A contract killing

August 4, 1995

In his vicious maligning of further education staff who have rejected the Colleges Employers Forum contract, Roger Ward (THES, July 26) demonstrates yet again the ignorant hostility that has made it so impossible to arrive at a national settlement of the dispute over lecturers' contracts.

Many of the staff targeted by Mr Ward are the most experienced in the sector, those with a long commitment to building and maintaining a responsive and high quality FE system. All who are determined to sustain workload arrangements that allow lecturers to provide a good education for the diverse student population, deserve respect not opprobrium. This sort of attitude goes a long way to explain the atmosphere of distrust, fear and uncertainty in some FE colleges. Fortunately, however, in many local colleges this approach to industrial relations is a busted flush. Agreements negotiated locally by Natfhe, very different from the CEF base contract and under which all lecturers in a college are covered by the same conditions, will soon cover almost a third of colleges. We are confident that the majority will eventually follow suit.

Ian Clay President Natfhe

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