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EDITIONS
Thursday, 17 May, 2001, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Lecturers vote to ballot on pay deal
natalie fenton
Natalie Fenton: "It's a huge advance"
By Angela Harrison at the AUT conference

Academics are to be balloted on a pay deal which could bring them an increase of 3.7% in the current pay year.


This pay offer is at best adequate and acceptable. It is certainly not generous

AUT president, Alan Carr
Delegates at the annual conference of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, unanimously voted to recommend the deal and ballot members on it.

The leaders of the union say the deal - if approved - could be a historic turning point in the way pay settlements are reached across higher education.

The settlement has been negotiated with representatives of seven unions involved in higher education - with academic and non-academic members.

The settlement includes provision for a new pay bargaining structure, involving one committee covering all staff in the older universities plus the academic staff from the "new" universities set up after 1992.

Until now, negotiations have been carried out separately.

'Real advance'

The president of the AUT, Alan Carr, told delegates: "We have succeeded in our major, strategic objective - securing the creation of a separate academic bargaining table.

"The new bargaining arrangements represent a real advance for all of us - for non-academics as well as academic and related."

The union's executive is calling on members to support the pay deal when they vote on May 17.

Mr Carr said the pay offer was not bad, but fell far short of the 30% he said was needed to close the pay gap with other professionals.

"This pay offer is at best adequate and acceptable. It is certainly not generous."

Reluctant acceptance

The other lecturers' union - Natfhe - which represents staff at the newer universities, is also balloting its members on the pay deal.

It says it has reluctantly decided to encourage them to accept the deal.

Unison, which represents non-academic staff at universities, is opposed to the settlement, because its members at new universities are not included in the joint bargaining arrangement.

The AUT's president-elect, Natalie Fenton, said she hoped delegates would support the deal.

'Not good enough'

"It's a huge advance - the prospect of the AUT and Natfhe working together for the first time. It could have implications for the unity of the profession," she said.

maggie hearst
Maggie Hearst: "Not that brilliant" a deal
"The pay award is not bad enough to reject."

On the conference floor, opinions varied.

Delegate Steve Reynolds said it was an opportunity for unity which should be taken up.

Jane Kennedy, from Liverpool described the settlement as "good, but not good enough".

Chris Banister, executive member for Manchester, said although some members disliked parts of the package which went with the pay offer, it was an "all-or-nothing" deal which should be supported.

Maggie Hearst, from Glasgow, said she disliked that approach: "We are being torpedoed into something which has thrown all the issues together. And the pay deal does not seem that brilliant."

  • The unions involved in the negotiations were all the campus unions: AUT, Educational Institute of Scotland, GMB, MSF, TGWU and Unison.

  • See also:

    11 May 01 | UK Education
    05 Dec 00 | UK Education
    17 Mar 00 | UK Education
    25 Feb 00 | UK Education
    16 May 00 | UK Education
    Links to more Education stories are at the foot of the page.


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