The THES (November 11) correctly reported that the Association of University Teachers was not in favour of either joint pay scales or joint bargaining for academic and related staffs in "old" and "new" universities happening at present -- although there was nothing secret about our analysis, it had been circulated to all our branches in October. However I write to correct the misconception that opposition to joint pay and bargaining arrangements has now become our long-term policy.
Far from it; we remain convinced that ultimately it must be sensible to have the same pay scales and bargaining arrangements for all university academic and related staff -- but not yet. There remain considerable funding differences between "old" and "new" universities which may well be growing rather than diminishing. Until that funding gap closes joint arrangements would be premature and simply not work. The University and Colleges Employers' Association might well have liked to launch itself with a joint scheme but, judging by the very widespread opposition from vice chancellors, the association was clearly not alone in thinking that some delay would, ultimately, make for a more lasting partnership.
DAVID TRIESMAN general secretary, AUT.