Over 120 members of the UCU union at Barnsley college joined a lunchtime protest on Wednesday of last week to demand the immediate reinstatement of Bob Willerton, a UCU rep who was sacked the day before.
Bob was sacked following a disciplinary hearing at the college – the latest of 15 disciplinaries at the college in the last 18 months.
Workers rightly see the sacking as an attack on the union. Protesters marched through the college building, chanting loudest down the management corridor.
There were loud cheers for speakers calling for Bob’s immediate reinstatement. Members of the Unison and PCS unions also joined the protest. Senior managers looked shaken by this explosion of anger from below.
Russ Escritt, the UCU regional official, said, “I know of no other college with such a high rate of disciplinaries.
“UCU members must defend their reps when they come under attack. Please do all you can to win Bob’s reinstatement.”
Dave Gibson, UCU branch secretary, Barnsley college
Hugh Baird college
Lecturers in the UCU union are continuing talks over pay at Hugh Baird college in Bootle, Merseyside.
Management have failed to implement a nationally-agreed eight-tier pay scale at the college, recommended by the Association of Colleges.
If no agreement is reached, a ballot for strike action will begin on 17 October.
UCU union members at Nottingham Trent University are voting on strike action after the university said it would derecognise the union at the end of September.
The union says the plans are a “direct attack on independent trade unionism”.
Management wants to cut facility time for union reps by up to 80 percent. It says that it would only recognise the UCU if it agreed with the proposals.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said, “Feelings are running very high at Nottingham Trent and throughout the academic community because of the utterly unacceptable behaviour of the university.”
The ballot ends on 29 September.
The UCU has organised a protest on 6 October. Sign the petition in support of NTU lecturers at » www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=3398
An independent investigation has found that Keele University broke university rules when they announced plans to impose 38 redundancies in the school of economic and management studies last December.
A “redundancy committee” took the decision to cut jobs, which bypassed the university’s senate, therefore breaking university regulations.
The plans led to a number of protests by workers at the university. Campaigners and trade unionists have welcomed the ruling.
Planned strike action by lecturers at Coleg Menai college in north Wales was suspended as negotiations reopened. The action was called in protest at class sizes and cuts in student contact time.