The Open University branch of the University and College Union
Since the start of this calendar year, three members of UCU have been suspended or sacked from their jobs in what seems to be a worrying trend towards targeting union activists. Below are the details of the three cases and links to petitions and other forms of support for them. As the old principle of trade unionism states: an injury to one is an injury to all.
Lee Humber, secretary of Ruskin UCU branch, was suspended shortly after the branch declared no confidence in the Principal of the College. After 9+ weeks we understand he has still not been formally notified of the grounds for the suspension. The Executive Committee has sent a statement of support to Ruskin UCU about this. It is all the more disturbing that this is happening at Ruskin, an institution with its roots in the trade union movement. Please sign the petition. www.ucu.org.uk/article/10142/Reinstate-Lee-Humber
Dave Muritu lent his support to our Birmingham picket during the campaign over the regional offices in 2015. Part of an extraordinarily effective branch, which recently won a substantial pay increase, he has been sacked from Sandwell College after writing on a Prevent poster. He has appealed against dismissal and there is a national campaign demanding his re-instatement. Again please sign the petition here: www.ucu.org.uk/article/10135/UCU-calls-for-reinstatement-of-sacked-Sandwell-College-activist
An employment tribunal found that Tony Brown, branch secretary at University College, London, was victimised for his trade union activity and the university acted in breach of his human rights. UCL is intent on launching an appeal against this tribunal ruling rather than accepting the verdict and changing its behaviour. For information about the tribunal findings and the campaign, see: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ucu/campaigns/victimisation-branch-secretary-tony-brown
Saturday 15th June (12 noon) London – Justice4Grenfell/Grenfell Trust are calling for support including from trade unions on the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower disaster. There is a solidarity march assembling at Portland Place, London W1A 1AA. https://justice4grenfell.org/2019/05/21/solidarity-march-june-15th. It is 2 years since the tragedy at Grenfell. There are still 19 families without housing and many more still inadequately housed. Meanwhile the failure by government and landlords to address fire safety since Grenfell means there could well be another tragedy. If you would like to join UCU Eastern Region at the demo, please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch with the UCU organisers.
Saturday 29th June (11:30) Stourbridge – Save Stourbridge College Demo Birmingham Metropolitan College (which is a college “supergroup employer”) is planning to sell and close Stourbridge College this summer. This affects not only staff and students at Stourbridge, but also Dudley and Halesowen Colleges, which will struggle to provide places for all the displaced students. Those fortunate enough to get an alternative place face additional transport time and costs in order to access their learning. For more info click here https://www.ucu.org.uk/saveStourbridgeCollege.
Please sign and share this petition too: https://www.change.org/p/birmingham-metropolitan-college-demand-that-bmet-immediately-halt-the-planned-closure-of-stourbridge-college