Update from Vice-Chancellor and President; Progress on pay, equality, reducing fixed-term contracts and workload

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Simone Buitendijk has written to staff to update on progress on pay, equality, reducing fixed-term contracts and workload

Dear colleagues,

In my email to all staff earlier this week, I promised to write to you with an update on the progress we have made on pay, equality, reducing fixed-term contracts and workload – issues that affect our whole community and that we agreed to work with our campus unions to address.  We recognise that our staff and students are our greatest asset, and are committed to supporting a healthy and fulfilled staff community and to making the University a great and rewarding place to work.

On pay, we and many other universities implemented part of the sector-wide nationally agreed pay increase of 5% to 8% earlier than planned, to provide help with the cost-of-living pressures, particularly for those on the lower salary spine points.  Early increases from 1 February have been implemented with the balance to follow from 1 August.  

Through our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion strategy we remain committed to making the University of Leeds as diverse and inclusive as possible and work continues to review our key people processes and activities to ensure that they reflect, encourage and celebrate demonstration of our University values.  This year for the first time we published a report that brings together pay gap data on gender, ethnicity and disability and sets out the measures we will be taking to reduce them.

We've made great strides in our pledge to reduce fixed-term contracts and boost job security at Leeds, with now over 900 staff transferred from fixed term to ongoing contracts. Our aim is to ensure we actively work with people and offer opportunities, so they are able to personally make the right choice for their own circumstances. We are continuing to work with our community, including our campus trade unions, to transfer more staff to ongoing contracts. 

We continue to consider our future ways of working and work is underway to review how workload impacts on health and wellbeing, through our 10 workload principles.  

While not an issue of unions dispute, on pensions we continue to advocate nationally for a fair, affordable and sustainable pension scheme for all staff and are encouraged that the current outlook ahead of the USS pension scheme full valuation is positive. 

We welcome the opportunity to continue conversations with our leaders, our staff networks, our three campus trade unions and our wider community to help us move forward to build a positive culture on which to realise our shared objectives.   

We will be sharing more detail about our progress in each of these areas on a dedicated For Staff page which we will share with you shortly. 

I hope you’ll welcome this update on the progress towards making our university be a compassionate and inclusive place to work.

Best wishes

Professor Simone Buitendijk 

Vice-Chancellor and President

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