We Need Pay Ratios in Higher Education (HE)

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2018 Higher Education Service Group Conference
21 September 2017

Conference notes:

1)By the end of 2017, members in Higher Education will have lost the equivalent of one fifth of their pay since 2009/10.

2)At the same time, Senior Managers have seen their salaries consistently increase above the rate of inflation, with twenty-three Vice Chancellors taking an increase of 10% or more last year.

Conference further notes:

a)Political figures from across the party political spectrum have urged restraint in Higher Education Senior Management pay, variously calling on pay to remain below that of the Prime Minister (currently £150, 402 a year) and to exceed £150,000 in only exceptional circumstances. This is still approximately ten times the salary for a member of staff on New JNCHES pay spine point 2.

b)The University and College Union, UCU, already supports a 10:1 maximum pay ratio in Higher Education.

c)The Labour Party manifesto pledged to roll out maximum pay ratios in the public sector.

Conference believes:

i)The growing pay gap between high earners and most staff represents a strategically poor allocation of financial resources that exposes the lie told by Senior Managers that they cannot afford to pay their staff fairly;

ii)The worsening pay inequality also damages the reputation of Higher Education and sets the wrong example to our students;

iii)The implementation of a maximum 10:1 pay ratio between the highest and lowest paid staff would significantly reduce overall pay inequality, compliment national political demands and provide an incentive for Senior Managers to agree to fair pay rises for staff in future.

Conference therefore calls on the Service Group Executive to:

A)Seek the implementation of a maximum pay ratio in Higher Education of 10:1 through the JNCHES and other available negotiation and campaign mechanisms.

B)Encourage branches to utilise local campaigns, bargaining and democratic governance structures to encourage publishing of current maximum pay ratios and the introduction a maximum pay ratio of 10:1 by their employer.