These are the Russell Group universities where staff get paid the most

Seven weeks of scheduled strikes finally end this week

Students have so far missed 11 days of teaching this academic year as 70,000 staff at 150 universities continue to fight in their dispute with employers over pay, working conditions and pension cuts.

Today marks the 12th day and whilst this Wednesday will mark the final day of two months of disrupted learning, students could still yet face further disruption next term as the UCU continues to fight for a “meaningful pay rise” and a reversal to pension cuts which will see the average guaranteed pension of staff cut by 35 per cent.

Stop-start disjoined learning interrupted by strikes has become a common part of the university experience. This year marks the sixth consecutive year UCU members have gone on strike over pay and pension cuts.

And yet despite that, how many students could tell you what lecturers are actually paid?

New data released by HESA shows a breakdown of what staff were paid last year among the Russell Group universities.

The stats break down staff pay into six different brackets showing what proportion of staff are in different pay bands. The pay bands are:

  1. Below £20,092
  2. Between £20,092 and £26,341
  3. Between £26,341 and £35,326
  4. Between £35,326 and £47,419
  5. Between £47,419 and £63,668
  6. Above £63,668

Of the 24 different unis, LSE pays the largest proportion of its staff the highest pay band. More than half of the university’s 1,035 staff earn above £63,668 each year.

After LSE, there is a significant drop off. 35 per cent of Liverpool Uni staff are in the highest pay bracket, followed by Imperial and King’s, where over a third of staff earn above £63,668 each year.

Of course, staff salaries includes all staff and not just what lecturers are paid. LSE and Imperial might pay their staff some of the highest salaries across the Russell Group, but they equally pay their vice-chancellors staggeringly high salaries.

Imperial’s former VC, Professor Alice Gast, took home £714,000 last year. Following swiftly behind, Baroness Minouche Shafik, the vice-chancellor at LSE, earned £539,000 last year.

At the opposite end of the scale, less than a fifth of staff at Edinburgh, Bristol and Sheffield earn more than £63,668 each year.

Staff on insecure contracts at Bristol University said they “can’t afford much else apart from groceries” as The Bristol Tab revealed the university currently employs 694 staff on hourly-paid Teaching Support Role contracts.

A spokesperson for the university said it has reduced the number of hourly-paid teaching staff by a third since 2019 and “continues to review the balance of fixed-term and hourly paid contracts”.

These are the Russell Group universities where staff are getting the highest pay:


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