UCL News


Outcome of the 2015 national pay negotiations

28 October 2015

Completion of pay negotiations The University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) made a full and final offer for the 2015-16 pay round at the final negotiating meeting held on 12 May.

Cruciform Building The details of this offer and the trade union response were highlighted in an update in TheWeek@UCL on 19 August 2015. The final offer is for a base pay uplift of between 2.65% and 1% (the larger increases are on the first eight points of the national pay spine), against a backdrop of CPI at 0.1%. Two of the trade unions (UNISON and GMB) emphatically accepted the offer at the outset, but three (UCU, Unite and EIS) rejected it and invoked the Dispute Resolution procedure.

The Dispute Resolution procedure has now been completed, with two meetings in September, where the employers' offer remained unchanged. Four of the five sector trade unions, including all those recognised by UCL, have now brought the dispute to an end following consultation with members or branches.

The pay uplifts are at the limits of what is realistic and affordable for HE institutions with the basic pay uplift just one element in the total pay, reward and recognition envelope. It should be noted that all points on the UCL payscale, including London Allowance, exceed the national London Living Wage rate.

The pay award, including back pay to 1 August 2015, will be made in the November payroll. Through the national negotiation machinery, joint work on gender pay and casual employment - important issues to employers and trade unions alike - will proceed further. 

Increase to the London Allowance

Separate to the national negotiation framework, UCL has received additional communication from the three UCL recognised trade unions - UCU, UNISON and Unite - requesting an immediate increase in London Allowance (LA) to £4,000 pa plus an agreed method of annually increasing LA by a minimum of either the nationally agreed annual percentage pay rise or annual average Retail Prices Index (RPI) (whichever is higher).

It is acknowledged that the cost of living or working in London is more expensive than many other parts of the UK, however LA is just one element of the total reward package.

UCL, unlike some other London based Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), has always raised LA in line with the national negotiated pay award. National pay negotiations take into account the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), the accepted national marker, as opposed to RPI. Currently UCL pays one of the highest LA rates in comparison to other pre-92 HEIs.

An immediate uplift to £4,000 pa is estimated would cost over £13m with on-costs. Any such increase could only be realised through an impact on staffing numbers, which we would very much wish to avoid. We are very happy to confirm that UCL's current policy is to continue to apply the salary increases agreed as part of national pay negotiations, for as long as we participate in those negotiations.

For more information on the London Allowance claim, please visit this link: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/docs/london-allowance.php