Senior management at Writtle College get no-confidence vote

The senior management team at Writtle College has been given a vote of "no confidence" by staff following its decision to cut 29 posts.

A consultative ballot of members from the University and College Union (UCU), Unison and Unite revealed that 91 per cent had lost faith in the principal and his senior management team following the announcement of 16 compulsory and 13 voluntary redundancies and a reduction in contract hours.

In May, college principal Professor David Butcher said Writtle was responding to an "unprecedented reduction in Government funding".

Writtle UCU branch chair Pennie Wallace said: "This college has a fantastic track record of providing high-quality education. Staff here are committed to the college and its students and have been patiently waiting for the senior management team to deliver a credible solution. The vote of no confidence is very much a last resort to get management to act in the long-term interests of the college."

UCU regional official Lydia Richards added: "It is scandalous that staff and students are being forced to pay the price for management's lack of coherent planning. Today's vote should act as an urgent wake-up call to the principal. It is essential that he now works with us and the student body here at Writtle to help the college plan for its future."

Writtle board of governors chair Lotte Olsen said the board had confidence in Writtle's management: "The board of governors notes the outcome of the unions' vote and appreciates that this is a very difficult and challenging time for the college's staff.

"However, the board does not agree with the outcome, which reflects the views of union members and is not a comprehensive indicator of the total staff view."

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