Salary points 1

February 12, 2009

Malcolm Povey (Letters, 5 February) is in train with a recent line of University and College Union communications that have repeatedly - and falsely - referred to an "employers' offer of 0 per cent" for the next pay deal.

At no point has the Universities and Colleges Employers Association suggested such an offer. Indeed, Ucea currently has no policy in relation to the 2009 pay position. The policy is being formulated through a consultation process with Ucea members, and will not be completed until late March 2009. By then, most higher education institutions will be able to respond with full knowledge of their funding position for 2009-10.

Povey's claim of "fat cats" receiving pay increases that were two or three times more than those employees gained since 2006 needs to be challenged, too. The 2006-09 pay agreement delivered a minimum pay rise of almost 16 per cent, with the average increase in some institutions over this period exceeding 23 per cent.

Ucea urges all interested parties to examine the facts. In relation to the levels of pay in the sector and comparisons with other groups, I would refer readers to the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education's Review of Higher Education Finance and Pay Data. This review, developed and signed by all the sector's unions and employers, is accessible via our website and provides the most comprehensive overview of the subject.

Damian Docherty, Head of employee relations and reward, Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

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