Taking from Peter to pay PRP

October 8, 1999

The experience of trade unions in other parts of the public sector confirms Natalie Fenton's analysis of the impact of PRP for academic and related staff in our universities.

According to the Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists, the union for professionals and specialists in the civil service, the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions backed down from basing last year's pay award on performance ratings. An analysis of performance markings had revealed significant anomalies in performance markings between men and women, and between whites and ethnic minority staff.

In spite of this, the political imperative behind the expansion of PRP within the public sector seems to be gaining in strength. The "hidden agenda" is, as Natalie Fenton implies, the imposition of a management culture inimical to academic excellence.

Penny Holloway Past president Association of University Teachers

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