Letter: Togetherness

August 3, 2001

Natfhe congratulates David Triesman on his move to the Labour Party ("Merger of unions back on the table" and Leader, THES , July ). His departure as general secretary of the Association of University Teachers provides an opportunity to take stock - for Natfhe as much as the AUT.

Both unions are strong and effective but both would also gain enormously from much closer working. Our new unified bargaining structure makes that "togetherness" all the more essential.

However, it is not right to say Natfhe's campaign for fairer funding "often led to attacks on the privileges of the elite old universities". Sadly, some saw the drive for a better deal for the new universities that way. But Natfhe has always argued for "levelling up" not down and refuses to enter the self-defeating game of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Natfhe has argued not just for fairer but better funding for all: large or small; teaching and research; new and old.

Tom Wilson
Head of universities department
Natfhe

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