Victims of the NAFTHE/AUT[UCU]
 



  • Deman v UCU

     

     


Mr Paul Mackney & Ms Sally Hunt - Honeymoon is over?

 

 Lord Triesmann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why should we join the Unions in Higher Education?  NATFHE + AUT = UCU Racist Mafia

 

At this moment in time at the height of the Lecturers' dispute with the University Employers and the amalgamation of the above two Unions it is worth questioning why we blindly join the above Unions not related to our welfare or profession unlike organisations like the BMA.

 

Over the last decade NATFHE & the AUT have shown little concern in maintaining academic standards as seen by the changing face of education.  Most academics joined the Union not because they could obtain significant pay awards and higher standards of living but as an insurance against the unlawful dismissal and culture of bullying, harassment and discrimination that flourishes in Government controlled organisations such as Education and Health.  This culture flourishes because of the lack of justice due to the conflict of interest that the government is both the employer and controller of the judicial/tribunal process including the appointment procedures in relation to the judiciary and lay members.  

 

The changes in the educational system have made many VC’s fat cats based on the financial incentives offered and the significant growth in the size of their organisations which have resulted in the reduction/destruction of the UK research base.  As guardians of academic standards we have been forced as a result of our professionalism to toil harder to achieve even higher standards of teaching and research within a declining educational system.  Those who raised objections to this Orwellion culture were warned that their jobs would be on the line as in the case of members of De-Montfort University or were subjected to institutionalised discrimination.  

 

Many who raised issues via the University grievance procedures, in regard to academic freedom, discrimination, harassment and victimisation found that the Unions like the state pension schemes failed to provide them the security they wanted. 

 

My experience and those of other NATFHE & AUT members who have challenged the system have found that the Unions are the part of the problem as they have miserably failed to provide their members the support they needed and expected. Similar experiences have been reported by NATFHE members AND BY? & ABOUT? local branch officials who discouraged them using the grievance procedure in the view that  resolution would require the use of the courts or Employment Tribunals.  Many of the regional branches stonewalled members’ processing of legal aid applications and failed to assign caseworkers to progress matters.  Where legal advice was obtained their own in-house solicitor undermined its legal merits as in the cases of Deman v Greenwich University & D’Silva vs Manchester Metropolitan University which they won.   In the latter case it was without representation or the claimant’s witnesses giving evidence. 

 

Dr Lihe in Glasgow, Dr Saha in Wales and Farhad Sharokni and others encountered similar experience with the Unions.  In fact, Dr Lihe has two ongoing claims of racial discrimination & victimisation against the UCU, Paul Cotrell, & others and having a bumpy ride at the EAT in Edinburgh. Sharokni won 2 and settled 2 against the NAFHTE.

 

The recent case of Deman v NATFHE (Feb 2006) heard at the Central London Tribunal has thrown light on NATFHE’s funding of legal cases (see Table 1).   NATFHE had 68,000 membership of which only 39,380 have declared their ethnic origins . The majority of the union is predominantly white (93%) as is its Leadership (79%). 

 

On average local branches send 322 cases/year (0.5%) for legal representation which the solicitors office reduce to ~18 (0.026%) that are offered representation by the Union, distributed mainly in the four main areas, Disability discrimination (DDA), Unfair dismissal (UFD), Race relations Act (RRA) and Statutory dispute agreement (SDA).  The ethnicity of the lucky 0.005%, the two members who received legal representation in race discrimination cases between 2002 –2004 were divided equally between white (white Irish; WI) and black members (black Caribbean; BC).

 

Table 1. Percentage of NATFHE members receiving legal representation

 

 

Number of Members

  % of Membership

Estimated

Annual Budget based on subscription (£145/y)

NATFHE MEMBERS

68,000

100

9,860,000

NATFHE MEMBERS

KNOWN ETHNICITY

39,380

57.9

 

AVERAGE Request for representation/year

Between 2002-2004

322

0.47

 

AVERAGE Request offered representation/year

Between 2002-2004

18

0.026

 

 Average cases to Tribunal or EAT

Between 2002-2004

3.33

0.005

 

Amount of money allocated for cases

excluding  stress .

Based on £20K=70% budget

 

 

26,000 (0.26%)

 

Scheme 1.

 

Of these per year only three (0.005%) will proceed to Tribunal or the EAT whilst the remainder if not settled will have their legal representation withdrawn based on NATFHE’s loosely worded legal scheme.  Table 2 shows the ethnicity of cases proceeded to tribunal or EAT.

 

 

Table 2:  Ethnicity of those cases that proceeded to Tribunal or EAT

 

WB

  WI

I

 Iraqi

ABP

Iran

China

BA

BC

NP

ETHNICITY OF THOSE WHERE NATFHE WAS ON RECORD & Settled

Before the Hearing

2002-2004

7

1

2

 

 

 

 

1

 

2

ETHNICITY OF THOSE WHERE NATFHE WAS ON RECORD & withdrew

Before the Hearing

2002-2004

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

2

2002-2004

ETHNICITY OF NATFHE Cases that went to Tribunal or EAT 2002-2004

5

1

 

 

 

 

1

 

1

1

 

 

In view that the Unions have a duty to tackle discrimination in the work place their loosely worded legal scheme, generic replies to merits allows them the option to discriminate and victimise their members on one pretext or another e.g. late delivery of documents, failure to abide by the terms of the scheme etc. 

 

In his case Mr Deman challenged the list of claims brought against NATFHE between 1997-2005 related to discrimination.   In fact there were 15 claims.   Farhard Sharokni  (Lecturer Feb 2000) brouhg 5 claims against the then NAFTHE of which 2 had been settled and he won 2.  Similary, Halikiopolous brought 2 claims and both were settled.  The status of other claims was as follows: Mr  Titterington (withdrawn), Verma (settled), Deman (pending EAT appeal), two by D’Silva (pending decision), Vogler (withdrawn) and Proctor (lost at hearing).  However despite these convictions the Union failed to implement the CRE code of conduct in regard to the monitoring of legal aid to its members or keeping statistics in regard to this matter but expects employers to do what they as guardians of their members rights fail to do.   

 

In the cases of Deman v NATFHE and D’Silva vs NATFHE the Union claimed their cases against their respective employers the University of Greenwich and Manchester Metropolitan University had no merits, using solicitors and barristers of their choice.  However, both claimants fought without the Union support and won their cases.  In the case of D’Silva, he won 50% of his case without being represented, giving evidence or even attending the Tribunal.

For those who paid Union fees for over a decade to find out that the Union was sabotaging their only chance of obtaining justice against a harassing, bullying employer, this represents the final straw in a decade of injustice & deceit.

 

see CAFAS 51 for the original story.