UK university staff have been offered a pay increase of 2 per cent for 2018-19.
The final pay offer was made by the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, which negotiates pay for 147 UK higher education institutions, in its third meeting with union representatives on 10 May.
The proposed deal includes higher pay uplift for the lower paid, with base pay for all staff increasing by between 2 and 2.8 per cent. This marks an increase on previous the 1.7 per cent pay rise proposed in Ucea’s second meeting with union representatives.
Overall, it would mean that the average pay increase received by the sector employees covered would be 3.5 per cent once additional incremental rises linked to seniority are considered, said Ucea.
Ucea said it means the average pay increase is above the current inflation rate, which was 2.5 per cent in March, as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Trade unions have asked for a 7.5 per cent pay increase – or £1,500, whichever is greater – as well as a £10 minimum wage that would result in all higher education institutions become “living wage” employers.
The new offer also includes proposals for “new and important joint sector-level work on the gender pay gap and casual employment”, Ucea said.
Mark Smith, vice-chancellor of Lancaster University and chair of Ucea, said the offer is one that “some of our HE institutions will find financially challenging” but “we have sought to provide a balanced and fair offer to reach the best achievable outcome that maintains sector pay competitiveness despite ongoing uncertainties”.
“The current context constitutes what is an extremely testing time for all in our sector and we hope that this considered final offer will be received positively by the trade unions and their members’ feedback sought,” he added.