Lecturers' leaders may call for strikes

January 8, 1999

Lecturers will this month discuss whether to prepare for industrial action should employers postpone this year's pay settlement to await the outcome of the Bett inquiry into pay and conditions.

A motion by the Association of University Teachers' executive to its council on January 21 calls for "a sustained campaign of industrial action" including one-day strikes if "employers delay settlement or fail to reverse the long-term erosion in salaries".

It warns that changes resulting from the Bett inquiry are unlikely to come into force until 2000. Further executive motions condemn the new job evaluation scheme, Higher Education Role Analysis, as an "unjustifiable waste of I public money" and reject a single pay spine.

HERA plots the salaries of academic and non-academic staff under a single system. It has been criticised by the AUT and university and college lecturers' union Natfhe.

Indicating the discussions taking place among the Bett team, the AUT executive alerts members to employer proposals for a single pay spine using HERA or similar and warns that other staff unions are also committed to a single status of employment.

It calls on council to reject a single pay spine and bargaining arrangements, construct a union side made up of unions representing academic and related staff only, and reject any pay mechanism based on schemes such as HERA .

It also wants to resist attempts by higher education employers to negotiate the pay and conditions of academic and related staff with unions that do not have these kind of staff as members, and to organise a boycott of such pay determination schemes should there be any attempt to introduce them.

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