Principal defends plans for South Downs College

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A COLLEGE principal has spoken out amid possible industrial action.

Members of the University and College Union at South Downs College are being balloted for strike action in a row over new contracts that the union says would lead to worse pay for staff.

Mike Gaston, principal, said: ‘It is disappointing that the union has chosen to ballot for industrial action while a consultation is taking place.

‘The South Downs College’s senior leadership team are working with unions and staff to find a solution and to maintain the college’s high standard of education for its students.

‘South Downs College values its staff and has agreed to significantly above average terms in regards to staff pay and benefits packages.

‘While there is an ongoing consultation with staff we are unable to comment further.’

UCU claims the changes would lead to a pay cut of around three per cent. It comes amid a planned merger between South Downs College and Havant Sixth Form College.