What they say about v-c pay

January 28, 2000

"Martin Harris has always said that he was sympathetic to our pay demands but that it was out of his hands and a matter for government. But if the vice-chancellors had shown some more restraint over their pay rises, the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals might have had more sway with the government. The problem is that so long as vice-chancellors have these increases, they don't feel the pressure to fight for the rest of university staff. And it's not just the vice-chancellor, it's the registrar and the director of personnel and other senior staff."

Trevor Dewse of the University of Manchester, where vice-chancellor Sir Martin Harris's 11.7 per cent rise took his pay to Pounds 124,000.

"(Sir Stewart Sutherland) may be a good vice-chancellor but I would find it embarrassingly difficult to spend that amount of money (Pounds 149,000). When we have been restricted to 3.5 per cent, it would be nice if he could have shown solidarity. The science faculty faces cuts in its recurrent grant due to overspends in the past. Posts are being left vacant because there isn't the money to fill them, and people on short-term contracts are not having them renewed. We are having to work harder for our 3.5 per cent."

Alan Walker of the University of Edinburgh, where vice-chancellor Sir Stewart Sutherland's 12.9 per cent rise took his salary to Pounds 149,000, the second highest in the UK.

"In general, there has been a discrepancy between what vice-chancellors earn and the rest of us. Our pay offer was 3.5 per cent; theirs was higher. They have got their pay rise; we don't know when we will get ours. They get paid more and the differential is increasing. This is a source of irritation to staff."

Alan Pickering of St George's Hospital Medical School, where the dean, Robert Boyd, was Britain's third best paid vice-chancellor on Pounds 148,280.

"I don't begrudge (Chris Llewellyn Smith) his salary - on every possible occasion he has said that academic staff should be paid more. Personally I think he earns every penny."

Bill Stephenson of University College, London, where the provost, Chris Llewellyn Smith, earned Pounds 147,045, making him the fourth best paid vice-chancellor in Britain.

"Staff in HE remain very despondent about our pay and conditions. To see vice-chancellors receive a pay award far ahead of ours on a salary that is already much greater than ours adds to that despondency. It is not the amount that he is paid but the disparity between the vice-chancellor's pay and other staff."

Gargi Bhattacharyya of the University of Birmingham, where vice-chancellor Maxwell Irvine's 10.6 per cent pay rise took his salary to Pounds 136,000.

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