Low pay, high morals 1

March 31, 2006

While I certainly agree that the attempted exclusion of union representatives from the pay negotiations on March 28 makes no sense, I find it much harder to see how the Universities and Colleges Employers'

Association has attained any moral "high ground" ("Heels dig in all round", March 24).

The dispute has arisen because Ucea failed to honour clear promises on academics' pay, and the sight of it trying to disown these promises now that we have reached the position where money is finally available to honour them is neither an edifying nor, sadly, a surprising one. Matt Grainger's letter (March 24), apart from being misguided, fails to explain why his organisation suddenly decided academics are not underpaid after many years of acknowledging that we were but saying they could not afford to pay what we were worth; this initial message was given to Government as well as ourselves.

Ucea is keen to pretend that there has not been a long history to this dispute. We have accepted pay rises that have allowed our pay to continue to be eroded in recent years because of promises to rectify the position once fee income became available, coupled with our reluctance to harm students. As far as the moral high ground is concerned, I regard myself as peering downwards from it trying to discern Ucea in the murk far below.

Philip Bell

Manchester University

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Senior Lecturer in Human Genetics LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
Lecturer in Biochemistry LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
Professor in Marketing UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW

Most Commented

Artist Frank Boelter sitting in life-size paper boat

Creator of crowdfunding teaching tool says entrepreneurship courses should drop the traditional business plan as a method of assessment

Elly Walton illustration (25 August 2016)

Treating students as consumers has precipitated a rush to the bottom to give them exactly what they want, says John Warren

Superhero costumes hanging on a washing line

Senior management do not recognise support staff’s pivotal role in achieving positive student outcomes, administrators say

Man photocopying a book

Students think it ‘unfair’ to be punished for unintentional plagiarism

Child drives miniature car into people

Smaller, newer alternative providers are less likely to pass higher education review, analysis says