Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/662/11426
Defend jobs and education at Newcastle College
Newcastle College is threatening to sack 171 workers, including 124 teaching staff. Elaine Brunskill spoke to an instructor, a Unison trade union member, from the college.
Staff found out about the redundancy plans when they received an email from the college. This sent a shock-wave amongst workers and students. The instructor explained this was quickly followed by material from the University and College Union (UCU).
Leaflets and material put out on the internet by UCU explained how the college is blaming austerity cuts, however last year the college made a surplus of £6 million. Also, just days before the redundancy plans were put out, the college announced plans for a new building.
The instructor told how staff at the college, with the threat of being made redundant hanging over them, were shocked to hear that the principal, Jackie Fisher, received a whopping 32% pay increase last year. According to UCU this took her pay for 2009/2010 to £259,772, making her one of the highest-paid principals in the country.
Furthermore, the instructor pointed out that this generosity was also shown to the leadership team who have been awarded up to £100,000 each. He said: "How can these people justify this while workers are being sacked?"
He went on to explain the impact all this will have on thousands of students who will not be able to access education, just at a time when youth unemployment is soaring.
Workers and students will fight to defend jobs and education at Newcastle college and will be looking to the trade unions, including Unison, to take a lead.
In The Socialist 16 March 2011:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party campaigns