Warwickshire College principal's pay rise criticised

Warwickshire College, Rugby Warwickshire College employs more than 1,700 staff

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A union has criticised a college principal's pay rise of up to £50,000 over two years, while 99 members of staff are at risk of redundancy.

The University and College Union found the salary rose from up to £180,000, to £230,000 between 2011/12 and 2013/14.

An unnamed senior manager at Warwickshire College also enjoyed a £15,000 bonus, according to the union's Freedom of Information request.

Staff were offered a below inflation rise of 1% this year, said the union.

Principal Mariane Cavalli went on "temporary leave of absence with immediate effect" last Friday.

Chair of governors Sue Georgious will become interim principal.

'Proper scrutiny'

In May, Ms Cavalli said job losses were "inevitable" as the college looked to shave £3m from its budget.

Anne O'Sullivan, the union's regional officer, said she and a colleague met with Ms Georgious on Wednesday.

She said they received "no definitive answers" why Ms Cavalli was away nor on the college's spending, but it was confirmed the redundancy programme would progress.

She added: "Our meeting was disappointing."

The union would not agree to begin full consultation on job losses until it had answers to its questions on the college's finances, Ms O'Sullivan claimed, but would be sending further questions in writing.

A spokeswoman for the college said its governing board had in place "robust internal and external audit processes for financial matters".

She added: "We have no further comment to make on the contents of the FOI at this time."

Accounts showed that in 2011/12 the principal's salary was between £170,000 and £180,000.

The following year it was between £190,000 and £200,000 and in 2013/14 it had increased to between £220,000 and £230,000.

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