Derby refuses to meet pay deal yet v-c's wage soars

January 28, 2000

Lecturers' union Nathfe has called on academics across the United Kingdom to "isolate" the University of Derby with a national boycott until it increases pay in line with an agreed deal.

The union has placed newspaper advertisements calling on its 65,000 members and the academic community at large to refuse all forms of cooperation with Derby.

The boycott will include a jobs veto, the termination of external examiner activity and the boycott of all collaborative research with Derby.

Union members have also been asked to refuse to attend, participate in or organise conferences at Derby.

Natfhe boycotted Derby in 1996 when it failed to sign up to the national pay agreement between the union and the university employers' organisation, UCEA.

Natfhe said the boycott led to a 1997 deal in which Derby promised to make good a 0.6 per cent shortfall by August 1998 but the deficit has not been made up.

"Despite every effort by the trade union the university has not only failed to implement the May 1997 agreement but has steadfastly refused to enter genuine negotiation over the dispute," said Natfhe.

It added that the outstanding money would cost the university Pounds 120,000 out of an annual budget of Pounds 45 million. Derby's historical cost surplus for 1998 is Pounds 1.03 million.

This week The THES survey of vice-chancellors' pay reveals that Derby vice-chancellor Roger Waterhouse received a 7.2 per cent pay increase, which is well above the average 4.9 per cent and takes his salary to Pounds 109,000.

Natfhe's head of universities, Tom Wilson, said: "It seems particularly wrong that Roger Waterhouse at Derby, which has not had a notably successful year and where staff morale is at rock bottom, is nonetheless paid a grotesquely inflated salary far in excess of any of his senior managers."

This week the union accused the university of censoring its activities by blocking emails from branch officer Gary Towler to staff. Network manager Steve Heppell refused to deliver an email informing staff that a union poll indicated that 96 per cent of staff support the boycott.

Dr Towler said low morale was damaging the quality of education.

Professor Waterhouse denied that the university agreed to pay the difference between the 1997 offer and the national agreement and said that he was ready to discuss the shortfall.

"The branch has an agreement to consult annually with management on pay," he said. "To date no consultation has taken place, nor has the branch requested a meeting with management regarding the issue of any 0.6 per cent shortfall."

Vice-chancellors' pay, pages 10-11

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