£1.7m payout for staff axed by City of Wolverhampton College bosses

Losing 94 staff at the City of Wolverhampton College cost £1.7 million in voluntary redundancy payments, it can be revealed today.

PAGET 6 SL 19
City of Wolverhampton College, Paget Road campus.

Bosses said they needed to make the changes to save £3 million in the current academic year, which began in August.

Principal Mark Robertson said 83 of the affected staff left on voluntary terms and changes were finalised over summer.

As workers are no longer on the payroll, he said the college would achieve the necessary savings during the year.

Dawn Sant, of the Unison union, however said representatives were still trying to challenge the compulsory redundancies and solicitors were involved.

Mr Robertson said: “Unfortunately we’ve had to go through a particularly painful period as the college has adjusted to new financial realities.

“The future we want for the college though is for it to be growing and recruiting more to support our students’ growth.

“The college is expanding in a number of areas including the opening of a new centre of excellence in accountancy which will enable learners to develop the skills needed for employment in this field within one year.

“The college is investing in facilities for students – fast wireless networking is now in place on each of the college’s main campuses, the Paget Road site has been completely redecorated over the summer to create a much more modern and welcoming learning environment, and new arts and media facilities have been created at the Paget Road campus.

“The college is looking forward to an exciting year, including the announcement of new partnerships to support the learning and employment prospects of current and future students.”

Advanced notifications of redundancy were given to staff earlier this year.

They included lecturers, clerical jobs, managers and technical staff.

A consultation was then launched between the University and College Union (UCU) and Unison. Mrs Sant claimed solicitors had been consulted over the compulsory redundancies amid concerns over the transparency of the process.

Mr Robertson said the college was looking into the complaints.

The changes have reduced the college’s workforce from 760 down to 666 employees spread across campuses in Paget Road, Compton, and Wellington Road in Bilston as well as Metro One in the city centre.