All sides of the debate 1

May 19, 2006

Chaminda Jayanetti's opinion article ("Neither pay nor morale will improve if you give in", May 12) is woefully wide of the mark in all aspects but one - that he is in a shrinking minority of students who think that threatening the futures of hundreds of thousands of students is a legitimate tactic.

This week he confirmed to the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association that the London Student newspaper (where he is news editor) voted that coverage of the dispute would be biased in favour of the Association of University Teachers. This would explain his nonsensical claim that employers have reneged on spending a third of tuition-fee income on staff pay. In fact, with the pay offer that is on the table, improvements in pay and pensions will absorb more than 80 per cent of tuition-fee income and increases in funding council grants over the next three years.

Jayanetti's commitment to the AUT must be extraordinary if he supports the rejection of the highest public sector pay offer this year and the continued use of students as pawns in the AUT's irresponsible game-playing.

Matt Grainger


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