AS university staff in Bournemouth walk out today in the first of three two-hour stoppages in a row over pay, one of their unions has highlighted statistics on the salaries of the town’s vice chancellors.

The University and College Union says that staff have suffered a real-terms pay cut of 13 per cent in the past five years, while Bournemouth University and Arts University Bourne-mouth’s bosses have enjoyed increases of around 20 per cent in the past year.

It said that Professor Stuart Bartholomew, pictured, at the Arts University Bournemouth saw his pay rise by 21 per cent to £205,000, while and Professor John Vinney at Bourne-mouth University recei-ved an 18 per cent increase to a salary of £214,000 in 2012/13.

The Prime Minster earned £142,500.

University staff’s refusal to accept a one per cent pay offer prompted the current pay dispute with UK universities.

Union members took two days of strike action last year and will embark on the first of three short, sharp two-hour strikes today at 11am. The next strikes are due on Tuesday, 2-4pm and then on February 10, 9-11am.