Valerie Atkinson's article rings true. Most departmental secretaries are graduates with high-level, wide-ranging capabilities in IT, webpages, interpersonal skills, departmental PR etc. Additionally, in this litigious age, we are increasingly called on to interpret for students - and often for staff - the finer points of departmental regulations. It has made me realise that I would probably have made a good lawyer.
Not only do the salaries bear no relation to the skills involved, secretarial staff are also consigned to a pension plan that is dramatically inferior to the scheme available to the higher grades of staff.
School of politics, economics and philosophy,
University of York