There's an interesting article by Mike Baker on BBC News
about the ongoing lecturers' marking boycott
and the tangled web of issues involved. Sadly, as with so many disputes amongst academics, "the facts of the matter" are in bitter dispute, ranging from just what average pay is at the moment to when the dispute began. We've had the farce of one side arguing they tried to resolve the matter before the exam season and the other arguing that they tried to avoid the dispute until afterwards. Somehow I think students waiting for results aren't going to be too impressed. What's not noted so much is that there are several other unions representing staff in universities (mainly non-academic) who are on the same pay spine and so the University and Colleges' Employers' Association (UCEA) couldn't begin negotiations before all the unions had submitted their claims.
What isn't in dispute is this:
There is a lot of anger, bitterness, recrimination and lack of trust in this dispute.
Just when is this dispute going to end?
The handling of the situation by all parties involved has been utterly shambolic.
As you know, I work in the assessment and graduation office of a large university, and it isn't much fun having to inform concerned students and their parents that we're proceeding as normal when the truth is we haven't got a clue what is going to happen, and in the knowledge that the eventual pay rise won't benefit those of us at the coalface whilst the management (many of whom are in the AUT) fiddle while Rome burns, knowing they'll be quids in at the end of it all.
as a lecturer at a major university i just want to say that although i am supporting the strike - it isn't much fun for us either. I think that universities -like other key institutions - need a pay review board. It get rid of the ol' boy network and means that neither side can really dispute the facts as the body that produces them has very little interest in the outcomes.
Just a point of information - most lecturers have marked the papers and are just holding the marks. This means that as soon as an offer is put to us, BAM, in goes the final marks.
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