Teaching salary structure - UCU membership accept offer
On 1 March, the UCU notified the College that its membership had voted to accept the offer for a new salary structure for Teaching Fellows.
The College will now begin to implement the new salary scale which will be effective from 1 April 2021.
You can download a copy of the without prejudice College full and final offer from the download link on the right-hand side of this page. Alternatively, an accessible version of this document is available below.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact someone from the College’s negotiating team.
Teaching salary structure - College final offer (accessible)
Teaching salary structure - College final offer (accessible)
12 February 2021
To the University and College Union Representatives – FULL AND FINAL OFFER
We appreciate and thank you for the effort that you have put into the negotiations for a new salary structure for the Teaching job family in these difficult times.
As you know, this job family has two pathways: Teaching Practitioner and Educational Research.
We have met on three occasions and during these meetings we have presented you with two options for a new salary structure. You have in turn presented a counterproposal to our options.
You have also asked that the remit of our salary structure negotiations be widened to include the job titles used for the Teaching Practitioner pathway and the terms and conditions for the Teaching job family. You presented on these issues at the January Provost’s Board meeting.
Finally, you have indicated that you would like these matters dealt with in the following order of priority: 1) address the salary structure; 2) consideration of the terms and conditions and job titles.
Thank you for your proposal, available for reference at Appendix A of this document.
We have carefully considered your proposed salary structure, which aligns the minimum salary value for each Teaching Practitioner grade against a mix of the College’s research and academic grades to achieve what you consider parity of esteem with the Academic job family.
Within the Teaching job family, staff employed on the Educational Research pathway, either as Associate Professor of/Reader of Education or Professor of Education, have duties which are in line with those on the Academic job family and they are subject to the Research Excellence Framework assessment. Therefore, these roles are paid in line with the minimum salaries for Readers and Professors on the Academic job family salary scale.
The staff employed on the Teaching Practitioner pathway provide an invaluable contribution to the College’s academic mission by focusing on teaching, with some staff undertaking some research, but research is not a prerequisite requirement to fulfil the duties of this role. This is similar to the invaluable contribution delivered by staff employed in the Research job family, some of whom also undertake some teaching. We acknowledge the duties for some Teaching Practitioners and Researchers are wider than the above description.
Unlike some higher education institutions, the College has separate job families for academic, teaching and research roles. All job families are viewed with parity of esteem within the College.
The individual contributions of both the Teaching and Research job families form part of what is required in the Academic job family. It is expected that Imperial College academics have an international and/or (emerging) national standing in their subject area and they are required to undertake research, teaching, leadership and management and profession and practice involvement.
We do not accept your proposal for the alignment of pay with a combination of the College’s research and academic grades. When determining levels of pay to enable the recruitment and retention of staff, the College reviews external benchmarks and positions pay at mid-to upper quartile. Our proposal takes these into account, and you can view additional information on this below.We agree with you that EdTech/learning technologists should remain as part of the Learning and Teaching job family and be considered as part of the Professional, Technical, Operational and Learning salary scale review.
Terms and conditions and job titles
You have asked for the College to consider:
- A reduction in the use of fixed-term contracts for teaching staff
- Enhancement of the terms and conditions to reflect those offered to academics: recognition of previous HEI/NHS service for family leave, and a percentage of time allocated for scholarship/personal development and sabbatical leave
- Teaching job titles to be revised to correspond to academic titles
College Full and Final Offer
Phase one – salary structure
Your proposal and presentations have been considered by the College negotiating team and shared with the Provost’s Board, who are extremely grateful for the contribution provided by our Teaching Fellows.
Against the backdrop of the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic and there being no obligation to introduce a new salary scale (unlike the obligation of annual pay award negotiations), Provost’s Board have agreed to increase the College offer and agreed to introduce a new grade equivalent to Level 7 to enable teaching staff to progress to the highest level.
The increased investment agreed by Provost’s Board means levels of pay are predominately above the London market and other Russell Group institutions. During the consultation process for this salary structure, the market (including pay of the College’s closest London-based competitor institutions) has developed further since initial salary benchmarking was completed. Acknowledging this, our proposed salary structure includes a transitional spine point for Teaching Fellows that will further increase the salary minimum for this grade over time, in a similar way to how the Academic and Research salary structures introduced in 2018 and 2019 made use of transitional spine points. The cost of the College offer is £630,000.
Table 1: College Teaching family proposed salary structure:
Salary structure with two pathways: Practitioner and Educational Research. * = non-automatic spine point
Assistant Teaching Fellow (Level 3a):
|Spine Point||Full-time annual salary|
Teaching Fellow (Level 3b):
|Spine Point||Full-time annual salary|
|19 - footnote 1||£44,434|
Senior Teaching Fellow (Level 4):
|Spine Point||Full-time annual salary|
Principal Teaching Fellow (Level 5):
|Spine Point||Full-time annual salary|
X Teaching Fellow (Level 6): fixed minimum £70,185
X Teaching Fellow (Level 7): fixed minimum £80,345
Footnote 1: We intend to review the role profiles for Teaching Fellows at the completion of the salary scale implementation work, which we will aim to do before the one-year anniversary of the new salary scale. An assessment will be undertaken within the same period (in advance of the one-year anniversary) to determine when spine point 19 should be removed.
