Unions anger at wage rises for University of Bath managers
Unions have reacted angrily to a decision to increase the pay of senior managers at the University of Bath while other campus staff are being told to accept a real terms pay cut.
Earlier this year the University and College Union (UCU), Unison, and Unite published a report on the university's pay procedure, highlighting the fact that the highest earners had seen their salaries going up at a faster rate than anyone else.
Now, the university remuneration committee, which fixes the vice-chancellor's and other senior managers' pay, has met again and boosted their earnings by an average of 4.62 per cent.
The exact details have been kept secret, but UCU says this could mean that vice-chancellor Professor Glynis Breakwell will see her £284,000 pay packet increase by £13,120 a year, which equates to almost the entire salary of the lowest paid university employee.
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This comes at a time when unions are being told to accept a one per cent pay increase which, taking account of inflation, they say is effectively the fourth pay cut in a row.
Hedley Bashforth, secretary of UCU's Bath branch, said: "People who work in universities are being told to take another pay cut yet the people who run the universities have seen huge real pay increases.
"At the same time as students are being told to take on massive debts to pay for their degrees, university bosses are getting a pay rise. It now takes the fees of 40 undergraduates at Bath to cover the remuneration of the vice-chancellor alone.
"UCU wants to see much more transparency in the decision-making process for higher earners' pay. We want to know how it is decided and we want to see elected staff representation on the remuneration committee.
"Our union's national policy is that the boss should be paid no more than ten times the pay of the lowest paid employee at the university. If our call continues to fall on deaf ears we will set up our own remuneration committee to sit in judgement on the bosses' performance."
A spokesman for the University of Bath defended Professor Breakwell's salary and the way senior staff's pay was decided.
He said: "The salary and conditions of service of our vice-chancellor and specified other senior members of staff are independently determined by the remuneration committee, which is a sub-committee of the university's council. Membership and terms of reference of the committee are made public."
He added: "The committee considers a wide range of factors in coming to its decisions including many of those raised by the unions. Remuneration packages for vice-chancellors reflect what is required to recruit and retain individuals able to run complex, multi-million pound organisations operating in a highly competitive, global market.
"The vice-chancellor plays no part in the deliberations of the remuneration committee regarding her terms and conditions of service."