Redundancies could be made at Cowes Enterprise College after the academy chain that runs the school announced plans to cut maintenance and IT jobs.
The Ormiston Academies Trust (OAT) said it planned to reduce staff across its 38 academies — something Unison warned would put the safety of pupils and staff at risk.
Decision by end of year
A decision on the future of 130 staff members is due to be made before the end of the year.
Unison said it ‘simply wasn’t long enough’ to consult with staff, parents and pupils.
Unison South East regional secretary Steve Torrance said:
“Employees crucial to the smooth running of schools are being pushed out of their jobs so a trust, which paid its chief executive £184,160 in 2018, can save on the salaries of staff.
“Time and time again we’ve seen large organisations impose cost-cutting measures that sound good in the boardroom, but in the real world lead to poorer services, low morale, unemployment and, in this case, safety risks.
“Ormiston must halt its plans now and set aside a more realistic amount of time to consult with unions about a plan that affects workers, pupils and parents on the Isle of Wight. That’s the very least it can do.”
Maintenance staff facing redundancy are responsible for conducting fire safety and building checks and dealing with maintenance emergencies.
OAT: Remarks made about pupils’ safety ‘irresponsible’
An OAT spokesperson said no decisions had been made and branded remarks made about pupils’ safety ‘irresponsible.’
The spokesperson said,
“Our Transforming Our Trust programme will enable us to do even more and make an even bigger positive difference to pupils — both inside and outside the classroom.
“As a financially responsible charity, which is absolutely committed to serving its pupils, we have opened a consultation on the current staffing and operational structures so that they are as efficient as possible while ensuring the 29,000 children we support continue to receive the best possible educational opportunities.
“The process to date has, of course, included provision for the most robust health and safety standards going forward — nothing is more important than ensuring health and safety is of the highest standard, and that will remain the case.
“It is irresponsible and entirely wrong to even suggest we would compromise on this.
“We are very clear that any redundancies will be nowhere near what has been quoted.”
When asked if Island staff could lose their jobs, the trust said:
“As the consultation is ongoing and no decisions have yet been made, it would be inappropriate, and unfair, to comment further at this stage.”
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed