Unions of unions

February 13, 1998

My comments on a possible Association of University Teachers/Natfhe merger may possibly have been sectoral, but they were certainly not sectarian - we who live in Northern Ireland know the meaning of that epithet only too well!

The Natfhe general secretary demands a rapid merger, and ordinary AUT members deserve to know what an unruly household he wants them to cohabit. Natfhe's string of general secretaries, failed reform packages and staff redundancies hardly indicate knowledge of the optimal use of resources. The AUT/Natfhe confederation generated wasteful meetings but no benefits to members. Financial autonomy within a single organisation is no safeguard for AUT members if the other sector continues as it has.

Paul Hudson,. Queen's University of Belfast.

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