Confusion over Hera

July 25, 1997

Stephen Rouse (THES, July 7) confuses himself in his attempt to confuse your readers about the threatened imposition of the Higher Education Role Analysis job evaluation scheme.

I have lost my library. Mike Roberts of the Association of University and College Lecturers has lost his script. But Steve, I am afraid, has lost his memory along with his composure - not to mention his ability to perform simple arithmetic calculations.

Three of my major criticisms of Hera are characterised as "fairy stories" - yet they all follow clearly from statements made by Mr Rouse. Hera is designed to provide employers with a defence against equal pay claims (S. Rouse, THES, June 20). It is designed to introduce new barriers and distinctions into pay structures (S. Rouse, Guardian, June 3) and it is designed for local implementation and the promotion of local pay (S. Rouse, letter to higher education unions, May 29).

Mr Rouse pretends to believe that Hera is opposed by only "17 per cent of academics". What nonsense. He knows full well that it is opposed by all the unions representing academic and academic-related staff.

Mr Rouse does not respond to my offer of immediate, serious and constructive negotiations on university pay structures. I take it that he seeks confrontation rather than consensus. It would be interesting to know, however, if his refusal to talk represents the considered view of vice chancellors or even of his colleagues in the Universities and Colleges Employers Association.

Alan Carr Chair of Employment Committee, Association of University Teachers

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