The University and College Union is in formal dispute at Portsmouth University over plans to introduce performance-related pay.
The row centres on the detailed introduction of the historic 2004 "framework agreement" pay reforms. The framework introduced "contribution points" - performance-related extra points on the pay scale - to be made available according to the contribution staff are deemed to make.
The union is insisting that the extra pay should be available to any member of academic staff, and that most should eventually gain an award.
But managers want to introduce a merit-based scheme that more clearly links the extra cash to performance.
The union said that under Portsmouth's proposed scheme there would be no published criteria showing what academics would have to do to gain contribution points.
It pointed out that staff would have no right of appeal against a decision, and there would be two incremental points rather than three as proposed in the framework.
John Craven, Portsmouth vice-chancellor, said: "We will run two rounds of applications for contribution points in 2008, and then we will review the operation of the system."
He said that another campus union, Unison, had agreed with this approach.