Pay rise put in motion

August 27, 1999

As The THES rightly notes (August 20), Natfhe is calling for a major inquiry into further education pay and conditions at this year's Trades Union Congress conference. However, I am sure that THES readers - including our 18,000 higher education members - will be equally interested to note Natfhe's other TUC motion. This motion calls on the government to find the funding to realise the Bett committee's recommendations on improving pay and conditions for the sector.

Natfhe sees the setting up of the national negotiating machinery recommended by Bett and the commencement of some serious employer-union negotiations on its recommendations as urgent.

We agree with the statement by Howard Newby, chairman of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals, that unions and employers should take the opportunity afforded by Bett to press home to government the strong case for investment in higher education. It would be the height of irresponsibility for the government to undermine negotiations, and the prospects for improving higher education staff morale, by failing to fund the outcome.

Our call for a policy-making conference for disabled workers is actually an amendment to one of the motions up for debate in Brighton this year - not a Natfhe motion as was reported.

Alan John President Natfhe.

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