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Nottingham councillors slam college bosses for their handling of UCU dispute over new contracts

DOZENS of councillors in Nottinghamshire launched a scathing attack on local college authorities for their mismanagement of a dispute which has seen 16 days of strike action by lecturers – with more strikes to come.

Bosses at Nottingham College want to impose new contracts, but they are being fiercely resisted by members of the University and College Union (UCU).

The union says the contracts will leave some staff more than £1,000 a year worse off, reduce holiday entitlement and remove protections against work overload.

Staff at the college have not received a pay rise since 2010.

The lecturers’ action has won the support of students and 4,200 people have signed a petition supporting the UCU.

A vote of no confidence in the college’s chief executive officer and board, organised by the union, was unanimously carried.

Now 32 councillors have written to college authorities stating: “We are quite incredulous that the board has allowed a situation to develop where teaching staff are considering four further weeks of industrial action.”

The councillors’ letter refers to a “staggering lack of trust” in college management.

UCU head of further education Andrew Harden welcomed the councillors’ support.

“Local councillors are right to ask serious questions about how the college is being run. 

“They are right to say that the college is putting opportunities for local people at risk,” he said.

“This is not a dispute caused by staff. It was triggered by the college threatening to sack lecturers unless they signed new contracts that cut pay, holidays and sickness protection.”

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