Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

College Staff Facing Sack over Contract; Lecturers to Sign 'Inferior' New Deal or Go

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

College Staff Facing Sack over Contract; Lecturers to Sign 'Inferior' New Deal or Go

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Robinson

LECTURERS have been threatened with the sack if they fail to sign up to a new 'inferior' contract, it was revealed last night.

Bishop Auckland College issued the ultimatum to its employees as education staff, unaware of the threat to their jobs, were still enjoying their summer break.

Last night principal Joanna Tait said new contracts would only be issued if an agreement wasn't reached.

But the University and College Union (UCU) accused the County Durham centre of using an aggressive tactic and have threatened possible strike action.

Lecturer Anne Bainbridge said staff were being penalised for doing a good job.

Mrs Bainbridge, who has taught IT at the college for a decade, added: "We feel like there's a gun being held to our heads if we don't negotiate.

"Members who I have spoken to are fully supportive of the union but a lot of people are extremely worried because of it. We have 87% of lecturers members of the union.

"We don't even know what the terms and conditions are. They are obviously not going to be better or there wouldn't be these problems. We want the staff to be aware of what's going on."

The concern follows a similar dispute three years ago when Newcastle College lecturers were issued with dismissal notices for not signing a disputed new contract of terms and conditions.

Last night Joyce McAndrew, regional support officer with UCU, said members were appalled. …

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