Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Revealed: 150 university staff on salary packages of more than £100,000 in Northern Ireland

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 13/11/2015

Professor Paddy Nixon
Professor Paddy Nixon

More than 150 staff at Northern Ireland universities are on six-figure financial packages, it has been revealed.

One received in excess of £300,000 in a year when pension contributions were factored in.

The Belfast Telegraph reported yesterday how 87 staff at Queen's University were on salaries of £100,000-plus.

Eight staff at Ulster University received similar pay packets.

A report by the TaxPayers' Alliance, looking at the overall remuneration packages once benefits had been added, found 152 staff across the two universities received £100,000-plus.

The majority - 126 staff - were based at Queen's. One employee received a £305,000 package in the 2013/14 year.

It is not clear if this is the current vice-chancellor, Professor Patrick Johnston, or his predecessor, Sir Peter Gregson, who stepped down in August 2013.

Queen's did not respond to requests for clarification.

It confirmed the TaxPayers' Alliance research referred to gross figures which include the employer's pension contributions.

Eleven other QUB staff received packages of £200,000 or more.

The top-paid employee at Ulster University during the 2013/14 year was Professor Richard Barnett, who received a total of £221,722.

Peter Hope, the university's chief finance and information officer, received £154,233 in 2013/14.

Prof Barnett has since stepped down and has been replaced by Prof Paddy Nixon, who receives a £250,000 basic salary.

Across the UK, there were at least 7,554 university employees receiving total remuneration greater than £100,000.

Of these, 641 received more than £200,000, 91 got over £300,000 and eight pocketed £500,000-plus.

There were 92 universities with at least 10 employees who received more than £100,000. Twenty-three had more than 100 employees paid above that level.

The largest total remuneration package in higher education in 2013/14 was an employee at the University of Oxford, who received £690,199. The chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, Jonathan Isaby, expressed concern that some of the UK's failing universities were paying too much.

"Taxpayers will not begrudge an inspiring headteacher or world-class academic a good salary if they produce great results and motivate their students, but too often this is not what we find," he said.

"Where institutions fail but financial rewards continue to flow to those at the top regardless, there is clearly a serious problem and taxpayers have every right to be concerned.

"The pay and perks enjoyed by those working at our schools and universities - and indeed across the entire public sector - must more accurately reflect how well they are doing their jobs."

Yesterday's article on PSNI pay incorrectly reported that ACC Mark Hamilton received £153,745 in 2013/14. This should have read ACC George Hamilton, who has since become Chief Constable.

Belfast Telegraph

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph