Employers' offer is not fair game 1

April 14, 2006

It was with despair that I read your article on the assessment boycott ("Pay impasse set to hit finals", April 7).

How can the employers possibly imagine that their employees will be satisfied with an offer of a 0.5 per cent real-terms rise (3 per cent with inflation running at 2.5 per cent) over the next two years? How can they imagine this could be acceptable when just a short time ago they said that one third of the top-up millions would go towards improving pay? How can they imagine that this offer could be considered as anything other than a provocation? How much more of a game can they play than to blithely insist that they will not even carry on talking to the unions unless the boycott is suspended?

I am not a hardliner, but I am profoundly insulted by the game-playing and the bad faith of the employers and by the carelessness with which they are prepared to allow students to suffer.

For heavens' sake, do something now or our students will suffer. Don't insult us with 0.5 per cent. Make a reasonable offer. You have about two weeks until the situation in my own university and every other university will be irretrievable. If you let this happen, the responsibility will be yours, and everyone, including the students, will see it as such.

Howard Moss
University of Wales, Swansea

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