AoC senior pay policy: 5 main proposals for college leaders

The Association of Colleges has this morning published its proposed new senior staff pay code for colleges.

FE Week revealed last night that refreshed remuneration guidance was being developed as top level pay across the education sector continues to be heavily scrutinised.

A consultation for the new code, which encompasses “three core principles: fairness, independence and transparency”, has now been launched.

FE Week has pulled out the main proposals.

 

1. Seniors mustn’t get a pay rise unless all staff do

Tension within some colleges between lecturers and their bosses have intensified over recent years as leaders enjoy bumper wage increases while pay for lower-level staff has reportedly failed to keep up with inflation.

The AoC wants to put a stop to this.

“Senior post holder remuneration should be determined in the context of each college’s approach to rewarding all its staff, and in particular, consideration should be given annually to the rate of increase of the average remuneration of all other staff,” it recommends.

 

2. The top boss cannot be involved in deciding pay

No individual should be involved in determining their own remuneration, according to the AoC.

Principals are often members of their pay committees to act as an observer without voting rights.

But the association’s new code says the chief executive/principal must “not be a member of the remuneration committee” in any circumstance.

“Remuneration committees must be independent, competent and should not be chaired by the chair of the governing body,” it adds.

 

3. Colleges should publish principal salaries publicly and separately to all senior staff

Although the AoC says each college should provide justification for senior post holders remuneration to its governing body, it wants the remuneration of the chief executive/principal to be “separately justified, published and related to the remuneration of all staff within the organisation”.

Colleges should publish a “readily accessible annual statement, based on an annual report to its governing body” for senior pay.

This should include: a list of senior post holders within the remit of remuneration committee; its policy on the remuneration for post holders within the remit of Remuneration Committee; its choice of comparator college(s)/organisation(s); its policy on income derived from external activities; the pay multiple of the principal and the median earnings of the institution’s whole workforce, illustrating how that multiple has changed over time and, if it is significantly above average, an explanation of why; and an explanation of any significant changes.

 

4. Keep bonus and severance payments ‘fair and reasonable’

“Awards made in respect of annual bonus arrangements linked to the achievement of specific annual objectives should not be consolidated,” the AoC recommends.

“Any severance payments must be reasonable and justifiable.”

 

5. Seniors must justify income they receive from outside organisations

The AoC recommends that there should be a “clear and justifiable rationale for the retention of any income generated by an individual from external bodies in a personal capacity”.

This would apply to any college seniors who are members of the Institute for Apprenticeships board, for example, who are paid £15,000 a year.