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Hull College Group job losses: Strike vote over plans

Hull College in Queens Gardens, Hull Image copyright Geograph / Ian S
Image caption Hull College Group has three sites in Hull, Harrogate and Goole

Staff working at three Yorkshire colleges are balloting for strike action over plans to cut 231 posts.

Hull College Group, which runs colleges in Hull, Goole and Harrogate, has begun a restructuring plan to deal with a £10m budget deficit.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) will hold the vote over the next few weeks.

The college said it was surprised and disappointed "at this unnecessary and premature call for industrial action".

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Union officials say the redundancies would see about a third of the workforce cut.

Regional UCU official Julie Kelley said they wanted to "work with college management to look at alternatives to these damaging cuts".

"The proposed speed and scale of these cuts is a devastating blow to staff, students and the local community," she said.

"These changes will mean fewer contact hours for students, fewer learning opportunities for local people and huge loss of specialist expertise."

'Positively engage'

Last year, the college's financial management was criticised in a report by the Further Education Commissioner.

The commissioner said the college's financial health had "fallen from good in 2012-13 to inadequate in 2015-16".

The report added there was concern "the college has had significant failures in financial management. Leadership and governance needs to improve in this respect".

In a statement, Hull College said industrial action would "not contribute anything positive to the consultation process".

It added: "Our students and the public we serve can be assured that we will continue to positively engage with the recognised trade unions and we will continue to consider any proposals, thoughts and ideas they may have about how we, collectively, ensure we have a bright future."

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