Who let down whom in dispute? 3

October 13, 2006

The London Metropolitan University dispute was bitter, but I have little doubt that union members received local, regional and national support.

Yes, there are lessons to learn from what happened, but they are tactical lessons. And the leaders of the national pay dispute failed to learn any of the lessons of their colleagues in further education. One of those lessons is that it is not a good idea to take industrial action as the academic year hurtles to a close.

Clearly, the London Met dispute is being used as a bludgeon and as a smoke screen. On the one hand, we see the attack on the handling of that situation, while, on the other, we have our attention diverted from what was, in many people's opinion, a national dispute in which there were no winners.

Peter Jones
Rank-and-file candidate for general secretary, UCU Wales

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