Pay up and speak up 2

April 21, 2006

It is disappointing that in your overview of the pay dispute the viewpoint of the support staff unions, which represent more than half of all staff in higher education, is ignored. Unison, TGWU, Amicus and GMB certainly have their differences with Ucea, but they, and the Scottish teachers' union, EIS, remain constructive in pursuing their aims through negotiation.

Students are increasingly recognising that the academic unions' tactics, particularly those of the AUT, are inappropriate and have the potential to damage relations between staff and students. This was highlighted in Bristol University student union's letter to Sally Hunt, co-signed by 20 other student unions, that called on the AUT to reconsider its position.

We hope the AUT and Natfhe do just that and join the other unions in furthering their members' interests at the negotiating table.

Jocelyn Prudence
Chief executive, Ucea

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