Get real, Nelson

July 7, 2000

Optimism inspired by the most evocative of sources fuelled talks over lecturers' pay between trade union Natfhe and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association this week.

Natfhe submitted its pay claim this year with a quote from Nelson Mandela: "All differences can be resolved through negotiation - and the principle applies equally to the highest council of nations and the smallest communities."

Not quite all differences and all communities, Mr Mandela - the talks were adjourned when the parties failed to agree to a 3 per cent pay offer.

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