500 signatures reached
To: Debra Humphris Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton
Stop trade union victimisation at Brighton University
The University of Brighton is threatening disciplinary action against four branch officers for their role in our dispute over mass redundancies. The four threatened reps are Mark Abel (chair), Ryan Burns (vice chair), Chris Cocking (casework coordinator) and Julie Canavan (equalities officer). These officers are the very UCU reps that the University has been meeting during the consultation and the dispute about redundancies. They are now being called to disciplinary meetings for their involvement in the branch’s picketing during the strike.
Management’s targeting of union representatives is evidence that it wants to crush the union. At the University of Brighton, UCU members have been taking indefinite strike action since 3 July 2023 against compulsory redundancies. We are set to lose over 10% of lecturers at our University. Instead of negotiating with us our managers are now targeting our reps. This needs to end now!
Why is this important?
Brighton University claims it respects the role of the recognised trade unions to represent and negotiate for its employees. But by attacking UCU reps, the University is declaring war on the union. They are clearly signalling that they no longer want to negotiate with union reps on equal terms. They want to create a climate in which staff are too fearful to stand up for themselves, let alone to stand for a union position. What could follow is the unilateral replacement of all the agreements governing lecturers’ and researchers’ terms and conditions with new arrangements imposed by them. Managers everywhere will be rubbing their hands with glee if they can get away with this here.
The future of Brighton UCU is at stake. If we want our union membership to mean something concrete, we all need to defend union branches under attack. Our Vice Chancellor and her crew of lackeys would love nothing more than to decapitate our UCU branch. They want to rule through fear and intimidation with no resistance. We need to stand up in defence of our elected reps.
Please sign our petition of support and ask your branch to donate to our hardship fund here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/brightonunistrike