Reader: fixed minimum £70,185
Professor of Education: fixed minimum £80,345
If this salary scale were implemented, the percentage increase staff would receive would be:
Min. salary current Professional, Technical & Operational scale (at 1 Aug 2020)
Min. salary Teaching scale
Professorial Teaching Fellow
Principal Teaching Fellow
Senior Teaching Fellow
Assistant Teaching Fellow
Table 2: Comparison of salary minimums between current and proposed salary structure.
Educational Research Pathway
The Educational Research pathway will continue to be remunerated in line with the relevant academic job family minimums: Reader (£70,185) and Professor (£80,345) minimums.
New Level 7 grade – X Teaching Fellows
Within the Teaching Practitioner pathway, the College proposes to introduce a new grade equivalent to Level 7 to enable full career progression for teaching staff. The requirements for the new grade will be developed and shared with you following conclusion of these negotiations. The grade title will be determined as part of the phase 2 work.
Level 6 – X Teaching FellowsThe grade continues to operate with a minimum salary, with increases based on achievement and contribution to the College, assessed against the Pay Relativity criteria.
Some areas have used the grade title ‘Professorial Teaching Fellow’. A new grade title will be determined as part of the phase 2 work.
Level 5 – Principal Teaching Fellows
The salary cap for this grade has been removed and individuals are able to receive pay above the salary scale maximum based on their achievement and contribution to the College, assessed against the Pay Relativity criteria.
Level 4 – Senior Teaching Fellows
The salary cap for this grade has been removed and individuals are able to receive pay above the salary scale maximum based on their achievement and contribution to the College, assessed against the Pay Relativity criteria.
Implementation and Transition
If the offer is accepted, all Teaching Fellows due to be moved to the new salary structure will be written to by HR to confirm the move.
We are aware that there may be a small number of Teaching Fellows employed within the Professional, Technical and Operational job family whose role profile matches the College Teaching role profiles. We will review these with you to determine if they should be moved to the Teaching job family and new salary scale.
The salary scale would be effective from 1 April 2021 and transition to the scale will be in line with the approach taken for the academic and research salary scales: at no detriment, with staff moved to the closest point on the new scale in line with their current salary.
In view of the level of work being undertaken across the College, Faculties/the Business School/Support Services will be able to determine the month the new structure is implemented in their area, which will be before the end of July 2021. For all Teaching staff moved to the new salary scale, pay will be effective from 1 April 2021. For areas that proceed with implementation in April, the new salary will be applied from that month. If implementation is after April 2021, the new salary will include back pay to 1 April 2021, e.g. if implementation is July, backpay for April, May and June will be applied.
Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap Analysis
If the proposed salary structure is to be implemented, the gender and ethnicity pay gaps for the job family are reduced and would continue to reduce further over time. Tables below show these figures.
|Count||Current Scale Mean Hourly Rate||Average Immediate Increase||New Scale Mean Hourly Rate|
|Grade||Male||Female||Total||Male||Female||Pay Gap||Male||Female||Male||Female||Pay Gap||Change In Pay Gap|
|X Teaching Fellow||16||10||26||47.89||53.73||(12.19%)||1.4%||0.0%||48.39||53.73||(11.04%)||1.16%|
|Principal Teaching Fellow||19||21||40||38.70||37.61||2.82%||1.0%||1.1%||39.07||38.02||2.69%||(0.13%)|
|Senior Teaching Fellow||67||80||147||30.68||30.34||1.11%||3.5%||4.4%||31.71||31.61||0.32%||(0.79%)|
|Assistant Teaching Fellow||4||2||6||19.49||19.74||(1.28%)||3.8%||4.7%||20.24||20.67||(2.12%)||(0.84%)|
|Overall (incl all grades)||155||173||334||31.02||30.33||2.22%||3.3%||3.71%||31.90||31.31||1.85%||(0.38%)|
Table 3: Change in gender pay gap on implementation of proposed salary structure
|Count||Current Scale Mean Hourly Rate||Average Immediate Increase||New Scale Mean Hourly Rate|
|New Grade||White||BAME||Total||White||BAME||Pay Gap||White||BAME||White||BAME||Pay Gap||Change In Pay Gap|
|X Teaching Fellow||16||9||25||49.03||52.67||(7.42%)||1.4%||0.0%||49.53||52.67||(6.34%)||1.08%|
|Principal Teaching Fellow||30||8||38||38.83||35.48||8.63%||0.9%||1.7%||39.16||36.09||7.84%||(0.79%)|
|Senior Teaching Fellow||106||28||134||30.45||31.20||(2.46%)||3.8%||3.7%||31.56||32.28||(2.28%)||0.18%|
|Assistant Teaching Fellow||3||1||4||20.06||19.24||4.09%||4.5%||3.0%||20.95||19.80||5.49%||1.40%|
Table 4: Change in ethnicity pay gap on implementation of proposed salary structure
Phase two – terms and conditions
Your request for the remit of our negotiations to be widened has been considered and Provost’s Board have agreed to set up a working group in the summer. The group will be co-chaired by the Interim Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) and the Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) and will review the elements of the Teaching and Research job families’ terms and conditions that you have raised, as well as job titles.
