Pay awards

UCEA conducts collective pay negotiations with the five HE trade unions - UCU, UNISON, Unite, EIS and GMB - on behalf of a significant number of UK HE institutions. This is done through the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (JNCHES). UCEA member institutions decide individually whether they will participate in each negotiating round to address the uplift to be applied to the national pay spine. The negotiations take place annually, between March and May with dispute resolution meetings held in July if necessary.

The University remains committed to the national bargaining arrangements via New JNCHES and is committed to constructive dialogue with the trade unions. Once agreed for implementation the University applies the pay award to all staff on non-clinical grades. Further information about the process is available from UCEA.

Separate arrangements exist for Clinical pay awards, which are agreed nationally by UCEA and effective from 1 April each year. The awards tend to reflect what has been agreed for NHS salary scales.

See latest news for information about the current pay negotiations.

2023/24 Pay Award

The pay award for 2023/24 was at least 5% for all staff. This was paid in two parts. The first part of the 2023 national pay award for all University staff (excluding those in clinical roles) was paid on 27 April 2023 and backdated to 1 February 2023. The uplift was £1,000 on salaries up to spine point 41, and a 2% increase to spine points 42 to 55 on the University’s salary and grading structure. This uplift incorporated the increase to the Oxford Living Wage, which was set at £11.35 from 1 April 2023.
The remainder of the uplift will take effect from 1 August. This will be paid on August pay day (30 August). The revised salary and grading structure is now available. Additional information regarding hourly rates, academic staff, off scale grades, and allowances is also provided.

Action for Departments

  • The uplift will be implemented by central teams in the August payroll. No action is required by departments to amend rates, except in the case of payments which have been set up as the allowance “standby and call out pay cash” as these allowances will not be amended automatically. Departments should adjust these payments as detailed in the pay uplift notes as well as payments made to staff who are in receipt of an on-call and standby allowance calculated as an average of salaries.
  • Note that the consolidated exceptional payment for staff paid against the casual pay spine ends from 1 August 2023 and as a result rates at spine points 9-29 on the hourly pay spine will slightly decrease from this date. Appointments commenced before 1 August may continue to use their current hourly rate for the duration of the assignment. All appointments commencing after 1 August should use the new casual pay spine. 

Pay scales

Information about past pay awards (both clinical and non-clinical) can be downloaded below. 

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PERS(19)07 2019 Salary increases for clinical academic and related staff
PERS(19)06 Revision of University salary scales 2019: all non-clinical staff
PERS(19)04 Recoding miscellaneous pay and the introduction of new allowances
PERS(19)02 Hours on payslips


Earlier circulars

If you need a copy of an earlier circular copies can be requested from