One of Britain's top universities has been accused of launching "thinly veiled attacks" on trade unions in a major dispute over pay and union rights.
University of Exeter bosses offered a 2 per cent pay increase in December - but only if staff agreed to withdraw from national pay bargaining.
Members of UCU, Unite and Unison all voted against the deal, prompting university registrar David Allen to send a furious email to all staff in which he blamed union members for stopping a pay rise.
He wrote: "Because of the nature of collective bargaining it is possible for only 7 per cent of staff to determine the outcome for all staff."
This week Mr Allen renewed the row by repeating his frustrations with collective bargaining in the Times Higher Education magazine.
University of Exeter UCU co-president Prof Jonathan Gosling labelled Mr Allen's comments a "petulant response," while a Unite spokesman described the email as a "thinly veiled attack on the trade unions."
He told the Star that university bosses could have awarded a pay rise for all staff without the university leaving national pay bargaining framework.
But the spokesman explained: "As the director of HR put it, [these are] something for something negotiations - if we're going to offer you something, we want to take something away."
University of Exeter registrar Mr Allen said on Friday that although he believes the university "could invest more in its staff through local arrangements, it will abide by the result of the ballot and remain in national bargaining for the time being."