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Don’t expect an early result 7 March, 2006

Posted by blogforvictory in Uncategorized.
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As NATFHE and AUT members begin their industrial action, it is clear that a well-organised propaganda campaign by the employers may leave campaigners for fair pay isolated from public – and student – support. Today’s Guardian is critical of our action and highly selective in its reporting, choosing to quote the breakaway Student Union at Bristol rather than the rest, like at our own at Bournemouth, which have declared support for the lecturers’ campaign.

The Guardian also hands over a lengthy opinion piece to the employers, which makes their strategy explicit.

“If pay is stopped, the action will collapse,” says Dr Peter Knight, vice-chancellor of UCE Birmingham. “While there is proper and understandable loyalty to the unions from their members, there is a limit to that loyalty and it will get severely tested at pay day.”

What Knight fails to understand is the depth of feeling this campaign reflects, and the fact that many of us – those for whom the chronically low salaries represent the main or sole income – feel we have nothing to lose. Our unions have made it clear that failure to restore docking of pay due to industrial action will merely prolong that action, and while there will be those whose resolve may not withstand such a test, docking of pay is also likely to harden attitudes among the remainder.

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