Major Chesterfield school criticised for staff wages cut plan

Bosses at a Chesterfield school have defended their decision to cut wages to support staff.

Monday, 9th December 2019, 11:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 5:40 pm

The trust which runs Outwood Academy Newbold says it has reached the decision in a ‘fair and sensible’ way after a job evaluation process.

However, one support worker at the school, who asked to remain anonymous, said his income would ‘drop dramatically’ and he could lose about £4,000 a year.

He added: “The impact will be considerable with a lot of staff already considering leaving.

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Outwood Academy Newbold has carried out a wage review.

“The school has an autism resource centre and even those staff have not been spared. They support very vulnerable students who have built up amazing relationships. Students who need consistency and routine.”

A spokesperson for Outwood Grange Academies Trust said: “The job evaluation has been a long, thorough process in which we have consulted with staff and unions over a three-year period and also engaged an independent consultant from the Local Government Association to ensure it is done in a fair and sensible way.”

The spokesperson added: “As with any job evaluation, salary grades can move, however, in this case it is important to note that around a third of colleagues will see their salary increase and over half will see no change to their salary. Unfortunately a small minority will see their salary decrease but not until after February 2022 as we move to a fairer, more consistent pay scale.

“For those whose salary will decrease we have gone above and beyond our legal requirements, and the terms and conditions transferred from local authorities, when it comes to pay protection to ensure we protect these colleagues from a decrease in their income. We believe this is the right thing to do, and also the moral step to take.

“At the conclusion of this process, the new structure will eventually cost the trust around an additional £600,000 per annum. This is not a process to cut wages, but a step towards creating a fairer and consistent pay scale.”