From the Vice-Chancellor: Cost of living crisis
I am very aware of the current cost-of-living crisis the country is experiencing and I am conscious that this will be having an impact on everyone, to a greater or lesser degree. In response, I have been in discussion with senior leaders and with union colleagues about what support we can provide to both our staff and students. Details of the support for students will be shared when they are ready.
We have developed a financial wellbeing website for staff. I would encourage you to take a look as it contains lots of helpful guidance on financial wellbeing, as well as signposting to organisations who can provide specific support.
Additionally, I am pleased to let you know that we have taken the decision to make a one-off payment to most colleagues. In making this decision, we are conscious that research shows that the current financial situation is likely to have a greater adverse impact on lower earners and will therefore be paying lump sums on a tiered basis based on earnings.
Our current financial position means that we are able to make these payments at this point in the academic year. This is a result of a number of factors including project delays and the higher-than-normal number of vacancies seen across the University. These savings are time-limited and will diminish as we return to expected levels of resource and activity, but it gives us a unique opportunity to make these one-off payments to colleagues.
We have carefully considered how best to do this to ensure that colleagues who are most likely to be affected by the crisis receive the most in order to support them. We have decided to make payments as follows:
- Staff earning up to and including a full-time equivalent salary of £31,411 per annum (spinal point 26 and the top of the normal range for grade 5) will receive a single payment of £1,200, pro rata for part-time staff subject to a minimum payment of £250.
- Staff earning a full-time equivalent salary of between £32,348 and £51,805 per annum (spinal point 43, the top of the normal range for grade 7) will receive a single payment of £750, pro rata for part-time staff subject to a minimum payment of £250.
- Staff earning a full-time equivalent salary between £53,353 and £67,541 per annum (spinal point 52, the spinal point below the grade 9 minimum) will receive a single payment of £500, pro rata for part-time staff subject to a minimum payment of £250.
- Any staff in receipt of a market or retention supplement or a pay allowance, eg shift or flexibility allowance, that takes their total pay above the salary thresholds above will receive a payment calculated using their combined salary and allowance/supplement.
- People who have worked more than 200 hours in the last 12 months on a casual basis and who have worked during October 2022 will receive a payment of £200.
This will be paid with the November payroll and it will be subject to the usual tax and national insurance deductions. Any member of staff who leaves during November will not receive the payment.
If you are in receipt of Universal Credit, I am aware that this payment may have an impact on the benefits you are receiving. If you would prefer to receive the lump sum in five instalments (November 22 – March 23) then please contact the HR Payroll Team by email before 1 November 2022 by emailing email@example.com.
I am pleased that our current financial situation enables us to make these exceptional one-off payments and I hope that the payment goes some way to support you over the coming months.
Professor Nick Jennings
Vice-Chancellor and President
Opinions and comment from the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Jennings