PAY IS expected to top the agenda of a Medical Research Council institutes' meeting with scientists who are members of the Association of University Teachers.
The MRC introduced new pay structures for its staff at council institutes and units last August. The move has meant that AUT scientists employed by the MRC no longer receive the same pay award as other union members.
Paul Cottrell, assistant general secretary of the AUT, said pay parity between scientists in universities and MRC laboratories will diverge, with council employees' salaries possibly falling behind.
Universities recently agreed to a 5.8 per cent two-year pay deal with its employees, equivalent to 2.9 per cent over one year. But Mr Cottrell said: "We have been told by MRC management that pay will not increase by more than 2 per cent. We do not accept that." The union also wants the MRC to revamp training. "We want young scientists to have a training entitlement rather than rely on the discretion of unit directors or senior staff."
George Radda, MRC's chief executive, is expected to explain the council's "more balanced programme to support researchers' at the meeting".