Pay fight not over 2

December 12, 2003

As a union member, I respect the right of Unison to fight for its members and I am pleased that it feels it has achieved a well-deserved pay increase for support staff. But I resent Christina McAnea's suggestion that my union should not defend the pay and conditions of its members ("AUT needs to rethink", THES , November 28).

The offer represents an attack on the pay and conditions of AUT members. There is no other reason for the AUT's rejection of the offer, and I object to McAnea's suggestion that the AUT may be responsible for "scuppering the pay deal". If employers were to renege on an agreement they had reached with Unison, that would not be the responsibility of the AUT.

McAnea's denigration of the rights of a sister union to defend the interests of its members does not seem to be supported by Unison members at local level. AUT local associations report good relationships with Unison colleagues, who respect the right of the AUT to oppose an unacceptable pay offer.

Linda Newman

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