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UCU calls proposed pay raise ‘not enough’

By Sydney Martin

The University and College Union is demanding a 25% increase in wages to keep up with increasing cost of living.

The University and College Union (UCU) said the proposed pay raise from the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) is “not enough” and are calling for more strike action in the coming months. 

The offer, explained in a letter from the UCEA, represented a series of staggered increases, with those earning less than £22,662 getting a 7% raise and those earning up to £50,300 getting a 5% raise. While this represents a significant increase, the UCU is demanding a 25% raise to account for the current cost of living crisis affecting the country. 

In the letter, the UCEA wrote  “while employers have a great deal of sympathy with staff coping with cost of living pressures, no [higher education institution] could offer a pay award that would get close to current levels of inflation.” 

Universities are also feeling the strain of the current economic crisis, dealing with “stretched finances” and diminishing funds, according to the letter from UCEA. 

The strikes- sparked by a lack of salary increases to keep up with the rising cost of living throughout the UK- caused disruptions at over 150 universities across the country last November. 

In response, UCU general secretary Jo Grady said in an open letter that “…this is not enough. It doesn’t cover last year and doesn’t do enough to mitigate either the cost-of-living crisis or the years of pay decline that our members have suffered.” The UCU is continuing to put pressure on the UCEA, urging them to revise their offer in order to settle the dispute. 

Grady stated in a post on Twitter that “every single university in the UK will be shut down with 18 days of strike action across February and March.” 

So far, strikes at universities- including the University of Glasgow- have been announced to start on 1 February, with more dates to be announced in the coming days. 


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