The UCU lecturers’ union at Nottingham Trent university has won a new union recognition agreement after three months of struggle.
Nottingham Trent managers had wanted to impose a new “consultation structure” that would have given “non-trade union employee reps” more influence than trade unions.
They also wanted to drastically cut union facility time by 80 percent. When the UCU made it clear that these proposals were not acceptable, management replied by giving three months notice of derecognition.
UCU members locally and nationally responded magnificently to this threat.
A huge lobby of the vice chancellor’s welcome address to new students made a big impact at the start of term. This was followed by a solid strike on 21 October.
Classes were closed across the university’s three campuses and some 60 workers joined the union.
The UCU then threatened to deploy “greylisting” from 1 December, meaning that UCU members beyond Nottingham Trent would effectively boycott the institution.
This action and solidarity forced management back into talks. A deal was finally struck right up against the 10pm deadline for greylisting.
The lesson to all trade unionists is that members will fight to defend union rights – and that action speaks louder than words when you have an aggressive management.