Since March 2020, we have witnessed and experienced a substantial increase in childcare and other intensive caring duties at home. This has been accompanied by an increase of workload, leading also to a substantial increase in stress among many staff members. While we have been told that the university is in the midst of a financial crisis and needs to reduce expenses, actually QMUL can afford to support its staff. Here are some key financial numbers:
Your hard work generates cash
At the end of the 2020 financial year, four months into the pandemic, both academic and professional staff were being made redundant and departments across the university were being asked to make 20% cuts on spending. Austerity was necessary, we were told, to secure the university’s future.
In actual fact university operations in the 19/20 financial year generated more than £61m in cash (p15). Your hard work teaching and supervising students, obtaining research income, etc., created this cash. Even after spending on investments, the university still banked almost £37m (p39) – giving Queen Mary a very healthy £98.6m bank balance (p20).
Increase in high salaries
In 2017, the year before Colin Bailey became principal, 59 people earned above £100K.
By 2019, before the pandemic struck, the number of people earning above £100k had risen to 90, a 50% increase.
In 2020, the number of people earning high salaries had risen to 116, a 96% increase over 2017, and a 30% increase over the previous year.
Simultaneously, key management personnel salaries were in July 2020 £2,203,264, an increase of £420,000 since 2017 when it was £1,782,000. This amounts to a 24% increase in three years.
Colin Bailey’s salary currently amounts to £315,451, and he gets to live for free in a million pound university owned apartment.
Academic and administrative expenditures
In 2017, ‘Academic and related expenditure’ amounted to £208million, while the costs of ‘Administration and central services’ amounted to £57.5million.
In 2020, ‘Academic and related expenditure’ had risen to £233million, while the costs of ‘Administration and central services’ had risen to £94million.
Since Colin Bailey entered office, academic expenditure rose by 12% while administrative costs rose by 64%. The ratio between academic and administrative expenditure shrunk from 3.6 to 2.4.
And yet this isn’t a simple narrative of administrative staff numbers growing at the expense of academic staff. During this period the student body grew from 23,800 to about 27,000 (a 13.2% increase), but professional services staff were actually cut from 1,545 to 1,509. Workloads increased for academic and professional staff in several departments, not least in human resources.