The college I work for has grown so much and so fast that the right hand no longer knows what the left hand is doing and consequently has decided to cut it off.
I am left handed, left eyed; left footed and politically left of centre. The axe is poised over my head.
Actually its been there for a long time but the executioner must be on a fag break cos I think its resting between my axis and the atlas bones. It’s making it difficult for me to breathe and move but I have at least got used to the weight. This axe has been used to remove the heads of faculties, heads of curriculum and now the heads of men and women who like me are not prepared to sign the latest “treaty” that will make the fantasy budgetary elastic band snap back.
When one round of bloody executions are over the blade is re sharpened in what is known as “a consultation document”. Management writes silly clauses into an agreed (amongst themselves), set of measures and the unions get the opportunity to play Hunt the Thimble.
“In this contract where you have removed holiday entitlement, lengthened working hours, lessened monthly payments and increased workload annually by 30% each year for the foreseeable future, we have found a clause whereby you expect the lecturing staff to clock in and out and wear a corporate uniform!”
“We will fight for our rights and get those latter clauses removed!”
Which they will.
Hurrah for them.
That’s a negotiated contract and I’m probably going to be offered the opportunity to sign it if I both apply for and am successful in my application for the job I have been doing for over 20 years.
The only individual who expects or wants me to apply for such a position is the manager of my bank account and mortgage who doesn’t yet have the staff to set out foreclosure notifications to Fag End Lodge, (home to the Cawley’s for oooh, ages).
I don’t keep up with all the political developments in tertiary education any more. I used to but once I had seen the same ideas regurgitated many times as “the latest thing” with the same outcomes, I lost interest. So that’s my potential interview strategy blown out of the water. I know what the problems are though because I have a brain.
I never go to the staffroom, its miles away from where I work and once you have 20 medicated and dedicated art students working with irons, soldering equipment, razor blades and cardboard boxes, only a fool would leave the room. I have an excellent H&S record; I’d like to keep it that way.
Actually I trudge up those stairs about twice a year with a bit of A4 paper in my hand. This week it was 8 bits of paper that didn’t need printing and which contained information that could easily have been obtained by checking the registers but NO, the principal ship decreed that every lecturer should print off all their registers and check them manually, initial them, cart them up to their designated admin centre and place them in a wire tray from whence they can be collected, checked over and re entered into a data base somewhere in the Ethernet to be crooned over by people who would produce yet another set of statistics that would be altered to prove the thesis of whomsoever is flavour of the month.
Yep we don’t have as many students as we need to keep the number of staff currently employed by the said college to continue with their vast salaries. I suspect, (ironic), we have a funding, direction, priority, logistical nightmare to overcome.
We also have a staff moral problem. Ya think!
If I shifted all the college paperwork off my home computer I would release enough memory to hack every PC in Europe. Just coming off my “calm the fuck down” and “cheer the fuck up” drugs would save me £20 per month.
“See it as a challenge, an opportunity”.
Well call me a socialist but I think tertiary education requires a massive overhaul.
Reverse the pyramid.
Who is the most important person in the college? The principal? NO. The student is the most important person. Then the staff that facilitate the students journey through education. The lecturers, the cleaning staff, the canteen staff, the librarians and the people who fix the software and hardware. The students don’t care who the head of faculty is. They wouldn’t recognize them if they fell over them in the corridor. They sure as hell have no idea who the principal is and more to the point they would question their salary of £150,0000 plus on the grounds of “what is your relevance to my education” and couldn’t your salary be better used to buy some tablets that weren’t warm grey, weigh a ton and have the memory of a small gnat
Walk thru the door, sign up for a course, you get an ipad; the software is in the cloud. Leave the course and we disable it all. Empty the computer rooms put some state of the art practical workshops in those rooms and put 100% of the programme online. Film every lecture that the STUDENTS reported worth attending. Staff sessions with inspirational tutors who make the students WANT to drive/bus and walk into college. Get the best, pay them a small fortune, give them prestige, use the available social media networks that are free, chuck out boring Blackboard, no one gives a shit about it. Stop putting endless passwords and limits between the student and their learning experience. There is NO SUCH THING AS COPYRIGHT WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION.
Turn the college into a free and open meeting space for individuals to swap, share and discuss. We want to learn how to FIX, DO, MAKE, DESIGN, and relate our creations to 21st century technology. Flip the classroom whenever possible. Tell the students what to study at home with a cuppa so that seminars and workshops can facilitate a deeper shared consensus and a SKILL BASE. For gods sake move into the 21st century before it closes around us all in a dark cloud.
Make the library 100x bigger, pack it to the rafters with every conceivable method of studying and keep it open 24/7. Bring in swipe cards that give students access to areas designated appropriate by individual learning programmes written by clever lecturers who actually know how their specialist study area works in the real world.
Remove the words “corporate” and “mission statement” from everything.
Let the teachers teach and give them brilliant admin back up so that no teacher is forced to sit in front of a computer filling in data that would be better done by someone whose job it is. Stop tolerating appalling student behavior on the grounds of inclusivity, diversity, apathy and fear.
