Reporter 396, 3 February 1997

Pay row nears end

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association has virtually doubled its original offer, which now stands at a 2.9 percent pay increase from April 1, 1996, and 3.9 percent for manual staff; and the same increase or the RPI - whichever is higher from this April, with a 0.5 percent uplift for manual staff.

Members of the manual and ancilliary workers' union Unison, which is holding a national consultation exercise , voted unanimously at four campus meetings to accept the latest offer. A union spokesman described it as a good offer, "the second best public sector deal this year,after the firefighters."

MSF, which has some 300 members at the University, said it expected the deal to be welcomed.

The Association of University Teachers, however, is still pushing hard for clear support from the University and Colleges Employers Association for a pay review body.

An AUT spokesman said it was "now or never" to resolve the union's five-year fight for an independent mechanism to recommend pay rises for academic-related staff.

"Everyone's waiting for the Dearing report - but it will make it a great deal easier for Dearing to recommend a pay review body if the employers are pressing for it as well as the staff."

AUT members have voted by 3 to 1 to continue the dispute through disrupting exam and admissions procedures as from February 3. Further talks were scheduled, however, as we went to press, and a resolution was likely.

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