We propose to extend the remit to include a review of the role profiles for Teaching Fellows, which we will aim to do before the one-year anniversary of the new salary scale implementation. An assessment will be undertaken to determine when spine point 19 should be removed, in advance of the one-year anniversary. This will also include a review of the format and frequency of the promotion process for both job families. The review will aim to achieve equivalence and alignment between the two job families where appropriate. The terms of reference for the working group will be shared with you after they have been developed and agreed by Provost’s Board.
This is our full and final offer and is made on a without prejudice basis. We met with you on 10 February 2021 to answer any questions about the offer. We have taken on board your concerns and have reconfigured the salary scale in Table 1.
We now ask that you take this offer on behalf of the negotiating team to your membership. Our offer is made on a without prejudice basis and we would appreciate a response providing the view of your membership by Monday 1 March 2021.
Audrey Fraser on behalf of the College negotiating team
Cc: Emma McCoy – Interim Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience)
Leila Guerra – Vice Dean (Education), Business School
Martin Lupton – Vice-Dean (Education), Faculty of Medicine
Omar Matar – Vice-Dean (Education), Faculty of Engineering
Richard Thompson – Vice-Dean (Education), Faculty of Natural Sciences
Helen Young – Reward and HR Policy Adviser
CC: Staff side representatives
Charlotte Kestner – UCU
Eleonora D’Elia – UCU
Michael McGarvey – UCU
Vijay Tymms – UCU
Amanda Sackur – UCU
Tom Pike – UCU
Appendix A – UCU teaching structure proposal
A proposal on teaching fellows pay and conditions at Imperial College
Teaching fellows have revolutionised teaching and learning at Imperial College. Once thinly populated across a few isolated departments the last few years have seen a marked rise in numbers so now teaching fellows form ubiquitous and vital teams of people teaching, running, innovating in university learning & teaching. At the same time, the number of lecturers has remained static; the significant rise in student numbers has therefore been managed mostly by the employment of more teaching fellows. Over the last three years the teaching fellows have been instrumental in successful running of the curriculum review process and they are now proving to be essential to the College’s educational mission in seeing us thrive through the pandemic.
2018 was a critical year for the teaching fellows. As well as a sharp rise in hires around this time, and the securing of funding for educational research projects permitting many of the teaching fellow community to carry out a range of wonderful and far-reaching educational research projects, there was also released proposals for a new and exciting job structure for the role, promising parity between with academic job family and permitting people to move between practitioner and research job streams.
At around the same time academic job family salaries saw a significant rise following negotiations between management and the UCU. This left teaching fellows way behind in wages compared with colleagues they previously had parity with. The promise was that teaching fellows' pay would be looked at next and that this was coming soon. This never happened despite several nudges. This has left the teaching fellow community increasingly upset and angry with the College.
The opening of the grading negotiations was thus extremely welcome. As well as the pay issue we have consulted widely with the teaching fellow community and there are many things we can use this opportunity to remedy very easily. Teaching fellows are the heart and soul of the university’s teaching community and are an asset to be valued. What follows is our proposal of changes to the nature of the job family that will go a long way to allowing Imperial to continue to be the world leader in education it should be.
The four categories for consideration
The principal categories and subcategories; the remainder of the document explores these in detail.
- 1. Payscales:
- Get the T&L payscales aligned with those of the academics with the following mappings:
Teaching Fellow (TF) maps to Research Fellow (RF)
Senior Teaching Fellow (STF) maps to Lecturer Principal Teaching Fellow (PTF) maps to Reader
Professorial Teaching Fellow (PrTF) maps to Professor
- Implement a proportional move for individual current teaching fellows across to new salary scales.
- Introduce Teaching Fellowscholarship time into job contracts. Introduce Teaching Fellow
- Halt the use of short-term contracts, with the exception of very limited number of cases
where there is clear objective justification as outlined in law (for example related to maternity leave cover).
- Recognise importance of teaching.
- Change titles to Lecturer/Reader/Professor (practice).
- Bring the learning and teaching family in as a stream of the academic and research job family (the “academic job family”).
- Provide Teaching Fellows with equivalent maternity leave rights as academic staff. Confirm that all other terms and conditions are the same.
- Improve the office space provision for teaching fellows.
These are all discussed further in the document.
1a. PAYSCALE ALIGNMENT
1 a. Aligned pay scales:
- Parity of esteem
ii. Recommentions by the HEA report.
iii. Alignment with other Russell group institutions.
iv. Attracting high quality candidates and the noted dissatisfaction of TFs
- Addressing the gender/BAME pay gap.
vi. Proper reflection of job descriptions.
vii. Ease of movement between job families.
viii. Income coming from teaching.
ix. At the top levels it does not represent a big change at all.
