Staff at two of the West Midlands biggest colleges have voted in favour of both strike action and action short of a strike in their fight to save jobs.
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) at City College Birmingham and City of Wolverhampton College will be out on strike on Monday, June 21, with members at Birmingham Metropolitan College voting to take action short of a strike.
At City College Birmingham 88 per cent of UCU members who voted, voted for strike action and 93 per cent voted for action short of a strike. At Wolverhampton 70 per cent of UCU members who voted, voted for strike action and 92 per cent voted for action short of a strike.
The news comes on the same day that UCU ended its dispute with South Birmingham College after the college withdrew its threat of compulsory redundancies. The union has called on the other colleges to urgently follow suit and not to make punitive cuts.
City of Wolverhampton College has said that it is looking to make savings of £3 million with 160 posts at risk and more than 100 jobs are at risk at Birmingham Metropolitan College.
City College Birmingham is planning to get rid of 78 posts and to close its supported learning division which provides basic English and maths courses for homeless students, as well as support for disabled students and those with learning disabilities. In addition the cuts will affect classes in English for speakers of other Languages
Caroline Gray, a UCU member who teaches at City College Birmingham, said: “Staff have been left with little choice but to take this action. The planned job losses and closure of adult-supported learning our college will have a devastating effect on the local community. If these cuts go ahead they will hit some of the most vulnerable adults and disadvantaged people in Birmingham.”
Adam Dwight, UCU chairman at Wolverhampton College, said: “Let’s be clear about what is at stake here. We are facing the frightening prospect of hundreds of trained teachers going on to the dole, and educational opportunities for thousands of people being put at risk. UCU members at Wolverhampton will do all they can to fight for their students and for their jobs.”