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Date: Fri 3 July 2009

UNISON in Day of Action at Forth Valley College over job cuts by diktat

UNISON members will take to the street in Falkirk today (Fri 3 July) to protest about job cuts which are being imposed at Forth Valley College.

The staff will be seeking to mobilise support from local people and elected representatives to persuade College directors to reconsider the job cuts. Loss of the 12 full time equivalent posts which are under threat, would mean 17 staff losing their jobs.

Pam Robertson, UNISON Clackmannanshire Branch Secretary, said: "These redundancies were sprung on staff at short notice, just as the semester ended. We have asked Forth Valley College management for meaningful talks so that we can avoid compulsory redundancies. Yet the directors seem set to impose these cuts by diktat."

"Management have offered the minimum statutory redundancy payments, regardless of length of service, they have refused to give 90 days notice of the job cuts and they want people out in the minimum time under law, before the next semester starts. We want dialogue, not dictatorship."

Staff from the three Forth Valley College campuses, in Falkirk, Stirling and Alloa, will join the demonstration, which will form part of a UK wide Day of Protest at FE colleges to "Defend Jobs, Defend Education".

Derek Keenan, UNISON rep at Forth Valley's Falkirk campus, said: "These job cuts affect the campuses in Falkirk, Stirling and Alloa. We have held mass meetings of members in all three, at which members have expressed anger and dismay at the actions of the directors. The timing of this decision, at the end of the semester with staff and students leaving for holidays, has caused a lot of anger. UNISON does not intend to accept compulsory redundancies and we intend to fight this.

"We want the people of the communities which the College serves and our elected representatives to join our campaign to defend jobs and defend education at Forth Valley College."


Notes for editors:

1. The UNISON demonstration against compulsory redundancies and to defend jobs and education will take place outside the Falkirk campus of Forth Valley College, Grangemouth Road, Falkirk FK2 9AD from 12 noon on Friday 3 July.

2. For more on the UK-wide "Defend Jobs, Defend Education" Day of Action in FE Colleges on Friday 3 July, see UNISON UK press Release " No to redundancies" (29 June 2009) http://www.unison.org.uk/news/news_view.asp?did=5494 and UNISON UK's College Protests page http://www.unison.org.uk/education/pages_view.asp?did=9015

3. UNISON Scotland is the main union for support staff working in Scottish further education colleges. Our members working in FE include learning support staff, librarians, IT specialists, technicians, professional staff, administrative and business support staff, cleaners, canteen staff and estate management staff.

For Further Information Please Contact: Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0771 558 3729(m) Malcolm Burns (Information Development Officer) 0141 342 2811 Pam Robertson (UNISON Clackmannanshire Branch Secretary) 01259 722282 07971 851465 (m) Helen Craig (Forth Valley College UNISON rep) 07812 736929 (m) Derek Keenan (Forth Valley College UNISON rep) 07951 987422 (m)

UNISON Scotland news releases: Stay in touch with UNISON Scotland's latest news releases on our website http://www.unison-scotland.org.uk/news/index.html and frequent updates on our blog http://unison-scotland.blogspot.com/