Let’s talk about pay

HE wages lag far behind the national average, and even behind public sector pay. Since 2009, our salaries have failed to keep pace with inflation. An annual pay increase 1% below RPI here, a year of pay freeze there – it didn’t seem much at the time. But it adds up – over the past ten years, the cumulative loss to our real-term pay was no less than 21%.

Let that sink in. You should be earning more than one fifth more, just to earn the same as you did ten years ago.

(Unless, of course, your work now is worth 21% less than in 2009.)

In a time of tough austerity you may be told that the universities can’t afford a pay rise, but this simply isn’t true. In 2016/17 UK universities reported a record surplus of £2.27bn.

And let’s compare pay:

let's compare pay

Add to this injustice the growing scandal of precarious contracts in HE, and the exorbitant housing prices and living costs in Oxford, and the picture gets truly grim.

With spending on buildings rising, university surpluses increasing and ever higher salaries at the top, UCU believes that the employers have their priorities badly wrong. It is staff who make a university what it is, and those who teach, research or work in professional services like libraries, IT or admin, deserve fair pay.

This is why UCU a submitted a pay claim based on the principle of ‘keep up and catch up’, involving an increase of 7.5% or £1500 (whichever is greater).

1 thought on “Let’s talk about pay

  1. Pingback: Are you working too much? – Oxford UCU Blog

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