Stirling University Principal and Vice Chancellor Gerry McCormac is set to receive an additional £5000 to his already high salary.
McCormac’s wage will rise from £276,000 to £281,000, which is higher than the salaries of both the Prime Minister and the First Minister.
McCormac’s wage has risen by 18% over the past five years, and his current salary is seven times higher than that of an average staff member at the university.
The 1.7% pay rise was given to university staff after industrial action, but was lower than the 7.5% rise that trade unions demanded, hoping for a pay rise that would see universities in the UK become living wage employers.
The University and College Union (UCU) has commented on the principal’s pay, stating that the union accept that this pay rise was awarded to all staff, but highlighted the gap between the salaries of the principal and staff.
Mary Senior, UCU Scotland official, said: “While the most recent pay rise for the principal is in keeping with the percentage rise all staff in the university got, there’s a vast difference in what the increase means if you’re on a precarious contract with only a few hours work a week or if you’re the principal earning seven times the salary of your colleagues. UCU’s current pay claim includes a demand for action on the increasing use of casual contracts in higher education, along with the gender pay gap and workload and it is crucial universities take action to address these important issues.”
A University of Stirling spokesperson said: “The Principal’s salary is set by the University’s Remuneration Committee, at a level that is appropriate to the size and scale of the job.
“The Principal received the nationally agreed pay increase of 2%, which was awarded to all staff in 2018. He donates annually to a Vice-Chancellor’s Fund, to support a range of University of Stirling student and staff projects, to directly enhance the student experience.”
McCormac’s high salary has been criticised by Stirling staff and students in the past, specifically during the UCU strike action and fair rent protests.