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The truth about FE accountability;Letter

JOHN SELLARS'S predictable response (TESS, December 25) to the sensible concept of national bargaining favoured by Graeme Hyslop and desired by the vast majority of lecturing staff is typical of the garbage we in further education have been forced to endure since incorporation.

I totally dispute his prime objection is concern for accountability of public expenditure. If this is the case, perhaps he will publish in The TES Scotland the salaries and conditions of each of the principals and senior management teams before incorporation and now. Where is the accountability here?

Like most FE lecturers I fail to see how anyone can justify a position that sees a typical lecturer paid up to pound;2,301 a year more than a colleague in another college, on purely subjective grounds. The fact is that in 46 colleges lecturers at the same level receive the following salaries: highest pound;24,519, lowest pound;22,218, average pound;23,324. Standard deviation pound;538. This is completely unacceptable.

The Government pledged before the election to abolish boards of management and bring real accountability into FE. Let them start by getting rid of the ludicrous position on local bargaining, that has handsomely rewarded principals, senior management and hangers-on, and move to establishing an equitable, fair salary structure for the vast majority in FE whose salaries have been seriously eroded under this and the previous Government.

John Sellars and the Government would earn more respect if they told the truth: the position on local bargaining is all about maintaining a mechanism for rewarding the greedy; it has nothing to do with accountability.

Iain Cathro Ferndale Drive, Broughty Ferry, Dundee

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