National bargaining

September 1, 2000

Chris Kaufman makes a great deal of sense ("Let the pay fight begin", Soapbox, THES, August 11). An objective of any responsible union must be to maintain as much national bargaining as possible.

One only has to look at further education to witness the chaos, fragmentation and misery that results from institutions going their own way. Employment standards fall and it becomes more and more difficult for colleges and universities to present a united front.

The comprehensive spending review, while disappointing, promotes a degree of funding flexibility to address some issues in the Bett report. The key tasks for unions now must be: get round the negotiating table to get Bett implemented and to campaign for adequate funding.

Paul Mackney

General secretary, Natfhe

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