National pay award and UCL pay increases


An update from Donna Dalrymple, UCL’s Chief People Officer.

Dear colleagues,

I am writing to tell you about the forthcoming increases to staff pay that will apply from your August salary payment.

National pay award

Pay levels are negotiated and decided nationally by Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA), who represent most UK universities including UCL. UCEA have now advised its members to implement their national pay offer for this year which equates to 3% for staff on all spinal points from 20 or above. Staff below this point will receive larger percentage rises, with a maximum of 8% for staff at spinal point 5, which is the lowest point used by UCL. The pay award results in a mean average award of 3.2%.

This staggered approach reflects UCEA’s commitment to prioritise increasing the salaries of the lowest paid staff, effectively grades 1 to 5 at UCL.

UCL is a London Living Wage accredited employed and the additional 8% for any staff at point 5, will raise our lowest rates further above that level. We will now work with our main suppliers to ensure their rates for contracted security, cleaning, portering and catering colleagues at UCL also increase in line with this change. This is in line with our continuing commitment for harmonised pay and core benefits for these staff.

UCEA members were determined to recognise employees’ hard work over the past year with this award. The final amount was at the limits of what UCEA believes can be achieved through national bargaining. We are aware that the trade unions who participate in these national pay negotiations have rejected UCEA’s offer. However, in the interests of ensuring colleagues receive the pay offer as quickly as possible, UCL is following UCEA’s guidance to implement the increase as soon as possible. Therefore, you will see this change in your August salary payment.

Incremental pay increases

In addition to the national pay award of 3% or more, over half of UCL staff below grade 10 will receive an automatic annual incremental rise this month. Most grades below 10 have a series of incremental steps which staff move up through each year until they reach the top point. Over half of staff (those not in probation and below the top point in their grade) below grade 10 will receive an increment this year. That is equivalent to an additional pay award of circa 3% of base salary for those staff. Together the national offer and incremental rise constitute an average pay increase of 5.2% in 2022 for non-clinical staff below grade 10.

We are also committed to working with our trade union colleagues to consider if there are any targeted reward mechanisms which we can determine locally to further recognise staff for the significant contributions we know that you make. We hope to have discussions in August, before taking any decision in September. We will of course inform you as soon as possible after that point if anything is agreed. While we are committed to finding the best solution, any locally or nationally agreed increase award needs to be sustainable and balanced with the significant financial pressures that UCL is facing in the challenging current environment.

Thank you for your commitment to supporting UCL and to each other.

With best wishes,

Donna Dalrymple
Chief People Officer

  • University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT (0) 20 7679 2000