I'm rich! I bought a house without problems. A rather big one. All thanks to my salary. And I sort of assumed that salary would stay the same. The expectation is that in the long run, junior lecturers turn into senior lecturers (which in turn can become readers, etc) but due to the University's financial situation that process was temporarily halted. I also figured that would be a long way off for me anyway. Firstly; I've only had this contract for less than 1.5 years, and secondly, I had so much new teaching on my plate I had no time to work on any promotion criteria, like innovating my teaching or publishing about pedagogical topics. But then I got an email. Would I apply for becoming a lecturer 2? I seem to currently be a lecturer 1. I had no idea. But the thing is that you get a small pay rise every year (I assume they think more experience should be rewarded), and as long as you stay in the same pay scale that's fine, but if you have to jump from one pay scale to the next you have to apply for it. And it seemed I had indeed reached the end of the pay scale. Probably because they don't count from the start of my contract having become permanent; they probably started counting when I became a lecturer, which was a year earlier. And these pay rises don't count as promotions so they are not stopped.
I had to look up what these pay scales mean. That didn't help much. Pay scales turn out to overlap! In theory they could give me a pay drop while putting me in a higher pay scale. No idea what the rationale is. And the numbers were before tax and that's not the money you get into your account. So even if I get this (presumed) raise I don't know what the actual effect will be!
I must say I was hesitant to fill out the form. It's not as if the university gets more money from outside to pay me more. It will come off the same budget! Should I get more when we have this awful issue of having to teach twice the students with a lot less staff compared to a few years back? But I remembered an equality event recently, during which I was unhappy with the figures of how many women manage to progress past the postdoc stage, and especially past junior lecturer. If that upsets me I should make sure I apply for a promotion when I'm asked to do so! I will never become Senior Lecturer if I can't even stomach becoming a Lecturer 2. So I set to work. And now it's on the desk of the Head of School and he's going to have a look at it; he may suggest some changes. And he has to write a report to say I should indeed get that rise. So we'll see what happens next. But I've taken the first step! Watch this space!