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12.5% pay rise for North Kent College boss after staff go 10 years without one

3 May 2023

UCU slammed North Kent College principal David Gleed for accepting a £20k rise (21/22), worth 12.5%, even though his staff have endured ten years without any increase.

UCU said strike action could be on the cards unless staff finally get a pay rise that makes up for a decade of real term pay cuts and helps them meet current soaring levels of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. The union is in dispute with the employer over the 22/23 pay offer, which comes after ten years without any pay increase and is worth just 3% for lecturers at the top of the pay spine. UCU will run a strike ballot unless the employer makes a significantly improved offer. 

The college's latest accounts show the principal's pay jump puts his salary at £180k, ten times more the average staff salary, whereas in 2020 it was 6.4 times greater. The principal's senior management team also received an average rise of 17.4%.  

The college has over £16m cash in the bank, runs a surplus and has splashed millions on capital projects yet it is spending less money on staff. 

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: 'North Kent College staff are furious that principal David Gleed has awarded himself a pay rise bigger than some of his employees' total salary. It is clearly unacceptable that whilst he and his senior team rake it in those who do the work of enrolling, teaching and supporting learners that led to these results have not received a consolidated pay rise for a decade. Our members are being pushed into poverty and we are ready to launch a ballot for strike action unless Mr Gleed starts paying his staff fairly.' 

Last updated: 3 May 2023