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Scores of lecturers stage protest over planned job cuts at South Tyneside College

South Tyneside College lunch time protests over job cuts.
South Tyneside College lunch time protests over job cuts.

Scores of college workers in South Tyneside protested during their lunchtime in a bid to save their jobs.

More than 50 lecturers and staff from South Tyneside College gathered outside the St George’s Avenue site, in South Shields.

Our protests will continue all week and we hope more people take part, whether they are union members or not.

A college source

The lunchtime demonstration was to show their disgust over the college’s plans to axe up to 17 jobs to meet a £1.2million funding shortfall.

They were also supported by staff from South Shields Marine School, which shares the same campus.

A source at the college said: “There was a good turnout, probably about 50-60 members of staff turned out in the end. It was good to see the management getting rattled as they watched uncomfortably from their office windows.

“Our protests will continue all week and we hope more people take part, whether they are union members or not, as this affects all staff.”

However, college bosses say they’re disappointed by the move.

A South Tyneside College spokesman said: “It is disappointing that a number of our staff have decided to protest in this way when we are in consultation with unions and working hard to make the impact of a budget cut which has been forced on us as minimal as possible.

“While their genuine concerns are understandable, it is only through the type of direct consultation that we have entered into that progress can be made.

“It is not an option to do nothing, and even this week the FE Commissioner has written to all colleges warning them to get their finances right or face the prospect of merger.

“Due to ongoing robust management we are officially rated financially outstanding which will ensure we do not face this merger threat and the impact of this cut will be as minimal as can be.”