Industrial action at troubled Stoke-on-Trent College has been averted after lecturers balloted by NATFHE agreed by four-to-one a new contract with 24 hours' maximum teaching, writes Ian Nash.
But 44 job losses still loom as the college grapples with an Pounds 8 million deficit (see below). So far, only 10 lecturers have volunteered for redundancy and the union has sought a stay of execution and asked management to seek FEFC support for an improved redundancy offer.
The settlement will be seen as a major breakthrough for the new principal, Graham Moore, who took over running the college last week. He agreed that a consultancy council representing all the staff would negotiate any further changes.
A similar contract is hoped for at Bournville in Birmingham, where most colleges have local agreements fixing a maximum teaching week of 23-24 hours.