Union blasts attack on educational provision that will undermine future economic growth
March 24: The Regional Chair of Unite, Liam Gallagher, expressed his union’s disgust at the threatened job losses at Belfast Metropolitan College.
“Unite members at Belfast Met have been told by management that they can expect between 83 and 113 redundancies, and that figure is in full-time equivalents. Given the likelihood that some part-time employees may be affected, the true scale of the job losses facing the workforce is likely to be even greater. There are very real fears that this scale of job-losses will undermine the quality of educational provision at the college.
“This is only the latest in a series of brutal blows to our education sector. Over the last few weeks, not a day has gone by without our union receiving notice of potential redundancies from some school or other. The Stormont parties’ austerity policies are devastating our schools and colleges but they can be warned: the trade union movement will not sit idly by as our public education system is dismantled before our eyes.
“The Stormont parties have slashed funding for schools and colleges, forcing hundreds of redundancies which are resulting in hugely increased class sizes and closing the door to our young people pursuing opportunities in further and higher education. What future for our young people?
“They tell us that there is no alternative but they have no problem finding hundreds of millions to pay for a huge corporate tax giveaway which they hope will bring a few extra jobs. Yet the reality is that the sort of economy we want and deserve will be built on the quality and skills of our labour force, not attracted by a fleeting, tax haven status.
“The Stormont parties need to wake up to the reality that our future economic growth is dependent on retaining quality education, quality infrastructure and public services. These devastating job-losses to our education sector are a ‘false economy’ leading us to an economic dead-end”, Mr Gallagher concluded.