Please see the below letter which has been sent to all UNISON members in New College Lanarkshire today.
UNISON STATEMENT ON AUDIT SCOTLAND REPORT
Audit Scotland recently published their report on Coatbridge Colleges 2013/14 accounts, in which they criticise the college for failing to follow their own rules on voluntary severance when dealing with senior management. The report can be accessed at this location:- http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/media/article.php?id=305
As you may know, UNISON, along with the other unions in the college, challenged the decision at the time and released a joint press release. In light of the above report, UNISON has today released the following statement and have taken the issue up with New College Lanarkshire management to ensure that we do not face an issue of this type again.
UNISON North Lanarkshire welcomes Auditor General’s report on Coatbridge College
UNISON North Lanarkshire welcomes Audit Scotland’s report on Coatbridge College’s 2013/14 accounts which vindicates the union’s views on the severance packages that were offered to senior management, which far outstripped the agreed voluntary severance scheme.
After UNISON challenged the level of severance being paid, the Chair of the Board at the College issued a press statement stating that the comments were ill informed, and that a statement would be issued after an emergency board meeting. No statement was ever released, and it is now clear that the Chair of the Board and the Principal were advised on several occasions by the Funding Council that the proposed severance packages were outwith guidelines. It also appears from the report that this information was never discussed at a board meeting, prompting concerns over transparency at board level. Elaine Smith, MSP has raised questions over the actions of the College on this issue.
John Mooney said “We warned that awarding enhanced settlement packages to Senior Management was divisive amongst the workforce and a slap in the face to the lower paid members of staff. It seems that earlier statements from the College were inaccurate, and this report highlights failings in managing the public purse at a time when the College was £700,000 in the red.”
UNISON has written to New College Lanarkshire regarding this issue, seeking assurances that such mistakes are not repeated.
I will ensure that you are kept up to date with any further developments.