- Curriculum review.
xi. Pandemic related.
More details on rationale
- i. Parity of Esteem
Imperial’s Teaching and learning strategy states:
“We will build a culture which values learning and teaching highly, rewards staff for their teaching and moves towards greater parity of esteem. In an environment in which teaching and research are equally valued, students and staff will experience a stronger sense of academic community. We will ensure that, as a College, we support the academic staff that are most engaged in teaching. We will visibly recognise their efforts to innovate our education and to create even more high quality and pioneering teaching environments. Our strategy will be most effective when our teaching staff are empowered to act courageously and feel embedded in this important change.”
There are several factors that contribute to parity of esteem, many of these are cultural and take time to change, and we do not claim that aligning pay scales will solve all the issues Imperial has around the disparity of esteem between research and teaching. However, pay scales and working conditions are significant factors over which College management does have control. Aligning pay and conditions in the T&L stream to that of the academic stream, is a necessary first step on the way to parity of esteem. Indeed, this is a step that comparator institutions have taken already.
On the other hand, refusing to take this step sends a clear message to those on the teaching and learning stream that their work is not valued equally. Many already feel this way, and because of this are considering pursuing their careers elsewhere, in institutions (of which there are many see part 1c.) that put teaching on an equal footing to research (at least when it comes to pay scales) or, in some cases, industry positions. Below are statements from teaching fellows to this effect:
“However, it is becoming more and more apparent that Imperial does not value teaching, and that ‘parity of esteem’ between teaching and research is so far off in this institution that I struggle to see how to commit to the institution in the long term.” Senior Teaching Fellow, FONS
“It is fair to say that I came to feel disrespected when the T&L payscale was overlooked, after others were awarded large rises.” Senior Teaching Fellow, FONS
“My salary is still below the 'PhD minimum' line drawn on the research pay scale. When comparing with a PDRA colleague who started and finished their PhD with me (same CDT), they are now earning £4k (~10%) more than me.” Teaching Fellow, Engineering.
“I worked for 2 years as a Postdoc at Imperial and then became a Teaching Fellow. I am now (after 3 years in the job) earning around £5k less than a postdoc, with far more pastoral care, teaching duties and being module leader in my department. It is just unfair.” Teaching Fellow, Engineering.
“The pay grade I entered at was only slightly less than what I had received in Industry, but an industrial position
would expect a larger annual pay increase than the College currently provide.” Senior Teaching Fellow, Engineering.
“I first started at Imperial in 1996 as an undergraduate student and stayed on for my PhD and Post Doc. I thought I was being loyal coming back to Imperial and not going to other institutions like UCL or Kings. However, it seems Imperial doesn’t really value my loyalty - I would like to be recognised and appreciated for the contributions I have made (not just by the department but by central college).” Senior Teaching fellow, Engineering.
“I do have a growing sense of the level of effort, importance of work and difficulties related to the objective of delivering high quality teaching in a fast changing context. I am aware of the responsibilities bourne [sic] by the teaching staff and the exciting but often stressful work processes that come with demands of performing at a consistently high level every year. For most of us, student sizes are expanding, new modes of technologies introduced every year, and our responsibilities for coordinating inputs from the wider academia in the college, and external partners, are getting ever more demanding. So a well-considered scrutiny of work inputs and relative importance to broader college objectives is necessary to do away with undue disparities that may just be lacking in inaccurate perception of roles, day to day inputs and the fast evolving higher education landscape.” Senior Teaching Fellow, Medcine.
Over the last months we have received several emails thanking us for our hard work, particularly in adapting our teaching to the new situation. These emails are insipid and patronising. If they are not backed up by something of substance, viz. a fair remuneration package, these messages are seen as nothing more than ridiculous.
The recommendations published by HEA in 2016 are quite clear on this point. See below specific recommendations:
We recommend that research-intensive institutions review their ‘job families’ to ensure that all staff with substantive posts as teachers and/or education leaders are (i) defined as academic, in line with the HESA definition, and (ii) afforded opportunities to rise to the most senior posts on the basis of the strength and scope of their contribution to the institution’s educational mission. If these recommendations cannot be effected, a clear rationale should be given to staff explaining why this is so, and parallel markers of esteem and opportunities for promotion should be developed.
Recommendation 9 (p10):
(i) define clearly the differences between threshold teaching professionalism, teaching excellence and effective education leadership, and (ii) ensure that education leaders receive equivalent markers of prestige and opportunities for promotion to those experienced by research-focused leaders, including the title of Professor, on the basis of their leadership in and impact on the education domain.
