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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Lecturers reject pay offer
Lecturers
Lecturers staged a one-day strike over pay last year
University lecturers have rejected a pay offer of 3%.

The Association of University Teachers dismissed the university employers' "full and final" pay deal as "deplorable".

But the employers argued that 3% was the maximum that universities could afford - after a below-inflation funding increase for higher education.

"The central problem facing employers is the chronic and continuing underfunding of the higher education sector by the government," said a statement from the university employers.

The university staff union has been campaigning for a substantial increase in salaries, claiming that lecturers have slipped by 30% behind other comparable professions.

But the offer from employers is less than the 3.3% offered to schoolteachers - which has further angered the lecturers' union.

And the refusal of the employers to show greater flexibility threatens the future of the pay negotiation system, says the union's general secretary, David Triesman.

'Poor career choice'

"The whole tenor of the vice-chancellors' approach has been to destroy national bargaining. They say they do not intend to end national bargaining but what they do is a million miles from what they say.

"Their concept of 'negotiating' is to make announcements of what they will do but to avoid any serious discussion," said Mr Triesman.

The pay offer would make "a job in higher education an extremely poor career choice", he said.

The union published research earlier this year claiming that low salaries had caused recruitment difficulties for universities

Last year, the union staged a one-day strike and campaign of industrial action in pursuit of a 10% pay claim.

But this was later abandoned and a pay offer of 3.5% was accepted.

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25 May 99 | Education
Lecturers strike over pay
18 Jan 00 | Education
Lecturers demand 30% pay rise
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