The real facts on promotion at Aberdeen;Letter

16th January 1998 at 00:00
I never thought I had what it takes to be a page three person, but having appeared in the columns of The TES Scotland (January 6), I wish to comment on a few points.

The report confuses promotion with the extension of an individual's job resulting from a increase in workload. From the time of their appointment five years ago Mr Scott and Ms Hay have been in second tier posts; I occupy the only first tier post in the college. Readers may rest assured that I would never promote either of them because the only post either could ever be promoted to is mine!

Ms Hay was appointed to a second-tier post in the college (a vice-principal position by another name) before we were married and prior to my first wife's death. She still holds the same post. It follows that no promotion can possibly have taken place. The workload of both individuals has, however, been increased significantly, following the non-replacement of other senior colleagues' posts to make savings on the college's budget. The additional burden resulting from the need to make savings was carried by the two vice-principals, Mr Scott and Ms Hay, rather than by the staff of the college when the two assumed more work and responsibility.

The board's decision to extend the job title was known to staff because the matter was noted in board papers which are widely and publicly available in the college, and it was in the college's published annual report - copies of which go to every member of staff. It was far from a secret.

Put very bluntly indeed, Mr Scott and Ms Hay got called what they were, got a great deal more work to do, but no more pay or benefits for doing it. What is much more important is the fact that the college has cut senior management costs by over 70 per cent and middle management costs by over 50 per cent. It has targeted the savings made on the needs of students and employers. I appreciate that The TESS noted these achievements in its report.

The article also makes mention of my trade union activism. As an aside, I have been a trade unionist for 35 years and remain active in the movement.


Principal and chief executive Aberdeen College

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