Aberdeen College is due to merge with Banff and Buchan College in the very near future. This is part of a programme led by Mike Russell, Education Secretary in an attempt to make more efficient the FE Sector in Scotland as a whole. The main concern for members is the differing terms and conditions currently existing in the two colleges, wages etc. and of course any threat to jobs. It is likely that collective bargaining will be established for lecturing staff and unison are currently taking the views of support staff. One concern here is the difference in living costs compared to the rest of Scotland.
Sarah Reid, UNISON Representative in Banff and Buchan is due to meet with me next Friday when we have both been invited along with the local EIS representatives to meet Mr. Russell. We will be raising points of concern at the meeting
Additionally the college has been subject to cuts in budget over the last two years and as a result voluntary Severance has been utilised to cut labour costs. Given that Mike Russell is keen to make efficiency savings our concern is that this is likely to impact on support staff although he has stipulated that mergers should not take place without recourse to compulsory redundancies.