Your Pay: Payscales, Increments & Role Reviews

The University recognises effort and commitment by offering a rewarding package of pay and benefits.  In this section you can find out more about:

Your Pay

Pay increases

Job Evaluation

Elsewhere on our website you can find information about:




At the University of Sunderland we have seven grades (A to G) on a negotiated Pay Scale.  Some staff, such as senior managers, professors and casual workers, have salaries that are determined outside the negotiated pay scale.

The value of the points on our pay scale rises annually by collective agreement, and the past value of each salary point is shown on our pay scale.  This is sometimes known as the 'cost of living' increase; see below for details of annual pay growth in the sector.

Opportunity Now and the Times both praise the University for its work on equal pay and opportunities for women. Our locally-negotiated grading structure is clear and transparent and includes analytical job evaluation of all roles on the pay spine to ensure pay equality. Information is also available on the National Framework Agreement which created the current University of Sunderland pay spine.

Employees and workers of subsidiaries such as University of Sunderland in London have different pay and benefits; please contact your HR representative for more details.

What is my salary?

Your salary is specified in your contract of employment (normally an offer letter and a statement of particulars, or a letter varying your contract).

Your gross annual salary (before deductions) is the one shown on the Pay Scale.  If you are part-time (and/or have a contract that specifies fewer than 52 weeks per year) you will get a proportion of this salary (a pro-rata salary) each year.

If your role involves variable hours you'll be expected to complete and submit a timesheet each month in order to be paid the following month - you'll be told if this is the case;  usually timesheets are completed online through Employee Self Service and authorised by your manager using Manager Self Service.  For all other staff, you are paid a regular monthly salary for each month that you work, in equal instalments.

Salaried staff on our Sunderland Campus can opt to use the Wagestream app to access some of their salary earlier in the month.

Your payslip is issued monthly.  For all staff in the UK payslips are provided as a pdf document through Employee Self-Service where they can be viewed, saved or printed.  You can also choose via Employee Self-Service to have a payslip emailed to a personal email account in password-protected pdf format.

Instructions to access Employee Self Service.

Your payslip shows your gross pay for the current month.  It also shows all your deductions, and your net (take home) pay for the month. Your take home pay is lower than your gross pay because deductions are made, for example:

If you have any queries about your monthly pay, contact payroll.

Salary Progression (Annual Increments)

In general, your starting pay will be the minimum of the relevant grade.  (Guidance for managers is available). 

For staff on Grades A to G, we offer automatic annual increments every year on 1st August (as long as you have been continuously in post for at least 6 months) until you reach the top of your grade.  Our pay scale enhances the standard national pay scale for the HE Sector, featuring bigger salary increases between increments (progression to the next salary point within the grade), and fewer annual steps to reach the top salary for your grade.

For senior staff and professors we operate a performance and development review scheme.

Academic staff on Grade E (Lecturer) can also progress through the bar to Grade F (Senior Lecturer) subject to certain conditions.

The University has a route for the pay grade of your role to be formally reviewed. This is called the Role Review and Grading process


Pay Negotiations (Annual Cost of Living Award)


HE Pay Growth

The values on our pay spine are reviewed annually.  Currently we participate in national pay bargaining with trade unions, through the employer's association UCEA, and this process determines the increase that is applied to all our salary points each year.  The minimum points on our pay spine remain above the Government's National Living Wage.

Staff who are not on our negotiated pay spine receive locally-determined increases.

2019/20 Pay Award

In common with other Universities we implemented the August 2019 pay offer last Autumn; this was an increase of 1.8% to most salary points with higher increases to the lowest salary points of up to 3.65% (see our payscales above). This pay award is in addition to the annual incremental progression that many of our staff are eligible to receive (see above).

Infographics about how pay in the Higher Education sector compares to other sectors can be found here:

The latest information can be found here:

2020/21 Pay Award

Information will be made available on the UCEA website when negotations for the August 2020 pay increase move forward:

Wagestream – Access your pay earlier in the month

Wagestream logo

Wagestream lets you take up to 40% of your monthly pay before the usual pay date through an easy-to-use app.

It is available to staff with a regular monthly salary on our Sunderland campus.

You can make between one and five withdrawals per month, and each withdrawal costs you £1.75.  Any pay you take early is deducted from your usual salary on pay day. There is no impact on your tax or pension.

Only pay already earned is available, for example 10 days into the calendar month you can withdraw up to 40% of 10 days’ gross pay. The Wagestream app lets you track your earnings in real time so you can always see how much is available.

This is not a loan or credit; there is no credit check, and no interest rate.  It’s your pay, early.  It can help staff who find it difficult to budget over the month or who need money for an emergency.

Wagestream are not a charity but they are backed by charities (including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation) and their goal is to prevent employees entering cycles of debt caused by loans, overdraft fees, high-cost-credit and payday loans.

How to enrol for Wagestream

Following a pilot exercise Wagestream launches on 6th March 2020.

At the moment only staff based on Sunderland on a regular monthly salary can use Wagestream, but in future we hope to roll it out more widely. 

If you are eligible you should receive receive an invitation email from Wagestream on or around 6th March 2020 with your username (this is your work email e.g. and a temporary password. To sign up, just download the Wagestream app from the Apple or Google Play Store, login using the details in the invitation email, then click “Enrol me”.  

Enrolling means that your bank details will be passed securely to Wagestream who will use them to transfer money to your account whenever you need it. You won't be charged unless you make a withdrawal.

If you can't find the Wagestream email and you think you are eligible to enrol, when you enter your work email as your username in the app there is a "resend password" link.

This page was published on 25 February 2020