Since 2009 the percentage of income spent on staff in Scottish Universities has declined from a sector average of 57% in 2009 to 55% in 2021 (Figures taken from HESA Statistics). That means Universities are making the choice to spend less on their staff than they have previously done, while your costs spiral, and wages decline.
According to the SFC’s sustainability review the percentage of income that Universities spend on staff costs in the HE sector is also expected to decline by 1% for the next 2 years.
In a sector where expenditure on staff is already low by international standards and where Universities are dependent on the expertise, commitment and hard work of their staff we think that is scandalous.
The question is not about whether there is money in Universities’ budgets to pay staff more – there is money. The question is where the employers choose to spend that money. The answer is clear - not on you.
For too long the priority has been anything but staff and that has meant your pay has lost value, with year after year of low pay offers. While the cost of living crisis is most pronounced this year, it’s a crisis that has hit HE staff more acutely because of the legacy of below inflationary pay awards since 2009. That is a deliberate strategy by your employers to push down HE staff pay so they can spend the money elsewhere.
We think it’s time to stop accepting such poor awards by your employers. We need to take action to ensure your employers are paying fair wages to their staff; staff who worked incredibly hard over the pandemic for their institutions and their students. If you value education, you must value education staff and that means fair wages, not real terms pay cuts year after year.
The EIS ULA Executive is urging you to vote YES to Action Short of Strike and YES to Strike Action in the current ballot.