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No exam hiccup for BEd students

The threat of disruption to exams and graduations for student teachers on BEd and postgraduate courses has been lifted after agreement was reached late on Tuesday night by the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) and the university employers, UCEA.

The impact has varied across Scotland, with students at the "old"

universities like Edinburgh facing more disruption because of the higher penetration of Association of University Teacher members. The new post-1992 universities tended to be dominated by members of the Educational Institute of Scotland, which so far has not been involved.

The action taken by Scottish members of the AUT, which merged recently with the English-based university and college lecturers' union Natfhe to create the UCU, had included refusing to set and mark exams and pass on assessment evaluations.

Members will now be balloted on acceptance of the deal their leaders have recommended. UCU negotiators agreed to a salary increase of 13.1 per cent over three years. The union had been seeking more than 20 per cent over three years and last week turned down a similar offer of 13.1 per cent.

The revised deal involves an independent review of the money available for pay in 2008, as well as another review of the negotiating process.

The EIS had been due to announce a ballot of HE members over joining the action on June 12. Ronnie Smith, EIS general secretary, said: "The pay offer made to the unions on June 6 will now be considered by the executive committee of our University Lecturers' Association."

It is highly unlikely that the EIS would go ahead with unilaterial action when the other unions have reached a settlement.

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