CUPE Local 1356 Blog

Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 1356. We have three Collective Agreements as Local 1356, 1356-01, and 1356-02. The membership is comprised of the full-time and part-time workers of York University the Local website is at This Blog will include Local information and information garnered from sources other Universities, Colleges, Post Secondary/Tertiary Education and news sources supplying information.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

UK Union calls for colleges to halt jobs cull

NATFHE - The University & College Lecturers’ Union has called for a moratorium on the escalating numbers of redundancies being meted out in the UK’s further education colleges. As the largest union for further education lecturers, NATFHE, has asked umbrella body, the Association of Colleges, to advise college managements to halt the job cuts now before irrecoverable damage is done.

Cuts in jobs and courses have been rising as it became clear that this year’s FE budget shows a lower rate of increase than in recent years (4.3%). The government has targeted the money at specific areas including qualifications for 16-19-year-olds and for those without basic skills and qualifications up to GCSE level. But one area - adult funding - has been dealt a shattering blow of a 3% (£55m) reduction.

While the situation varies from college to college, it is all too clear that many colleges will lack the cash to cover the Government’s target areas resulting in a budget-squeeze on adult courses and others that don’t fall into Government target areas.

NATFHE is now carrying out a nationwide survey of all its branches at UK colleges in a bid to pinpoint precise numbers of jobs and courses axed so far.

But in the meantime, it has warned colleges they must put the brakes on the cull before so much damage is done, they will be unable to fully function in years to come.

NATFHE general secretary, Paul Mackney, warned:

‘This wave of job and course cuts is ridiculously short-termist. Shedding more skilled staff will impair the infrastructure of our colleges.

‘We hope the Government will realise urgently that they haven’t got the strategy right yet for adult learners who will fill most new and replacement jobs as the number of younger workers declines, and need high level skills. But colleges won’t be able to gear up if they sack staff now. Job cuts make it very difficult for colleges to respond to local need and changes such as the recent Rover crisis.

‘NATHE believes a moratorium on job losses is our best hope of saving colleges from irrecoverable damage.’

Barry Lovejoy, NATFHE head of colleges, added ‘NATFHE is committed to resisting any compulsory redundancies and we are likely to see local branches organising ballots for strike action if any are proposed.’

Added Notes:

NATFHE is the largest trade union and professional association for lecturers, trainers, researchers and managers, working in further and higher education, throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The union also has members in adult and prison education services. Total membership stands at 68,000.

• As a member of the advisory group set up for the government-commissioned Foster Further Education Review, NATFHE general secretary, Paul Mackney, has made the case for extra resources.

• As a member of the National Institute for Adult Learning’s (NIACE) Committee of Enquiry into Adult Learning in Further Education, NATFHE general secretary, Paul Mackney, has made the case for extra resources.

• NATFHE will meet Government ministers to make the case for extra resources

• NATFHE will lobby nationally and locally alongside other unions and FE organisations to emphasise the need to stop the cuts and close the estimated 10% funding gap between colleges and school sixth forms. Sign the joint fair funding petition on the NATFHE website.

• NATFHE will be sending out detailed press information about cuts at individual colleges to regional and local media as it receives results from a nationwide survey.


• Teachers and lecturers top the unpaid overtime league table doing an average of 11 hours and 36 minutes extra work a week

• Lecturing staff turnover figures increased from 11% to 14.3% between September 2003-September 2004

• More than twice as many 16-18-year-olds study in colleges than schools - 701,000 in FE colleges or sixth form colleges compared with just 345,000 in schools (2003/4)

• 100,000 14-16-year-olds study in FE (2003/4) and this will rise to 250,000 by 2008

• More than 40% of those entering higher education go via colleges

• Every year, colleges train three million adults

• Colleges run 200 million training days each year - more than three times the amount employers run


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