UCU boss pockets £400k payoff a year after lambasting college principals as ‘greedy and hopelessly out of touch’

The general secretary of a leading college union who lambasted colleges for how much their principals earn was handed a £400,000 pay-off according to published accounts. 

The “post employment” payment to University and College Union boss Sally Hunt, as referred to in the UCU’s accounts, was in addition to salary, pension contributions and a car benefit. For the full year to 31 August 2018, Hunt’s basic salary was £107,448 according to the accounts

A University and College Union spokesperson told FE Week they could not comment on the settlement.

In 2018, after analysis showed a third of principals enjoyed a pay rise of more than 10 per cent in 2016/17, Hunt said those leaders who “pocket huge pay rises while pleading poverty on staff pay look greedy and hopelessly out of touch”. 

And in response to FE Week analysis in 2017 showing seventy-one college leaders had earned salaries of £150,000 or more in 2015/16, Hunt said the pay awards “show it’s one rule for staff and another for those at the top”. 

Hunt resigned from her post in February 2019 on health grounds. 

Sally Hunts remuneration according to the UCUs 201819 accounts

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  1. David Dickens

    And I thought fe week has changed for the better over the past few months

    But the normal exaggerated and misleading claims arose

    Her salary was £100k which is a fraction of overpaid principals

    Have a look at the pay offs for principals and you will find the cost to be a lot more than £400k- often for failing !

    Fe week – let’s have a look at lsect accounts !

    • Phil Hatton

      While making no comment or judgement about how well her union was led for the benefit of members, £400,000 does seem to be rather excessive and way more than might be expected from the salary of the position held. FE Week rightly highlight the comments made about the salary increases of some principals by the union along with facts about higher salaries of a minority of principals. This huge payout calls into question the governance and oversight of the union and if I were a member I would certainly be consider taking my business somewhere else. Many principals earn the same as she did, but their final payouts will be overseen by governors and a state run teachers pension scheme, who know that in FE expenditure needs to be accounted for.

  2. John Reilly

    A payoff of £400,000………. almost 400% of her base salary. That is outrageous, given all of that money eventually comes from individual taxpayers. No shame or, indeed, public comment. Does everybody who leaves the employment of UCU get the full 400%?