The head of UCL admits higher education is ‘systemically underpaying staff’

Pay for university workers is reportedly down by 25 per cent, UCU says

The President of UCL, Michael Spence, told Times Higher Education higher education has been “systematically underpaying its staff,” for “many years.”

The comment comes after the UCU announced nationwide strikes, affecting over 30 universities in London this week.

The strikes are described as “the biggest ever strikes to hit UK universities,” with 70,000 UCU members at 150 universities taking part.

Michael Spence told Times Higher Education’s THE Campus Live event, “We’ve balanced the books by hugely increasing numbers of international students, by, in many institutions, not investing in adequate repairs and maintenance and, as a system, systematically underpaying our staff.”

UCU represents academic staff such lecturers and tutors at universities and colleges across the UK. They have led industrial actions including strikes and marking boycotts over the past few years for disputes in pay, working conditions, and pensions.

UCL did not wish to provide further comment. 

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