Staff at the College of North West London vote to strike

Staff at the College of North West London will strike

Staff at the College of North West London will strike - Credit: Archant

Staff at a college in Brent have voted to strike over proposed redundancies and the suspension of a colleague.

Members of the University College Union (UCU) branch committee at the College of North West London, will stage a walkout following a ballot which saw 95 per cent voting in favour of industrial action.

CNWL, which has campuses in Wembley and Willesden, and union members are embroiled in a feud following the announcement of the merger with City of Westminster College, proposed redundancies and the suspension of Indra Sen, a maths teacher and UCU branch secretary.

The union claims the merger is being used as an excuse to make its members redundant and will lead to the closure of the college.

Mr Sen, an opponent of the merger plans, was suspended in October while representing a former CNWL employee in a personal capacity at an employment tribunal.

Mr Sen said: “This is a good result and goes to show members will no longer tolerate cover up of gross mismanagement of finance of government funding at the top to the detriment of our students, which I believe has led to this compulsory redundancy.

“Cover up of these irregularities through a rushed merger programme will be defeated by the staff, students and the community at large. We will stop CNWL closing through a merger once again.”

A CNWL spokesman said: “The college has and continues to act in accordance with its internal and external obligations, and strongly denies any suggestion that it has mismanaged funds or acted contrary to the best interests of its students.

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The proposed merger with the City of Westminster College is aimed at growing the college and will not result in the college closing. The merger is being carefully and properly considered by the college.

For the avoidance of doubt, the merger is completely unrelated to the current industrial action. We cannot comment on Mr Sen’s suspension at the current time, but in common with the vast majority of further education colleges nationwide, the college has regrettably had to make a number of redundancies over recent years, including 20 proposed redundancies announced in 2016. These have been caused by a succession of funding changes and cuts made over several years.”