A DEAL has been struck to end a long-running dispute at Bradford College.

The College has agreed to rule out compulsory job losses and give staff an extra five days holiday.

Staff on hourly-paid contracts will be moved to permanent positions with better security and pay.

The union involved said it was hoped other places across the country could learn from the outcome at Bradford.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) took 10 days of strike action between November 2018 and July 2019.

The union said the new deal would mean welcome security and improved pay for staff on hourly-paid contracts, as well as more holidays and the end of fears over compulsory redundancies.

UCU said the reliance on insecure contracts was 'a blight on education' and called on other colleges to do more to end their use.

A UCU report into casualisation found that seven in 10 staff believed their mental health suffered as a result of being on an insecure contract. The union said use of insecure contracts was also bad news for students as 83 per cent of staff said they didn’t have enough paid time to prepare for lessons.

Meanwhile, it was found that three-quarters of staff did not have enough time to give students proper feedback.

UCU regional official Julie Kelley said: ‘This deal at Bradford College improves job security, status and pay for staff at the college.

"Insecure contracts are a blight on the sector and bad for both staff and students.

"Nobody ever wants to take strike action, but these improvements are a testament to members’ determination to fight for a fairer deal.

‘Other places could learn from Bradford College and we hope institutions will work with us to end the blight of casualisation in our colleges and universities.’

A spokesperson for Bradford College said: “The college has worked positively with Bradford College UCU and we are pleased with the outcomes that have been agreed as part of the negotiations. The Bradford College UCU has been in dispute with the college regarding no compulsory redundancies and failure to improve pay in line with the 2018-19 national pay claim.

“The dispute over no compulsory redundancies was ended early in the negotiations process, which was linked to the recent college restructure.

“To resolve the long running pay dispute the college has awarded staff additional annual leave through College closures at Christmas and Easter and established a policy and agreement around anti-casualisation through a new Contracts of Employment Policy.

“The Executive Leadership Team recognises the commitment and dedication of all college employees and also the positive progress made with UCU in recent months.”

When balloted in March, almost 90 per cent of those who responded backed strike action at the college where, it was claimed, funding had fallen by 30 per cent in the last 10 years. The Bradford workers joined staff at 16 other post-16 colleges across the country in walking out over pay disputes, calling for fairer pay and funding for colleges and staff. Staff had claimed college teachers were paid around £7,000 less than school teachers.