Parents win fight over nursery closure following protest

UHI Perth announce u-turn on closure of nursery hours after parents and staff rallied on campus.

UHI Perth College: Parents win fight over nursery closure as staff jobs saved after protest STV News

Parents have won the fight to save a nursery from closure after dozens staged a protest.

The college in Perth, run by the University of the Highlands and Islands, had announced the facility faced closure, which would have seen 14 staff lose their jobs.

It was part of its plans to tackle a £3m deficit with around 50 roles across the campus earmarked for redundancy.

But chiefs confirmed the nursery would no longer be part of the consultation process after parents, staff and children rallied on Monday.

They said a “small number” of further education courses remain under threat, with the consultation now extended until September 2023.

Depute Principal Lorenz Cairns told STV News: “We have to bring forward proposals to mitigate against this situation. These are proposals which will start a collective consultation to hopefully try and find alternative solutions to these hard situations.

“One thing is clear, we are going to have a significant deficit and we need to something about that to move forward for the sustainability of UHI Perth.”

Lorenz Cairns said the college faces 'a hard situation'

Dr Margaret Cook said: “The collective consultation process within UHI Perth is progressing. We have met with our recognised trade unions and employee representatives on two occasions and met with a number of staff teams, individuals and external stakeholders as well as receiving feedback, questions and comments from both within and outside the College. 

“We recognise the anxiety and challenges that this process raises, and have agreed the following changes.”

She added: “The College remains in a position where we have a potential £3m deficit going into the 2023/24 academic year, and we continue to have rising staff costs along with spiralling inflation and utility costs.

“The changes being considered are to ensure the long-term sustainability of UHI Perth.”

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