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Anyone here a member of AUT/NATFHE?

(9 Posts)
Ellbell Mon 15-May-06 22:44:29

Are you participating in the 'action short of a strike'? And have you had pay docked? Have just received a letter telling me that I'll be docked 30% of my pay if I continue with the action...

marialuisa Tue 16-May-06 12:15:19

Neither DH nor I are AUT members so not participating. There are very few members at the Uni we work at and no emails have come from on high about pay docking for participants (which is kind of weird).

Kathy1972 Tue 16-May-06 12:23:04

DH and I are both AUT members, but I am on sick leave with hyperemesis and he is on study leave at the moment so we're not participating. We support the action though so we will be contributing to the AUT's hardship fund.
As I understand it, legally they can only dock the proportion of your pay that relates to the tasks you're not completing and they then can't expect you to make up the work once the action finishes.
Marialuisa, not everywhere docks pay as they may be wanting to play it softly-softly in the hope that when the action is over you'll all be prepared to do whatever it takes to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. There seems to be a lot of variation in whether personnel depts/vcs want to play hardball to intimidate you into ending the action, or maintain good relations with staff.

marialuisa Tue 16-May-06 12:37:57

Yes, it's just weird as this isn't a Uni with a good rep when it comes to personnel issues. The V-C is a notorious a*hole.

booge Tue 16-May-06 13:06:44

We had that letter this morning but I'm not a union member so won't be participating either. I work with a hard core union member who is up in arms though.

lua Tue 16-May-06 13:09:38

I am a member, and am supporting. However it is easy for me because not teaching at the mo.
Where I work, everybody is trying to remain nice and no threats of pay dock yet.... But I can see the tension mounting...

Ellbell Tue 16-May-06 14:25:04

It's getting very tense here now. I am horrified by the lack of publicity/bad publicity we are getting too. I think that the AUT has been very lax in not drawing this to the public's attention before it became a 'shock, horror, my children won't graduate' issue. There is so much misinformation out there. Two students told me today that they had read in the papers that a lecturer's starting salary was over £30k. Try telling that to my colleagues, struggling to survive on £24k p.a. I think we really need a publicity campaign to inform the public about what we do (not just teaching). If I had a pound for everyone who told me that they were envious of my 'long holidays'.... Grrrr! (And, yes, there is a lot of flexibility to the job during the periods when we don't actually teach, and - as a parent, especially - I appreciate that, but I do resent the attitude that we all teach about 3 hours per week and spend the rest of the time sitting around doing nothing!) Anyway, rant over. I'm not giving in to intimidation, but am keeping everything crossed for a swift resolution.

PS Sorry to hear about the hyperemesis, Kathy. That must be grim.

Kathy1972 Tue 16-May-06 14:37:22

Ellbell - yes, people always assume when it's not actually termtime we must be 'on holiday' - personally as I work in an entirely postgrad department I hardly notice whether it's termtime or not! As for the starting salary of 24k, yes, and that's just once you get a proper lectureship - lots of people spend years doing postdocs for a lot less than that.

I don't blame the AUT for the lack of publicity about the dispute until now - I imagine they have been doing what they can in sending out press releases etc but if the media aren't interested it just gets ignored.

The reporting has been really inaccurate in some papers. I think it was the Times that was using the term 'junior lecturer' to refer to everyone below senior lecturer level, as if it's equivalent to a junior doctor.

titchy Tue 16-May-06 14:38:39

Yep I'm also a member, though as I don't teach I haven't been threatened with having my pay docked. Other colleagues have though - 10% if they don't mark or invigilate exams. I have refused to invigilate though. We are probably going to have to have students going through with ordinary degrees for the time being as no-one has sent any work to External Examiners. Our Exam Board is still going ahead though - go figure!

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