LECTURERS left the classroom in protest over “savage” wage cuts just weeks after casting a vote of no confidence in Darlington College management.

A demonstration was staged outside the college today in opposition to pay cuts that could see lecturers’ wages slashed by up to ten per cent.

In May, lecturers and support staff were told that the college’s finances were in a precarious position as a consultation into dramatic pay cuts was announced. 

Proposed salary changes, which could be implemented by the beginning of 2018, could see lecturers and instructors lose between £728 and £3,582 a year from their salaries.

Prior to the demonstration, members of the University and College Union (UCU), passed a motion of no confidence in the college’s senior management team at a meeting on May 26.

Joyce McAdam, regional representative for UCU said lecturers had not received a pay increase since 2012, with the college increasing their teaching hours by 4.3 per cent last year.

She said: “Staff are really angry – this will not only impact on pay but on pensions.

“We understand the financial problems that are in the sector but our members feel these cuts are not being shared.

“If there are going to be cuts, there should be cuts across the board, senior management should take them too.”

Tutor Don Baker said: “We’ve had no pay rise, we work increased hours and every year we face the threat of staff reductions because of one problem or another.

“I’ve been here 13 years and cannot remember one year where we have not felt apprehensive about jobs at the end of it.

“To take the knife to salaries will affect pensions for years to come and is a savage indictment of the inefficient management of the college. We are outraged.”

Principal Kate Roe said the demonstration had been disappointing and that options were being explored following the consultation period.

She added: “The college is facing financial challenges which won’t go away. We have a declining number of 16-18 year olds and severe cuts in Government funding.

“The cuts are affecting all areas of the college including management posts. This is a difficult time for everyone and we absolutely know that all cuts are painful.”