University of Cambridge supervisors are granted a 15 per cent pay rise

Supervisors at Cambridge colleges have won a 15 per cent pay rise

Supervisors at University of Cambridge colleges have been granted a pay rise of 15 per cent.

On Wednesday 5th June the university and the UCU (University and College Union) decided to increase pay for college supervisors.

After campaigning for three years, the UCU have achieved a 15 per cent pay rise on average, though for some supervisors this is over 20 per cent, proportional to class size.

Supervisors refer to staff employed by the colleges to teach undergraduates face-to-face, and are the key tenant of Cambridge’s unique teaching system. Employing supervisors allows small groups – often of one or two students – to have sessions with a specialised academic.

The UCU has been running the Justice for College Supervisors campaign since 2021, when they stated on their website that many supervisors “lack even a basic contract or a guarantee of the minimum wage”.

Marking boycotts, strikes and marches on the streets of Cambridge and  have occurred over this period in protest.

The UCU had three initial demands, one of which was partially fulfilled with the pay increase yesterday. The demands included “paid training”, revising supervisor pay “to reflect” time spent on “class preparation” and contracts for “teachers who supervise undergraduates”.

The university has also agreed to change what the UCU describes as a “gig-economy style” hourly paid contracts, making teaching jobs within Cambridge University more secure.

A spokesperson for Justice for College Supervisors said that after “last year’s threat of a historic boycott of the supervision system” and “months of regular negotiations”, the pay rise is “a step closer to the fair remuneration of supervisors”.

Jo Grady, the UCU general secretary, said that “we look forward to continuing to work with Cambridge’s colleges so that supervisors finally get the fair terms and conditions they deserve”.

Featured image credit: Felix Armstrong

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