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Date: Wed 14 November 2012

UNISON staff at Stow College call for openness, transparency - and union representation

Commenting after the resignation of the Stow College chair, Chris Greenshields, UNISON steward at Stow College said:

"This row over the use of a recording device at a meeting to discuss matters of vital importance to students and staff at Scotland's FE colleges was unfortunate, but it highlights wider issues of openness, transparency - and union representation.

"Cuts, mergers and regionalisation are going ahead without full involvement of FE staff and their representatives in the process.

There is a lack of representation of unions at board level - despite the Minister saying that he wished the unions to be 'fully involved in the process of change' in colleges.

"As FE colleges head into mergers, we must reiterate our call for democratically elected local officials of our recognised trade unions to be given places on the new Boards.  Such representation would ensure the transparency and accountability of government ministers in their dealings with the FE colleges - including Stow College.

"Over 1300 jobs have been lost in Scotland’s colleges last year alone. The prospect of further damaging budget cuts means the sector is facing a difficult future.

"The number of jobs which have been lost in our colleges is unsustainable and damaging to the chances of our students successfully completing their course of study.

"All of our efforts should be on the disastrous implications of the current cuts to budgets, courses and jobs on our current and future students. Unions need to be able to represent college staff in the places where the decisions are being taken."

ends

For further information please contact:
Chris Greenshields, chair of UNISON Scotland FE Committee and steward at Stow College, 07722 329 223
Malcolm Burns, Communications Officer, 0141 342 2877 / 078765 66978


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