• Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

University staff gain an additional £25 million per year through pay grade increases

ByJack Davies

Feb 6, 2024
50 pound notes

Over 5,000 staff at the University of Edinburgh will receive a pay increase this Spring as the university adjusts its pay grades.

All University of Edinburgh pay grades are moving up the national pay spine to simplify the system and allow for more automatic increments before staff reach the top of the grade. 

As a result, almost all staff will be eligible for an automatic increment from 1 August 2024.

A university spokesperson told The Student that the pay scale revisions will result in an additional £25 million per year being invested in staff remuneration.

The changes will address the erosion of differential pay at lower pay grades caused by recent uplifts in the real living wage. 

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The university – an accredited Living Wage employer – updated staff salaries last November following an independently set increase in the real living wage to £12.00 an hour. 

The changes will generally not affect those on an off-scale salary. 

They were planned through a 15-month collaboration with the university’s three recognised trade unions: the University College Union (UCU), Unison and Unite. 

In a joint statement in December, they said that the revisions would “be very much welcomed” and “help with recruitment and retention of staff”.

A 2022 poll of 1,200 higher education staff by Times Higher Education found that 44% were considering leaving the sector in the next five years, with workload cited as a key reason. 

UCU Edinburgh’s membership voted to approve the pay scale revisions, with 96% voting to accept the changes. The Edinburgh branch’s co-presidents, Sophia Woodman and Cat Wayland, told The Student that:

“The joint unions wanted and pushed for a more equitable package, but we welcome the benefits these changes will bring to many of our members. 

“We hope that our employer will continue to take steps to address pay inequity across the institution, and we are working with management to address other issues of concern to members, such as casualisation and workload.” 

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This sentiment was echoed by one university administrator who said to The Student:

“Personally, while I’m glad my salary is going up, I still think that I am underpaid for the work I do, particularly given the prestige of the University. 

“If the University wants to continue attracting bright, talented young graduates to work in student systems and administration, salaries will need to increase further in line with the actual cost of living in Edinburgh.”

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