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Lecturers Strike Over College Job Cuts

Lecturers at Coventry Technical College are to go on strike this week in protest at plans to cut of a third of the full time teaching positions.

Debts of more than £2 million were uncovered at the college in May this year, and the axe is to fall on up to 35 full-time posts to save money.

Lecturers are to set up picket lines outside the college in Butts, Earlsdon from Wednesday until Friday to raise awareness of the issue.

They are also hoping to persuade management to improve the voluntary redundancy package on offer – which is currently the same as the statutory minimum.

Geraldine Egan, regional organiser of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE) said senior staff were taking the brunt of the cuts, but had been offered just £230 per year of service – the statutory minimum.

She said staff staying at the college were concerned that managers would resort to similar radical action in the future if there were more financial difficulties.

Ms Egan said:

”The way the restructuring is being done is from the top down. All the senior staff, those who stayed with the college when it went bust in the early 1990s are the ones who are being told to go.

”We are looking for a better voluntary package so people can feel more in control of what is happening.”

The college’s difficulties have been compounded by a change in its funding arrangements next year.

It has to wrap up all its existing financial affairs by 31 March, when responsibility passes from the Further Education Funding Council to the Learning Skills Council.

Ms Egan said this switch meant the college didn’t have any time to ride out the problems, and has no overdraft to absorb the shortfall.

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CWN / Education / Coventry Technical College / 20 Nov 00

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