UCEA Pay Settlements

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association conducts the annual inflation-based uplift to the national pay scale for Universities. It negotiates with UCU, UNISON, Unite, EIS and GMB through a committee known as JNCHES.

The mapping of posts to the national pay scale is determined by individual institutions. It is not the case that, for instance, the postdoc, or lecturer, scale is the same at all UK Universities. Some London institutions also have a London Weighting allowance. The nationally-agreed part of the payscale stops at point 51, currently around £65k. Many posts in Universities will be above this point, and are not tied to the national negotiations.

In recent years it has been common for the lower points on the national scale to receive a larger percentage uplift. This generally reduces gradually down to the general uplift amount by around £25k. Whereas the pay spine had 3% steps when it was introduced, the use of greater settlements for the lower points has led to a compression at the low end of the scale, and the steps now start at just 1.5%.

The award always takes effect from 1st August. In Cambridge it is often not actually paid until September or October, but when it is paid it is back-dated to 1st August.

YearSettlementSettlement
(low waged)
August
CPI
August
RPI
20223.0%9.0%
20211.5%3.6%3.2%4.8%
20200.0%0.2%0.5%
20191.8%3.65%1.7%2.6%
20182.0%£4252.7%3.5%
20171.7%2.4%2.9%3.9%
20161.1%3.1%0.6%1.8%
20151.0%2.65%0.0%1.1%
20142.0%1.5%2.4%
20131.0%2.7%3.3%
20121.0%2.5%2.9%
2011£1504.5%5.2%
20100.4%3.1%4.7%
20090.5%1.6%-1.3%

Red highlights for figures below both CPI and RPI, green for figures above both CPI and RPI, leaving black between CPI and RPI.

The 2022 figure is based on the employers' "final" offer of 9th May 2022.

In both 2016 and 2019 the lowest point on the scale was eliminated, creating a more substantial uplift for those previously on it. If this effect were included, the increase for the lowest point in 2016 was 5%, and in 2019 it was 5.6%.

The correlation between the settlements and the August CPI figures is weak but positive.

(See also UCEA's table and the Governtment's table of inflation rates)