Recommendation 4 (p7):
We recommend that research-intensive institutions review promotion processes to ensure that (i) promotion panels have a diverse profile, fully inclusive of women and BME staff, (ii) panels represent academic expertise from both the research and education domains, (iii) all panel members are developed to understand issues of unconscious bias, and (iv) cases for promotion can be made by all educators, in any job family, on the basis of the strength of their overall contribution to the institution’s mission.
iii. Alignment with other Russell group Universities:
Numerous other Russell group Universities, including UCL, Kings College and LSE in London alone, have been taking a strong stance on the importance of teaching and the fundamental role teaching fellows play in their institutions. In the light of this, UK universities comparable with Imperial in prestige, have re-evaluated their stance with respect to teaching fellows. Many of them consider them on par with lecturers (See UCL Case Study below, where a merging of TFs on the academic scale was announced with all the included benefits). Many universities have proposed and implemented the new job description as “Lecturer in Teaching/Education/Practice” rather
than Teaching Fellow. Examples of this include Manchester , Kings, LSE , Bristol .
UCL have recently announced a drastic reworking of the teaching fellow job family to ensure parity of esteem and parity of salary for the academic family and the teaching family. In summary, these are the key points UCL has been working on and implemented:
? Parity of esteem between teaching and academic contracts
? Guaranteed workload time to allow for scholarship
? Change of job titles to underline parity of esteem, for example associate lecturer (teaching),
lecturer (teaching) and so on
? Open-ended contracts for teaching fellows.
? Academic and TF families appointed on the same pay scale.
For more detail, the full announcement is in the following link: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/human-
Moreover, as a comparison, ICL still has fixed-term contracts for Teaching fellows rather than the approach towards open-ended contracts other Russell Group universities have been adopting for this role.
iv. Attracting high quality candidates
Imperial does and should recruit teaching-focused staff internationally. This is an elite institution and as such students expect the highest calibre of teaching. There are very few countries that make the distinction that we do between a teaching and an ‘academic’ track for post-PhD qualified members of staff. We are thus competing for candidates who would be looking for academic positions in other countries. There are anecdotal reports from several departments of the difficulty in recruiting teaching fellows of the right calibre, not only because the pay is not sufficient but also because of the obvious lack of parity between the way teaching and research is regarded at Imperial. Moreover, there is similar anecdotal evidence that many Teaching Fellows are looking to move elsewhere, largely for the same reasons. The academic job family is benchmarked internationally. I see no reason why we shouldn’t use the same benchmarking for the T&L job family.
- Gender/BAME pay gap
Gender: It is well documented that within academia women struggle to achieve recognition for
their research, and get moved into teaching roles (see, for example p32 of the HEA report). This
seems to be played out quite obviously in the job families at Imperial:
- T&L job family is 52% female compared to 21% in the academic job family.
- The number of women in the T&L job family is high enough to make a significant
difference: there are 3.6 times more members of staff in the academic job family compared
to the T&L job family – yet there are only 1.5 times as many women in the academic job family.
- Even at the highest levels of the T&L job family there is good female representation (38%
prof TF compared to 18% at prof level).
These statistics demonstrate a systemic problem for women at Imperial and help explain the size of the gender pay gap here. What we are proposing will go some way to redressing the pay gap within Imperial, as well as create real progression within the job family to which many women can aspire. Without knowing details of the numbers of men and women at each spine point in the TF family it is hard to know the exact effect our proposal will have on the pay gap. However, see the figure below for numbers of academic and T&L job family combined under our proposal. This
Pipeline represents a significant rise in the female proportions at all levels, except for professor level – but realistic there would now be a clear and to that level within the T&L job stream.
Current academic Combined under our
Lecturer/senior lecturer 0.267157 0.318436
Reader 0.186916 0.402477
Professor 0.181658 0.190556
Total 0.211943 0.284928
Raising the pay of teaching fellows will significantly reduce the gender pay gap for academic grades.
BAME: The story is very similar to the one above.
- T&L job family is 25% BAME compared to 13% in the academic job family.
- The number of BAME in the T&L job family is high enough to make a difference: If you
consider the T&L and academic families together, over a third of the BAME staff are in
in the T&L job families (whereas the T&L family only represent about a fifth of this group).
- Even at the highest levels of the T&L job family there is good BAME representation (36%
prof TF compared to 9% at prof level).
Again without knowing precise data about where BAME members sit on the PTO scale it is hard to know the precise effect of our proposal on the ethnicity pay gap. We would, however, see a definite rise in the proportion of staff at each level:
Proportion BAME staff
academic Combined under our
Lecturer/senior lecturer 0.167614 0.179012
Reader 0.171429 0.233083
Professor 0.096601 0.107877
Total 0.132917 0.158683
Raising the pay of teaching fellows will reduce the ethinicity pay gap for academic grades.
We believe the college really needs to question its commitment to equal pay. To do anything
but accept this proposal would be to say to a large proportion of female/BAME staff that
their contribution is not valued equally to those of their male/white counterparts.
There is also an issue here about precarity of contracts on the T&L family as compared to the
academic job family, with about 50% of those on the T&L family being on fixed term contracts.
