Pay structure: national vs local

September 24, 1999

It is strange for Larry Bunt to be talking down the possibility of government funds to implement the Pounds 450 million Bett recommendations at the exact time the entire sector is lobbying hard for it (Soapbox, THES, September 10).

Does Bunt think academics do not deserve a pay rise and that systems do not need radical modernisation?

Local pay determination in higher education - as recommended by Bunt - would be expensive, wasteful and wrong. Expensive, because most university personnel departments are not adequately resourced to take on the much bigger job of running pay bargaining. Wasteful, because universities would be duplicating the same work. Wrong, because higher education is diverse but also operates within a clear national framework. Pay and conditions should reflect this balance by allowing some flexibility within a negotiated national framework.

Tom Wilson Head of universities department Natfhe.

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