Northern Ireland

South Eastern Regional College claims investigated

A further education college is under investigation by the Department of Employment and Learning after allegations that librarians were listed as lecturers without their knowledge.

Documents seen by the BBC show some librarians at the South Eastern Regional College were classified as lecturers.

The librarians, only discovered the contracts by accident.

The college declined to comment until the investigation is completed.

The South Eastern Regional College has campuses in Lisburn, Downpatrick and Bangor.

Teaching contracts require staff to mark attendance registers and plan work for the students.

The librarians at the centre of the whistleblower's claims said they were never asked to teach or to keep records.

Alarmed

They also said they do not get the higher rate of pay declared on the contracts which bear their names and addresses.

The regional organiser of the colleges union, the UCU, Jim McKeown, said the staff were alarmed by the situation.

"They want their names removed from what appear to be false contracts, in case they are made responsible for students who get into trouble or are injured during class time.

He added: "We want a full investigation into how this happened, it is very unlikely to have been accidental".

DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson said there should be "honesty and transparency" and has called on the college to explain fully what has happened.

The Department of Employment and Learning has confirmed it is investigating a whistle-blowing report.