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Under fire Manchester College slammed for freezing pay of prison educators

4 December 2009

UCU today slammed Manchester College for freezing the pay of its prison education staff.

The college provides teachers for 96 institutions throughout the country and the union said the decision to single out prison education teachers for a pay freeze was a 'kick in the teeth' for hundreds of staff.
The college has blamed the decision on the cost of the prison education contracts, but UCU said that previous college newsletters made it quite clear that the principal, Peter Tavernor, had been thinking about the pay freeze for some time.
The pay freeze is the latest in an embarrassing list of stories of shoddy management and poor conditions for staff employed by Manchester College. In July Manchester College teaching staff at the Oakhill Secure Training centre near Milton Keynes walked out over allegations of bullying and harassment.
The following month UCU members walked out at the college's main Manchester campus in protest at the sacking of 15 staff members. UCU was furious that the college targeted union activists in a round of redundancies described by the union as punishing and unnecessary.
Some of the courses now forced to close, as a result of recent redundancies, include the most basic level English classes for people and the union is concerned about the impact the cuts will have on the most vulnerable people in the local community. The college is also closing all its sign language courses and has already closed a crèche.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'It is outrageous for the college to single out any of its staff for a pay freeze, but is consistent from a college with such a poor record when it comes to treating its staff with a decent level of respect. The decision to freeze pay is a kick in the teeth for our members and scant reward for all their hard work.
'It is disingenuous for the college to cite new financial challenges as a reason for not paying staff when the pay freeze has been mooted by the principal for some time. Seeking to now blame the cost of the contracts will do little to boost the principal's creditability or staff morale.'
Last updated: 11 December 2015