University of Bath chief's salary 'is too much'
Questions have been raised about the University of Bath vice-chancellor's pay after it was revealed that her salary is increasing at more than twice the rate of those of the rest of her staff.
A report by the three local branches of the University and College Union, Unison and Unite shows that Professor Glynis Breakwell's basic salary of £284,000 is higher than the chief executives at Bath and North East Somerset Council, Wessex Water and the Royal United Hospital, despite them all managing bigger budgets than her.
The unions say it is wrong that at a time when the majority of higher education workers are coping with cutbacks and below-inflation pay increases, their boss should become one of the highest paid vice-chancellors in the country.
The report said: "Last year the Bath vice-chancellor received a remuneration package that was worth just over £150 for every other person working at the university – the equivalent of the pay increase for all but the university's high earners.
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"This figure is higher than for any other vice-chancellors shown in the list of the country's self-styled top universities. It is higher than the equivalent figure for the vice-chancellor of Oxford (£46) and Cambridge (£34) universities, higher than the president of Harvard (£35)."
The unions also argue that Professor Breakwell's salary is disproportionately high when related to the size of the University of Bath.
The vice-chancellor's pay is decided annually by the remuneration committee, a sub-committee of the university's governing body, and the three unions say their requests to communicate with members about how that process works have been ignored.
This has been denied by the university, which said the committee did reply to a letter from the president of the Bath branch of the UCU and that the process which decides the pay is in line with standard practice across the sector.
A spokesman said it was the university's responsibility to make sure it had the very best people in the right jobs.
He said: "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 remuneration committee takes on board a wide range of factors in coming to its decisions, including many of those highlighted in the union's report."