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Produced by Belfast Association of University Teachers Issue No 9 June 1999

The Bett Report Recommendations

Introduction

 Conditions of service

reddot.gif (924 bytes)Future mechanisms for determination of pay and conditions

 Clinical academics

 Pay structures

 Management and staff development

 Pay levels

 Financial implications


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Introduction

The long awaited report was published on 23rd June, and I list the main recommendations below. (The emphasis is mine.) More details are available on www.irhepc.org.uk I stress that these are only recommendations and that neither the trade unions, nor the employers nor the government will necessarily accept them. In particular the Government is showing strong resistance to finding the necessary money. This is despite the fact that HE staff have shown productivity increases of 6% per annum, three times that of the UK service sector. Unit funding per student has declined in real terms from £7,385 in 1989/90 to £4,785 in 1997/98. Only the realisation that there will be no peace in universities until funding is increased will ensure the necessary government money.

Be very wary of the pay rates suggested in recommendation 28. These are for 2002 because that is the earliest that Bett expects payment. They are also very much lower than AUT claims. This is because they were obtained using the Hay job evaluation scheme (of such a bad reputation in QUB) which places great weight on the control of money and people. Grade i would correspond to Research Assistant, Grade ii to Lecturer A and many on Lecturer B, Grade iii to the remaining lecturers, Grade iv to Senior Lecturer and Reader, and Grade v to Professors. Senior members of the academic-related staff would map onto these or linked grades, but most academic-related staff would be on the non-academic grades.

AUT will provide a detailed response later and preliminary comments are on the national web-site (www.aut.org.uk/news) My overall impression is that this is a bureaucrat’s view of university staff. There is no recognition of the fact that the reputation, innovation and development of a university rest solely on the academic staff and those who work closely with them. They are all hired help, and the professional responsibility towards students, academic standards and subject development are ignored. While lip service is paid to academic freedom it is undermined.

Paul Hudson


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Recommendations

Future mechanisms for determination of pay and conditions

(Recommendation no's are in brackets.)


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Pay structures


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Pay levels


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Conditions of service


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Clinical academics


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Management and staff development


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Financial implications