Lecturers, support staff and students at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College are opposing senior management’s plans to make £5 million worth of staffing cost cuts on the college in the next few months. The college, one of the biggest in London, is facing serious financial difficulties due to government cuts in further education and the failures of the previous management team.
Management want to restructure the college’s departments, leading to major losses among the lower levels of management and support staff. Lecturers’ jobs will be looked at in the summer term. All employees have been asked if they would like to apply for voluntary redundancy. This comes on top of 1.6 compulsory redundancies in the Building and Construction department. Staff are furious at the plans, believing that they are unjust and will have a severe effect on the educational provision the college offers to the local community.
Both branches of the UCU lecturers’ union at the college have voted to ballot for industrial action if there are any compulsory redundancies. Protests at all four main sites on Friday 28 February saw a strong turn out of UCU, Unison and NUS members against the plans, with more than 100 people joining the lunchtime rallies. More protests will follow, and the UCU will need to ballot so members can take industrial action to defend jobs and education, hopefully alongside Unison members.