Monday, March 29, 2010

First class expenses?

It was only a matter of time before Freedom of Information requests would reveal that college managers had – shock, horror - claimed expenses.

The Hinckley Times found that the principal of North Warwickshire and Hinckley College had claimed expenses for first class train fares and a trip to Canada when she was invited, with a student, to be part of the Calgary 2009 Premiere Experience by UK Skills.

It’s hardly a duck house. In fact, it sounds bona fide. But it is a reminder that colleges (and others working in public services) need to manage potential risks to their reputations.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Spring of discontent?

I might have been a bit too busy to blog recently but I have been reading other people’s postings. As we see outbreaks of industrial unrest, it is worth having a look at Rene Lavenchy’s blog.

Rene Lavenchy writes for Tribune and appears to have excellent sources. Last year the blog was ranked ninth in the Guide to Union Blogging (pdf available). A few weeks ago I was doubtful when I read that a deal was set to be agreed between the Royal Mail and the postal workers’ union – then a modernisation deal was announced yesterday.

As public sector pay, pensions and jobs are in the line of fire, how unions are able and willing to respond will be a vital issue for all of us.