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A COLLEGE in Scotland has been accused of fire-and-rehire tactics over the closure of a nursery.
New Lanarkshire College first raised the spectre of the nursery’s closure at their Cumbernauld campus in June this year, initially planning for immediate closure of the facility which supports parents attending the college.
At a meeting with parents, college principal Professor Christopher Moore offered a “smooth transition” to a nursery at the college’s Motherwell campus.
However, on Wednesday morning parents were told that the Cumbernauld nursery would close on December 31 this year and not open until the start of the new academic year in August 2024, by which time it would be run by charity Amcol.
Learning that Amcol was a charity wholly owned by the college, parents and workers have demanded answers on why they face an eight-month gap in provision that could affect their studies and finances while the transfer takes place.
Furious parents have accused the college of using children as pawns as they attack the terms and conditions of workers at the nursery by effectively forcing a transfer without employment protections.
Parents and staff, who asked not to be named, have told the Star of their concerns.
One worker said: “The principal says this is about a deficit in the nursery.
“We’ve told him we could do more to get folk in, but he’s not interested.
“He’s a professor of marketing, but he doesn’t seem to think we can be marketed!
“We’ve been told that we will be offered voluntary redundancy, or a transfer to other posts.
“Librarians’ jobs were suggested, but they’ve just laid a number of them off.
“I’ve worked in childcare for years, this nursery has a great reputation and it’s like a family, but this is about money.”
A parent told the Star: “What is it that they think their own company can do they can’t, and why does there have to be a break in service?
“It’s obvious. It’s about dodging [regulations], and cutting the college’s pension costs.
“As a single parent, I need this service to do my studies.
“But it’s more than that. Our kids are settled here, they have great support from experienced workers that care.
“The principal says he’s running an £80-million business, but he’s wrong, he’s running a service, and he needs to take notice – we are going to fight this all the way.
“Our kids aren’t going anywhere.”
New Lanarkshire College was contacted for comment.
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