VC Pay Outcry: The view from Cardiff

Despite calls to improve transparency around senior pay at universities, four-fifths of institutions (81%) still allowed their vice-chancellor to attend meetings where their pay was set last year, and only a third (32%) provided full minutes of the meeting, according to UCU research on VC’s.

Cardiff Uni boss Colin Riordan, while not a member of the local remuneration committee, still attends the body which sets his own considerable pay packet.

Prof Riordan currently got £298,000 in pay and bonuses in 2018, up a whopping £51,000 on the year before. This figure is clearly obscene at a time when we’re facing the loss of 380 jobs over 5 years as part of “Transforming Cardiff”; when staff have lost 20% of the value of their pay since 2009; when precariously-employed colleagues scramble for job security; and when so many of us lost so much in strike deductions last year.

That the VC gets to sit in on the meetings that grant him such princely pay rises is just a further insult to his staff.

The Guardian covered the national story , and the UCU has covered it as well

For info on the Cardiff VC’s pay see p.43 of the latest annual report.

One Month On, What Does the Election of Jo Grady Mean for UCU?

One month ago, Jo Grady was elected as our next General Secretary. What does this mean for rank and file voices in the union and for our prospects of beating back the employers’ assault?

In this piece, written for the UCU Branch Solidarity Network, Lesley McGorrigan (Leeds UCU), Andy Williams (Cardiff UCU), and Marian Carty (Goldsmiths UCU) give their personal takes: What does Jo Grady mean for the UCU

If you’d like to write a piece for the Branch Solidarity Network, or have suggestions for future blog posts, you can email: 

Appeal for volunteer case workers: Your colleagues need YOU!

All union branches are powered by oodles of “unseen” voluntary work carried out by branch officers and active members. In this very real sense the Union is powered by its members, and is only as effective as its membership is active, informed, and engaged.

Case work is one of the most important, but least appreciated, examples of this invisible Union work. It involves representing and supporting individuals or groups of members experiencing difficulties in their jobs.


The Cardiff UCU Case Work team is always very busy, but it is currently going through a big spike in demand – made even worse by the current (and unnecessary) “Transforming Cardiff” cuts.

If you have previously done Case Work at Cardiff or one of your other workplaces, and don’t currently, please consider volunteering again now;

If you’ve never done case work but would consider volunteering to help out with this extremely good, and often very rewarding, job please get in touch (

You can find out more on the national UCU site about what case work involves, and how it’s done. If you volunteer, you will not be sent into the field unsupported, and the union has excellent training which prepares you very well.