Dead end for merger

February 20, 1998

The correspondence from your AUT readers shows that they do not understand the position of Natfhe higher education members - lecturers in new universities.

The way the question on pay review bodies has often been put, eg by the Dearing questionnaire, fails to put forward the likely cost, in terms of worsening our nationally negotiated conditions of service. Our members are clear that this is unacceptable - staff need to improve workloads and not abandon national conditions.

It was interesting to see Neil Macfarlane enthusiastically taking industrial action in 1996 in support of national bargaining over pay, which earned staff a doubling of the first pay offer. With a PRB, staff have to effectively "like it or lump it" when the findings are published.

The slagging off of Natfhe that Paul Hudson so enjoys does nothing to unite lecturers in one organisational arrangement. This is surely the aspiration of most higher education trade union members, who understand that unity strengthens our cause.

Jill Jones National Executive Council member, Natfhe

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