Union leaders begin second round of talks over job cuts plans at South Tynesdie College

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

Union leaders are due to be holding a second round of talks with bosses at South Tyneside College today over a bid to cut up to 17 jobs to meet a cash shortfall.

 The college revealed plans last month for a raft of redundancies – which would see 14 lecturers, two members of management and a clerical worker lose their jobs – after its budget was slashed by £12million by the Government.

We want to try to resolve the situation through agreement rather than through disagreement.

UCU representative Jon Bryan

The cutbacks could also include increases in teaching hours, cuts to benefits, such as occupational sick pay and maternity pay, and reductions in redundancy payments.

But staff voted to resist the changes at a branch meeting of the UCU (Union for Colleges and Universities) and have not ruled out taking industrial action.

Workers have already voiced their discontent by staging lunchtime protests outside the college site, in St George’s Avenue, South Shields, with over 50 staff involved.

Jon Bryan, UCU regional support official, said a meeting was held with management at the college on Monday, with further talks being held today.

Mr Bryan said: “We want to try to resolve the situation through agreement rather than through disagreement.”

A South Tyneside College spokesman said: “Like every other college in the country, we are facing a significant cut in our budget and this is something that cannot be ignored.”