Support for support

September 22, 2000

While supporting most recent comments about pay and Bett, I do not believe that the blame lies solely with the lack of government funding.

Universities have taken decisions to reduce the percentage of income spent on pay. The government announcement of extra funds to stop "brain drain" also shows a lack of appreciation of what is wrong.

Support staff are undervalued and underpaid, as highlighted in the Bett report, which found that they needed a rise of at least 20 per cent to achieve parity with other sectors. The highest turnover of staff is among the lowest paid, in libraries, catering and cleaning, not among academics.

Tom Spamer

Unison branch secretary

Leeds Metropolitan University

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