Local Pay Negotiations until 2015

Local Pay Bargaining takes place on an annual basis at Imperial, involving negotiations between the College and the Joint Trade Unions (JTU), during which the joint Trade Unions negotiate pay on behalf of all staff at Imperial College whether or not they are members of a Trade Union.

Local Pay Negotiations 2015

The Joint Trade Unions at Imperial College have received from the employer a revised proposal concerning the 2015/16 pay settlement for College staff. In light of this new proposal (an increase on the employer’s previous ‘final’ offer, to 1% or £450) the current consultative ballot of UCU members is being halted.

The joint trade unions were informed by Imperial College management that the letter containing the ‘improved award’ was to be posted on the College’s pay bargaining webpages, thereby preventing the joint trade union negotiators from taking a considered view and responding within the context of the agreed pay negotiations framework at Imperial. This highly regrettable disregard for the agreed processes undermines recognition of the trade unions at Imperial College and puts at risk our ability to conduct pay negotiations in good faith.

The joint trade union negotiators will consider the letter from the employer and respond in due course; we note however that it will be impossible to consult with members on the new proposal in time for the management deadline of 1st August, a point that we believe must have been evident to the employer at the time the letter was drafted.

Documents from this year’s local pay bargaining negotiations, issued by the College and the JTUs during the pay negotiation process, are available on the Imperial College Local Pay Award web page and also from the links below:



Local Pay Negotiations 2014

UCU would like to thank the 2014 Joint Trade Union pay negotiation team, in particular Prof. Tom Pike, our IC UCU branch Vice President, again for his detailed financial analyses and for pointing out the numerous inaccuracies in the College financial calculations and to Amanda Sackur, our UCU Regional Representative, for her continuous and invaluable support.

The following documents from the 2014 local pay bargaining negotiations, issued by the College and the JTUs during the pay negotiation process, are available:



Local Pay Negotiations 2013

As part of the joint trade union negotiating group, UCU participated in negotiations over our claim for an increase in pay to reflect rising costs of living.

In response to representations from the Joint Trade Unions, who put forward detailed financial analyses and powerful arguments, the College management increased their initial offer of 1% + 0.5% for departments to award as discretionary pay increases for some, to 2% across the board.

A consultative ballot was held and members accept this offer. The full pay offer is as follows:

2% increase to all fixed and incremental points for all staff.

The new College cleaning contract will be awarded on the basis that cleaning staff are paid the minimum wage plus 20% for London costs (a very modest increase on current rates).

Discussions will continue on:

We reiterate UCU’s firm belief that Imperial College should offer the London Living Wage to all who work here and that College could afford to pay all its staff, not just the very few at the top, a salary that retains its value in real terms.

Local Pay Negotiations 2012

The Pay Negotiations for 2012 between management and Imperial’s joint trade unions, UCU, Unison and Unite, took place this year against the background of an unprecedented £95m surplus for College while the cumulative pay increase for Imperial staff over the last three years, at 3%, had fallen some way behind the corresponding inflation figure of 14%.

UCU were therefore very disappointed that management have been unable to offer more than a 1% increase, with an £800 floor, representing a further real-terms salary cut for all of our members. We have been frustrated by management’s refusal to recognise the damage that continuing cuts to real pay is having on staff, and the resulting erosion of loyalty at a critical stage of the REF cycle. Management presented a shopping list of over £700m of capital expenditure, while admitting that no plans exist as to how to phase such spending, demonstrating a failure to properly consider the balance of investment between staff and buildings.

Although not directly affecting UCU members, we were also dismayed that management were unwilling as a “matter of principle” to be tied to an externally determined pay scale, and will therefore not make paying a London living wage a condition for its contractors. In contrast, management stated that all who work as employees of College are paid above that rate. While College does not directly pay poverty-level wages,it is willing to employ contractors to do so. Management’s stance leaves Imperial as the only London Russell-group member not to commit to a living wage for all who work at these universities.

Finally, we were disappointed that management were unable to respect written undertakings on how negotiations were conducted. They brought pay talks to a halt and released their “final offer” without the discussion on communication to staff that both unions and management had agreed to. We will shortly be conducting a consultative ballot with our members. The Imperial UCU committee, alongside our sister union branches of Unsion and Unite, unanimously recommends rejection.

An Open Letter to the Rector from Imperial UCU

3 October 2012

Dear Rector,

Currently UCU is balloting its members on industrial action following consultation after pay negotiations were ended so abruptly. It is significant that 92% of UCU members rejected management’s offer compared to 70% nationally. This unhappiness reflects the continuing squeeze on our standard of living: pay increases have not kept up with inflation in any of the past four years and London costs have increased far more than UK average. Meanwhile, Imperial’s salary scales have fallen back to 2001 levels while last year’s surplus approached £100m.

Management’s response is disappointing: first, they question whether dissatisfaction is widespread; second they claim that the majority of staff will enjoy an above-inflation pay rise using a mathematical concoction that combines the current imposed pay rise with progression points. This latter claim horribly contorts the basis of how we are paid: under management’s logic those still on points (a minority of those who work at Imperial) now find that the real salary progression they might expect through an academic career is now regarded by management as a substitute for cost-of-living increases ‑ there is no real progression. And it makes it clear that those no longer on points can only expect their income to be eroded every year. Real pay is being cut at Imperial and it is very worrying that management is now resorting to a mathematical sleight of hand to try to indicate otherwise.

Given the failure of management, beyond these two inadequate responses, to address the issue of pay erosion, we have requested to take our dispute to you. We hope that you will agree to meet us. Here we would like to sketch some of the damage that we believe pay suppression is causing to Imperial.

Imperial is losing key academics in the run up to REF, particularly to UCL. Money is being cited as a factor. The latest THES figures show that non professorial academic staff at Imperial are getting paid on average less than the national average, let alone that of our London Russell Group comparators. This is causing real problems in recruiting good researchers, especially if they have to move to London. Often the only way to get critical staff is to pull them from existing projects. Such cannibalisation is unsustainable.

Staff at all levels feel that management is more interested in building up funds for off-site projects rather than investing in its staff. The siphoning of funds from the departments undermines any incentive to increase income, particularly from teaching. Departments see little benefit from additional fees while more teaching just produces more unrewarded work for staff. It is therefore unsurprising that admissions are going to be down by some 8% this year.

Staff have been dismayed by management’s refusal to commit to a London living wage for the very lowest paid. For many this is unfortunately emblematic of management’s current attitude to all those working at Imperial. It is notable that LSE employs the same cleaning contractor as here, but their cleaners receive a London living wage despite LSE having a smaller surplus than Imperial.

In the light of this, we can only reiterate our claim at the point where negotiations were cut short by management. Our claim is modest and affordable: if Imperial is to address the problems outlined above, next year’s pay offer will need to be much more generous Given that we are currently balloting on industrial action, we look forward to a timely response to our letter.

Yours sincerely,

Imperial UCU


Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *