Fillip for joint work on pay

February 25, 2005

The task of modernising pay in higher education has been given a boost with the announcement that trade unions and employers are to be funded to work in partnership, writes Claire Sanders.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England has awarded the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association and seven trade unions an initial Pounds 70,000 to develop joint working practices as they seek to implement last year's agreement on pay modernisation.

The "Working in Partnership" project will also involve the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, which will run workshops, hold a national conference and develop a training toolkit.

Steve Hodder of Acas said: "The project will help the higher education sector to avoid the traditional, confrontational approach to reaching agreement."

Chris Kaufman, national secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union, said: "Implementation of the agreement relies on a cooperative approach. The project will enable us to point to best practice elsewhere in the sector."

Geoff White of Ucea, said: "There is differential capacity across the sector - on the union and the employer sides. Where there are real differences we will be able to point to compromise solutions reached elsewhere."

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