Bosses aid recruiting, say gleeful unions

Whatever else it may achieve, the pay dispute will have worked wonders for union recruitment, writes Alan Thomson.

Both the Association of University Teachers and lecturers' union Natfhe have reported a membership boom since the start of the dispute on March 7.

The AUT reports gaining 1,300 new members in the past month compared with an average of 780 recruits a year in the past six years. It has more than 44,000 members.

Natfhe said it added 1,000 new recruits this year to its total of 20,000 higher education members. The union said this was two-and-a-half times more than the number recruited at this time last year.

The employers' behaviour is a contributing factor, according to the unions.

Sally Hunt, the AUT's general secretary, said: "The short-termist confrontational approach of some vice-chancellors to this industrial action has been a wonderful union recruitment drive.

"Unsurprisingly, threats of pay docking, suggestions staff are already well paid and the - at times - sheer contempt shown to staff by managers have prompted much anger and bitterness."

Roger Kline, head of the universities department at Natfhe, said: "The surge in higher education membership recruitment this year is clear evidence of the massive support for our pay campaign. Lecturers feel a real sense of injustice over the employers' refusal to treat them in the same way as they treated themselves."

The Universities and Colleges Employers' Association was unable to comment.

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Featured Jobs

Senior Lecturer in Electrical Power Engineering UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH (MAIN ADDRESS)
Reader / Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH (MAIN ADDRESS)
Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Science CURTIN UNIVERSITY SARAWAK MALAYSIA

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Universities to scale back liberal arts and social science courses

  • David Humphries illustration (24 September 2015)

A Russell Group tagline rap is further proof that we need to reform the academy’s approach, argues Philip Moriarty

  • World University Rankings

US continues to lose its grip as institutions in Europe up their game

  • World University Rankings 2015-2016 methodology

Change for the better: fuelled by more comprehensive data, the 2015-2016 rankings probe deeper than ever

Inspired by previous movement in 1960s, PhD students say that ‘science is not neutral’ and urge scientists to confront their assumptions