Disbenefit in disunity

March 8, 1996

Those correspondents from the Association of University Teachers who have been confused by the Natfhe policy in higher education (Michael Leat et al, and Alan Carr, THES, March 1) should have paid attention to the letter from Jennifer Craven-Griffiths, chairman of Natfhe's higher education sector conference (THES, February 23).

In 1972 a last-ditch attempt was made by representatives of the (then) new polytechnics to persuade ATTI (the precursor of Natfhe) to establish a separate quasi-autonomous section for higher education, the response of ATTI's general secretary, the late Tom Driver, was "over my dead body". The result was that we founded, in 1973, the Association of Polytechnic Teachers (modelled on AUT): now the Association of University and College Lecturers.

It is interesting to see that the policy of having a single union for all post-16 education as spelled out by Jennifer Craven-Griffiths is still causing disbenefit to the sector.

Professor J. A. Simmons Founder member AUCL

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