It is not a coincidence that this is overly borne by female/BAME members of staff (we address this in section 3).
vi. Job descriptions
Inspection of generic Imperial College job descriptions for roles on the academic job family ranging from Research Fellow to Professor in comparison with those on the L&T job family ranging from Teaching Fellow to Professor of Education indicate the alignment suggested in this proposal is appropriate. While there is necessarily overlap in elements of the different job families’ JDs involving teaching, and the academic job family contains details on research roles which do not feature in the L&T family, it is clear from the language used in the JDs that the scope of the posts is comparable: parallel expectations on the level of engagement and commitment to education in the L&T roles is a level above that required in the academic ones.
Comparison of the JDs for Teaching Fellow and Research Fellow reveals that while there is less research expectation for TFs this is offset by a requirement for professional practice and development. While RFs are expected to carry out academic research for the purposes of publication and grant writing, TF are required to carry out educational research for use in teaching practice and for wider dissemination. RFs are expected to supervise staff whereas TFs are expected
to manage them. While RFs are expected specifically supervise PhD students, the remit for TFs is
broader as it specifies they must supervise students. TFs are expected to assist in admissions
whereas there is no such requirement of the RF. Both must contribute to teaching, however, TFs
are expected to take larger roles with more administrative and organisational responsibilities.
Comparison of the JDs for Senior Teaching Fellows with Lecturers makes it clear that there is sufficient flexibility for a lecturer to more or less take on an STF role if they are appropriately teaching focussed which clearly shows there should be no disparity in pay between the two. Regarding teaching contributions there is an expectation that lecturers will undertake certain aspects of postgraduate teaching; the corresponding STF expectations potentially encompass all that of the lecturer but with the requirement that the STF uses knowledge acquired from scholarship and develops initiatives in their teaching. Regarding administration lecturers are merely expected to contribute to possible department-level roles while the STF is clearly required to hold departmental level administrative roles covering a variety of possible fields.
A similar narrative follows but at a higher level for a comparison of the JDs for Principal Teaching Fellow and Reader. The descriptions for teaching for Reader are actually well in line with teaching requirements for STF. PTFs are required to take responsibilities for major areas of teaching at Faculty or College level and apply knowledge from scholarship to these practices and provide strategic leadership in curriculum design whereas Readers are merely expected to show effective management and leadership skills, PTFs are expected to manage and develop teams, lead training and shape provision. There is not even much difference between the research requirements: a Reader is expected to be actively demonstrating prestige at levels commensurate with years of publishing at national and international level; PTFs are also expected to engage in educational research and secure funding.
At Professor level similar comments apply but it should be noted that the Professorial Teaching Fellow (PrTF) role is currently not well populated and there may well be reason to discuss certain aspects of the JD again. As with the Reader and Lecturer roles the teaching requirements for professor more or less align with the teaching requirements one level below i.e. at that or PTF. There is much more of leadership requirement for PrTFs than for regular Professors. PrTFs are expected to be operating on the national stage regarding academic and professional work and there is a requirement for them to be working on educational policy and direction at Faculty and College level. It should be noted that there is a rather unusual and extreme requirement of PrTFs that they
identify and proactively act on future changes in learning and teaching. While this may be
something many of us do it is quite something for it to feature as an expectation of the role.
Teaching fellows have teaching and administrative loads that make it difficult to make the time to create a sustained research pathway, and do not typically have the support of line managers or Heads of Department when trying to make inroads into academic ventures outside of undergraduate teaching and administration. This appears to have created the illusion for some that people in the academic job family generally do more than teaching fellows with the somewhat unfortunate inference that those on the L&T job family therefore merit less.
vii. Movement between families
It is Imperial’s stated aim to facilitate movement between ‘academic’ and teaching and learning streams, depending on inclination and individual circumstances: ‘academics’ who no longer wish to undertake extensive research for whatever reason could therefore transfer to a teaching fellow post and the diagrams for the ‘New job family structure’ show movement into academic posts at more senior levels:
However, no opportunity is given at lower job levels within L&T family to achieve this standing. The crux of this is that no allowance is given within employment contract for pedagogical scholarship. Anything undertaken is done in addition to existing responsibilities; comparison with UCL shows this is outdated. Moreover, disparities in salary levels make such movement
complicated and unattractive.
Our proposal makes movement between job families one of career aspirations and interest, not one to do with salary level. When the new educational researcher pathway was created it was clear that the intention was that there should be possibility to move between the pathways (see figure
below taken from Powerpoint presented to teaching fellows in 2018 – see here at 11.44 for description). This is completely unrealistic with the current pay discrepancies. Our proposal realises this possibility.
It should be noted that the promulgation of this pathway has led it being a well-known and relied upon image in the minds of teaching fellows across Imperial College. Belief in its veracity has allowed the College to maintain teaching fellows in position since 2018, and has permitted the College to hire high quality teaching fellows since then. To be told abruptly and without forewarning that the figure is somehow wrong, without consultation with anyone involved in the process we feel must have been a mistake and we recommend that this error be reversed and that the above diagram holds.
