1 week, 5 days ago

Everything you need to know about the letter circulating Birmingham Uni about our Vice Chancellor's salary


You may have seen the open letter floating around addressed to Sir David Eastwood, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, but if you haven't, you're in for a shocker here.

So far, well over 175 members of the academia have signed a formal letter addressed to our VC, challenging his high salary and the fact that he has his own remuneration committee, which means that there's a lack of public justification and transparency as to why exactly he's making so much. The most recent report of his salary says it's £426,000 per year, which puts his earnings way above that of the average VC in the UK (£272,000). This average salary is still more than even the Prime Minister makes, which puts just how much Sir David is making into perspective; the letter states he lives in a 'University-funded residence provided for him on campus, and his University-funded chauffeur-driven car'. And it's not just him - he's surrounded by highly-paid Senior Managers, too.

In contrast to these statistics, when compared to other Russell Group unis the letter states we have 'the largest proportion of frontline teaching staff on short-term or zero-hours and other flexible contracts'. This means that our lecturers and tutors are often constantly burdened by the knowledge that their job is unstable. Additionally, UoB is not a Living Wage Employer and is 'the ninth worst employer regarding the gender pay gap for full-time academics'. And for some national perspective, the ratio of the VC's pay compared to the average academics is the third-highest ratio in the entire UK. This simply isn't right.

The letter seeks for reform on these issues and an investigation into why this is how so many universities operate. It's just not possible that this is the best way to run a uni. Paying lecturers a reasonable amount and giving them more job security would reduce stress, giving them more energy to dedicate to their students, and surely this is what uni should be all about.

If you're as angered by this as I am, show your support and join over 175 of your lecturers and fellow students by signing the letter. To do so, email bham.highpay@gmail.com with your name and your position (e.g. Undergraduate Student). The more people who sign it means this will be harder to ignore, so please, go!

If you needed another incentive, remember: you pay at least £9000 a year for an education here. This means that every year, you and about 47 other students put that money directly into the pocket of a man who drives around in a chauffeur-driven car he doesn't have to pay for. I've heard many people talk about how they basically pay their lecturer's salary, and I don't know about you, but I would much rather do that than pay it to this guy.

So, yeah, sign the letter and let's see this change.

#tyro #birmingham #uob #vc #study