Figures from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) illustrate how academic pay at UK universities has stalled since the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent tightening of public sector budgets.
From the 2008-09 academic year onwards, the percentage of academics in different salary bands appears to become static, reflecting years of below inflation pay rises.
According to Efficiency, Effectiveness and Value for Money, a report into value for money in the sector published in February this year, since 2009 the academic pay spine has risen just 5.4 per cent against inflation of 17.2 per cent over the same period.
Before that, from 2004 to 2009, academics’ salaries rose steadily after a number of major reviews argued that the sector was underpaid, the report explains.
Earlier this year, Ucea, the university employer organisation, offered a 1 per cent pay rise for the 2015-16 academic year, although this was rejected by the University and College Union in July.