London weighting in higher education

The amount of London weighting paid to staff working in higher education varies between institutions.

Post-92 institutions

The rates for post-92 London Weighting nationally agreed in 2005 were:

  • Inner - £2735
  • Outer - £1790
  • Fringe - £703

The 2006-9 pay deal recommended that these be increased in line with the national pay awards as set out below

 

2005

Aug-06

Feb-07

Aug-07

May-08

Oct-08

  

3%

1%

3%

3%

5%

Inner

2,735

2,817

2,845

2,931

3,018

3,169

Outer

1,790

1,844

1,899

1,956

2,015

2,116

Fringe

703

724

746

768

791

831


Pre-92 institutions

The union ran a major campaign on London weighting in 2003-04 which resulted in the first increases in the allowance in pre-92 institutions for over 11 years.

The London weighting allowance within higher education institutions had been frozen at £2,134 and the London employers had refused to budge despite acknowledging recruitment and retention problems due to the high cost of living in the capital. Industrial action got negotiations started in many institutions. Elsewhere we have secured increases in London weighting as part of the negotiations on the Framework Agreement/Memorandum of Understanding.

Thirteen institutions are now paying increased levels of London weighting, mostly in the range £2,393-£2,534 pa. Three other institutions are negotiating on increases.

The London allowance was included in the national HE pay settlement in 2006: HEIs' previous rates of London Weighting will increase by 3% from 1 Aug 06, 1% from 1 Feb 07, 3% from Aug 07, and a further 3% from May 08 - except that this may be varied where HEIs are harmonising London Weighting across different staff groups.

While the ending of the freeze on London weighting is welcome, the level of the allowance is still way below the amounts paid elsewhere in the public or private sectors. The pre-92 rates are also below the post-92 inner London rate of £2,735.

We would have preferred a London-wide solution to the dispute but the employers insisted on local negotiations. Part of the settlement of the 2003 industrial action was an agreement by the employers to set up a consortium to consider arrangements for London premia. UCU has been participating in the consortium but the employers have so far refused to make any commitment to address the issue of the inadequate levels of London weighting in the sector.

Last updated: 13 January 2016