Scottish teachers union appeals to principals over pay bargaining

January 23, 2004

The Association of University Teachers Scotland has called on Scottish university principals to demonstrate their commitment to national pay negotiations by helping to bring the employers back to the negotiating table.

David Bleiman, AUT regional assistant general secretary, told an AUT meeting at the University of Abertay Dundee that the Scottish employers had a "heavy responsibility" to reopen negotiations.

"It is well known that Scottish universities, employers and staff alike are not interested in local pay negotiations and favour UK pay negotiations," he said.

"It is for that reason that it is all the more incumbent on the Scottish principals to get the Universities and Colleges Employers Association to stop dancing to the tune of those English universities that want minimal national negotiations and maximum local autonomy, that want to do down the academic-related staff and that are hell-bent on introducing local factor-based job evaluation, regardless of the views of the staff."

Mr Bleiman said that Scottish universities, unlike their English counterparts, were not under funding-council instructions to introduce job evaluation by a specific date. No top-sliced funds had been held back for this.

"Scottish universities therefore have no need for the Ucea to have a dispute with the AUT about any aspect of job evaluation. In fact, they need it like a hole in the head," he said.

Universities Scotland does not comment on the detail of pay negotiations since these are carried out on a UK basis through Ucea.

But a Universities Scotland spokesperson said: "We are committed to maintaining national pay bargaining and committed to getting the best result for Scottish universities and their staff. There has been no louder voice in Scotland campaigning for more funding for staff pay than Universities Scotland."

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