At odds over pay

November 14, 2003

David Fysh and Alan Carr are at odds with other union colleagues and employers over the lecturers' pay offer (Letters, THES , November 7).

The framework agreement offers increases of between 7.7 and 12.7 per cent over two years, far higher than the going rate for the public sector for similar deals. Job evaluation is likely to add to this rise.

Last week, academic unions identified seven issues - we responded positively to five and developed a joint action plan, much of which will be delivered in the next six weeks.

The framework is challenging, but the prizes are worthwhile - delivering equal pay, eradicating the binary divide and occupational silos.

Contrary to the Association of University Teachers, we see the grading provisions reinforcing the link between academic and academic-related staff. All staff would be subject to common grading for pay purposes.

The framework provides an opportunity to work in partnership. I appeal to academic unions to set out the positives and to consider whether the status quo is really an option. Surely this is better than the alternative - a likely break up of national bargaining?

Jocelyn Prudence
Chief executive
Universities and Colleges Employers Association

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