To the Joint Trades Unions’ Local Pay Representatives

Dear Colleagues

Without prejudice

Thank you for submitting the Joint Trades Unions’ pay claim for 2021-22. We welcomed the opportunity on 7 June 2021 at our first local pay bargaining meeting to discuss your claim.  We would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for attending the Provost’s Board meeting on Tuesday 25 May 2021 to formally present your claim.

We understand that the objective of your pay claim is “maintaining, at a minimum, the value of pay at Imperial since we left national pay bargaining in 2005”.

As you are aware, last year the final national offer on pay was not to have an uplift for the year 2020-21, whilst all staff at Imperial benefitted from at least a 1.6% uplift, with the exception of President’s Board members who all declined the award. Since this period, the cumulative value of the College pay award has been at least 41.5% - has been greater than the total national pay award since 2005, when local pay bargaining was introduced. We recognise and acknowledge that this has not however fully matched London CPIH.

We note that your pay claim solely focuses on inflation. As mentioned at our meeting on 7 June 2021, when reviewing the level of investment in the pay award the College considers the Total Remuneration Package. As stated in our published pay principles, we consider: affordability, recruitment and retention data, higher education institutions and other sectors’ pay awards, and benchmark salaries.

Over the last year, the College has invested an average of 4% in salaries, please see the survivor analysis table at Appendix B. The College’s Total Remuneration Package (TRP) approach considers all elements of pay received by staff. This includes the annual automatic increments that benefit circa 60% of staff. For eligible academic and research staff, this will be an average increase of 4.3%; for support staff, 2.4%. The College completes an annual review of staff salaries against benchmark data which includes a review for equality purposes. Early analysis indicates that this approach is starting to see an overall reduction in gender and ethnicity pay gaps - through administering either one-off payments or adjustments to pay as part of the Pay Relativity process.

As part of this year’s review on the level of investment in our TRP, the College also intends to increase the Family Friendly budget to enable both parents to each receive up to a maximum of 16 weeks shared parental leave at full pay when they are both employed by the College. This change will be effective from 1 August 2021.


At our meeting on 7 June 2021, you were provided with an update on the College finances. This update showed that the College was in a sound financial position, with the unrestricted core operating cash generated in the current year expected to be more or less similar to pre-Coronavirus levels. Looking at income and spend, while we have seen an increase in income, but we have likewise seen a similar increase in expenditure, although it is unclear what impact a return to campus might have on this in the future.

Although not shared at our meeting, you are aware that the College and USS members will also see an increase in contributions from 1 October 2021. For the College, this represents a spend on USS staff pension costs of £58.9M in 2021/22, which is an increase from £51.6M in 2020/21.

The SAUL 2020 valuation has also concluded and the cost of future pensions will increase for employers only. The level of employer contribution will increase to 5% and will be phased, with a 3% rise from 1 April 2022 and the full 5% becoming payable from 1 January 2023. This represents a spend on SAUL staff pensions costs in 2021/22 of £19M (which is an increase from £17.3M in 2020/21). This spend is projected to rise to £23.2M in 2022/23 when the full increase has been implemented.

Cost of your pay claim

 Your headline claim is for an across-the-board increase of 2.1%, which would be a recurring cost of circa £10.7m (including £3.2m externally funded costs).

College Pay Offer 2020/21

The Provost’s Board appreciates the efforts you make on an annual basis as part of this process to represent the best interests of staff. The Board have carefully considered your pay claim, which you presented at the May Board meeting, alongside our principles we have already mentioned. The College’s average salaries continue to remain above both the London and Russell Group averages, helping the College to recruit and retain the high-calibre staff to deliver our mission.

We acknowledge the continued hard work of our staff during the challenging period of COVID-19 and for 2021-22 our pay offer is 1.5% across-the-board – this equates to a recurring cost of circa £7.6m (including £2.3m externally funded costs).

The College is committed to addressing equality pay gaps (gender and ethnicity) and have for the first time this year published our ethnicity pay gap. We are keen to extend this to disability when the level of reporting would allow this and are continuing to encourage staff to provide such information for equality monitoring purposes.

We thank you for your input to the work led by Professor Jonathan Weber, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and will continue to involve you as we take this forward.

This offer will be placed on the Local Pay Bargaining Webpage after our second negotiating meeting on 18 June 2021.

