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Brum’s Vice-Chancellor bags a £5k pay rise

Does anyone even know his name?

Birmingham's Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Eastwood, has had a £5,000 pay rise due to a performance related award.

This brings his total pay to a total of £444,000, increasing from last year's £439,000 including benefits and pension.

Birmingham's Vice-Chancellor ranks as the fifth highest paid VC in the country and sixth highest when compared to how much other staff at the university are paid.

He also stands to earn a maximum bonus of £80,000 if a number of performance related targets are met.

The Birmingham UCU told The Birmingham Tab: "If there were any justice, the Vice-Chancellor’s unquestionable and pernicious ‘influence’ over the current state of UK Higher Education would be enough to convince any university never to hire him again."

The university justified this performance related rise in their 2017/18 Annual Accounts report by referencing to a four year "long term incentive plan" which commenced in the academic year 2015/16. "Any reward under that plan is contingent on the Vice-Chancellor meeting specific objectives in each of the four years of the term … If these tests are met, the total maximum value of the incentive plan is £80,000."

The Birmingham UCU told The Birmingham Tab: "The University of Birmingham has justified David Eastwood’s extraordinarily high salary – by extolling his influence over the whole UK Higher Education policy landscape. This is reflected in his key role in the creation of the current tuition fee system (via the Browne Review), and as a long-serving trustee of the USS pension scheme."

The university's official statement regarding the pay rise refers to improved performance under Eastwood's leadership including student satisfaction and increase in university income. The university claim that pay over £100,000 is predominantly academic staff and "ultimately, it is our students who benefit from our ability to attract and retain the best staff."

The university are also keen to point out Eastwood's philanthropy as a justification for his high pay.

"In the last few years increases to the Vice-Chancellor’s pay have been less than or in line with average increases paid to other staff, including in the last year where the Vice-Chancellor’s basic salary and performance related payment increased by 1.3 per cent, compared to the average increase in staff pay (including increments and performance payments) of 3.8 per cent."

This pay rise comes at a time where students are struggling to get mental health counselling due to a lack of trained mental health counsellors.