Support the vote of no confidence in the chief executive of St Helens and Knowsley Colleges

Within 3 months of a merger which was to create a financially sustainable future the chief executive officer (CEO) – Jette Burford – has announced two large cuts in staffing.

It is proposed to cut 85 posts which is nearly 15% of the total workforce. This has enraged staff and students alike. At well attended joint union meetings across both sites members voted unanimously that they had no confidence in the leadership of the CEO and agreed to move to a formal vote of no confidence.

This situation is made worse that on the merger the CEO position was created and the two principals in both colleges were retained. No proposals have been forthcoming to trim these posts in the light of the ‘new situation’. It is clear when looking elsewhere in the FE sector in the north west that the senior leadership team only needs a principal for the newly merged college with support below this (for example City of Liverpool College and Cheshire College S&W which are both bigger but only have a principal).

This would make a significant contribution to the cuts we are told are needed. The failure to consider this whilst telling others a sacrifice is needed for the future is the final straw for those concerned about the future of FE in the area.

I support the vote of no confidence in the chief executive officer of St Helens and Knowsley College Group and call on the governors to consider the appropriate response which must include the reduction in the senior leadership team.

Support the vote of no confidence in the chief executive of St Helens and Knowsley Colleges

Within 3 months of a merger which was to create a financially sustainable future the chief executive officer (CEO) - Jette Burford) has announced two large cuts in staffing.

It is proposed to cut 85 posts which is nearly 15% of the total workforce. This has enraged staff and students alike. At well attended joint union meetings across both sites members voted unanimously that they had no confidence in the leadership of the CEO and agreed to move to a formal vote of no confidence.

This situation is made worse that on the merger the CEO position was created and the two principals in both colleges were retained. No proposals have been forthcoming to trim these posts in the light of the ‘new situation’. It is clear when looking elsewhere in the FE sector in the north west that the senior leadership team only needs a principal for the newly merged college with support below this (for example City of Liverpool College and Cheshire College S&W which are both bigger but only have a principal).

This would make a significant contribution to the cuts we are told are needed. The failure to consider this whilst telling others a sacrifice is needed for the future is the final straw for those concerned about the future of FE in the area.

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Signed:
2 Ian Thomson St Helens College Lecturer
1 Tony Jones St Helens College