Some HE pay myths de-bunked

Myth 1:
The UCU demand of a 7.5% pay rise is completely unreasonable

HE sector 7.5_ raise vs public sector pay

Even IF our demand of a 7.5% pay rise was met – the wages in HE
would still be lower than other public sector wages

Myth 2:
But… surely, compared to all wages nationwide…?

HE, public sector, inflation adjusted wages from 2009

Nope. Wages in HE are still not looking good.
We are still more than 5% behind.

Myth 3:
Staff costs are increasing anyway. We can’t add an extra 7.5% on that

HE sector 7._ raise in staff costs

Actually, staff costs in HE are on the decline. If our demand for a 7.5% pay rise went through, staff costs would be about where they used to be ten years ago,
in relation to university income.

Myth 4:
But, talking about university income: There is no money in HE. Universities simply can’t afford higher pay rises


…Shall we start with the £2.5 billion surplus?

It’s all about priorities!

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.

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).

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.


With thanks to Was and the Cambridge UCU GTVO team
for making the charts.

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