Contrary to the assertions in Jim Guild's letter (August 13), Nottingham University has not broken national agreements or backtracked on commitments. The memorandum of understanding agreed between the AUT and employers allows for new pay arrangements to be introduced "where staff agree to such as part of a package of changes to pay arrangements which overall they consider to be acceptable". This is what has happened in the review of support staff, where 99.9 per cent of staff (including AUT members) have signed up to a redesign of an old scheme that linked pay to performance. This introduces nothing new in concept, but simply responds to staff feedback that the old scheme was not transparent, did not feel fair and failed to reward staff properly for their achievements.
The memorandum goes on to say that staff "will have a normal expectation of progression to the contribution threshold of their grade".
The design and operation of the new scheme achieves this. Support staff now have the potential for accelerated progression and the prospect of earning nearly £9,000 above the maximum of a particular grade where their contribution is recognised as excellent.
There has been no change to pension entitlement for current staff. All new staff who are members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme from previous employment will continue to be members. The university fully supports the provision of final salary pensions and invited the AUT (as part of the proposals it rejected) to undertake a joint review of pension arrangements to ensure that we continue to offer the best arrangements.
Director of human resources