Students outside my base room, trousers around thighs, scooter helmets perched upon empty heads, gobbing on the pavements and speaking in a language called “Hard”, just gave 50% of my group a chest infection or TB!
If you don’t really want this education, knowledge, life changing experience, opportunity for which we have all paid a fortune…. Then fuck off.
And then hide so that you can’t be found because if you are no use to this country and merely a drain on its resources, “The Management” has plans for you too. And after you, they will be coming for me. Think Black Death and the Peasants Revolt. I am Watt Tyler and the blade as I mentioned is already poised.
Principals earning nearly £200k ignite union fury over pay divide Add as favourite Last updated 30 April 2010, created 23 April 2010, viewed 5,856
A pay increase of more than 40 per cent in a year has catapulted West Nottinghamshire College principal Asha Khemka into the position of highest-earning college leader.
With a salary of £197,000 in 2008/09, she edged ahead of the former top earner, Newcastle College’s Jackie Fisher, by just More…
Average principal pay rose by 5.7 per cent between 2007/08 and 2008/09, according to FE Focus’s analysis of college accounts.
The University and College Union (UCU) said that salaries had risen more than twice as fast as lecturers’ wages over eight years. But West Nottinghamshire governors said Mrs Khemka was worth the pay rise.
Jean Hardy, chair of governors at the college, said: “Under Asha’s leadership we’ve grown to become one of the largest and best-performing colleges in the sector. She was instrumental in us achieving our ‘outstanding’ Ofsted status and our turnover has increased by almost 50 per cent.”
College accounts stretching back eight years show the gap between the lowest- and highest-paid principals is also increasing. In 2002, the bottom 25 per cent earned £37,000 less than the top quartile. Last year, the gap rose to £60,000.
The pay divide is accompanied by a similar gap in college income, suggesting it is driven partly by the emergence of large “super-colleges”. The top five institutions have a combined income almost equal to the bottom 80.
Other high earners, such as Barnfield College principal Pete Birkett, who is paid £184,000 according to the accounts, lead federations with responsibility for other institutions.
The latest accounts for 2008/09 also reveal how much colleges are willing to pay to get out of trouble: City College Birmingham paid former Association of Colleges’ chief executive David Gibson £186,000 in consultancy fees as interim principal, plus £33,000 in VAT, to turn them around after a failing Ofsted grade.
New principal Stuart Cutforth said: “Ofsted’s recent monitoring visit shows that he did a magnificent job - demonstrating reasonable progress in all areas. We also enjoyed the best enrolment performance for many years, along with improved retention.”
And the relatively small Weston College pays principal Paul Phillips £179,000 according to the accounts, but it credits him with eliminating “enormous” debts and poor academic performance.
A UCU analysis of pay in general FE colleges since 2001 found salaries for teaching staff had risen from an average of nearly £28,000 to more than £34,000, but that principals’ earnings increased at twice the rate, reaching just under £120,000 from less than £76,000 eight years earlier.
At tertiary colleges, average principals’ pay was £113,000, while it was £94,000 at sixth-form colleges. The figures also reveal that the number of principals earning over £150,000 doubled in a year to 28.
Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary, said colleges needed to justify why principals’ pay was rising so much quicker than other staff.
“We believe colleges need to be upfront about why principals are enjoying such bumper rises compared to teaching staff,” she said.
“This is especially important now when so many frontline workers are getting real-terms pay cuts and thousands of jobs are at risk.”
Highest paid leaders
Source: LSC College Accounts 2008/09.
Downloads and web links Need help viewing resource files? Reviews (3) Add a review Comment Report or delete comment Rating Execute the heads, shoot the deputies, euthanase the assistant heads and you may have over £500,000 in the pot in many schools. Put the saved money in a pile and burn it.
I think most schools would then be better run and that schools would be run by consensus and teaching methods and courses would not have to follow the latest trend, but would follow and evolve along the most efficient and tested paths. Many, very many, managers have been promoted well beyond their levels of competence (all, I would say at my school - bless them, they are not a very clever bunch and seem to be time-servers, lick-spittles, bullies, box-tickers and trend/jargon experts who promote spineless foetuses who need to carbon copy their every move, decision or dispute).
from John Peel, 28 April 2010 (report comment)
Will someone explain how a Principal is worth between 6 and 8 times the salary of a main grade lecturer? With inflated on-costs (higher pension payments/contributions and bonuses) for SMT members the actual multiple is much higher.
No one can stop them anyway so what is the point in discussion?
from t.binkley, 26 April 2010 (report comment)
Pay increase!! what pay increase lecturers at the college i work at haven't had a pay rise since 08 and we are not on 34k a year, we are on 32k so we are falling more and more behind. The cost of living hasn't stayed still since 08, its about time college lecturers are paid what they are worth, If we don't teach the student and run the course's the fat cats at the top won't be on the salary they are on.
from s2snailum, 26 April 2010 (report comment)
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