STRIKES could hit universities for the second consecutive winter as lecturers push government for an independent pay review body, writes Alan Thomson.
Delegates at the Association of University Teachers special council last Friday voted to prepare plans for further campaigning and for industrial action if the government fails to back an independent and permanent pay review body for academic and related staff.
The association has raised the strike threat in the hope of influencing the deliberations of the pay review committee which was recommended in the Dearing report. The report said that the committee should report by April next year on the framework for determining pay and conditions.
Alan Carr, AUT national executive member, said: "Nowhere is the work in Dearing more shoddy than in relation to pay. Instead of a clear-cut recognition of a pay review body we have a fudged recognition of an employer-appointed review committee. Our argument is not something that will go away."
The union says that academic pay has fallen so far behind professional equivalents that only a permanent PRB would be able to bridge the gap over the next few years.