Belfast Telegraph

Friday 31 October 2014

College to cull over 200 jobs

Officials have confirmed Belfast Metropolitan College is to lose 213 staff.

The potential number of staff that this is likely to affect is 120 full-time, permanent and 93 part-time, temporary employees.

They have defended their position by saying the full-time and part-time posts had to go to ensure the future sustainability of the college.

Trade unions have warned about the likely impact of the job cuts.

The college said the job cuts will affect all parts of the organisation, including management.

The college management said it hoped a portion of the redundancies would be voluntary, while the savings blueprint would be helped by the introduction of other measures including career breaks.

Talks between management and trade unions broke down ahead of the announcement, sparking protests at the college.

Director and chief executive of the college, Marie-Therese McGivern, said: “We are disappointed at the recent breakdown in communications with the recognised trade unions but we remain committed to continuing positive dialogue with the staff affected during the restructuring process.”

“It is regrettable that these reductions are necessary but they are essential to secure the college's future sustainability and development.

She added: “We are keen to ensure that staff affected by this announcement have full access to our suite of support initiatives currently being planned through our employee assistance service.”

Chair of the college's governing body, Richard O'Rawe, said it had considered arguments tabled by unions, and added: “We have been assured by college management and are confident that despite these proposed reductions, Belfast Metropolitan College will continue to provide an excellent and high quality range of education and training opportunities for its students — ultimately creating a sustainable college and opportunities for the citizens of Belfast and throughout Northern Ireland.”

On Monday evening, Belfast Metropolitan College’s Governing Body approved the restructuring proposals included in the College’s Improvement Plan.

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