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Open letter on the pay of Sir David Eastwood, Vice Chancellor, and the highest paid senior staff of the University of Birmingham
The extraordinarily high pay of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Birmingham – Sir David Eastwood – raises many of the same questions that were raised by the case of the recently-resigned Vice Chancellor of Bath – Dame Glynis Breakwell.
In the case of Sir David the generous pay awards have occurred over many years.
Sir David was paid £392,000 in 2009. He has been paid £400,000, or more, since 2010, and was most recently reported as being paid £426,000 per year. This is far higher than the £272,000 that is average for Vice Chancellors in the UK.
He is surrounded by a team of extraordinarily well-paid senior managers. An additional seven senior staff members are paid over £200,000; and 36 senior staff earn between £150,000 and £200,000 per year. The average pay of senior University managers across the sector is £82,506. At the University of Birmingham, in contrast, it is £163,949 – the third highest in the country.
In total, the 44 highest paid members of staff of the University of Birmingham receive a staggering £8 million-plus per year from the University’s resources.
The University of Birmingham is not a Living Wage Employer. It is the ninth worst employer in terms of the gender pay gap for full-time academics. Within the Russell Group of universities it is the university with the largest proportion of frontline teaching staff on short-term or zero-hours and other flexible contracts.
When MPs recently resigned from the University of Bath Council, they referred to the way in which university leaders were at risk of “looking increasingly like a self-serving cartel”. The recent Parliamentary Debate on the issue saw MPs describe the drain that the high pay of University leaders has on university resources, and the “opaque” decision-making processes that underpin VC pay awards. That the pay of University leaders is far above that of the Prime Minister was described as “odd, to put it mildly”. All of these concerns clearly relate in a remarkably similar way to the University of Birmingham.
Sir David has received £2.9 million in salary from the University of Birmingham since he became Vice Chancellor in 2009. This is on top of the highly desirable University-funded residence provided for him on campus, and his University-funded chauffeur-driven car.
At the University of Birmingham, the ratio of Vice Chancellor’s pay to that of average academic pay within the institution has been the highest of all universities in the country, for every year from 2010 to 2015. Still now it is the third highest ratio in the country.
The University of Birmingham is currently seeing academic and academic-related staff ballot for industrial action over the way in which they are managed. The University is also in dispute with Unison, the union representing support staff, after having recently being made only a pay offer that is well below the inflation rate.
Sir David sits on his own remuneration committee – with just five other members. There is no public accounting or explanation, from the remuneration committee or elsewhere, as to how or whether his initial salary and subsequent high pay increases relate to his documentable achievements in post.
This surely cannot be the best way to run a university.
We call for an immediate enquiry into the salary of Sir David Eastwood, Vice Chancellor, and the system of remuneration for the highest paid staff at the University of Birmingham. We seek reform of a system which sees those at the top of our universities in a position where they can allocate themselves huge salaries, whilst denying fair pay to those at the bottom. We believe such reform will reflect the view of the vast majority of staff and students, that the university should serve the public through outstanding teaching and research, enabled by fair pay for all, rather than disproportionate rewards for a few staff, at the expense of the many.
From the following members of the University of Birmingham:
