In 1996 as a national negotiator for my then union I supported and took an active part in industrial action, as inferred by Jill Jones of Natfhe (THES, February 20), but I regretted its necessity. That action turned an original salary offer of 1.5 per cent into two annual increases of 2.9 per cent. Over the same two years school teachers received 3.75 per cent and 3.3 per cent respectively from their independent pay review body, reflecting the pattern of higher awards for staff covered by such boards rather than collective bargaining.
Over time the boards also generate increased public funding for the sectors that they cover.
Neil A. A. Macfarlane. Former chair AUCL. Vice-president AUT