Pay claim

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

The lecturers’ strike in the UK is beginning to bite in ways that I don’t think anyone anticipated. It really looks certain that students won’t be graduating this summer as planned. I’m not a big supporter of the action (though I support the cause – academic pay is appalling, and it beggars belief that graduates will go into jobs earning more than the people that taught them), but the ‘increased’ offer made today by the UCEA (representing employers) of 13.1% over three years is laughable, particularly considering it doesn’t even begin to make up for a decline in salaries over the past decade or so, which has meant university lecturers have gone from being paid the same as middle managers in industry to less than bus drivers. Seriously.

And what is it with these ‘over three years’ offers? 13.1% equates to 4.3% per year (although it won’t actually) which is not much above inflation as it stands, but seems to be designed to look good in the papers when the ‘over three years’ seems to get dropped.

It made me think this morning: what’s the difference between a plastic surgeon and the UCEA? One tucks up features… (you can work the rest out for yourself).

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