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'Disgraceful': Students slate top university staff refusal to take pay cut

A number of university heads have reportedly ignored requests to reduce their pay below €200,000.

UCC, where a number of the highest-paid academics are working
UCC, where a number of the highest-paid academics are working
Image: Olivier Bruchez via Flickr

THE REFUSAL BY a number of high-paid university staff to take a voluntary salary cut has been called “disgraceful” by the Union of Students in Ireland.

USI president Gary Redmond said if the university presidents and senior academics did not take a pay cut voluntarily, Minister of Education Ruairí Quinn should compel them to.

Last September it emerged that 100 staff at Irish universities were still paid more than the State wage cap of €200,000. Three were earning more than €250,000 annually.

Ruairí Quinn has requested that the highest-paid university staff reduce their pay to €200,000. However, the Irish Times reports that only two university heads have taken a cut.

Quinn told the paper he was disappointed, saying: “People in a position of leadership have to give leadership.”

“I think this is nothing short of disgraceful,” Gary Redmond told Newstalk Breakfast, adding that some academics were earning “many multiples” of their counterparts in the UK.

We’re calling on the highest paid staff to take a pay cut, and if they don’t then the minister will have to step in and force them to. Students are suffering with the fee increases and cuts to grants, and it’s up to the university heads and senior academics to shoulder some of the burden.

Redmond said that high expenditure on salaries meant that the impact of cuts fell disproportionately on services.

More: One hundred university staff still paid more than €200,000 wage cap>

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Michael Freeman

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