The possibility of movement between job families has been something that has helped with recruiting highly motivated teaching fellows, many of whom will feel misled by the college if we do not align pay. Dissatisfaction over pay is evidenced by some of the statements we have collected from people on the teaching and learning family:
“TFs have been left too far behind. I have always seen the TF path as a path of growth towards the teaching route rather than the research route, as there was always the possibility to follow the professorial teaching route. However, the lack of research time ringfenced within our jobs and the lack of parity and recognition of esteem are deeply affecting my confidence in the potential of progression. I love my job and I love teaching, however the responsibilities that I am under should be redistributed accordingly and considered at par with a research fellowship/lectureship.” Teaching Fellow, Engineering.
“I am wary of what will happen in a few years’ time about career progression. I don’t have time nor am I given time for educational research which means furthering my career within this job family is impossible.” Senior Teaching Fellow, Engineering.
“Before taking a permanent role at Imperial I met with the then Dean of Engineering to talk about possible career paths. He told me about the Professor of Practice role, which seemed a good target for me, coming from an industry job at a senior/executive level.” Level 6 TF
viii. Income from teaching:
The college has seen an increase in total income as a consequence of more student applications, brought by the effective creation of a team that would specialise in teaching and teaching admin duties.
Income from tuition fees and education contracts grew by £17.3 million (5.8%) in 2018–19 to £313.2 million.” (Annual report 2018-19)
The average increase in teaching and education income over the last five years is even greater, where the range has been an 8.8-11.7% yearly increase (Five year summary), resulting in an increase of income from teaching of about 40% over the last 5 years. Whereas income from research has stayed more or less constant.
Total income to the college provided by teaching (including Tuition fees, Accommodation, Funding Grants for teaching) now amounts to 37% of income overall. Teaching income has increased with the increase in teaching and learning staff. It is noticeable that the number of lecturers and senior lecturers has remained relatively stable over the last 10 years whereas the number of teaching and learning family roles has increased significantly. If this is not a money- saving move (one which has effectively devalued teaching) then there should be no reason not to align pay as we describe above.
Though we do not have the exact figures, it is clear that most of the surplus made by the college
is from teaching (in particular teaching overseas students), and that the teaching the college does
subsidises research. Teaching fellows have clearly had and continue to have a major influence on the
satisfaction of the students, and do a disproportionate amount of the teaching. Parity of esteem (and thus parity of pay) between teaching and ‘academic’ roles seems the only fair position the college can take in this climate.
ix. Level 5/6:
If you look at the mean and median pay in the T&L job family the move we are suggesting for Prof/PTF is not huge. Also for obvious reasons staff tend to be clustered towards the top of the
pay scales for their job title which is also where individuals stand to get the lowest percentage increase.
Thus adoption of UCU’s proposals is unlikely to be particularly expensive. Though without details of numbers on each spinepoint, we are unable to cost our proposal precisely.
- x. Curriculum Review
Teaching fellows were and continue to be instrumental in a successful curriculum review. They worked within and across departments to get the material delivered thoroughly and professionally within an incredibly demanding deadline. They are now delivering the material in what have turned out to be the most extraordinary of conditions. A principal feature of all departments’ curriculum review paperwork are how departments will measure and thusly act to improve on the changes they have made. This is not only non-trivial, but it is something where Imperial is and will continue to break ground in educational measurement practices. The main people in the College community doing this are our teaching fellows.
- There has been a huge amount of work to make modules remote, borne disproportionately
by teaching fellows.
“Since COVID, a massive administrative burden has been the supporting of staff in technology. I have contributed to a showcase in the Department, hosted and ran a workshop on online lecturing and supported numerous staff in building Blackboard sites. I have played an almost pseudo-learning technologist as I am savvy in the technologies used at Imperial
- mainly as a result of my own research and digging. Although not explicitly outside my role, it has been a greater burden since COVID.” Teaching Fellow, FONS.
“In the current online situation, I have worked to build community in our department which I care strongly about but is outside my role and initiated an UG seminar series, as well as working with students to coordinate a virtual common room and student profile database. I have also run workshops for other lecturing staff on online lecturing to build best practice and active learning into our online provision.” Teaching Fellow, FONS.
Since Covid a lot of academic staff report that all they have had time for is teaching duties.
It is therefore becoming a question about equal pay for exactly the same work rather than
for work of equal value. .
- TFs have disproportionately had to work overtime to create bespoke lab experiences,
transitioning to online learning and completely re-structure practical modules within a very limited timeframe. The Teaching Fellows we surveyed reported an average of 49 hours per week.
The work outlined here and its importance for College demonstrate yet again the value of Teaching Fellows. They clearly deserve parity of pay.
1b. PROPORTIONAL MOVE
i.e. individuals shift to the new salary scale in line with their current salary. For example, if a TF or STF is N% of the way up their current salary scale they remain in that role and N% up that scale.
- Academics had a boost 3 years ago – the proportional move would retain the relative
relationship of academic and TF pay which was disrupted by the recent revision to academic and research salaries.
ii. Normally, back pay would only be fair TFs are, however, prepared to compromise in
the interests of reaching a quick and reasonable agreement.
