Come to the table

January 20, 2006

Which parallel universe do employers inhabit ("20% or it's chaos, unions vow", January 13)?

In most years, the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association consults its members on the possible pay rises before it has seen the unions' claim and makes an offer on the day the claim is presented. This year, we handed over the outline claim in October in time to avoid all new income being allocated elsewhere.

The employers' response on January 10 was no offer at all. Which part of "substantial pay increases to close the gap" do they not understand? Each union stressed that we wanted to negotiate and that there would be a window of opportunity for a satisfactory offer to be made before we began industrial action. The claim might require the use of half the top-up fee income but certainly not half of all the new income streams into the sector.

The employers have made it clear that they have given no commitment to spending a third of new income on pay rises. Although they are now willing to consult subscribers on the principle of "keep-up" and "catch-up" pay, there is no signal that this would be anything more than a recasting of the unacceptably low figures of previous years.

So who is it that is really unwilling to negotiate?

Jill Jones
Natfhe Higher Education Committee

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns