STAFF at Bradford College will walk out for three days this week in protest to the proposed loss of 131 jobs at the institution.

Members of the University and College Union at the college will take industrial actions starting tomorrow in the row over job cuts and pay, which will last until Friday.

They will be manning the picket lines outside the college on the corner of Great Horton Road and Carlton Street from 7.30am each day in protest against the money-saving job losses the college has put forward.

This will take the total number of strike days by college staff to ten in 2019 due to issues with pay and job losses.

Earlier this year, Bradford College announced 131 jobs could be lost in a bid to make the college more financially sustainable, after millions of pounds in debt has been racked up in recent years.

The college said job losses are “essential to secure the college’s long-term future”, and there will be no impact for students during the strike period.

Staff are also striking over pay at the college, where they have had only one past rise in the past 11 years, of one per cent, causing their salary to decline in real terms, due to a lack of Government investment in higher education.

The UCU is calling on Bradford College to be “prepared to talk seriously about pay and jobs” in negotiations to avoid any further disruption.

It said the loss of 130 jobs would mean fewer opportunities for local people due to a “loss of valuable expertise”.

It has called on Bradford College to look at examples of other colleges working with the UCU to attain better pay and conditions.

Julie Kelley, UCU regional official, said: “UCU members have made it clear that they are not prepared to pay the price for previous failings by the college.

Strike action is a last resort, but staff at Bradford face attacks on their jobs and real-terms pay cuts and they say enough is enough.

“Other colleges have shown what can be achieved when they engage seriously with us on pay and jobs and if Bradford wants to avoid serious disruption then it needs to urgently work with us to address the concerns of its staff.”

A spokesperson for Bradford College said: “Any industrial action is regrettable but the College fully respects the right of union members to strike.

“Reducing staffing costs is essential to help secure the College’s long-term future.

“We are still in the process of consulting on the restructure plans and are committed to keeping the number of compulsory redundancies to a minimum.

“The College will remain open throughout the three-day period and students will not be impacted.

“The academic year has already finished for the vast majority of students but they will still be able to access facilities as normal.”

Consultation on the proposed loss of 131 jobs began in May, when the college said it would help make “significant financial savings and ensure the future sustainability of the College”.

These proposals followed plans to cut 12 senior job roles put forward in March to save money.