You will recall that, earlier this year, your union issued a consultative ballot over the pay issue, and that members voted to reject the 1% pay offer. In the next few weeks, we want to offer some information to contextualise the union's concerns.
Today's is the first of these messages: you are being paid significantly less in real terms than you were five years ago.
In 2010, the annual change in inflation (RPI) was 4.6%, but your pay increased by 0.4%. A pay cut in real terms.
In 2011, the inflation increase was 5.2%, but your pay increased by 0.3%. A pay cut in real terms.
In 2012, the inflation increase was 3.2%, but your pay increased by 1%. A pay cut in real terms.
In 2013, the inflation increase was 3%, but your pay increased by 1%. A pay cut in real terms.
In 2014, the inflation increase was 2.4%, and your pay increased by 2%, following a dispute. Still, a pay cut in real terms.
The last five pay settlements, then, amount to a 4.8% increase in pay for most HE staff.
Cumulative inflation over the same period rose by about 19.8%. This represents an average pay cut in real-terms take-home pay of 15%. Some will have lost more.
Over the same time, many of you will have seen further cuts to your take-home pay in the shape of the over-inflation rise in transport costs (West Yorkshire rail fares rose by 6.2% in 2014, then 3.5% for 2015, for example). This erosion of take-home pay will be exacerbated further by the increase in pension contributions and potential increase in national insurance payments.
[with thanks to Mark Taylor-Batty, President, Leeds UCU]
November 9th is #EqualPayDay
From this day until the end of the year women are working for free, as the gender pay gap for full-time work is 14.2%. At current rates of progress it will take 50 years for it to close. The Prime Minister has said he wants to close the gender pay gap 'in a generation'.
Despite the welcome focus on the gender pay gap there is more that government and employers need to do.