Do the right sums

July 7, 2006

Vice-chancellors are making exaggerated claims about the percentage of top-up fee income needed to meet their pay offer ("V-cs say jobs will go if staff vote 'no'", June 30). If top-up fees had not been introduced universities would still have made a pay offer this year. Alan Johnson said that the top-up money would be used to address the erosion of salaries. For employers to count the annual cost-of-living pay rise against the top-up fee income is dishonest. They should say what percentage of top-up fee income is going on the contri-bution to erosion, not on the total pay offer.

Charlie Owen

Institute of Education

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