Students to sit in on secret pay review meeting for the first time!By Sj.Cliff
The usually secretive salary setting committee that decides the pay level of the warden Patrick Loughrey, and other senior staff at Goldsmiths, University of London, is allowing a student to sit on the board for the very first time ever. Changed around to set it up where we introduce what it is then say what is happening.
It isn’t just Goldsmiths that are secretive with their committee meetings, a report by the University and College Union in April saying that only two universities were willing to disclose minutes – know to us as notes.
Goldsmiths Students’ Union - which has been lobbying the college on the issue for several months - hailed the decision as a “landmark victory for the students’ union movement”.
The union also said Goldsmiths was the first institution to allow a student on to such a committee. With the same rights and voting privileges as full members, the new student rep will be able to have an influence on management pay rises and severance packages.
Howard Littler, The GSU president who proposed the idea of a student member said:
In the past senior management pay has been viewed as an issue off-limits to student representatives. I’m glad Goldsmiths have accepted this argument as false and I hope other institutions follow.
Sally Hunt, UCU general secretary, said: “Millions of pounds of public money are spent on vice-chancellors’ salaries, yet their pay rises are decided in clandestine committees that staff and students are barred from attending.
Goldsmiths should be applauded for its move towards greater transparency. We hope there will also be a staff representative invited to probe the boss’s pay rise and that other universities will follow suit.
Megan Dunn, vice-president of the National Union of Students, welcomed the Goldsmiths move but said more needed to be done.
There are hundreds of millions of pounds of public money quite rightly going into universities over the next few years, and it’s important that we make sure that this money is used on educational experience and impact, not on increasing already substantial senior salaries,
A student perspective should look further than simply scrutinising the pay of senior staff. We must also address the pay ratio between highest and lowest earners as well as greater transparency in the setting and reporting of senior level pay.