Deal with a little local problem 2

May 12, 2006

The article on local deals causing a rift between unions says that "the employers and unions finally agreed to meet for the first formal pay talks next Monday". The first talks, of course, took place on January 10, three months after the academic unions submitted their claim. At that meeting, the chair of the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association announced that it would not meet the unions if they continued with their ballot for industrial action.

The employers have now agreed to meet the Association of University Teachers and lecturers' union Natfhe even though their assessment boycott continues unamended. Four months have been wasted due to the employers' intransigence on this point when negotiations should have been taking place. The whole dispute could have been settled long ago.

Charlie Owen

Institute of Education

University of London

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