• Tue. May 28th, 2024

Peter Mathieson returns to full salary despite COVID cuts

ByLiberty Phelan

Feb 10, 2021

Peter Mathieson, the University of Edinburgh’s principal, will have his pay restored to pre-Covid levels, a university spokesperson has confirmed. Last April, Mathieson stated the university was facing a drop in income ‘in the region of £70-150 million’, and announced cost-cutting measures including senior staff pay cuts.

Since then, recruitment has been paused for six months apart from exceptional circumstances and non-essential construction has been put on hold. Additionally, the University and College Union is currently involved in negotiations over whether University staff should accept a real terms cut in pay, as universities across Scotland have offered a 0% increase. Mathieson’s pre-pandemic salary is reported to be approximately£340,000, not including other perks and benefits available to him.

There has been widespread anger among the Edinburgh student community this year over the drop in contact hours, cancelled graduations, and the University’s refusal to offer a no detriment policy, or lower fees.

A third year Edinburgh student commented “This looks really embarrassing for the university, offering real-terms pay cuts to its staff while reinstating their own eye-watering salaries. Unfortunately this is what I’ve come to expect from the university and it’s getting pretty exhausting.” Another student commented “the uni has fobbed us off and fobbed their staff off.”

The university spokesperson stated that “In April 2020, Professor Mathieson and his senior team took a pay cut for six months due to the impact of Covid-19. This took effect…from August 2020…His salary has now returned to its original level.

“Professor Mathieson has not accepted a pay rise since he took up his post in 2018, and this year, neither he nor his senior team will receive a pay rise.”

The Student has contacted the Edinburgh University Students Association and the University and Colleges Union for comments, coming soon.

Image: Neil Hanna