This retains relative positions on the pay scale and is therefore fairer, with the additional benefit that it does not disadvantage more experienced staff relative to newer colleagues.
- SCHOLARSHIP & SABBATICAL
Teaching Fellows should be given time for scholarship. This should be written into their contracts and accounted for in workload planning. We recommend one day per week or 20%.
- The following recommendation was made by the HEA in 2016:
Recommendation 5 (p8):
We recommend that research-intensive institutions review their provision for academic development to ensure that (i) it is sufficiently resourced to inform and engage academics who teach and who are education leaders throughout their careers, (ii) it provides relevant and authentic developmental opportunities to academics at all stages of their career, and (iii) it is aligned with agreed academic qualities and professional standards, for example through reference to the UK Professional Standards Framework, so that staff can gain and value professional recognition as higher education teachers and education leaders.
Failure to provide adequate time will, over time, mean that TFs lose sight of cutting edge developments in their field. This is highly problematic in that what distinguishes teaching in HE from even the most accomplished pedagogy outside the academy. Ultimately, it will diminish Imperial’s reputation if students are not taught by staff who are familiar with the latest developments and techniques.
ii. To be able to progress to up the pathway staff need to undertake educational research yet under the current system they are not allowed this and thus are being prevented from progressing. Without time to undertake research, the salary scale and progression illustrated in College documents becomes meaningless as it would not be possible for Imperial College TFs to meet the requirements for promotion. This would be a shocking indictment of Imperial College teaching standards and attitudes towards staff.
iii. This has been implemented by other Russell group Universities (e.g. UCL) and is an essential component of the College’s commitment to take teaching seriously.
We believe it is essential that teaching fellows are permitted sabbatical time akin to that of academic staff for the reasons outlined above. We recognise that there is considerable departmental autonomy on how sabbaticals are awarded and are happy to be part of, or even lead discussions on how this would work.
We also believe teaching fellows should be eligible for an Elsie Widdowson Fellowship Award or equivalent.
- 3. SHORT TERM CONTRACTS
Contracts for teaching should be reviewed. We see no reason for the use of short-term contracts, with the exception of very limited number of cases where there is clear objective justification as outlined in law (for example related to maternity leave cover).
- People on open ended contracts can and will invest more into curriculum development and teaching.
ii. It is much better for the students to have continuity
iii. There is significant time “wasted” by those on fixed-term contracts looking for their next job, with negative effects on mental health and most likely productivity.
iv. The claims to parity of esteem and to have created new career structures for teaching fellows become hollow if most TFs are on short-term contracts or kept on insecure contracts
- 4. RECOGNITION
As outlined in the first section there are many aspects to parity of esteem, below we outline some simple changes college could make to help with this:
4a. Change titles to Teaching Fellow à Lecturer (practice) à Reader (practice) à Professor
(practice) and bring the entire ‘job family’ into the academic and research job family. Since this family already contains both researchers and academics, there is no logical reason to leave teaching fellows outside this job family.
- This would automatically bring all teaching staff under statutes, clarifying their right (amongst other things) to academic freedom.
ii. It would facilitate movement between the different streams
iii. This is in line with what is being done across the Russell group (see earlier links to job adverts at Russell group universities).
iv. It would be in line with the HEA Recommendations quoted above
4c. Maternity leave. TFs starting the job currently do not have the same maternity/parental leave
entitlements as a lecturer, leaving this position more exposed and less stable, and unattractive to potentially excellent people thinking of starting a family. The very fact that this even needs mentioning is surprising: maternity/parental leave benefits should be the same for all job families. This is particularly acute since the figures above demonstrate clearly that there are significantly higher percentages of women among the TFs than there are among academics.
4d. Office space Teaching Fellows have consistent pastoral care duties, student admin duties and
student interviews during admission days. All of these roles and responsibilities require safe spaces for students and TF staff to communicate openly and with privacy. As lecturers have dedicated individual office space, it is strongly recommended to review the office space allowances for members of staff. We realise that office space is at a premium at Imperial, however, the current allocation of office space is not done according to need, meaning several teaching staff are not able to do their jobs properly. Moreover, it provides clear evidence of the inferior status of Teaching Fellows.
Teaching fellows are integral to the university’s educational and broader mission. These negotiations form an unparalleled opportunity to provide the community with the recognition they deserve, allow the College to retain and help those currently in position to thrive, and permit us to get ahead of the curve regarding quality of educational delivery and research. It is a shame we have not been able cost our proposals through a lack of data though back of the envelope calculations show us that what we are asking is not a marked problem for the College. What we are asking for in this proposal is fair and logical. We appreciate that in rapidly developing working climates such as we are in now that it is easy for organisations to fall behind in some matters; this is a good time to remedy that for the teaching fellows. For true parity there is an argument for recompense for reduced earnings and inferior working conditions to those of the academic job family, however, given the potential complexities of such arrangements teaching fellows would be prepared to forego this if an equitable grading structure (as outlined above) were implemented quickly.
Imperial College UCU, December 2020