Saturday, 26 December 2015

Students May Have Say on Teachers' Pay Taken from The Guardian

Teachers are unhappy that students might help decide their pay.

University teachers were angry yesterday when they heard that the Prices and Incomes Board had recommended that students should share in deciding how much they are paid.
The Secretary for Education, Mr Edward Short, said the Government was deferring for further consideration novel proposals by the board for discretionary payments to teachers which would rely in part on students’ assessment of their merits.
Mr Aubrey Jones yesterday appeared a little defensive about the board’s proposals, admitting that he did not appreciate that exam success rates vary widely without necessarily indicating the quality of teaching, and admitting, too, that a permanent increment for teaching merit might ignore variation in subsequent performance. But he showed student questionnaires in use at Stanford and other US universities, argued that student assessment might be fairer than professors’, and claimed that student interest in teaching quality was now an inevitable “fact of life.”
The Government accepts the board’s main recommendations on university teachers’ pay - about 5 per cent or £3.5 millions a year overall and up to 17 per cent for the lowest paid.
The Association of University Teachers, whose claim for an all round pay increase of 15 per cent backdated to December 31, 1967, was decisively rejected by the board, commented: “University teachers have been betrayed. The PIB was not originally presented to us as a body which would work in this way. The overall award is too small. In individual cases it will be 2 or 3 per cent over 3 ½ years. The PIB has operated Government policy in an economic crisis and singled us out to use as an example to the public as a sort of economic sacrificial lamb to the spectre of inflation.”
The AUT holds a conference in Nottingham today and tomorrow at which rank and file bitterness may be expressed.
Major objections
The Committee of Vice Chancellors commented that it has “major objections” to a number of the board’s recommendations and complained that the universities had been treated differently because they were an isolated case. Their salaries were not compared with higher civil servants’ or doctors’, for instance and the report had encroaches on basic staffing and academic policies which should properly belong to the University Grant Committee.

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