College bosses should have their pay capped, Unison says

College bosses should have their pay capped as thousands of further education jobs are at risk, a union will say today.

The public sector union Unison will reveal that college principals’ pay had increased by more than 40% in the past eight years up to as much as £184,000, and these increases are “unacceptable”.

Dave Prentis, Unison general secretary, will say: “Hundreds of jobs are being cut at colleges across the UK, including Manchester, St Helens, Birmingham Metropolitan, Richmond-upon-Thames and Barnet college.

“At the same time, college principals’ pay has risen by more than 41% in the last eight years, taking some to as high as £184,000.”

Unison said up to 1,000 college jobs have been identified for redundancy as colleges in England seek to balance the books, the BBC reported.

A recent survey by the Association of Colleges (AoC) found many colleges were facing cuts of up to 25%.

But Nicola Broady, AoC senior employment analyst and adviser, said competitive salaries were necessary to ensure colleges could “recruit the best”.

She said: “College principals are generally paid less than vice-chancellors at universities with equivalent student numbers, for example, and private sector organisations with equivalent turnovers.

“It is also important that colleges, which are complex, multi-million pound organisations, are professionally run, and pay grades reflect the need to recruit the best.”

The government has committed to making £340m of efficiency savings across further education and skills for the financial year 2010-11, and colleges have said they are losing up to £200m from adult learning budgets.

Sally Hunt, general secretary of the University and College Union, said: “The government’s own figures show that 130,000 people will miss out on a college place as a result of planned savings and more than 7,000 jobs are at now at risk in adult learning.

“The government has to appreciate that cuts have consequences for staff, students and the local community.”

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