With 13 catering staff at Glasgow Kelvin College under threat of compulsory redundancy, UNISON has called on Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon to uphold the Scottish government’s promise that its college regionalisation programme would not lead to compulsory redundancies
“The first minister must intervene as a matter of urgency,” said UNISON Scotland further education organiser Mandy McDowell, recalling that the government said there would be no need for compulsory redundancies was launched.
Turning to Glasgow Kelvin College, she noted: “Senior managers and college principals paid themselves eye watering final voluntary severance payments, costing the college almost £700,000.”
But now “we we have 13 low-paid loyal workers, facing compulsory redundancy, who have 135 years of public service between them who will receive the bare minimum statutory redundancy pay.
“Staff were promised that there would be no compulsory redundancy at all.
“The Scottish government must stick to its word and treat UNISON members with dignity and respect. Paying off these 13 loyal staff would not be as expensive as paying off one college principal.”
The redundancy threat follows March’s announcement by the college board that it will close the college’s City campus in July 2016, ending its contract with private catering contractor Elior.
This means that the catering staff on that campus – mainly part-time low paid women and men who barely make the living wage – are facing redundancy, with the college saying it will only pay statutory redundancy payments.
They were transferred to the private contractor from what was then the Stow college in 2012, under TUPE.
UNISON has also written to Scottish Funding Council chief executive Lawrence Howells, calling for the council to make extra resources available so that, if staff are not transferred to another college campus, they can at least get the enhanced redundancy payment of 12 months salary.
This would give them some financial security if they are force to find other jobs.