Pay rate survey

July 30, 1999

The story on the pay study conducted for the Bett committee by Hay Management Consultants quoted the Association of University Teachers' view that the study was based on 115 jobs (THES, July 9). In fact, the questionnaires and interviews covering 115 people were intended to supplement and strengthen evidence from three other main sources - other extensive interview records covering a further sample of 92 roles, our previous pay study jointly commissioned by the unions and Universities and Colleges Employers Association, based on analysis of 300 roles and consul-tancy work in several universities.

The steering group for the study debated the nature of evidence and agreed the approach at every stage.

The story also said that changes were made to the results of the study as it was being written. This was to reflect the full range of evidence that had to be gathered on a tight timescale. Again, the changes were all agreed.

You reported the AUT's view that the Hay method of job evaluation is inappropriate to the work of academic and related staff. Where job evaluation is to be used to set internal relativities within higher education, there are plenty of grounds for debate about methods,but our pay study was not about internal relativities, it was concerned with comparing pay levels in higher education with other sectors of the economy. To do that, it is necessary to use criteria for comparing jobs of different types that operate in very different settings. The Hay Method provides these criteria.

Peter Smith and Philip Cohen Directors, Hay Management Consultants

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