More unites us than divides us 2

February 13, 2004

Natfhe and the AUT have contrasting views on the current pay offer and framework agreement, but there is much common ground.

We both agree that the offer fails to restore real pay levels; individual job evaluation is unnecessary and unfair; "contribution points" must not become a form of performance-related pay; the retention of national bargaining is critical to prevent a local pay free-for-all while variable fees are looming.

The different conclusions reached on whether the offer goes far enough and inevitable tactical differences derive largely from the different sectors in which our members work.

The AUT's prime reasons for balloting are the employers' inability to accommodate national job profiles for academic-related staff and insistence on an incremental spine with adverse consequences for members' career earnings. Natfhe has supported the AUT on these points. The AUT cannot believe that some accommodation cannot be reached and is available for talks.

Natfhe believes these points are not at issue for staff in new universities and colleges and that there may be benefits - particularly for part-time staff - in the national framework, which, although much looser than we want, is better than unfettered local pay bargaining. We are talking and ballot our members next month.

Paul Mackney
General Secretary, Natfhe

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