NUT18: CEO Pay in Academies
Motion 14 noted that, given the continued squeeze in school funding, there is
no moral or recruitment justification for some of the salaries being paid to MAT CEOs and called for a campaign to regulate and curb excessive pay. An uncontentious motion for union members, however the necessarily formal language of the motion couldn't reflect the passion and anger felt at this state of affairs.
Unsurprisingly there were no speakers against the motion but it was still worth hearing those supporting it just to remind us of the iniquity of the current arrangements and why we must never be tempted to accept them as inevitable or irreversible.
Speakers gave delegates plenty of examples of this abuse of public funds, the £440,000 earned by the CEO of the Harris Academy Trust for instance or the 87 MATs who have been asked by the government to explain why their CEOs are being paid in excess of £150,000 per annum. These were contrasted with the financial squeeze in the system elsewhere; the net decline in an average teacher's pay since 2010 of 15%, the generous dad who had to help his kids' school by buying them a hundred glue sticks, the one in five teachers denied pay progression.
The undoubted highlight of the debate was the speech delivered by Gary McVeigh-Kaye from the North Yorkshire delegation. His coruscating humour and ready knack with a memorable image or phrase caught the mood of conference. He characterised these CEOs as
piratical pilferers and wondered that if, as seems possible, some Trusts will financially sink, will these captains of education go down with their ships or bail out? We all know the answer to that. Finally, Gary recalled many years previously standing in the very same conference hall listening to The Jam sing about A Town Called Malice and what an appropriate anthem that still seems for today's political settlement.
The motion was passed unanimously.