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UCU Picket Line Outside Leeds College of Building

Over 15 UCU members mounted a picket outside the Leeds College of Building (LCB) site on North Street today, striking against jobs cuts, demotions and pay cuts at the College.

Iain Dalton, Hyde Park & Headingley Socialist Party

Michael Howley, LCB UCU branch secretary spoke to the Socialist. “We’re on strike today because the college has decided to impose a restructing programme to fund a new college building.”

“In my department alone 3 lecturers are being demoted to the role of Learning Mentor, with a £10,000 a year drop in salary and and extra 26% in teaching hours. Another 11 lecturers are being demoted to Skills Assesor roles which sees a £5,000 a year drop in salary and a 26% increase in teaching hours, with a further 57 lecturers seeing their teaching hours also increased by 26%.”

“Yet the 4 college directors who earn almost £400,000 between face any cut. And the most shocking bit yet is that the college has over £10m in reserves with almost £7.3m in cash!”

The college is aiming to impose the changes in September. Unfortunately, despite UNISON members at the college facing similar attacks they have not been balloted as of yet to take action against the cuts. No further time should be lost in mobilising all trade unionists at the college to fight these attacks. UCU will be meeting to discuss further action in the next academic year and UNISON members should be balloted to join them in that action.