80 college jobs at risk

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EIGHTY people are set to be made redundant at Chesterfield College – one week after the facility announced a multi-million-pound redevelopment.

The college, on Infirmary Road, said staff from all areas will be affected.

Despite the cutbacks work to transform the college into a modern hub for students will continue.

Acting principal Trevor Clay said: “It may appear odd to some that we are spending money improving the accommodation at Chesterfield whilst at the same time looking to cut costs.

“We firmly believe it is essential to keep the college ‘current’ and responsive to the changing needs of students, employers and other stakeholders.

“We will continue to invest in 21st century facilities and resources along with developing new income streams and services which will help protect jobs for the future and reduce our reliance upon dwindling public funding.”

But a worker, who did not wish to be named, feared the job losses would have a devastating impact on the college.

She added: “Their priorities appear to be making a large number of people jobless while spending £3million on a facelift.

“I am aware that part of the money is funded by a grant, but I fail to understand how the college can celebrate this development the day before the threat of redundancies was announced.”

A spokesman for University and College Union (UCU) said staff were also facing pay cuts.

The hourly rate of pay is to be slashed and lecturers will be unable to progress up the pay scale.

He said workers may be forced to take industrial action if bosses refused to withdraw compulsory redundancies and pay cuts.

He added: “The number of redundancies has shocked staff and the proposals to change salary structures seems quite an extreme measure.

“There is a lot of anger among the staff at the college.”

But Mr Clay said the college was facing severe financial challenges. Staff granted voluntary redundancy will finish at the end of June.

He added: “We need to be more efficient in our use of staff and resources and to find improved ways of delivering high quality to our students.”

julia.rodgerson@derbyshiretimes.co.uk