Socialist Worker

Fight against victimisation at Edinburgh college

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2527


Striking Edinburgh College lecturers lobby the Scottish government

Striking Edinburgh College lecturers lobby the Scottish government (Pic: Duncan Brown)

Edinburgh College management is targeting Penny Gower, a lecturer and the EIS-Fela union branch secretary at the college.

This follows widespread concerns at the sacking of a lecturer who Penny represented.

The lecturer was sacked for having paracetamol in his drawer and for having non-work-related conversations “in working time”.

Penny demonstrated management's flimsy case and flagged up abuses of procedure to union members. She has now been informed that “the principal has decided to set disciplinary processes in train to answer ‘serious allegations’ from unnamed complainant/s”.

Among management’s “concerns” is that Penny “is inappropriately encouraging” EIS members to strike, and bringing the college and HR team “into disrepute”.

John Kelly, EIS-Fela president, said the lecturer’s dismissal “was not consistent with the principles of natural justice”. He expressed concerns at Penny being disciplined “for carrying out her trade union duties”.

In response, Edinburgh College EIS members began a strike ballot this week. The union seeks the dropping of disciplinary processes against Penny, and the reinstatement of the lecturer.

The branch committee insisted “it is not Penny but college management and HR that have brought themselves into disrepute”.

Send messages of protest to Edinburgh College Regional Chair [email protected] copied to [email protected]

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