Where's the action on trainee salaries?

I WAS disgusted by Ralph Tabberer's article (TES, May 19) suggesting that those providing undergraduate teacher-training courses should respond positively to the payment of pound;6,000 to postgraduate trainees.

I am studying on the four-year undergraduate programme at Exeter University in a shortage area - secondary maths. The fact we aren't offered the same incentives as postgraduate certificate in education students is discriminatory and a cloaked way of disposing of these courses altogether.

For Mr Tabberer to say "the undergraduate route is still very important" but not push for payments in line with postgraduates is hypocrisy. If the Government and the Teacher Training Agency want to get rid of undergraduate courses, it should say so.

If the Government is willing to spend billions o bureaucracy, overloading teachers with paperwork, and on the spin doctors and civil servants that eat up our tax revenues, I'm sure they can spare undergraduates pound;6,000 for training to be a teacher.

And what happened to the unions? I eagerly joined the National Union of Teachers; the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers and the Association of Teachers and Lecturers in my first year thinking I was joining active and dynamic unions that would stand up for their members.

How wrong I was! They have spent so long squabbling over performance-related pay, that they haven't noticed this threat to the profession. Actions speak louder than words, so let's see some action for a change!

Mike Thain

St. Luke's School of Education

University of Exeter

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