The head of the University of Ulster has volunteered to take a 5% pay cut — but his salary will still be £40,000 above that of the Prime Minister.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett’s salary for the incoming academic year will be £183,302, compared to £192,950 this year.
Premier David Cameron is paid £142,500 a year.
Business Secretary Vince Cable urged “more discipline” in public sector pay after it was disclosed yesterday that 172 civil servants are paid more than the Prime Minister. The UU’s senior management team will also see their salaries frozen for the 2010/11 academic year.
The pay restraint initiative by the University of Ulster comes at a time when there is increasing pressure on universities and other publicly-funded institutions to make savings.
The action by the vice-chancellor also follows his decision last year to forego a 3% pay rise to which he was contractually entitled, and instead accept an increase of just 0.5%. Taken together the university said these reductions represent a pay cut of over 10% in real terms over the period.
The salary forgone will be used to contribute to the reduction of the university’s overall salaries and wages bill.
A UU spokesman said the decision on pay restraint had been taken “whilst the university is in sound financial health, clearly, like all other publicly funded institutions, we are facing challenging times”.