I am sure like me you choked on your cornflakes this morning when you read about the latest round of pay increases for vice-chancellors (VCs) and principals.
The comprehensive survey by Times Higher Education magazine shows a latest annual increase in pay and benefits (excluding pensions) of 6.1% for those at the top. One in five universities gave their leaders a rise of 10% or more. The Times Higher Education compares that to an average increase of 1.3% for staff over the same period.
Yet while university leaders have received pay increases many times higher than inflation, the final pay offer to staff of 1.1% is described by the employers as the “very best offer” possible. This simply cannot stand.
The union’s higher education committee (HEC) has agreed a comprehensive programme of industrial action aimed not just at improving this final offer but also persuading the employers to address the gender pay gap and the growth of casual contracts. Please give the union your support starting with the two days of strike action on Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 May.
Finally for today, I have been inundated with messages about the union’s appeal to external examiners to resign their posts and not take up new ones for the duration of the dispute. Many of you ask what notice you should give. UCU is not asking you to break your contract by giving incorrect notice. You must always give the requisite notice stipulated in your external examiners’ contract or accompanying handbook. Where no expressed ie. written notice period is given you must give a reasonable period of notice which will depend on the circumstances. If you require more detailed advice please contact Matt Waddup at email@example.com
Thank you for your support.
Sally Hunt UCU general secretary