‘Uncomfortably top heavy’: Increase in six figure salaries for senior staff

YUSU President Kallum Taylor says “something will have to give” as 31 staff take home more than £100k

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The number of staff at the University of York earning six figure salaries has increased by a third in the last year, new figures reveal.

According to the University’s annual report and financial statements 31 staff now earn more than £100k compared to just 20 in 2012.

The University have argued that this is down to recruitment of more senior staff and also pointed out that the institution’s income had increased from £256m to £286m.

However Kallum Taylor, YUSU President, has said “something will have to give” if the trend of increasing staff salaries continues, adding that pay was “uncomfortably top heavy.”

The news comes days after staff at the University took industrial action over wages, with lecturers and students marching through the city centre on Tuesday, as part of a national demonstration.

University staff and students protesting in York on Tuesday. Credit: Graham Martin, York People's Assembly

University staff and students protesting in York on Tuesday. Credit: Graham Martin, York People’s Assembly

This is the second time in a month that academics have taken action over the proposed one per cent pay rise, which the University and College Union say represents a 13 per cent pay cut in real terms since October 2008.

The number of staff earning between £100,000–£109,999 has nearly doubled, increasing from nine to 16 while there is an extra member of staff earning £130,000–£139,999 and one member of staff more than last year earning between £140,000–£149,999.

This is in addition to a slight increase in the salary of the Vice-Chancellor from £226,600 to £231,016. Including pension contributions the V-C took home £276,951 this year.

Kallum Taylor said the pay rises were symptomatic of the sector and unacceptable: “It’s hard to criticise York here without also criticising the rest of the sector which is, as a collective, driving up rates for those at the ‘top’. Clearly across the board the distribution of pay is uncomfortably top heavy – especially as the earnings of lecturers, cleaners, administrators, estates staff and technicians have declined in real terms by nearly 15% in the last 5 years. It’s one rule for the few, and another rule for the many. This is one of the reasons why we supported the last two sets of industrial action. If trends like this continue, something will have to give.”

A spokesperson for the University of York defended the salary increases: “The number of staff earning more than £100k increased from 20 in July 2012, to 31 in July 2013. This was due to a combination of recruitment of senior academic staff to the University and increases in individual staff salaries which brought a number of individuals over the £100k threshold.

They added: “At the same time, it should be noted that the University’s total income increased from £256m to £286m.

“The University benchmarks its salaries against competitor institutions. The salaries paid to senior academic and other staff are on average in line with those of its competitors, as a brief glance at their accounts will show.”


6 comments

  1. “This is in addition to a slight increase in the salary of the Vice-Chancellor from £226,600 to £231,016. Including pension contributions the V-C took home £276,951 this year.”

    Which VC? I notice the new VC has finally been spotted around campus, over 2 months since term started. Any idea what the hold up in his start was?

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  2. @SHA
    The new VC isn’t due to start officially until January:
    http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2013/new-vice-chancellor/

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  3. perhaps time for a 12 to 1-style motion across universities in the UK http://tinyurl.com/kxuhkzb

    it would only work if all universities adopted it though, as the best talent would gravitate to those unis that pay most.

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  4. @Matt Sharp

    Thanks for the info, I was unaware of that. Jane Grenville seems to have been doing a good job as acting VC in the meantime :)

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  5. I’m glad Kallum Taylor has finally spoken out, now things with definitely change!

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  6. I really don’t care if they are paid a lot, but as long as they are some of the best in their field.

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