Date: Weds 3 March 2010
Troubled city college merger faces further challenge
One of the Colleges making up the new proposed 'super college'
in Glasgow is being referred to the Equalities and Human Rights
Commission over their closure of a staff and student nursery,
the education union, UNISON said today.
A complaint is being made to the EHRC by the union, and they
have asked for an enforcement order to be served against the college
to ensure the nursery remains open.
The College of Nautical Studies has been in a wrangle with its
staff unions over the closure of the Thistle Nursery with the
loss of 23 full time jobs, since July 2009.
Despite a successful industrial action ballot, a campaign to
save the nursery, and a commitment to examine the union's case,
the college subsequently reconfirmed its decision to shut the
nursery from July this year.
Assistant UNISON branch secretary Scott Donohoe said: "Despite
admitting the closure of the nursery would impact unfairly on
female staff, the Equalities Impact Assessment provided by the
college is totally inadequate, and was only done after the decision
hade been taken, when UNISON asked to see it. The college seems
to be simply ticking boxes, and even then only after they are
pushed by UNISON."
UNISON maintains that the closure of the nursery is connected
with the merger, where, despite the large amount of public money
invested, no nursery provision is planned. News of the complaint
comes just a day after teaching unions warned the new City of
Glasgow College about concerns regarding compulsory redundancies
and terms and conditions. UNISON argues that the new college should
have a nursery on campus.
Scott Donohoe said "Many parents, students and staff use the
nursery. Closing the facility will threaten the chances of many
women to take life changing opportunities. In particular, forcing
low paid women out to the expensive private sector could mean
having to choose between study and the dole."
Notes for Editors: The Equality Act 2006 amended the Sex
Discrimination Act 1975 and introduced an Equality Duty on public
authorities when carrying out their functions to ensure services,
practices and policies are developed with the different needs
of men and women in mind.