Tears at school jobs threat

Union an­gry as cuts loom but top staff earn £60k to £120k

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Clemen­tine kather­ine.clemen­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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’.

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n CHANGES: Pupils at Guru Nanak Sikh Acad­emy where of­fice staff are fac­ing re­dun­dan­cies and job level re-band­ing

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