Yours sincerely

Audrey Fraser on behalf of the College negotiating team

Cc: Harbhajan Brar – Director of HR, Neil Alford – Associate Provost (Academic Planning), Tony Lawrence – Director of Finance, Jon Tucker – Faculty Operating Officer, Business School, Lynne Cox – Director of Research Office, Jane Neary – Director of Campus Services, Lois Wiggins – HR Reward Manager (Note taker), Emily Michael – HR Adviser (Reward, Engagement & Policy)

CC: Staff side representatives: Tom Pike – UCU, Michael McGarvey – UCU, Amanda Sackur - UCU, Tanya Hunt – Unison, Samuel Ferman – Unison, Darren Hickey – Unison, Susan Parker – Unite, Andrew Murray - Unite

Appendix A

College increases in comparison to National

Date of IncreaseHigher EducationImperial College London
 1 August 2006  Higher of 3% or £515  Higher of 3% or £590
 1 February 2007  1%  1.2%
 1 August 2007  3%  Higher of 3% or £490
 1 May 2008  Higher of 3% or £240  3%
 1 October 2008  5%  5%
 1 August 2009  0.5%  0.5%
 1 August 2010  0.4%  0.5%
 1 August 2011  £150 (0.5%)  Higher of 2% or £500
 1 August 2012  1%  Higher of 1% or £800
 1 August 2013  1%  2%
 1 August 2014  2%  2%
 1 August 2015  1% (with up to 2.65% on points 1 to 8)  Higher of 1% or £450
 1 August 2016  1.1% (with up to 3.1% on points 1 to 7)  1.2% on first £61,000, 0.5% on above
 1 August 2017  1.7% (with up to 2.4% on points 1 to 16)  2% on first £67,110, 0.5% on above (except SP1 which received 3%, and SP2 which got 2.5%)
 1 August 2018  Higher of 2% and £425  Higher of 3% or £1,000 – subject to maximum increase of £3,000
 1 August 2019  1.8% (with up to 3.65% on points 2 to 16)  5.3% to 1.5% (£1,080)
 1 August 2020  0  1.6%
Summary of the table's contents

 Appendix B

Survivor Analysis: Compares the same group of employees

This table uses the conditions in the yellow box below. Employees need to be employed in the two time periods (July 2020 and April 2021). It ranks employees by their FTE salary in July 2020 and puts them into groups of 250 employees, with the highest salaries ranking 1-250. It compares this group of individuals' salaries against their salary in April 2021.

This table compares the total sum of each group’s salaries as well as the average. This is then shown as a percentage difference from their previous salary.

In every ranked group, April 21 saw a higher average salary – which is expected. However, the largest increases were seen in the lower ranking groups. It is expected that job opportunities for career progression are more prevalent amongst these groups.

Survivor analysis is a useful way to understand the relative increase in basic salary pay for employees.

*Survivors exclude: Clinical or Nursing staff, Senior Research Investigators. This includes those who change grades

Average FTE IC Basic Salaries Jul 2020Average FTE Basic Salaries Apr 2021Difference in Ave FTE Basic SalariesAvergae of % Difference of Salary
 £155,554  £159,366  £3,812  2.5%
 £101,535  £104,274  £2,739  2.7%
 £85,612  £88,070  £2,458  2.9%
 £74,749  £77,164  £2,415  3.2%
 £68,514  £70,503  £1,989  2.9%
 £65,760  £67,648  £1,888  2.9%
 £61,503  £64,300  £2,797  4.5%
 £58,278  £60,427  £2,149  3.7%
 £56,725  £59,129  £2,404  4.2%
 £53,309  £55,823  £2,514  4.7%
 £50,378  £53,119  £2,741  5.4%
 £48,309  £50,585  £2,276  4.7%
 £47,496  £48,653  £1,157  2.4%
 £46,534  £47,648  £1,114  2.4%
 £45,312  £48,079  £2,768  6.1%
 £43,809  £46,432  £2,623  6.0%
 £42,974  £45,317  £2,342  5.5%
 £41,844  £44,442  £2,598  6.2%
 £40,460  £42,941  £2,482  6.1%
 £40,130  £42,398  £2,269  5.7%
 £39,079  £40,920  £1,841  4.7%
 £38,196  £39,951  £1,754  4.6%
 £37,089  £38,250  £1,161  3.1%
 £35,888  £37,970  £2,081  5.8%
 £33,717  £35,437  £1,720  5.1%
 £31,789  £33,388  £1,600  5.0%
 £28,232  £29,466  £1,235  4.4%
 £22,005  £23,418  £1,413  6.4%
 £53,525  £55,683  £2,158  4.0%
Summary of the table's contents