Bristol

University of Bath vice-chancellor voted out in pay row

Glynis Breakwell
Image caption Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell has faced criticism over excessive pay

A body which scrutinises the University of Bath has voted for the immediate departure of its vice-chancellor, who is the highest-paid in the UK.

The university court is also demanding the chair of its governing council and remuneration committee step down over Prof Dame Glynis Breakwell's pay rate.

Dame Glynis, who earns £468,000, is due to step down at the end of the summer term but remain on sabbatical.

The university said it had no plans to change her retirement package.

The university court is a statutory body with around 200 members that provides a forum to scrutinise the university's affairs.

It cannot compel her or the others to stand down so any vote is advisory rather than binding.

The university says its council will consider what the court has said at its next meeting in February.

Image caption Students previously marched through the University of Bath protesting against the retirement arrangements of their vice-chancellor

Lecturers had complained that Dame Glynis's pay had risen much more rapidly than the salaries of university staff.

She was due to take a sabbatical on full pay before formally retiring in February 2019, but would remain living in her university-provided accommodation in Bath until then.

A car loan worth £31,500 will also be written off.

But at a meeting in Bath on Tuesday, the court, which is made up of senior university staff, students and other stakeholders, called for a change in governance.

They held a debate over the terms of Dame Glynis's departure and the way in which her package had been agreed, saying the university's council acted beyond its powers in granting her the six-month sabbatical.

'Shrugged off'

Dame Glynis's university-provided accommodation should be counted in her pay, the court argued.

Local Labour councillor Joe Rayment said the power of decision over pay should be transferred to the court.

"Those on the council who have defended this regime should now be considering their position," he added.

Dr Michael Carley, president of the University and College Union, said the court's vote should not be "shrugged off".

Hundreds of students, accompanied by members of staff, marched at the university in November in protest at Dame Glynis's retirement terms.

Four MPs previously resigned from roles at the university in protest at her salary.

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