Big Earner VC Farthing Bags Swanky Freebies as Staff Strike and Students Protest
£280,000 Vice Chancellor gets freebies while other staff get pay cuts.
This academic year has been a turbulent one here at the University of Sussex, with staff members partaking in multiple nationwide strikes over unequal pay between men and women and pay rises which do not reflect steeply climbing interest rates. Students have been supporting staff in this cause, as well as protesting and occupying Bramber House to demonstrate against the privatisation of University services and outsourcing of jobs.
Meanwhile, it has been revealed that a number of executives have received hospitality treats, including the man everyone loves to hate: Vice Chancellor Michael Farthing. Farthing, who earns a whopping £280,000 per year, received a swanky dinner out and theatre trip with his wife, worth an estimated £450, as well as shopping vouchers. Other staff bagged Microsoft tablets, rugby tickets, fancy hotel breaks, meals out and rounds of cocktails. Farthing’s fellow director and partner in crime Ian Carter was treated to 13 classy nights out including hotel stays, award ceremony tickets and pricey meals.
The hospitality directory from which this information was taken was made available publically following a Freedom of Information Request by a student. His reaction was one of disgust; he criticised Farthing for acting like he is “living in an ivory tower” and dubbing him “out-of-touch with his staff”.
A spokeswoman from the University of Sussex attempted to justify these occurrences. “None of these activities relate to decisions made by the university in relation to contracts awarded.” She has stated. “The list provided reflects the appropriate engagement of our staff with external organisations in the course of their professional activities” she continues. For example, IT firms Extron, Dell and Intel were the providers of luxuries for the IT staff.
Here at the Tab, we think this attempt at justifying hospitality treats is feeble at best. What do you buy the man who earns 20 times more than his other staff? Anything lavish, apparently.