The pay rise comes after the campaign cancelled a supervision boycott due to effect the beginning of this academic yearFelix Armstrong for Varsity

Cambridge supervisors have won an average pay rise of 15% following months of negotiation and a narrowly averted supervision boycott.

Cambridge UCU has announced that a deal has been struck between the University and its Justice for College Supervisors’ (J4CS) campaign.

A workload report in April found that some supervisors face an effective pay rate £3 below the living wage, when unpaid preparatory time is accounted for. This was described by a J4CS representative as a “gig economy system”.

In October, a supervision boycott was called off by J4CS after an initial deal was struck with the University. The group described this averted action as “the beginning for the campaign”.

As part of the new agreement, announced yesterday (05/06), colleges have agreed to align supervisor pay with the University’s official salary scale, incorporating additional multipliers for larger group supervisions. These measures represent a pay rise worth 15% on average, and over 20% for some supervisors.

The changes will be implemented for the coming academic year (2024/25), and will be fixed for at least four years.

The deal represents a significant development in the multi-year J4CS campaign. Cambridge UCU had previously won pay for mandatory supervisor departmental training, and was officially recognised by the University last year.

A J4CS spokesperson described the agreement as “a step closer towards the fair remuneration of supervisors for the work that they do, and a much-needed boost in pay”.

The campaign has also demanded that supervisor pay packets reflect the time spent preparing for supervisions, a condition the latest agreement “does not fully account for,” the spokesperson claimed.

“Our aim remains to achieve fair and secure payment and employment for all supervisors,” they said.

Negotiations are set to continue between J4CS and the University into Michaelmas next academic year, to address the campaign’s demand for “long-term contracts”.


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Jo Grady, UCU general secretary, described the agreement as a “big win,” saying: “We look forward to continuing to work with Cambridge’s colleges so that supervisors finally get the fair terms and conditions they deserve”.

A spokesperson for the colleges told Varsity: “Cambridge colleges are pleased to have reached an understanding with ‘Justice for College Supervisors’ (J4CS) campaigners on the methodology underpinning the payment rate for supervisions, to be implemented in Michaelmas 2024.”

“The new methodology represents part of a longer-term review of payment rates for undergraduate supervisions which began in 2021-22. Since then, supervisor pay rates have risen faster than nationally-agreed (UCEA) university pay and the new rates mean that since 2021-22, rates will have increased by an average of 30.9%,” they said.

“The Colleges look forward to continuing constructive discussions with J4CS in Michaelmas. More information is on the Senior Tutors’ website,” the spokesperson continued.