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That academic pay dispute

This morning, it was Isobel's turn to wake up shouting at the radio. UCU have agreed to put UCEA's offer of 13.1% to their membership (and not, as the BBC put it, agreed to the increase - learn how a democratic union operates!), so the industrial action will be suspended for the duration of the balloting procedure. I can't say that I'm happy with this offer, and will probably vote against accepting it.

surliminal can now look slightly smug for having been able to prepare for her marking. My role in assessment this year has been mainly limited to third year project vivas (which were all rescheduled for tomorrow and Friday, so I'll now be taking part), fourth year research project reports (with a marking deadline of next week) and my half of the second year databases course (for which I've yet to receive the scripts). I predict a very busy few days.

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I wouldn't like to call it here but I suspect it will be rejected.

Likewise, I wouldn't want to call it. It isn't exactly the same as the 13.1% offer that AUT/NATFHE rejected last week, because the October 2008 increases are linked to the RPI (max of 2.5% and the RPI). More importantly, there will be an independent review of available finances which will inform the negotiations for the October 2008 increase.

The review is the single component of this offer that would lead to me voting to accept it; I'm strongly in favour of a revised negotiation framework that includes such a review mechanism, even if I'm less than enthusiastic about the numerical value of the offer itself.

I'm a bit sceptical of the review but thankfully that can of worms will be dealt with long after I've got my doctorate and run. I just simply don't see the two sides being able to agree on an independent review pannel, let alone the figures they come up with.

As for whether the deal will be rejected, I'm hopeful that it won't. My reasoning is there was quite a low turnout in the ballot for strike action, AUT members not taking part in the action (and there are a lot who I've spoken to at Southampton) seem weary of this and want it over with; therefore I suspect that turnout will be higher for this ballot and that will carry the deal.

It is a bit gauling that this is only 0.5% different from the deal that's been on the table all along, and makes me wonder whether we wouldn't be pretty much at the same place without 14 weeks of industrial action causing untold stress and difficulty for students.

I'd love to vote against it but by the time we've all marked our exmas and the graduations have been held - what clout will we have left? Edinburgh has us on 3 line whip to have our marks for graduating students in by tomorrow and the rest by Thursday. believe it and weep. Face it - we have been sold out. I am so angry I could kill.

If the membership voted against the offer, the assessment boycott would probably not be reinstated and we'd take some other form of industrial action. Sadly, I think that this probably was the best offer we could have got given the current negotiating framework (JNCHES et al), and I'm not going to blame our union's negotiators. Infighting within UCU could be incredibly damaging to our aims.

I'm starting to think that the best result at this point would be for the membership to accept the offer, but with a sufficient no vote to indicate our dissatisfaction.

There's my weekend gone

It would be nice if UCU could get round to informing me of this, but never mind ...

Re: There's my weekend gone

Alas, they rely on their local associations to inform the membership; I've just received (ten minutes ago) a message from my LA, which is pretty quick.

Re: There's my weekend gone

Bath haven't yet sent anything out to their membership.

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