Mergers, marriages and unions

February 23, 1996

Your leader identifies well the problems created by the failure to unify the two parts of the higher education service, even though the historical origin of the separation is clear. There is, however, a lacuna in that you chose to ignore the existence of one of the long-standing academic unions in the sector and, therefore, an important force for harmonisation.

Both the Association of University and College Lecturers and AUT have argued for a pay review body for the whole sector, for unification of the sector, and have insisted on dedicating themselves to their role of representing academic and academic-related staff in higher education, undistracted by other, sometimes dominant interests.

The success of a dedicated union in the old universities can be seen when it is realised that the average academic salaries for 1995 are: new universities Pounds 25,323, old universities Pounds 28,932.

Christine Cheesman

Chief executive , AUCL

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