Wednesday, 3 June 2015

UNISON demands Nicola Sturgeon uphold promise of no compulsory redundancies at Glasgow Kelvin College

Wednesday 3 June 2015
UNISON is calling on First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, to uphold the Scottish Government promise that there would be no compulsory redundancies in Further Education sector because of the College Regionalisation programme.

Thirteen catering staff at Glasgow Kelvin College are under threat of compulsory redundancy.

Mandy McDowall, UNISON regional organiser for further education said:
"The First Minister must intervene as a matter of urgency. 

"We were informed by the Scottish Government at the beginning of the college regionalisation process there would be no requirement for compulsory redundancies within the Further Education sector, and this commitment must be honoured."

Mandy McDowall also said: 
"Senior managers and college principals paid themselves eye watering final voluntary severance payments, costing the college almost £700,000.

"Here we have thirteen low paid loyal workers, facing compulsory redundancy, who have 135 years of public service between them who will receive the bare minimum statutory redundancy pay. 

"Staff were promised that there would be no compulsory redundancy at all.

"The Scottish Government must stick to its word and treat UNISON members with dignity and respect. 

"Paying off these 13 loyal staff would not be as expensive as paying off one college principal."

UNISON has also written to Mr. Lawrence Howells, Chief Executive of Scottish Funding Council, to register concerns.


 Notes to editor

UNISON has written to Scottish Funding Council to register concerns that: 

1.       The college board made a statement in March that the City campus would close in July 2016, and made a decision to reduce catering provision within the campus resulting in termination of the contract with ELIOR (private sector catering company)

2.      Unless our members are transferred to another site or the City centre campus in the new Cathedral Street complex, then our members are now facing Compulsory redundancy, this has now been confirmed by ELIOR

3.       We were informed by the Scottish Government at the beginning of the Regionalisation process, there would be no requirement for compulsory redundancies within the FE sector, this commitment should be honoured.

4.       UNISON members within City campus were TUPE transferred to a private contractor in 2012 by the previous legacy Stow college, this was in our view down to financial mismanagement & poor decision making by the employer, yet our members face potentially losing their jobs a result, completely unacceptable to UNISON

5.       Our members in catering have collectively over 135 years of loyal public service; we believe they should be treated with dignity & respect

6.       Now to add insult to injury our members have been informed that the college will only pay a Statutory Redundancy deal; we believe this is a scandal given the fact that the college board have granted enhanced redundancy to vice-principal’s & senior management over the last few years, established custom & practice

7.       Our members are mainly part-time low paid women & men who barely make the  Living Wage

8.       We would therefore urge the SFC to intervene & provide additional resources to ensure that our low paid members receive the enhanced redundancy payment of 12 month’s salary; which would provide some financial security while they try to secure alternative employment  

9.    UNISON have figures that show that Principal, Vice principal and HR manager at  North Glasgow College total severance payments came to £689,376  – this included voluntary severance, annual leave, garden leave, pension enhancement and mandatory pension strain. These 13 catering staff are being offered the statutory bare minimum redundancy pay. We can safely assume paying off these staff would be a fraction of that cost.

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