June 07, 2006

Finally…

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5052730.stm

Well the strike is officially over. Looks like the AUT settled for 13.1%. Congratulations to Boris Johnson for stating the obvious, but entirely correct point that all the work must now be marked.

The pay offer makes the debate a rather moot point – refuse to settle for 12.6, but go for 13.1. I suspect that this was due in part to the realisation that universities couldn't really afford a satisfactory pay increase. I wonder in three years time whether the situation will change. I suspect not for the following reasons:

1. As far as the AUT is concerned the dispute isn't entirely over: "we are acutely aware that this will still not make up the ground lost over the past decades"

2. Now we have gone down the route of fees and already increased them, there will inevitably be increased fees in future. Accordingly there will be more money in the system to pay increased salaries when this happens.

3. In a system where there are two unions, both representing diametrically opposed views on pay it is hard to see how agreement can easily be reached.


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