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Newcastle College to slash staff pay, although principal enjoyed 32% rise

18 May 2011

UCU today accused Newcastle College of 'gross double standards', after the college announced plans to cut lecturers' pay, just months after it was revealed that the principal, Jackie Fisher, enjoyed a whopping 32% annual pay rise for 2009/2010.

The news is another blow for staff at the college, which plans to make 170 redundancies, and has banned UCU members from holding meetings on campus. Under the new plans over 180 lecturers face a huge drop in pay, with some losing more than £10,000 from their annual salary.
In contrast, Jackie Fisher's £259,772 pay packet for 2009/10 meant she was the highest paid further education college principal*. The union also pointed to the fact that the college reported a £6million surplus for the last financial year and is in the process of taking over Northumberland College.
UCU described the plans to cut staff pay as the latest in a long line of 'shoddy behaviour' by the college. In April UCU members were told they could no longer hold meetings on campus, with branch secretary Dave O'Toole banned from representing members at meetings between the union and senior management.
UCU branch members will meet tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon to discuss their next steps and have not ruled out taking further strike action after staff walked out last month.
UCU regional official, Iain Owens, said: 'Not content with slashing jobs and intimidating our members they are now cutting lecturers' pay. This is not a college in financial crisis and staff have every right to feel angry and cynical when they see the whopping pay rise awarded to their principal. This is the latest in a long line of shoddy behaviour by senior management.
'This show of gross double standards will simply strengthen the resolve of UCU members here at Newcastle to fight for their pay and jobs, and to defend local educational provision in the area. We have not ruled out taking further industrial action.'


* In 2008/09, the Principal and Chief Executive of Newcastle College earned £196,333 in salary and bonus and retention payments.  In 2009/10, the equivalent figure was £259,772. View Newcastle College accounts (pdf).

Last updated: 11 December 2015