Friday, 5 December 2014

Staff have no confidence in College Principal

Lecturers at the Kilwinning campus of Ayrshire College have passed a ‘Motion of No Confidence’ in Principal Heather Dunk.

The latest development followed another day’s strike by staff following a management decision to impose timetable changes that resulted in increased working hours for lecturers.  The Educational Institute for Scotland (EIS) point out that Ms Dunk and her senior management team did not consult with staff ahead of implementing the changes.

The row was exacerbated last week when managers suspended lecturer Ian Cochrane, who also serves as a trade union rep at the Kilwinning campus.  The suspension occurred just hours after Mr Cochrane left the picket-line during the latest strike. 

Bosses claim the suspension is unrelated to the industrial dispute and that they took action against the lecturer after receiving complaints from students.  However, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan has claimed the move is “a politically motivated attack”.

Mr Flanagan added that union members will not back down and that management must reverse the decision to suspend Ian Cochrane.

Unite the Union also backed the suspended lecturer, saying the action of College managers constituted “victimisation” and is “a provocative act”.

Further strike action is planned for the Kilwinning campus if the increasingly bitter dispute cannot be resolved.

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