More unites us than divides us 1

February 13, 2004

University staff are not as divided over the national pay framework as you suggest ("TUC policies pay scrum", February 6). Unison, Amicus and the Association of University Teachers at University College London, for example, are as one in opposing any imposed changes that might worsen our pay and conditions.

Locally, the Unison and Amicus branches voted to reject the national offer. Nationally, Unison and Amicus voted to accept. Locally, we are united. The AUT supports Unison's and Amicus' right to negotiate over implementation. Unison and Amicus respect the AUT's right to oppose the framework, lock, stock and barrel. Unity rests on respect for one another's democratically decided position, regardless of circumstances.

We share the AUT's concern that the framework is designed to lead to local pay deals, setting universities, departments and colleagues against one another. We also recognise that variable fees would pave the way for variable pay, causing chaos and unfairness in university salaries for years to come. As befits unions in a relatively well-off institution, it is unacceptable for some college staff to benefit at the expense of colleagues elsewhere or students.

Sean Wallis
Joint branch secretary, University College London AUT
Tom Silverlock
Branch secretary, UCL Unison
Tamsin Piper
Branch secretary, UCL Amicus
and eight others

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