Pay proposals inspired by the Bett report will be unacceptable unless they involve substantial salary rises for all grades of staff, lecturers' unions agreed this week.
In a joint statement, the university and college lecturers' union Natfhe and the Association of University Teachers criticised some of the survey methodology used by the Bett committee for failing "adequately to reflect the work done by, or the capacities required of, academic and related staff". They state: "All should benefit from the major uprating of salaries now long overdue."
David Triesman, AUT general secretary, said: "It is unthinkable that the great mass of the careers teachers, researchers, library, computer and academic administration staff, on whom the success of higher education has been built, should get nothing."
The statement was ratified at the first joint AUT/Natfhe conference, which was held in London on Wednesday. It rejects Bett proposals on performance-related pay and job evaluation and promises to join forces in fighting sexual discrimination and casualisation.
It agrees to form a joint action committee to work together in the 1999 pay dispute - which the AUT is leading after rejecting employers' offers of a 3.5 per cent rise - and to respond to Bett.
Paul Mackney, Natfhe general secretary, said: "The statement is not perfect, and I am sure it ducks some issues, but the important thing about it is that we are saying it together.
"Our academics, researchers, lecturers and academic-related staff have had to pay for the fast expansion with nearly no pay rises at all."