K College staff set to ballot over strike action: Job cuts could hit Tunbridge Wells campus
By kentsussex | Monday, September 17, 2012, 15:48
Staff at K College - which has campuses in Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Ashford, Folkestone and Dover - are to be balloted over strike action over plans to axe 145 jobs.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at the college are voting over whether or not to take industrial action.
The union says the college's plans leave the entire workforce of over 1,000 staff at risk of redundancy. They add it also comes just months after 50 staff lost their jobs as part of a previous review.
UCU chiefs said the large number of job losses is "not justified" and pointed to other colleges' abilities to "deal with funding shortfalls without such drastic action".
The president of UCU, Kathy Taylor, is addressing a meeting of its members at K College today where she will urge them to back the strike ballot if negotiations fail.
UCU regional support official, Adam Lincoln, said: "These ill-conceived and unjustified proposals, that mean the axing around 200 members of staff in a single calendar year, will have huge ramifications for the local area in terms of the quality of education K College is able to deliver.
"We are not seeking confrontation, but we must defend the education service the college provides not just for now, but for the future."
UCU president, Kathy Taylor, said: "Nobody ever wants to see strike action, but the college's actions have left UCU members at K College with little choice. They have the full backing of the national union in their fight to save jobs and protect the quality of education on offer at K College."