Bursars’ Committee agrees to pay raise for supervisors

J4CS called the move “unsatisfactory” as it was “sub-inflationary”

On Tuesday (05/07), the Cambridge branch of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) announced that the Bursars’ Committee had agreed to raise pay for intercollegiate supervisions in the 2022-23 academic year by 4.5 per cent.

This move follows a recent campaign win for Justice4CollegeSupervisors (J4CS), wherein the university agreed that supervisors should be paid for mandatory departmental training. 

However, the J4CS campaign claims that the pay raise falls short of their demands. These include a  “ten  per cent increase in the hourly pay rate (17 GBP/hour) used to calculate the intercollegiate” supervision rate, and an “increase in the preparation time factored into the calculation of the intercollegiate supo pay rate from 30 minutes to 2 hours.”

A J4CS spokesperson (who preferred to remain anonymous) added “this also is in the context of the pay being way too low already. Even if they offered an above inflation rise, it would need to be significantly above for it to match what we’re demanding.”

The pay rate for one-on-one intercollegiate supervisions will increase from 31.17 pounds an hour to 32.59 pounds an hour. By comparison, the J4CS campaign is asking for a raise to 60.6 pounds an hour.

These rates apply for intercollegiate supervisions – that is when a fellow of one college offers their services to another college. Colleges still remain free to set independent prices for their own supervisors.

In a tweet, Cambridge UCU attributed the gap between campaign demands and the bursars’ announcement to the fact that “workers are not formally consulted in the process.”

When asked whether they considered this a win for the campaign, Zoe Audra (a third year PhD student in classics) said “the fact it is a debate whether this is a win or not shows the sorry state of affairs we supervisors are in right now and how the colleges are treating us.

“Under no other circumstances would a paycut be considered a win, but the fact that we had to fight for less of a paycut is shocking. Colleges clearly don’t respect or value us, and the college response is symptomatic of a wider attitude towards labour. Fortunately the trend is now in the workers favour – low wages are unsustainable during high inflation, and it’s only a matter of time before the colleges either acknowledge this or the system collapses.”

The University of Cambridge was contacted for comment. 

Featured Image Credits: Rosie Smart-Knight