South Tyneside College staff braced for more job losses

South Tyneside College
South Tyneside College

Staff at award-winning South Tyneside College have been warned to brace themselves for more redundancies.

Eight jobs are set to go - news which has left many lecturers and support staff angered, according to the unions representing them.

Students at the marine school simulator

Students at the marine school simulator

The job losses could also mean changes to working terms and conditions for those that remain.

Unions were informed of the plans at a meeting between management and the UCU, Unison and GMB on Tuesday.

South Tyneside College is currently undergoing a planned merger with Tyne Met College, in North Tyneside, in a bid cut costs and and safeguard existing services.

A spokeswoman for the college - which includes the borough’s world-famous marine training unit - said: “Government funding cuts continue to hit the public sector hard, year on year.

Overall, we expect there to be a maximum of eight compulsory redundancies.

College Spokeswoman

“These cuts have impacted heavily on Further Education, which means we must adjust our staffing levels accordingly, whilst ensuring we continue to provide education and training that meets the demands of employers and the future workforce of the North East.

“This is being addressed through our planned annual restructure, which typically sees some reshaping of our workforce requirements.”

She added: “We are looking to accept voluntary redundancies, although it is likely that some vacancies will become available. Overall, we expect there to be a maximum of eight compulsory redundancies.

“We are working closely with trade unions to examine all options and are supporting our staff through this process.”

Jon Bryan, regional support official for the University and College Union, said: “Staff were aware that there were likely to be changes with the merger due to take place and with the continual cuts to funding in further education but that does not make the news any more welcome or better.

“It’s sad that staff who helped to make South Tyneside College the FE College of the Year have not all got a future there.”

Tony Martin, Regional Organiser for UNISON, who represent the support staff at the College, said: “On May 9, college management outlined potential job losses and proposed detrimental changes to our members working terms and conditions. The joint trade unions (UNISON, UCU and GMB) are meeting with college management to try and ensure that any compulsory redundancies can be avoided.

“The support staff UNISON members at The Colleges (South Tyneside and TyneMet) also want their jobs to be secure and to know that they are not going to suffer any detriment to their current pay and hours following continual year on year government cuts in the Further Education sector that have left them significantly worse off in their pay and conditions.”

It is understood more meetings between union officials and college management or planned for the near future.