HC Deb 24 March 2004 vol 419 c900W
Mr. Beggs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement regarding the pay dispute at universities in Northern Ireland. [162695]

Jane Kennedy

The Association of University Teachers(AUT)is taking industrial action in support of its pay claim. University staff pay is determined by central UK-wide negotiating machinery in which Government are not involved.

The Department for Employment and Learning provides funding towards the recurrent costs of the universities but is not the employer of AUT members and has no locus in the determination of their pay. They are directly employed by the universities, which are autonomous bodies responsible for setting their own salary levels.