A UNION has accused college bosses of breaking the law and leading with a “stupid macho management style” as they look to axe 73 jobs.
The University and College Union (UCU) claims East Durham College has gone against the rules by refusing to consult with organisations when more than 20 people have been threatened with redundancy.
It says the college, with campuses in Peterlee and Durham, has a legal duty to enter discussions, but the college is adamant it has included representatives in talks.
The union issued a statement saying the college should sit down to discuss potential job losses, and failure to do so would leave “little alternative but to move towards an employment tribunal claim”.
Regional officer Joyce McAndrew said: “We want to sit down with the management to discuss these redundancies. Any reasonable employer would want to do the same, and it is time for East Durham College to drop its stupid macho management style, to join the 21st century and talk to us.”
The comments came after the college earlier this week said 73 jobs were at risk of enforced redundancy, but as the consultation period progressed, a number of staff had decided to take voluntary redundancy.
Also, some departments had produced proposals to change and reduce contracts, and with a number of consultation periods still running it is thought the final number of compulsory redundancies would be less than 10.
Last night, a spokesman said: “East Durham College can confirm that throughout the consultation process, the college has extensively consulted with all affected staff since consultation started on January 17.
“This has included informing the UCU, and all other unions with affected members within the college, when the college had no legal requirement to do so.
“The college can confirm that college-based staff union representatives have been kept fully informed and involved throughout the ongoing consultation process.
“Indeed, Joyce McAndrew, of the UCU, attended one of the staff consultation meetings at the college this afternoon.
“The college has already met informally with the GMB during the consultation process and has also advised the UCU Regional Representatives that senior management are more than happy to meet with them.”
The GMB has previously said 12 of the 30 workers who deal with maintenance and security of the college’s campuses were at risk of losing their jobs.