Yesterday's solution on lecturer pay

October 20, 1995

I used to support the creation of an independent pay review body for higher education staff as does M. G. Roberts of Association of University and College Lecturers (THE , letters, October 13). Doctors, dentists and school teachers have all benefited from substantial relative pay increases through the work of the review bodies since their inception.

The system used to work well. The Government accepted the independent advice and provided extra funds so that employers could implement the pay awards. Now it has broken down. Last year the Government did not fully fund the school teachers' award and left local education authorities and schools to sort out the mess. The result was 5,000 redundant teachers and larger class sizes. What university or higher education college would want an external agency (funding council) to determine the level of its major source of income and another (pay review body) to fix the costs of the majority of its expenditure unless there was a cast-iron relationship between the two? Mr Roberts has come up with yesterday's solution to today's problem.

S. P. ROUSE Universities and Colleges Employers Association

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