'Sellout' pay deal sours relations 1

July 14, 2006

As someone who has been talking of "sellouts and betrayal" in the higher education pay dispute, I feel moved to respond to Susan Bassnett (Working Knowledge, July 7). She states that of the e-mails sent to her as a result of her declared opposition to strike action, the 50 per cent who agreed with her wrote about "their consciences and their concern about damaged working relations", while those in favour of strike action talked about money. My experience is that those who supported the strike, as well as wanting an equitable pay deal, were also most troubled by their consciences (the rapid deterioration in higher education work - a market rather than a learning environment) and concerned about damaged working relations (the increasing inability to work intellectually with students because of this market). In response to Bassnett's assertion to the contrary, we know only too well "how the system that employs (us) actually works".

Mike Cole

Bishop Grosseteste College

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