Dear colleagues,

Many of you will be aware that UCU have announced further strike action to take place in February and March. Following a re-ballot on the national pensions dispute and a ballot on local pay, Imperial will now be part of the national strike action on pensions and local strike action on pay. 

We understand the depth of feeling around both these important issues and remain committed to advocating strongly for you in the national pensions dispute and working with you on an overall remuneration package that is fair and sustainable.

Information and guidance for all staff on strike action and plans to minimise the impact and ensure our students can complete their degree programmes will be sent to Heads of Department this week. If you have specific questions or concerns please email strike-guidance@imperial.ac.uk.

National pensions negotiations

We are disappointed that UCU have announced strike action on pensions at a time when the national organisations involved, UCU, UUK and USS have, in their own words ‘continued to hold productive discussions’ on the 2020 valuation and the future of scheme. We strongly believe these talks are a positive way forward for all parties involved and we are encouraged to hear they will continue through February and March. You can find more information and summaries of the meetings held to date on our USS webpages.

UUK are consulting with USS employers on their initial views on JEP2 and how its recommendations might be applied to the 2020 valuation. We are meeting with Heads of Department and our UCU representatives and we invite you to send your feedback on JEP2 to provost@imperial.ac.uk by Friday 21 February. We will continue to respond to consultations and press for openness and transparency from all parties involved in the national discussions on USS. 

Local pay and benefits

We are privileged to have such dedicated and talented people as our colleagues and we are continuing to work with you to provide an overall remuneration package that is sustainable and fair and reflects the College’s standing as a world-leading university. Over the last few years we have targeted annual increases to our local pay award to provide greater benefit to the lower and middle grades where the impact of the cost of living and working in London is particularly challenging. We remain committed to maintaining competitive salaries for all staff – our local pay rates are amongst the best in the UK sector including when benchmarked against our London competitor institutions. We recognise the need to keep this under continuous review to ensure we can attract and retain our excellent staff. In parallel we are working on the use of fixed term contracts, managing workloads and addressing the gender pay gap. Later this year we will turn our attention to other benefits such as support for housing.

In the coming weeks we will be visiting departments to discuss pay and benefits and the outcomes of the Pay and Employment Benchmarking review. In the meantime, please send your views and ideas on overall remuneration as we embark on this further work to provost@imperial.ac.uk.

Best wishes

Alice and Ian

Professor Alice P. Gast, President

Professor Ian Walmsley, Provost