Save Our Nurseries

Unite Community Members From Leeds Today helped the Campaign by leafleting the Nurseries See below how to support the Campaign

Senior managers at Leeds City College are proposing to close three nurseries. They are at the St Bartholomew’s Centre, Armley, the Brudenell Centre, Hyde Park, and the Thomas Danby Nursery, Sheepscar. The closures would lead to the loss of at least 36 jobs. These are skilled members of staff who have dedicated much of their lives to the care of children. This would mean the end of all Leeds City College nursery provision.

The main reason given for the closure of these nurseries is financial. The nurseries appear to be losing about £80,000 per year. However, Leeds City College has an annual income of nearly £90m. Principal & Chief Executive, Peter Roberts, now earns £185k so with the associated on-costs that would be enough to cover the supposed nursery losses over the last three years. Instead of working with the trade unions to secure the future of these nurseries, senior managers have been in discussion with private childcare providers about our nurseries. (Why are they sniffing about unless the nurseries can be profitable ?)

Many students depend on these nurseries. They have a right to high quality and accessible childcare, which provides good value for money. However, most private nurseries employ staff that aren’t as well qualified, are less convenient for many students and charge a higher fee. The limited funding for childcare places, for students on low incomes, goes further with our nurseries. Moreover, staff at private nurseries are usually less well paid, as well as employed on worse terms and conditions. These staff have a right to good jobs. These are jobs that could be filled by Leeds City College childcare students in the future.

There is a shortage of childcare places across Leeds. The staff want to keep their jobs. The Leeds City College nurseries are viable. All we are asking is for College management to work with us so that we can prove to them that this is the case. All we are asking for is a reprieve of ONE YEAR so that the staff can demonstrate that the nurseries are a viable proposition.