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Anger over huge pay rise for Winchester University vice chancellor
THE HEAD of a Hampshire university has been given a £28,000 a year pay rise.
Now unions are considering action over the hike given to Professor Joy Carter, the vice chancellor of the University of Winchester, while they say staff have endured years of cuts.
It takes her pay to £222,761 - equal to a 12.6 per cent pay rise - six times the rate of inflation.
Professor Don Nutbeam, vice-chancellor of Southampton University, pay and pensions package was £333,615 - up 5.7 per cent. His salary rose from £277,000 to £294,000.
The details have emerged just days after staff from lecturers to cleaners walked out over a one per cent pay offer, claiming in real terms salaries have fallen by 13 per cent since 2008.
The University and Colleges Union (UCU) and Unite organised a series of one-day strikes in a bitter row over pay.
Winchester union activists are to meet to consider what action to take over the vice-chancellor's pay hike.
Dr Mick Jardine, regional chair for UCU, said university managers pleaded poverty when it came to staff pay rises and vice-chancellors' pay was now “an embarrassment to higher education.”
And he called for vice-chancellors to justify their large pay packets when budgets were squeezed and defend themselves against the allegation they were “university fat cats.”
Dr Jardine said Prof Carter's £28,000 pay rise was more than twice the annual salary of the lowest paid staff such as porters and canteen staff.
“It is outrageous, especially given that this is an Anglican foundation and the university management are quick to claim that it still retains those core values, but they don't fit with a massive and growing gap between the pay packets of the vice-chancellor and ordinary staff.”
Emma Howden, a Unison representative at the University of Winchester, said some low paid staff earned less than the “living wage” of £7.45 per hour.
She said: “People are really struggling to make ends meet especially at this time of year. It is really hard but they feel so strongly they are prepared to go out on strike and sacrifice their pay to protest.”
However pension contributions paid to Professor Carter fell sharply from £19,475 in 2011-12 to zero in 2012-13.
The reduction follows a change in rules which reduced the amount employees can pay into their pension pots while not incurring tax.
The UCU nationally says many university bosses appear to have received higher salaries in exchange for reduced employer contributions.
Professor Van Gore, vice-chancellor of Southampton Solent University, was paid £241,663 in 2011-12, including employer pension contributions and “other benefits” - a fall of 0.6 per cent on the previous year.
The annual accounts for 2012-13 are not yet available online.
Prof Gore's salary increased by £7,619 to £218,268 but employer pension contributions fell from £28,491 to £18,994.
Despite the outrage sparked by her pay rise, Prof Carter refused to comment. A spokesman said: “The university offers no comment at this time.”
However the University of Southampton defended its vice-chancellor's pay saying his salary was in line with other top Russell group universities.
A spokesman said: “The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with over 23,000 students and 5,000 members of staff. It is appropriate that the vice-chancellor of such a large, complex and international institution should be comparatively remunerated.”
By comparison, the University of Winchester has 694 staff and 6,328 students. And Southampton Solent University has 1,258 employees and 12,523 students.
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