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On the current pay dispute: Understanding the impact on academic related colleagues

A message from a member in an academic related role who wishes to remain anonymous

I’ve been working at the university for over 15 years in an academic related role.  When I started it was at the bottom of the grade 7 payscale, and during that time UCU secured a good pay rise after strike action in 2006.   I progressed up the scale, and for the last 9 years I have been at the top of the scale (except for discretionary points).  I have family and friends in the area, so moving away would be difficult, but I’ve noticed that since 2010 my pay is eaten into by higher pension contributions, carpark costs and an increased cost of living.  There seem to be very few people who are promoted in the academic related areas and I don’t know anyone who has moved onto the discretionary points in recent years.  My sense is that it would require a great deal of additional work and my family commitments make that difficult.

I have always believed that the government’s austerity agenda is based on ideology, rather than a need to genuinely cut public finances.  10 years after the 2008 financial crash, pay rises should be higher to deal with the cost of living.  Given that universities find millions to spend on buildings, I think that Vice Chancellors should recognize that staff are the greatest asset, and reward them accordingly.