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Friday, 17 March, 2000, 14:16 GMT
Lecturers demand long-term pay rise
Lecturers
Union leaders say lecturers' pay has declined for two decades
Lecturers have presented a pay claim for a 30% increase over four years.

The Association of University Teachers submitted its pay claim for staff in the 'old' pre-1992 universities to the Universities and Colleges Employers Association on Friday.

Last year's pay claim of 10% resulted in a 3.5% increase - after a one-day strike and campaign of industrial action.

The union says that the four-year pay claim, which does not include any specific claim for individual years, is intended to allow university staff to catch up with other professions.

The long-term deal, covering the period 2000 to 2004, anticipates the arrival of "comprehensive changes to pay and conditions", which would follow extra overall funding to higher education.

According to the AUT, since 1981 pay for lecturers has consistently slipped behind - so much so that it is now 30% to 40% below rates of pay for other professionals.

This decline in pay is still continuing, claims the union's general secretary, David Triesman, and will continue to cause recruitment problems for universities.



"We have demonstrated conclusively that academic pay fell by over 2% compared with other professions last year.

"A good postgraduate will earn more on a late shift on London Underground than working for a great university. It must strike somebody that this is unsustainable," said Mr Triesman.

Earlier this year, a survey from university vice-chancellors reported that higher education was struggling to recruit and retain staff - particularly among the most able graduates.

As well as the call for an improved overall pay deal, the union is proposing a reduction in the number of staff on temporary contracts and greater efforts to equalise pay between male and female academics.

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