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Union strike ballot to open at Glyndŵr University

28 October 2009 | last updated: 11 December 2015

Members of UCU at Glyndŵr University are to be balloted on strike action in support of their branch chair, Hamish Murphy, who has been dismissed from his post for carrying out trade union activities.

The dismissal of Hamish Murphy follows a long-running dispute between UCU and the University over management bullying and harassment.

Hamish Murphy was instrumental in exposing the serious problem of management bullying and harassment of staff at the university.  Less than two weeks after his dismissal a report by ACAS vindicated the concerns raised by Hamish Murphy and others.

The ACAS report further highlighted the adversarial labour relations at the university. UCU is now calling on Professor Michael Scott (vice-chancellor, Glyndŵr University) to reinstate Hamish Murphy as a first step in improving industrial relations at the university.

Margaret Phelan, the leading official for UCU Cymru said: 'The dismissal of Hamish Murphy was a clear attack on him as a trade unionist and on UCU as the legitimate voice of academic staff at the university.

'For years the university failed to deal with the problem of bullying and harassment of staff.  Hamish was instrumental in bringing these issues to light and we believe that he was targeted for dismissal for this reason.

'His reinstatement would help both sides to draw a line under the problems of the past. UCU wants to move forward but we can't do this while Hamish remains dismissed because of his trade union activities.

'By reinstating Hamish Murphy, Professor Michael Scott could signal that a new culture of partnership and co-operation at the university is a real possibility.'


Background:

  1. On the 7 October 2009 Hamish Murphy was dismissed from his post as a Principal Lecturer in Youth and Community Studies and was escorted from the university premises. UCU is currently appealing the decision.
  2. The ballot of UCU members at Glyndŵr University will open on 28 October and close on 6 November. Members will be asked to vote yes to both strike action and to action short of a strike.
  3. The ACAS report was published on the 19 October. It follows a lengthy dispute between UCU and Glyndŵr University. It highlighted the relatively high level of work-related stress, 'evidence persuasive that there is a degree of bullying and harassment within parts of the university', and adversarial labour relations.

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