2019 pay negotiations with the employers began in early May. The employers’ body, the Universities & Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), has offered a pay rise of 1.8% (with higher increases up to 3.65% for the lowest grades), but no significant action on gender pay, precarious contracts and workloads. This offer falls well short of our claim in all respects.

For more information see the full joint unions’ claim and the UCU page with latest updates on the national negotiations.

The ‘Pay Update’ page on the university’s For Staff website is misleading because the table of percentage increases starts with the higher increases for low grades, so at first glance it seems that the offer is for a reasonable increase across the board. But in fact this only applies to grade 4 and below. Most academic and academic related staff will be on grades 6 – 10.

At UCU Congress in May, delegates expressed profound dissatisfaction, particularly after years of below-inflation pay rises including 2% in 2018. Congress resolved to campaign to win an industrial action ballot on this next academic year, with equality and anti-casualisation at the heart of our claim.

We want the employers to work with us nationally to:

  • Tackle the scandal of casualisation (e.g. 65% of Leeds research staff and 36% of teaching-only staff are on fixed-term contracts)
  • Recognise and address excessive workloads
  • Real action on the gender pay gap (20.1% at Leeds)
  • A fair real-terms pay rise (1.8% doesn’t even cover inflation)

What happens next?

UCU’s Higher Education Committee (HEC) will meet on 28 June to agree the substance of and timetable for the national campaign.  We expect an industrial action ballot. We’ll keep Leeds members informed by email and through updates on this website.

Meanwhile, at Leeds we will keep pressing ahead with our local anti-casualisation claim and gender pay claim. We hope to see some significant action on these issues from university management during the next year.

New colleagues who aren’t UCU members?

Please help us to to keep this branch of UCU strong by encouraging new colleagues to join the union at ucu.org.uk/join.
Postgrads who teach can join the union for free: ucu.org.uk/free

Pay updates:


This page was last updated on 24 June 2019