Tears at school jobs threat
Union angry as cuts loom but top staff earn £60k to £120k
GURU Nanak Academy in Hayes has incurred the wrath of a trade union over planned staff redundancies.
The Sikh school, which last year paid one member of staff more than £170k, has told eight staff in its admin team that their jobs are at risk, with three roles being made redundant and the remaining staff forced to re-apply for lower band jobs.
The GMB union called the decision ‘appalling’ and said it believes it is linked to a notice to improve ‘financial management, control and governance at the trust’ by set by the Education Funding Agency ( EFA) last April.
GMB organiser Perry Phillips said: “I’m upset about it on behalf of my members because I’ve never been in a situation where all our members were in tears and I felt so sorry for them.
“They’ve got family to support, they’re hardworking ladies, who are very loyal to the school and they’re devastated by the way they’ve been treated.”
But the director of Guru Nanak Sikh Academy Ltd, Jenny Chadwick, denies any link between the notice and the redundancies.
She said: “We actually made some amendments to our practice so that we became more efficient and more effective in the areas of finance. The EFA have not come back to us requiring us to do anything more.”
Ms Chadwick called the job shake-up an ‘ongoing process of consultation with staff ’ where people have been invited to apply for jobs with salary scales evaluated by a human resources assesment brought in by the school, in Springfield Road.
Ms Chadwick blamed a lack in increase of funds from central government, saying the school is ‘not unusual’ for having to focus on staffing costs.
She added: “If you look at what is happening across the country, there are an enormous number of schools that are running deficit budgets and schools have been asked to absorb a lot of increases in terms of national insurance, pension contributions.
“The reason why were looking at administrative reorganisation is not about saving money, it’s about being more efficient and effective.
“If any member of staff is worried about their position in the school they should speak to a senior leader. We worry about the welfare of our staff in terms of their health and well-being.”
The EFA said its review identified a range of serious concerns, including loans secured against academy assets.
The 2014 accounts for the school show there were four employees earning between £60k and £70k a year, another earning between £90k to £100k and one earning over £170k.
GMB wants the school’s governing body to reverse the redundancy decision and called senior staff ’s salaries ‘excessive’.
For the latest news & sport go to
n CHANGES: Pupils at Guru Nanak Sikh Academy where office staff are facing redundancies and job level re-banding