How much do university lecturers earn and why are they striking?

How much do university lecturers earn and why are they striking?

Tens of thousands of university staff are set to go on strike on Monday March 20 in the first of three walkouts planned for this week.

About 70,000 members of the University and College Union (UCU) are set to take part in the action, spanning 150 universities across the UK. Strikes are also set to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Lecturers will be among those not turning up to work as a dispute over pay, contracts and pensions continues. Other academic staff are also walking out, as are librarians, technicians, security staff and catering workers.

The union’s higher education committee voted to continue industrial action last week and not to put the latest proposals from employers to a vote of its members.

So, how much do university staff earn?

How much does a university lecturer make in the UK?

In the United Kingdom, there is a pay spine known formally as the HE Single Pay Spine.

This is led by the UCU, which negotiates salaries, employment conditions and pay structure on behalf of higher education (HE) and further education (FE) institutions.

According to the 2019 HE Single Pay Spine and the typical 2019/20 university grade system, the average salary for university staff in the UK is £40,761 for a lecturer, £51,590 for a senior lecturer, £64,356 for an associate professor and £90,891 for a professor.

The vast majority of UK universities use the HE Single Pay Spine, however, a handful of institutions do not.

When not using the HE Single Pay Spine, staff salaries are regulated internally.

According to the 2018/19 HE Single Pay Spine and the 2019/20 grading levels the average salaries of research assistants, lecturers and professors include:

  • Graduate Research Assistant: £26,715 – £34,804 (average £30,760)

  • Associate Lecturer: £26,715 – £34,804 (average £30,760)

  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant: £29,176 – £34,804 (average £31,990)

  • Lecturer: £34,804 – £46,718 (average £40,761)

  • Research Fellow: £34,804 – £46,718 (average £40,761)

  • Senior Lecturer: £44,045 – £59,135 (average £51,590)

  • Senior Research Fellow: £44,045 – £59,135 (average £51,590)

  • Associate Professor: £55,750 – £72,962 (average £64,356)

  • Professor: £68,531 – £113,251 (average £90,891)

When are the next strikes by university workers and March?

Strike are planned for:

  • Monday, March 20

  • Tuesday March 21

  • Wednesday March 22