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Clegg Commission Awards

Volume 982: debated on Tuesday 1 April 1980

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6.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the expected cost in the financial year 1980–81 of the awards made by the Clegg Commission in the area of education since its inception.

The only recommendations made so far which affect the area of education cover local government manual workers and university manual workers and technicians. These are expected to add £90 million or just over 1 per cent. to the cost of the education service in 1980–81. Full account has been taken of these costs in the 1980–81 Estimates and the rate support grant settlement.

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but is he aware that despite the fact that wage rates in the private sector for cleaning and catering staff are lower than in the public sector, these staff have still received an award from the Clegg Commission? Does my hon. Friend agree that that makes nonsense of so called comparability? Does he accept that the Commission was set up only to enable the previous Government to give by stealth wage increases which if given openly would have breached their incomes policy? Is it not time that the Clegg Commission was wound up?

I appreciate my hon. Friend's strong feelings, but the Clegg Commission is not the responsibility of the Department of Education and Science, nor are the negotiations that followed its award. There are separate bodies that carry out the negotiations.

Will the Minister accept that even after the Clegg Commission has reported an dits findings have been implemented, many hundreds of thousands of workers in education are still very low paid? Will the hon. Gentleman comment on the disgraceful failure of many Oxford colleges to implement the findings of the Clegg Commission because they say that they cannot afford it?

My answer to the hon. Gentleman is the same as that given to my hon. Friend the Member for Bridlington (Mr. Townend). Bodies are set up to negotiate wage rates and they go through normal procedures. They are not determined directly by this House.

Will my hon. Friend urge our right hon. and learned Friend to publish at the same time as the findings of the Clegg Commission are published an estimate of the consequential redundancies that will flow from their implementation? Will he urge his right hon. and learned Friend to follow that up by urging his colleagues in the Cabinet to make the learned professor redundant as soon as possible?

Despite press reports, I was informed at 12 noon today that the report of the Clegg Commission regarding teachers had not reached Whitehall. I am also informed that it will be confidential until it is printed by Her Majesty's Stationery Office and published as a Command Paper. Publication is expected between 14 and 16 April. On its publication the responsibility returns to the Burnham committee for primary, scondary and further education and local authori- ties and employers will have to take note, in their negotiations, of the effect of that settlement on their expenditure and the rate support grant.