Monday, 9 November 2009

Lobby of college graduation ceremony in campaign against nursery closure

Date: Mon 9 November 2009

UNISON, the education union, today announced that its members would lobby the graduation ceremony of Glasgow College of Nautical Studies tonight (Mon 9 November 2009) in its continuing campaign to reverse the college plans to close its Thistle Street nursery.

The lobby will take place at Glasgow Concert Hall, tonight (9 November) at 6.30 pm. It is not planned to interfere with the functioning of the ceremony.

Scott Donohoe, Assistant Secretary for UNISON's Glasgow city branch said "We are using this public event to draw attention to the appalling decision by the college to close its nursery and withdraw a childcare service from students and staff.

"The college has always intended to close the nursery despite the constructive views & input of UNISON, the staff, MSP's, parents etc. It is clear that this service cut has been driven by the prospective merger of city colleges, and it shows that this merger does not have any affordable childcare arrangements for staff and students. A major reduction in standards in the current economic climate. In the 21st century, parents with children should have a right to support to help them continue with their studies."

UNISON has called for an Equality Impact Assessment, required under Gender Equality legislation, and which has not been carried out the union says. They have also demanded other information on the decision making process of the college and the other merger partners through a Freedom of Information request.

Scott Donohoe also points out that the union has not ruled out further industrial action.

"Members have already demonstrated their commitment to action in defending this service," he said, "and we give notice that UNISON will resist compulsory redundancies with all means at our disposal."

The union called off industrial action on 20 August this year in return for a commitment to a joint review of nursery provision by both the college and UNISON.

The union is also writing to the Secretary of State for Education and Lifelong learning to raise the issue.


Note for editors: Thistle Street nursery, run by Glasgow College of Nautical Studies, is set to close in July, 2010, with the loss of 54 places for children, and 19 jobs. Nine places from the nursery have already been lost with the closure of the baby room in September this year.
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