AUT grinds its axe on pay review body

February 5, 1999

Public sector pay deals announced this week show the value of pay review bodies, according to the Association of University Teachers, which submits its claim to employers today.

David Triesman, general secretary of the AUT, which is claiming a 10 per cent pay rise this year, said 12 per cent awards for newly qualified nurses and 6.5 per cent for primary head teachers were "light years ahead of the treatment faced by university professionals".

The AUT said the deals showed that statutory independent pay review bodies consider all factors and make reasonable decisions.

Paul Mackney, general secretary of lecturers' union Natfhe, which does not support a pay review body, said it was still not clear that public sector workers not subject to pay review would fare worse. But he said the union was planning a joint salaries campaign with the AUT. Natfhe is intending to lobby Parliament to draw the government's attention to the fact that pay has fallen behind that of teachers.

Mary Russell, secretary to the Universities Council for the Education of Teachers, welcomed the increases for teachers, which she said were likely to attract more students into the profession. But she warned: "Academic salaries have been held back for so long that we are already finding it difficult to attract into teacher training top-class teachers."

* Natfhe and the AUT have agreed to promote common policies through a national liaison committee. They will also invite other teacher unions to discuss setting up a "council" of post-compulsory education unions.

* Natfhe has threatened industrial action at South Bank University after vice-chancellor and chief executive Gerald Bernbaum derecognised the union.

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