Mergers, marriages and unions

February 23, 1996

I was bemused to read Alison Utley's article which referred to the AUT's strategy to create a single union for higher education. The presumption behind the editorial was that only academic staff count in higher education.

It is worth reminding readers that other people live on this planet. While we have no desire to get above ourselves, dare we say that Unison is the largest union in higher education with nearly 50,000 manual, technical, administrative, library and other professional higher education members. They are part of the higher education team and just as important and necessary to the output of better quality graduates and research.

No doubt the AUT would be only too pleased to commandeer all of Unison's academic-related members and others with suitable pedigrees, but what about the rest? So how can there be one union for higher education? I know! Perhaps as Unison is happy to represent all staff across all occupational and class divides . . .

ELAINE HARRISON

Head of higher education, Unison

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