Staff updates 29 September 2022

Dear colleagues,

Earlier this month, it was important for me to inform you that, as a values-led and people-orientated employer, the University was committed to helping colleagues with the cost of living crisis.

I am pleased to tell you that our Executive Team has now approved a non-consolidated payment for all staff, weighted according to grade, to be made in November.

Staff in grades 1-5 will receive a pro-rata payment of £700, those in 6 and 7 will receive £500 and grades 8 and above will receive £400. This payment will be pro-rated according to hours worked for part time staff, with a minimum payment of £50.

This support is in recognition of the pressure on household budgets created by rising energy costs and increasing inflation and is intended to provide additional help to colleagues at this unprecedented time. It will apply to all staff, except for members of Executive Team.

In order to fund this exceptional package of support, the decision has been taken to pause the University’s contribution schemes this year in order to redistribute funds. I am pleased to confirm that exceptional contribution in the current period will be taken into account as part of next year’s contribution pay considerations.

As a socially progressive, values-based organisation, the University is also a Voluntary Living Wage employer and last week, an increase to the Voluntary Living Wage to £10.90 an hour was announced. Normally implemented from December, the University will immediately apply the new rate from October.

This means that those colleagues who are on the University pay scale at a rate that is lower than the new Voluntary Living Wage will be paid a supplement in addition to their salary.

Together with the national pay award, which was implemented in August, this equates to a 10.1% increase in the hourly rate of those on the lowest pay scales.

We have also added a Financial Wellbeing area to our Wellbeing Hub, which signposts a number of external online resources. This includes PAM Assist, the University’s Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), which offers a dedicated confidential helpline service, available 24/7, 365 days a year, as well as access to professionally-qualified counsellors to provide support, and specialists in welfare rights, debt management and legal advice.

The PAM Assist website (Username: UoS Password: UoS1) has information and advice on a wide range of topics, including a section dedicated to financial wellbeing, which includes factsheets on managing finances and saving energy.

Our staff are at the heart of everything we do and these measures reflect our ongoing commitment to supporting our people. I am delighted to say that this is further evidenced by our shortlisting this week in the ‘Best Large Employer’ and ‘Judges’ Award’ categories at The Herald Top Employer Awards 2022.

This recognition represents an important external endorsement of our people-oriented approach and our values-driven culture. I look forward to the winners being announced on 26 October.

Enjoy the weekend when it comes.

Best wishes,
Jim