Pay up, pay out and pay off 1

March 26, 2009

Your article on academic salaries states that the Higher Education Statistics Agency figures do not include the annual 3 per cent increment most academic staff would have received in 2007-08. Jocelyn Prudence, chief executive of the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, says that, once this increment is taken into account, the average annual pay rise for an academic increases to 9 per cent ("Pay packets of excellence", 19 March).

That is not the case. The Hesa average salary figures do include incremental increases. As the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education's review of finance and staff pay data said of the Hesa average salary in December 2008: "It will include the effect of any annual uplift in pay scales and additional increments or promotion increases, but excludes certain additional payments." Therefore, the average annual pay rise for an academic in 2007-08 was 5.7 per cent, not 9 per cent.

Sally Hunt, General secretary, University and College Union.

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