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Professorial pay consultation

Dear all,

This communication is for Professorial members of Bath UCU.

As part of the ongoing consultation on a new Professorial Pay Scale, Bath UCU negotiators are seeking your views/feedback on the latest document produced by the University.

Bath UCU’s previous response/counter proposal to the University’s initial consultation document offer important context and information and can be found on the branch webstite.

The University has produced a further set of proposals, covering some of the elements that were not yet included in their initial document: e.g., suggested criteria and process for moving within the proposed professorial pay bands, and between those bands, and a proposed procedure. This document is here.

As might be expected at this stage of the consultation and negotiation, the University response does not yet address  UCU’s concerns previously raised regarding the proposed length of the pay scale, or where individuals will be initially placed on any new scale. Neither does it address Bath UCU’s request for an appeals process; UCU’s proposal was for an advisory board to make a recommendation to a pay board. The structure of the advisory board in the University’s proposal is slightly different, and members may want to consider whether that would be satisfactory if the membership of the advisory board is rotated.

Further comments on the proposals and negotiator views can be found below.

The next phase is to organise a meeting of Professorial members to collect feedback. Once feedback has been gathered on these further aspects of the proposals, and UCU’s response and alternatives submitted, we will enter negotiations.

Peter Hall

Sent on behalf of Bath UCU Committee

Initial comments on documents:

  • The basis for professorial pay should be an extension of the 51 point pay spine by evenly spaced increments (the 51 point pay spine increases at approximately 3% increments).

The most recent document from the University makes no mention of the number of steps. Their first proposal uses 42 steps, with a 1.5% increment between steps. Our proposal asked for a 24 point scale, closer to the union’s national and similar to Leeds, Bristol and others.

  • The length of the grade(s) should be in line with good practice taking into account the need to ensure equal pay for work of equal value and any potential equality issues.

The monetary distance the scale spans is in line with UK practice (compared to elsewhere, e.g. Ireland, however, UK practice is bad practice). Equality issues are mentioned in the new document, but the views of colleagues on e.g. Gender Pay Gap would be welcome. A specific issue here is initial placement onto the new scale. This was raised independently by several colleagues during the initial consultation.

  • Where the institution wishes to extend pay beyond a single agreed professorial grade then this should be done by the introduction of further professorial grades.

UCU’s starting point is that in every professorial grade there should be expected annual progression to the top of the grade. The branch committee has concerns that the section ‘Progression within a band’ proposes that even when professors perform at the expected level, they would not move up the pay scale. Members may view it as appropriate also that where staff are performing largely at the expected level – some elements above, etc. – that a move of more than a single pay point would be appropriate.

  • From an EDI perspective, if there is more than one professorial grade there must be equal access to apply for progression or promotion to the next grade based on the agreed profile for the relevant grade. There must also be equal opportunity to undertake activities that are necessary for progression to contribution points and / or the next grade.

We would particularly welcome your feedback on the suggested criteria for movement within a pay band, or for entry to the next band/grade in the context of EDI considerations.


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