Almost 70 members of staff at the cash-strapped University of East Anglia are paid more than £100,000 a year, a new analysis has revealed.

The figures have emerged at a time of financial turmoil for the organisation which recently warned it will have to make job cuts and has just cancelled a real terms pay rise for its lowest-paid workers.

In total, 67 staff members at the campus earned a six-figure salary last year, including a dozen who were paid more than £150,000.

The highest earner - vice-chancellor David Richardson, who resigned last month in the wake of the financial crisis - received more than £250,000.

The figures have angered the university's Unison branch, which has called on the UEA to bring in a salary cap of £100,000.

Eastern Daily Press:

The extent of the turmoil at the UEA emerged last month, when it revealed its financial deficit was far greater than initially feared and that it needed to make £45m of savings in the next three years. The university has seen application numbers flag in recent years, with the number of foreign students far lower than before the pandemic.

The news prompted more than 123 academics to sign an extraordinary open letter warning the situation was "out of control" and the institution was at risk of becoming insolvent - a claim the UEA has strongly denied.

The academics warned that the university's efforts to restore its finances would see at least two faculties turned into teaching-intensive ‘cash cows’, which they said would have a "disastrous impact" on student recruitment. Again, university bosses have denied the claims.

The latest in a series of cost-saving measures at the campus has seen the university make the "difficult decision" not to award staff an annual real living wage increase, which was due to be introduced in April.

Eastern Daily Press: Christine Bovis-Cnossen, acting vice-chancellor of the UEA. Picture: UEAChristine Bovis-Cnossen, acting vice-chancellor of the UEA. Picture: UEA (Image: UEA)

The decision - which mainly affects the university's non-academic staff including around 300 cleaners - has angered union bosses.

Amanda Chenery-Howes, Unison's UEA branch secretary, said: "UEA's top managers won't feel the pinch from this decision to hold down wages during a cost of living crisis - they are still sitting pretty on their six-figure salaries.

"But for the university's nursery staff and cleaners, the real living wage means being able to feed their families and heat their homes.

"It is simply unacceptable for the people who drove UEA over a financial cliff to expect their lowest-paid employees, hailed as heroes during the pandemic, to cushion the fall."

The UEA employs around 4,000 people.

Eastern Daily Press: Prof David Richardson, vice chancellor of the University of East Anglia

The figure of 67 people earning more than £100,000 compares with 47 at Loughborough University and 38 at the University of Kent, which are both comparable institutions in terms of rankings.

Capping all 67 of those salaries at £100,000 could save the UEA up to £2.14m a year.

But the university says the salaries are driven by market forces and are benchmarked against other universities.

Acting vice-chancellor Christine Bovis-Cnossen said a salary cap was not currently being considered.

The UEA is not alone in withdrawing from the real living wage promise. City College Norwich also opted against the uplift.

Prof Bovis-Cnossen said: "This has been a hugely difficult decision.

"UEA has been an accredited living wage employer since April 2019, with 300 staff benefitting from the annual increase to their hourly pay during that time - and we continued to support that through Covid.

"But due to our financial situation we have reluctantly had to withdraw from our commitment to real living wage, in line with our other cost-saving measures.

"We are committed to keeping the national pay award deferral dates under review and if our financial outlook improves, we would look to implement to pay award sooner."

The university has also said it will be postponing an annual pay rise that was due to be given to its academic staff.

A UEA spokeswoman said: "These measures support the university's aim to mitigate as many compulsory redundancies as possible."