Anjum Nahar and Zak Coleman proposed the bonus and pay riseAlex Parnham-Cope

The Students’ Union (SU) has given sabbatical officers a £450 bonus and a pay rise for next year’s team.

Both motions were proposed by the postgraduate and undergraduate presidents, Anjum Nahar and Zak Coleman, at the Easter Student Council meeting (16/5).

The motion for a £450 bonus passed by a slim majority, with only eight out of 16 voting in favour. Two members of the Council voted against and six abstained.

A source claimed the four sabbatical officers in attendance didn’t vote after attendees pointed out their potential conflict of interest.

Nahar and Coleman justified the bonus by pointing to the “negative impact” on sabbs’ wellbeing caused by the extra work that had to be taken on following the women’s officer’s resignation in January.

The extra workload allegedly involved “disciplinary procedures campaign work, Reclaim the Night, supporting the Cambridge Period Project, responding to drink spiking incidents, and other relevant duties”.

Milo Eyre-Morgan, the women’s officer, resigned for unexplained reasons.

In another vote, also proposed by Nahar and Coleman, 14 voted to up sabbs’ pay from £21,518 to £23,024 (before tax) for the 2022/23 academic year with two abstaining.

The motion justified the pay rise by claiming that sabbs are paid “drastically less” than their London counterparts despite a similar cost of living in Cambridge.

The motion concluded: “no member of the University should suffer from financial hardship while the Vice Chancellor’s pay continues to increase and the endowment continues to grow”.

One council member claimed both votes were “rubberstamped” and “rushed” through.


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Sabbatical officers defended the move by saying the motion “acknowledges the extra workload we have taken on in the absence of a Women’s Officer, and thanks the Council for their broad support, and for their productive amendment. We urge Varsity readers to examine the detailed motion in order to understand the full picture.

“Our by-laws are regularly reviewed, and the unprecedented nature of this motion has triggered a review of how best to deal with motions such as this one in the future.”

However, one SU council member told Varsity: “There needs to be better mechanisms to determine the pay of sabbs especially not by the sabbs and their teams”.