UCU needs to be taken to task over its lack of support for members who are bullied at work. I suggest that Roger Kline is inundated with emails asking him to explain what action he intends to take. He could support me for instance. I took out a grievance in Jan 2006 and the 'support' from UCU has been low key...
[Posted at: UCU discovers workplace bullying through NUS..., in this blog]Send your emails to: Roger Kline, National head of equality and employment rights, UCU (University and College Union)
'Clarity of purpose and breadth of experience'
With a March  date announced for the election of the general secretary of the newly merged University and College Union, Roger Kline sets out his manifesto... Wednesday July 5, 2006 - Guardian Unlimited
Above all else, the University and College Union (UCU) needs an effective general secretary. Members will not judge UCU by speeches, mission statements or its logo. They will judge the new union primarily by what practical difference we make to their pay, terms, conditions of work and the educational environment they work in.
Our members are professionals. They choose education as a career in order to impart and pursue knowledge, encourage a love of learning and improve people's life chances. That is why they wish to influence those aspects of the management culture, governance and priorities of their own institution and the sector that undermine those aspirations.
We have a long way to go. In higher education we have failed to use the recent pay campaign to make up much ground with comparative professions. We face a chaotic market in education that would follow any lifting of the cap on top-up fees...
UCU will be judged by how effectively it challenges these trends and what difference it makes to members' lives. The new general secretary will need clarity of purpose, a breadth of experience and a commitment to serving the members' interests at all times.
It is too soon to write a manifesto - that will be a collective effort over the next few months, but here are some initial thoughts.
...ensure that the standards we demand of our employers in respect of openness, transparency, governance and, especially, accountability are applied to ourselves...
...use the new statutory equality duties - on race, disability and gender - to challenge discrimination decisively wherever it is found in employment or educational provision...
On my office door is a notice I was given many years ago. It says "those who wish to lead must first learn to serve". You might wish to judge my service at www.rogerkline.org.uk, the campaign website and decide whether I would be an effective leader of the biggest union of its kind in the world.
We did exactly that. We had a look at www.rogerkline.org.uk, and there is not a single word about workplace bullying in Higher Education. It does not feature in Mr. Kline's key issues, campaign pledge, or politics. Nothing at all.
Obviously the clarity of purpose and breadth of experience does not cover workplace bullying in Higher Education. We have no problem judging the new union primarily by what practical difference it makes to the conditions of work and the educational environment academics work in.
This blog has mentioned a number of cases involving our union's (AUT + NATFE = UCU) pathetic record on workplace bullying. In fact, there seems to be a formulaic response of ignoring or dealing poorly with individual cases of workplace bullying.
Any academic (union member or not) who raises a formal complaint about workplace bullying by senior managers and/or colleagues, is likely to loose his/her job through a pattern of horrendous, Orwellian elimination rituals, often hidden from the public. Employers seem to have complete disregard for ACAS regulations and complete immunity.
The stereotypical advice from the union to the members is to exhaust all internal procedures - these are very rarely fair and often reminiscent of Stalinist courts.
It is not a coincidence that the Employment Tribunal archives do not list any successful claim regarding workplace bullying from academics. With no union support, how would an individual academic defend him/herself against the employer who pays for a QC to represent them?
In fact, one can develop the following cynical theory: Because workplace bullying is so widespread in academia, if (AUT + NATFE = UCU) were to defend each case, they would need lots of resources and money, so better to ignore it!
Send your emails to: Roger Kline, National head of equality and employment rights, UCU (University and College Union).