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Prospect of 110,000 strong member Further & Higher Education union

The prospect of a new 110,000 strong union for further and higher education moved a step closer last weekend following positive and constructive talks between negotiators from AUT and NATFHE.

Senior representatives of AUT and NATFHE met last week to enable firm proposals to be put to the AUT council and NATFHE conference in spring 2005.

General secretaries Sally Hunt (AUT) and Paul Mackney (NATFHE) said: “We set ourselves a challenging timescale to bring our members a choice on a single new union. The discussions have been robust but productive.

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“The constructive way that both sides have approached these tough negotiations shows what we can achieve together.”

Proposals will be put to the national executive committees of the two unions and then to AUT council and NATFHE conference in spring 2005. If the proposals are agreed, members would be balloted in autumn 2005. The new potential union will come into existence in 2006.

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