save £2m. The trade unions representing college staff said the college’s plans would have a devastating impact on educational opportunities in Staffordshire and called on the college to give full details of any outsourcing plans.

UNISON and the University and College Union (UCU) believe the majority of redundancies would affect staff based at the Stafford site with as many as 25% possibly losing their jobs. The unions have said they understand the need for some rationalisation in a newly merged college.

However, they question the college’s commitment to growth and local people’s educational needs if the plans lead to a reduction in courses and larger class sizes.

The unions said those at risk include lecturers, assessors, security staff, finance & payroll staff, technicians, support staff, library staff, learning support staff and those with administrative roles

The unions say the outsourcing element of the plans would result in a further 30 catering and cleaning staff moved to contractors and a further 14 jobs could be lost as the college plans cease running it’s nursery, which unions argue would make it much harder for local people to attend college.

Steve Elsey, Area Organiser, Staffordshire UNISON said: “This latest announcement has come as a fresh blow for Staff at the college, with many staff left dismayed at the prospect of the Stafford Campus loosing 25% of its staff which would include lecturers, assessors, technicians and staff in the security, finance, support service, library, learning support and administrative departments.”

Mike Steer, local UNISON rep and member of college staff commented: “Staff understand the need to rationalise services and staffing across the merged college. However, these latest proposals appear to conflict with the interests of the local community, such as plans to increase class sizes and reduce the number of courses on offer.”

UCU rep Steph Tague said: “Some rationalisation was expected, but as the college already has ambitious growth plans in place these proposals seem to make little sense. The college needs to be focussing on offering local people a broad range of courses, not increasing class sizes or narrowing the curriculum.

UCU Regional Support Official, Rebecca Stewart said: "Closure of adult and community courses in Stafford with no replacement for provision planned is a blow for local people. These proposals also disproportionately affect those teaching staff on part time precarious contracts and aren't the rescue they were hoping for".