Pay the local way

October 1, 1999

According to David Mee, personnel director at the University of Central England (Letters, THES, September 24) the Bett committee should have listened to P. C. Knight and recommended the abolition of national bargaining over pay and conditions and opted for local determination as the only way to secure greater financial support of higher education from a Labour government.

But, as our members at UCE have discovered, "local determination of pay" is a euphemism for effective union derecognition with pay and conditions determined by local management "fiat".

As a consequence of this policy, during the mid-1990s, when UCE academic staff salaries fell in real terms by 30 per cent or more, the pay of the vice-chancellor and his senior management team rose, two or three times faster than the rate of inflation. So when Mee talks of "vested interests", employees at UCE know exactly who he is talking about.

Terry Mandrell

Acting UCE branch chair Stan Emmett

UCE branch secretary, Natfhe

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