Dr Ross Abbinnett, Senior Lecturer; Onur Acaroglu, Doctoral researcher; Georgie Agar, Doctoral Researcher; Magda Aguiar, Research Fellow; Shahmima Akhtar, Doctoral researcher; Dr Daniele Albertazzi, Senior Lecturer; Dr Paul Anderson, Reader; Søren Andersen, Undergraduate student; Vikki Anderson, Teaching Fellow; Jonathan Andrews, Academic-related staff; Dr Lorenza Antonucci, Birmingham Fellow; Dr William Avis, Research Fellow; Dr David Bailey, Senior Lecturer; Peter Balfe, Senior lecturer; Rachel Baker, Undergraduate student; Professor Ann-Marie Bathmaker; Prof. John Barnden, Professor Emeritus, School of Computer Science; Erin Barnes, Undergraduate student; Dr Stephen Bates, Senior Lecturer; Dr Richard Bell, Research Associate; Marco Bellardi, Teaching Associate; Dr James Bendle, Reader; Dr Joe Bennett, Lecturer; Dr Francesca Berry, Senior Lecturer; Dr. Sue Blackwell, alumna; Professor Adrian Blackledge, School of Education; Clelia Boscolo, Lecturer; James Brackley, Lecturer in Accounting; Dr Hannah Boast, Teaching Fellow; Tony Bovaird, Emeritus Professor of Public Management and Policy; Dr. Marion Bowl, Senior Lecturer; Ric Bowl, Senior Lecturer; Dr Vincent Boyer, Senior Lecturer; Dr Roland Brandstaetter, Senior Lecturer; Dr Matthew Brett; Dr. Amy Brosius, Lecturer; Emily Bown, undergraduate student; Oscar Brown, Undergraduate Student; Dr. Darragh Byrne, Dept. of Philosophy; Elizabeth Carpenter, English and Drama, Undergraduate student; Dr Gareth Carrol, Lecturer; Megan Cartridge, Final Year BA English with Creative Writing Student; Dr Marco Castellani, Lecturer; Ioana Cerasella Chis, administrator; Dr Tzu-Yu Chen, Research Associate; Dr Phil Child, Research Fellow; Mustafa Coban, Post Graduate Teaching Associate; Kiah Cox, Undergraduate Student; Dr Tanzil Chowdhury, Research Associate; James Clark, alumnus; Dr Joanne Cliffe, Senior Lecturer; Dr Matthew Cocks, Teaching Fellow; Dr. Tom Coogan, Lecturer; Dr Alison Cooper, Senior Lecturer; Dr Paola Cori; Dr Rona Cran, Lecturer; Angela Creese, Professor of Educational Linguistics, School of Education; Dr Brian Crow, Senior Lecturer (retired); Joe Cush, Undergraduate Student; Bruno Dalponte, Graduate Teaching Assistant; Melany Cruz, Graduate Teaching Assistant; Thomas Da Costa Vieira, Doctoral researcher; Dr Justin Cruickshank, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology; Dr Tom Cutterham, Lecturer in United States History; Lauren Dackombe, doctoral researcher; Mary Davies, doctoral researcher; Dr Ian Davison, Lecturer; Dr Alba del Pozo, Teaching Fellow; Paolo Di Martino, Senior lecturer; Elio Di Muccio, Doctoral Researcher; Nieves Diaz-Cueva, Senior Language Tutor; Vincent Dietrich, undergraduate student; Cara Dudgeon, Undergraduate student; Dylan Dunnett, Research Masters student; Dr Warren Eastwood, Lecturer in Physical Geography; Mairead Enright, Senior Lecturer; John Evemy, Teaching Associate; Dr Qulsom Fazil, Lecturer; Dr Rex Ferguson, Senior Lecturer; Dr Emma Foster, Lecturer; Eva Fringi, Doctoral Researcher; Dr Danielle Fuller, Reader; Corinne Furness, Doctoral Researcher; Dr David Garcia Vidal, Teaching Fellow; Alexander Garrido, 3rd year undergraduate student; Dr Kayleigh Garthwaite, Birmingham Fellow; Sophie Gavrois, Term-Time-Only Language Tutor; Dr. Emma Gaze Loghin, Research Associate; Dr Paul Geary, Teaching Fellow; Dr John Gibney, Senior Fellow; Paula Anne Goodall, Academic Skills Advisor; Dr Ellie Gore, Visiting Lecturer; Mr William Green, Doctoral researcher; Dr. W D Griffiths, Senior Lecturer; Dylan Grove, Doctoral researcher; Dr Gregory Hadley, Distance Tutor; Dr Nicholas Hardy, Birmingham Fellow; Michael Hart, Information Assistant; Jessica M Heart, Taught Programmes Administrator; Rachel Hek, Lecturer; Nick Harper; Em Harvey, Graduate Teaching Assistant; R.M.Healey, alumnus; Gary Hickman, Senior Lecturer; Janet Higgitt, Sessional lecturer; Nick Hilken; Dr Mattias Hjort, Teaching Fellow; Dr Corneliu Hoffman, Senior Lecturer; Irina Hoffman, Operations Manager; Syd Holcombe-Strangeways, postgraduate student; Bob Holland, Lecturer; Joshua Holmes, undergraduate student; James Honke, undergraduate student; George Hopkins, Masters student; Dr Eva Hyde; Dr Kate Ince, Reader; Tejas Iyer, doctoral student; Dr Laura Jenkins; Andy Jolly, Doctoral Researcher, School of Social Policy; Dr Tricia Jones, Honorary Research Fellow, School of Social Policy; Hana Josticova, Doctoral researcher; Dr Jonathan Kedge, Research Fellow; Stephen Kent, Teaching / Research Fellow; Peter Kerr, Senior Lecturer; Elaine Kidney, Researcher; Rev Dr Jeremy Kidwell, Lecturer