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September 29, 2017

Paddy Nixon makes cuts plans, but there’s money for managers


Yet again UCU at Ulster hears of potential cuts to the university from the media. In Monday’s interview with the Irish News, VC Paddy Nixon says UU is “planning for budget cuts” of between 2 and 12 per cent. He has not said a word to UCU representatives about this.

UCU is not naïve: whilst we consistently and robustly challenge budget cuts to higher education, we recognise that some level of cut is likely. What is crucial is that Ulster University management consults with us about how to deal with it; not just because we want them to, but because employment legislation and best practice calls upon them to do so.

Ironically, Paddy Nixon and his increased numbers of colleagues are making these plans during a period when large amounts of money are repeatedly being made available to recruit and pay three figure salaries to an ever-fattening senior management layer, the third fattest in the UK according to the Times Higher Education Pay Survey 2017. Nixon himself earns £260,333 and enjoyed a healthy 4% pay rise from 2015 to 2016.

Increased student fees are the headline issue of the Irish News article. Fees are not the answer to educating a society during austerity; anyone who works with students on a day to day basis knows that.

Universities exist to educate and provide research to enable a society to thrive. The rational approach, then, is that those who do and support the educating and the research must not be cut. Especially not in a university that already has one of the worst student staff ratios in the UK according to the Sunday Times ‘Good University Guide’.

UCU thinks it should be perfectly clear to Paddy Nixon how any cut to Ulster University’s budget should be dealt with. At the very least he should talk to us.


Paddy Nixon’s interview with the Irish News

UCU Ulster’s response




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