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Teaching is not a performance: PRP dog

Performance-related pay

24 May 2016

Performance-related pay (PRP) is an increasing concern in both FE and HE. The Association of Colleges (AoC) and the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) have both tried to introduce PRP into the national pay negotiations and UCU has firmly rejected these attempts.

PRP dog

However, individual employers may be encouraged to consider introducing some form of PRP on the back of supportive statements for such schemes from the AoC and UCEA and in the face of an increasingly difficult funding situation, particularly in FE.   

UCU believes any further link between pay and performance or the removal of a normal expectation of incremental progression not only contravenes existing national agreements but that PRP simply has no place in FE or HE.

UCU believes there is significant evidence to demonstrate that PRP will not work in our sectors and has commissioned research that will completed shortly and produced bespoke bargaining advice for branches. 

What are UCU's concerns about PRP?

UCU believes there is significant evidence that performance related pay is not effective in motivating staff, does not increase efficiency or performance levels and is not a fair way of rewarding staff. The evidence calls into question the overall effectiveness of any PRP scheme.  

UCU's specific concerns include:

  • equality - PRP is rarely equality proof
  • professionalism - it undermines the professionalism of lecturers
  • pay rationing - it is often used as a way to cut the wage bill
  • rating performance - skews the performance of staff 
  • fair pay - undermines equal access to a fair rate for the job and development opportunities
  • pay insecurity - it offers no guarantee of future earnings in an already highly casualised sector. 

PRP - teaching is not a performance - dog leaflet [54kb]

PRP - teaching is not a performance - dog poster [80kb]

PRP - teaching is not a performance - rabbit leaflet [50kb]

PRP - teaching is not a performance - rabbit poster [53kb]

What should branches do?

Branches should contact their regional office if they receive any proposals for removing incremental progression or introducing a further link between performance and pay. 

Branches should contact their regional office if a more draconian performance management system is proposed. The introduction of performance ratings rather than a supportive and developmental performance management process can be a precursor to PRP.

See also: links to branch guidance and further information

Last updated: 12 August 2021