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University employers’ strategy: play for time 17 May, 2006

Posted by blogforvictory in Uncategorized.


Today’s emergency session of the Commons Education and Skills Committee (you can see it here) left MPs, unions and observers baffled by the university employers’ persistent reliance on time-wasting and spurious figures rather than actively seeking a resolution to the universities’ pay dispute.

There were two clues that UCEA (the Universities’ and Colleges Employers’ Association) is content to sit back and do nothing. In his answers to MPs’ questions, UCEA chief Dr Geoffrey Copland (above) said the extent to which students would be unable to take exams had been exaggerated and only a “very small number” would be affected. UCEA has been happy to let the media report otherwise, in the hope that it will pressurise NATFHE and AUT members to discontinue their industrial action, and Dr Copland’s remarks suggest this may be a deliberate strategy which they plan to stick to.

The second clue came in a leaked UCEA notice calling for an employers’ meeting this Friday 19 May. The notice makes no mention of any fresh initiative to seek a settlement of the dispute but simply hopes that student, public and government opinion will put pressure on lecturers “which may change the climate greatly”.

UCEA even managed to upset the chairman of the MPs committee, by issuing a false press statement claiming that Barry Sheerman MP had called on the AUT and NATFHE representatives to put the employers’ 12.6 per cent “final offer” to their members for a ballot.

According to the BBC:

‘Committee chair Barry Sheerman said this was “absolutely the opposite of the truth”, adding: “I’m hopping mad.”

The Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association (UCEA) issued a statement to news media after the committee hearing, quoting its chair, Dr Geoffrey Copland – who had given evidence.

“We are delighted that members of the education and skills committee this morning added their voice to the growing demand for the AUT and Natfhe to put this 12.6% pay offer to a ballot.”

Mr Sheerman said: “It’s the opposite of the truth and this is a real breach of trust. I don’t see how anyone can trust an organisation that would do that.”

We must expose the employers’ bad faith. As the frustration and anxiety of thousands of students and their families in the UK and around the world turns to anger, and as growing numbers of union members face threats and intimidation from their employers, the employers’ cynicism cannot go unpunished.



1. norinedavid63502 - 8 April, 2016

hahaha. you’re so full of nonsense la jac. your one yearns higher pay leh! Click http://link.mx/hool08200

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