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UCU slams controversial college chief's 'leaving present' - redundancy by email

2 July 2013

An email announcement to 115 staff informing them they are at risk of redundancy has been dubbed 'a leaving present' from the controversial Chief Executive of NCG (formerly Newcastle College Group), by UCU.

NCG Chief Executive Dame Jackie Fisher is approaching the end of her tenure as the redundancies, which Newcastle College blames on government austerity policies, were announced. They will result in job losses split between teaching and support staff.

UCU is particularly angered by how staff were told their job is at risk. They were instructed to check their computers at the end of the working day (by 6pm) for an email informing them they faced potential redundancy. Those who did not receive an email were not at risk.

The college have further angered union reps by refusing to trawl for voluntary redundancies and instead moving straight to compulsory redundancies, when the institution's bank balance shows a surplus of £5.7m made last year.

UCU Regional Official, Iain Owens said, 'Telling staff by email that they are at risk of losing their jobs is typical of a management approach that treats dedicated, committed staff as disposable - here today, gone tomorrow. Our members have dubbed it Jackie Fisher's 'leaving present'.

'Whilst all colleges are facing difficulties arising from government cuts, Newcastle College is better placed than almost all of them to avoid compulsory redundancies, having made a surplus of £5.7 million last year. The new Chief Executive will have to work very hard to improve staff relations as a matter of urgency.'

Last updated: 10 December 2015