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'Scrooge' college refuses to honour 0.7% pay increase just days before Christmas

20 December 2012 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Newcastle College has been branded the 'Scrooge' of further education by UCU after it emerged that, just 24 hours before most staff break up for Christmas, it will not honour a nationally-recommended 0.7% pay rise.

The umbrella body for colleges, the Association of Colleges (AoC), has recommended all English further education colleges should pay staff earning more than £15,000 per annum, the 0.7% rise for this academic year (2012/13).

Staff were told this afternoon (Thursday) that Newcastle College is not prepared to give its lecturers even that humble rise. Earlier this year, CEO of Newcastle College Group, Jackie Fisher, was named as the highest paid college leader in England, earning a package of salary and benefits worth £234,000.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: "What terrible timing that just days before Christmas, Newcastle College refuses to give its hard-working lecturers a pay rise that, by any standards, is far from generous.

"From what we know, the college is not cash-strapped, so how mean-spirited to penalise staff at this time of year. It really does deserve to be branded the 'Scrooge' of further education this Christmas."

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