Taking from Peter to pay PRP

October 8, 1999

As Natalie Fenton says, the introduction of PRP would exacerbate the serious discrimination against women over pay most recently revealed by the Bett report.

But the Bett report itself recommends that elements of PRP (based on "merit and achievement") should be introduced to increase the "flexibility" of higher education employment practices.

The more discretionary it is, the more opaque any pay system will be, and the more vulnerable to distortions based on subjective assessment. A study by the Institute of Manpower Studies for the Equal Opportunities Commission has shown that managers rating employees tend to look at different attributes; men are expected to be intelligent, assertive and persuasive, women to be honest, dependable and logical.

By all means use merit and achievement in an open and objective way to promote deserving individuals. But PRP would reinforce hierarchies, discriminate against the worst paid groups and promote a culture of cronyism.

Laura Barker Librarian, geology library Imperial College

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns