As members in higher education prepare to strike tomorrow (3 December), the University of West England’s recently published accounts shows that their vice-chancellor has taken a firm line on pay and received a salary increase of just 1%.
However, the accounts also show that he was also paid a £24,158 “performance-related bonus” on top of his salary (and pension costs of £37,468).
The total salary and reward package for the vice chancellor for 2012-3 rose to £314,632 – more than 16% up on the same reward package recorded in the accounts for the previous year 2011-2.
Over the last three years, staff numbers have fallen, leaving the remaining employees to work harder – still delivering excellent services for students – yet taking a real terms pay cut of over 13% over five years.
The university states that it is prudent with its cash reserves and sees challenges ahead.
At the same time, though, it has chosen to invest in a 21,000-seater football stadium that will be the new home of Bristol Rovers FC, together with a large number of capital development projects, including a new £50 million business school and a central plaza and transport hub with landscaping and walkways.
The university is investing in capital projects, its highest-paid staff and senior managers – but will not invest in the people that actually deliver the student experience.
And at the same time as it has announced that it has added another £9.2m to its reserves, staff are seeing an increase in car parking costs and being charged up to 0.6% of their salary to be allowed a parking permit.
UNISON national secretary Jon Richards said: “UNISON members are preparing to strike on 3 December.
“They see the injustice of a well-resourced university sector splashing their cash on flashy buildings and highly-paid senior staff, while ignoring the vast majority of staff who are the bedrock of the sector.
“While the lower-paid staff see real-terms pay cuts of over 13%, university senior managers can still find a way to line their pockets.”