King’s College London staff in landmark vote on strikes to fight job cuts

Staff at King’s College London will vote on industrial action this Thursday (4 March) for the first time in the college’s history, in response to moves to cut jobs.

Members of the University and College Union are due to vote on a ballot for strikes after the college announced proposals to cut 205 jobs, the Times Higher Education supplement has reported.

The ballot comes as the government announced a sweeping cut in funding for higher education institutes across the UK.

Jim Wolfreys, chair of the UCU branch at King’s, said he expected a high turnout and a ‘yes’ vote. He said: “People feel there is no alternative. They [college management] are not listening.”

A spokesman for King’s said the college was “extremely disappointed” about the decision to ballot for industrial action.

He said: “Following discussions between UCU and King’s on 22 February, the college formally reiterated a desire to respond to the concerns raised by the union and to continue discussions.

“The college believes a ballot on industrial action before these discussions have concluded is ill-advised, particularly during a time of financial strain.

“There is particular concern that industrial action will impact on exams and that our students, who have worked so hard towards these, will suffer as a result.”

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