Sally Hunt paid extra £400K by UCU on leaving general secretary job

‘Settlement’ brought to light by report on union leaders’ pay from pressure group 

September 14, 2020
sally hunt
Sally Hunt, former UCU general secretary

The former head of the UK’s leading higher education union received extra payments of £400,000 as part of her final salary package, it has emerged.

Final-year remuneration for Sally Hunt, who stepped down last year as general secretary of the University and College Union (UCU) for health reasons, totalled £534,805, according to a report on union leaders’ pay.

Official union financial returns show this included £400,000 in “post-employment payments” in addition to £64,570 in salary, £54,276 in employers’ national insurance payments and around £16,000 in benefits like pension contributions.

Ms Hunt announced she would be stepping down with immediate effect in February 2019 in a message to UCU members. Documents show she officially left the post at the end of March. She had led the UCU since its formation in 2007 and won three elections as general secretary.

Jo Grady took over in August 2019 after being elected as the new general secretary. The financial return shows she received total remuneration of £10,878 during her first month in the post, including employers’ national insurance payments.

The pay package was brought to light by a report into union leaders’ pay by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, which said it had chosen to look at the issue due to unions having “a high concentration of workers whose remuneration is from taxpayers” such as teachers and medical workers.

Its report says that Ms Hunt’s remuneration had made her the highest paid public sector trade union boss last year, despite her “criticising university leaders for pay packets of a similar size on previous occasions”.

The report adds that six senior staff at education unions, including those representing school teachers, together earned almost £1.3 million last year.

Duncan Simpson, research director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Taxpayers have had enough lectures from loaded union leaders, claiming to represent the workers earning a fraction of their bumper pay packets.”

The UCU said that “it could not comment on the settlement”.

simon.baker@timeshighereducation.com

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Reader's comments (3)

Although I am no friend of the UCU, it seems disingenuous to include employer NI since this is not paid to the employee. By the same token, many of us would appear to be paid considerably more than we actually are by including employer NI!
Nice for all those UCU members to know where their subs (for most members, around £18-£24 per month) are going.
Even taking off NI etc. this is a considerable anount of money. How interesting...

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