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Friday, 11 May, 2001, 15:58 GMT 16:58 UK
University support staff get 6.7% rise
Support workers at universities
University support staff - porters, cleaners, caterers and gardeners - across the UK have been offered a 6.7% pay rise.

The deal would mean many ancillary staff on salaries as low as 8,345 earning up to 560 a year more, the Transport and General Workers' Union (T&G) said.

This is the biggest pay rise that these low paid, hard working people have ever been offered

Chris Kaufman, T&G
The deal followed talks on Thursday between the Universities and Colleges Employers' Association (UCEA) and unions representing both academic and support staff in universities.

Employees in the sector have been involved in a long-running dispute over pay and working conditions, saying

Following a day of demonstrations and rallies in December, staff organised a work-to-rule, which involved withholding students' marks, boycotting management meetings, refusing to cover colleagues' lectures and operating overtime bans.

Acceptance anticipated

It is expected the T&G will recommend its members take up the UCEA's pay offer.

The union's national secretary, Chris Kaufman, said the deal was great news for low paid staff across the country.

"This is the biggest pay rise that these low paid, hard working people have ever been offered. It will be a significant boost towards a decent rate for the job.

"The independent Bett Inquiry into university pay and conditions said staff were being paid 30% less than their counterparts outside the sector and recommended radical increases," Mr Kaufman said.

Academic staff

The lecturers' union, Natfhe, which represents "new" universities (former polytechnics) has negotiated a 2.25% increase on 1 September this year and a 2% rise on 1st February next year.

The union's higher education committee will meet next week to decide whether to recommend acceptance of the offer.

A spokesman for the Association of University Teachers said the offer made to academics at "old" universities was some tangible recognition by university employers of the union's demands.

"We are seriously considering the outcome of the negotiations. We feel it's a complex picture, but there was some movement on the part of university employers.

"It's worth taking some time now to carefully go through the details of the pay offer," the spokesman said.

The response of Natfhe and the AUT is expected to be known on Monday.

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See also:

05 Dec 00 | Education
University staff work to rule
17 Mar 00 | Education
Lecturers demand long-term pay rise
16 May 00 | Education
Lecturers reject pay offer
21 May 99 | Education
Pay blow for university staff
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