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Date: Tuesday 1 June 2010

UNISON and Stow students plan protest over funding threats to college

Staff and students from Glasgow’s Stow College will hold a mass protest outside Anniesland College on Wednesday 2 June at 9 a.m.
Representatives from the Scottish Funding Council are chairing a conference in the College on the same day.

Following the protest, 75 balloons will be released in Glasgow city centre, representing the 75 years Stow College has been serving the people of Scotland.

This double event is part of the campaign to fight the Funding Council’s decision to transfer over half of Stow’s courses into the proposed new City of Glasgow College, endangering more than 300 jobs and 4,000 student places.

Staff, students and the wider community which Stow College represents are fighting the Funding Council’s decision to transfer these courses, which could effectively render the College unviable.

The plans, which have been questioned by other Colleges and Universities, include spending £300m on a city centre development. This comes at a time when demand for College places during the recession is not being met due to a lack of funds to pay for additional courses.

UNISON believes that Stow is being victimised after refusing to become involved in the New City College project which has already cost countless millions, 19 jobs and 54 childcare places with the closure of Thistle Nursery at the Nautical College.

A UNISON spokesperson from Stow College said:
“Following our successful lobby at the Scottish Parliament, UNISON members have united with concerned students and plan to take the fight directly to the Funding Council.

“The Funding Council has arranged a conference to discuss their plan for education in the city centre without including the representatives of unions or students who will be directly affected.”

A spokesperson for Stow Students Against the Cuts said:
“As students at Stow College, we are horrified to learn of the proposed cuts that the Scottish Funding Council wants to make. The college is such a valuable resource for so many people, both in Glasgow, and from further afield.

“The opportunities it provides for adult learners and asylum seeking students, in particular, are absolutely vital, especially in this uncertain climate of employment.

“We wish to show our support to Stow College, the staff and lecturers, and the students of the future. We can't let the Scottish Funding Council run such a well respected college into the ground”.

The joint protest organised by the education union UNISON and Stow Students Against the Cuts will take place at Anniesland College at 9.00 a.m. and the balloon release will be in Buchanan Street at the Royal Concert Hall steps at 12.30 p.m. on Wednesday the 2nd of June.


Notes For Editors:
Members of the college staff will be available for interview at the protest or balloon release.

For Further Information Please Contact:
Brian Smith (Branch Secretary) 07870 914 361(m)
Chris Greenshields (Branch Steward, Stow College) 07504 975 176 (m)
Katherine Stewart (Stow Students against the Cuts) 07981 019 897(m)
Fiona Montgomery (Communications Officer) 07908 672 890(m)
Malcolm Burns (Communications Officer) 07958 063 182(m)

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/