...I was totally naive over the role of human resources. I really thought they were supposed to be “in the middle” and not taking sides. What happened was a complete surprise in terms of their bias and attempts to subvert me. Constant letters, emails – taking care NOT to make actual contact. It was a shocking revelation which left me in a void. The union was my only lifeline, a mixture of my local contact treading water in quicksand with me hopeful of a cavalry charge from regional office, which never came.
Looking back, there was one critical theme to the way the whole organisation worked – this was to isolate me. The university acted illegally with the directive that I could not talk or socialise with anyone there. This was in my view an act that required the severest of reprimands – no vice-chancellor should be able to hold office with such a culture of totalitarian malice and disregard for the legal process. There cannot be more than a handful of grievances within a university at any one time and vice-chancellors should see it as their duty to ask questions and clarify how matters are progressing.
I cannot see how matters will change in universities until there is a willingness from good people with power to act. We must presume there are good people willing to do something. They need to explore reform, which includes an equitable hearing for staff who feel they are treated in ways that exemplify shoddy management and duplicity…