Associate staff snub

July 29, 2005

You ran an advertisement on July 8 from the Association of University Teachers suggesting that the Open University had agreed assimilation to the new pay plan. This is misleading - it relates to full-time staff only and not to the 7,000-8,000 part-time associate lecturers who were made a poorer offer.

Your article ("OU tutors vote on pay deal", July 22) puts a very positive spin on the offer made to associate lecturers, despite the fact that it proposed downgrades and half the salary increase agreed with full-time staff.

The "ballot" of members has been a shambles. Union rules were not followed and the ballot papers are flawed in giving the closing date as noon on Monday, July 24, when this date was a Sunday. They appear to have been sent to some AUT full-time members who are not entitled to vote and not to some associate lecturers who are. Most importantly, an emergency general meeting was called on July 21, which voted to reject the ballot and to reopen negotiations.

Dave McIntyre
Associate lecturer
Open University

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