Pay rises depend on goodwill 2

November 7, 2003

According to Jocelyn Prudence, members of the Association of University Teachers have turned down a "20 per cent pay rise". Her false claim is based on comparing the top point of the July 2003 lecturer A scale with the top August 2004 discretionary point of the proposed Ac2 scale.

This makes two assumptions:

* That all staff currently recruited to the lecturer A scale continue to be graded at this level by an inappropriate job evaluation system and are not downgraded to the proposed new Ac1 scale

* That progression through discretionary or "contribution" points will be automatic for all.

Even if Prudence's rather far-fetched assumptions are true, her claim ignores the fact that those on lecturer A scale have an expectation of progression to the top of lecturer B scale, bringing a pay rise of 44 per cent at the top automatic point and 62 per cent at the top discretionary point.

Consequently, on the basis of Prudence's own figures, those recruited to the lecturer A scale face a huge reduction in earnings expectations - in crude terms, a pay cut. And her proposals offer nothing at all to academic-related members of the academic team.

It is hardly surprising that the Prudence diktat, misnamed a "framework agreement", has been rejected unanimously by AUT executive and council. We are heading for a highly disruptive and damaging confrontation. Even at this late stage, I appeal to universities to act over the head of the discredited UCEA and appoint a new national negotiating team to agree an acceptable settlement.

Alan Carr
Former president
Association of University Teachers

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