Thursday, 19 April 2012

Gateshead College UCU members show their anger to Senior Management

Gateshead College announced to their staff before the Easter break that they were going to be dismissed from their current terms and conditions.  Not a good way for staff to begin a well deserved break in the run-up to examination and assessment time.

The Branch met on Tuesday 17th April 2012 to discuss the proposals and overwhelmigly voted to begin the process of preparing for a concerted campaign of industrial action.

On Wedneday 18th April 2012, over 80 branch members atteneded a protest outside the main College entrance, supported by Regional Office staff.  The spontaneous slow hand-clapping of the senior leadership team as they walked through the throng of staff who face pay cuts of around £10,000 a year showed the strength of feeling of the UCU membership at Gateshead College.

The threat to remove all workload protections has rung alarm bells with staff and genuine fears about the impact this will have on the quality of education that they will be able to provide.

UCU Branch representatives, supported by Iain Owens (Regional Official) have begun the negotiations and have made clear that members want a guarantee that they will suffer no financial detriment.  No guarantee has been forthcoming and the campaign and protests (as below) will continue.

An old slogan for a new generation

Longstanding UCU Representative, Alan Reynolds, thanks members for their support and pledges to continue to fight back against the draconian proposals


Tom R said...

Good Luck and solidarity especially from middle management members(?!)What's wrong with a National Strike of all UCU members in the face of such attacks in one college - I think that's what solidarity means, isn't it!
Tom Richardson

Anonymous said...

I agree with Tom Richardson. This is a really outrageous action by management of this college----and you can be certain others are just waiting to act in even worse ways.

John R.

Robert MacDonald said...

Wider action is needed. Management need to know the strength of feeling against this in the NE, and nationally. Yes, that is what solidarity means.

Robert MacDonald, Teesside

ann g said...

Yes, I agree. After all , once one institution gets away with it, the rest will follow suit.

Anonymous said...

The thin end of the wage. We need to support colleagues at Gateshead, but this is part of a broader project of austerity and neoliberal restructuring. UCU also needs to be an active contributor to a broader political protest aimed at neoliberalism itself.

Steve H

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that if this is the response to austerity by the senior management, then they should be the first to respond and accept a pay cut. It is worth noting the ever expanding divide between management salaries and the annual pay of lecturers has grown year by year. Good Luck and solidarity to all UCU members!

R MCAleer

Anonymous said...

This must be stopped. Newcastle College went the same way years ago; reduced all lecturers to basic grade, whether they had been Principal or Senior lecturers and brought in Instructors and Teaching Assistants on much lower salaries, thus reducing the cost and quality of teaching. Gateshead is following the same path. Nip it in the bud.

David Branson said...

This action by management is an outrageous attack on members conditions of service. It completely undermines the trust between Management and staff. I fully support UCU in its actions and look forward to these changes being reversed.
Best Wishes Alan

David Branson
Middlesbrough College Chair and Chair UCU Futher Education Committee (Northern Regional Council)