in Theological Ethics; Dr John Kirkman, Lecturer; Vera Kubenz, Communications and Marketing Manager; Martin Lakie, Hon Senior Research fellow; Richard Lang, Research Fellow; Prof. J.A. Leach; Dr. Robert Leek, Lecturer; Dr Will Leggett, Senior Lecturer; Valerie Leick, Language Tutor; Dr. Nicolas Lemay-Hébert; Dr Elizabeth L’Estrange, Lecturer; Dr Daniel Loghin, Lecturer; Dr Paul Lewis, Senior Lecturer; Mike Loughlin, Lecturer (retired); Darcy Luke, Doctoral Researcher; Katherine Lowther, undergraduate student; Dr Andrea MacLeod, Lecturer; Dr Kay Magaard, Reader in Algebra (2007-2017); Annie Mahtani, Lecturer; Dr Louise Male, Analytical Facility Manager; Dr Elisavet Mantzari, Lecturer; Miss Rachel Marchant, Doctoral researcher; Chris A. Mayhew, Reader; A.J. McCabe, Senior Research Fellow; George McGahey, Electrical Design Engineer; Dr Claire McIvor, Senior Lecturer; Thomas McMorrow, undergraduate student; Fernanda Meloni, doctoral researcher; Cherry Miller, Teaching Fellow; Amelia Morris, Doctoral Researcher; Miss Jennifer Moss Waghorn, Doctoral researcher; Theron Muller, English Language and Applied Linguistics Distance Learning Tutor; Yvonne Mullan-Evans; Dr Miriam Müller, Lecturer; Dr. Max Nathan, Senior Birmingham Fellow; Dr Kate Nichols, Birmingham Fellow; Dr Oluremi Olatunbosun, Senior Lecturer; Andrew Olson, Senior Lecturer; Dr Luisa Orsini, Lecturer; Dr Robert M Page, Reader in Democratic Socialism and Social Policy; Ms Bettina Pahlen, Doctoral Researcher; Professor Jim Parle, MDS; Dr. Jonathan Parry, Birmingham Research Fellow; Tony Potter, Planning Officer; Henry Price, Graduate Teaching Assistant; Dr Nat Queen, School of Mathematics; Nick J. Quick, Senior Lecturer (Retired); Matthew Raine, UNISON Branch secretary and UNISON Higher Education service group executive member; Dr Mark Read, Senior Lecturer; Dr Andrew Rees, Fieldwork Technician; Dr Arfon Rees, Reader; Abbey Rees-Hales, Doctoral Researcher; Dr Andrew Reid, Teaching Fellow; Raymond Reynolds, Senior Lecturer; Dr. Ruth Riley, Lecturer; Lia Rodgers, undergraduate student; Dr Nicola Rogers, ChemBAM lead; Dr Asha Rogers, Lecturer; Maren Rohe, Doctoral Researcher; Dr Charlotte Ross, Senior Lecturer; Dr Benedetta Rossi, Reader; Dr Pia Rothstein, lecturer; Dr Lucie Ryzova, Senior Lecturer; Dr Gabriela Saldanha, Translation and Intercultural Studies Section; Antonio M. Sánchez, Modern Languages; Kate Schenck, Doctoral researcher; Dr Zoe Schnepp, Birmingham Fellow; Paula Schwevers, alumna; Dr Peter Searle, Senior Lecturer; Rory Shannon, Deputy Catering Operations Manager; Jonathan Shi, undergraduate student; Dr Richard Shorten, Senior Lecturer; Professor Peter Slater; Dr Janet Smith, Senior Lecturer (1997 – 2017); Dr Carole J Sparke; Dr Artemis Stamboulis, Senior Lecturer; Karen Staples, Research Technician; Dr Jill Steans, Senior Lecturer; Dr Biza Stenfert Kroese, Senior Lecturer; Sue Stevens; Verity Stirling, undergraduate student; Dr Annegret Sturm, Teaching Fellow; Dr Mark Summerfield; Dr Mary Taylor, post-doctoral research; Professor Colin Thain; Mr Alexander Thom, Doctoral researcher; Mr Owen Arthur Thompson, Senior Estate Planner; Lewis Thurston, 3rd Year Undergraduate; Dr. Emil C. Toescu, Senior Lecturer; Professor Michael Toolan; Ivan Trussov, Doctoral Researcher; Professor Richard Tuckett, Emeritus Professor; Frances Tuoriniemi, Undergraduate Student; Caitlin Tweddle, undergraduate student; Yasmin Underwood, Undergraduate Student; Martine van Driel, Doctoral Researcher; Dennis van Soest, Doctoral Researcher; Georgina Vaughan, Undergraduate, Drama and Theatre Arts; Dr. Aengus Ward, Reader; Bradley Ward, Doctoral researcher; Mr Sam Warner, Teaching Fellow; Tamsin Waterhouse, Lecturer; Freya Watkins, doctoral researcher; Charles Watson, Teaching Fellow; Sanne Weber, Research Fellow; Dr Jules Whicker, Senior Teaching Fellow; Dr David White, Lecturer; Dr Ruth Whittle, Senior Lecturer; Adrian Wilcockson, Deputy Programming Team Leader; Dr Hazel Wilkinson, Birmingham Fellow; Victoria Williams, Doctoral Researcher; Dominic Wilson, Research Computing Specialist; Sam Wilson, 3rd Year Undergraduate, Drama and Theatre Arts; Marcie Winstanley, Undergraduate Student ; Julia Wolska; Lana Wrigley, undergraduate student; Professor Jeremy L Wyatt; Dr Christalla Yakinthou, Birmingham Fellow; Dr Galina M.Yemelianova, Senior Lecturer (1996-2017)