Penalised part-timer

April 21, 2000

It is an irony that you published a letter ("Trojan horse needed", THES, April 7) on the day that the Part-time Employees (prevention of less favourable treatment) Regulations 2000 came into force.

The flat-rate annual membership fee for the Institute for Learning and Teaching is potentially discriminatory to part-time staff and the low-paid. Many are likely to be women and ethnic minorities.

The Bett report suggested enhanced salary payments to ILT members of, for example, Pounds 1,000 pro rata annually. This could lead to double discrimination. A full-timer on Pounds 30,000 a year pays Pounds 75 pa for ILT membership and receives a salary enhancement of Pounds 1,000. A part-timer (say an 0.25 FTE) on Pounds 7,500 a year pays Pounds 75 and receives Pounds 250 enhancement.

With the new regulations it is no longer necessary to prove sex discrimination to demonstrate detriment between a full-timer and a part-timer.

Until there is a sliding scale ILT annual membership fee I am not prepared to "own" something that penalises those who are struggling to live on inadequate salaries and without secure employment.

Sandra Jeans, Natfhe branch chair, Cheltenham

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