Friday, 24 February 2017

University Bosses Having A Pay Rises Of 10% Equivalent To £450,000 A Year


The pay packages of dozens of university chiefs have soared by more than 10 per cent within a year, research shows.

They are taking home an average of £277,834, but the highest individual deal reached £451,000 – three times the salary of the Prime Minister.

Vice-chancellors are also spending thousands on flights – mainly business and first class – and hotel rooms.

The figures have ignited a new row over ‘fat cat’ pay and perks at a time when rank-and-file staff are receiving 1 per cent increases in wages.

The figures were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the University and College Union, which has accused bosses of spending students’ fees ‘with impunity’.

In the two years between 2013/14 and 2015/16 the average remuneration package for university chiefs – including salary, benefits, pension and bonuses – rose by 6.7 per cent.

And the average deal for last year – £277,834 – is an increase of 2 per cent from the previous year and 6.5 times more than the wages of university staff.

A total of 23 universities increased the packages of their vice-chancellors by 10 per cent or more in 2015/16.

Seven of the universities in the top ten for the largest percentage rise in salary paid two people for some of the year as they changed vice-chancellors during the academic year.

Fifty-five universities now pay their vice-chancellors more than £300,000 and 11 have packages worth more than £400,000 a year, according to the study.

The University of Southampton paid £697,000 to its vice-chancellor’s office last year, including a £252,000 ‘golden goodbye’ to Professor Don Nutbeam, who was replaced by Professor Sir Christopher Snowden earlier than expected.

The University of Bath’s vice-chancellor, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, received a package worth £451,000 – a rise of 11 per cent on 2014/15, according to the UCU. This was 12.2 times the average pay of all other workers at the institution and 9.1 times higher than that of academic staff.

University chiefs also spent an average of £7,762 on flights, down slightly on £8,560 in 2014/15. Two-thirds of flights last year were taken in business or first class.

The average amount spent on hotels by university leaders was £2,982 last year – a similar figure to the previous year – with the University of Sheffield spending most, at £24,433.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: ‘Those at the top in our universities need to rein in the largesse that embarrasses the sector and the Government needs to enforce proper scrutiny of their pay and perks.’

A Russell Group spokesman said: ‘Vice-chancellor pay is decided by official university remuneration committees which include expert representatives from outside the sector.

‘These experts understand the importance of attracting and retaining experienced individuals who are capable of managing complex international institutions.’



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