January 16, 2010

Defend Hamish Murphy

Hamish Murphy, Principal Lecturer in Youth and Community work at Glyndwr University and a supporter of our Campaign has been dismissed because of his trade union activities.

A Facebook, Support and Defend Hamish Murphy has been created to support his appeal for reinstatement. It tells us:

Hamish Murphy, Principal Lecturer in Youth & Community Studies at Glyndwr University has been dismissed for his trade union activities. Please support the call for his immediate reinstatement. Hamish has been a youth worker for over 35 years, mostly in Edinburgh but more recently in Wrexham as a volunteer and committee chair within his village youth club. He has been a detached youth worker, managing one street-work project and chairing another city-wide one. He has been a volunteer in a drop-in centre, run a youth information project, initiated a drug support agency and created a youth homelessness project. He has been a community centre manager, an adventure playground worker and a community education services manager. Hamish has written widely about youth work, including editing the book Conceptualising Youth Work, and is currently working on a new book on Youth Rights and Age Discrimination. Coming to Glyndwr University in 1999, Hamish has lectured in Scotland, Wales and China and is an external examiner in England. He has also undertaken consultancy work with local authorities, voluntary organisations and trade unions across the UK. His expertise rests in work with young people, recently specialising in its international forms though he has also been active in ‘anti-poverty’, ‘age discrimination’ and ‘professional education’ research.

We are being asked to e-mail Professor Mike Scott at m.scott@glyndwr.ac.uk to express our concern and argue for his reinstatement.

In addition the UCU has issued the following statement, which is to be found below. As things stand it appears that Hamish’s appeal is yet to be heard. Further action in support of Hamish is being planned for the coming weeks – particularly around graduation day. He continues to need our solidarity in these authoritarian times.

STATEMENT to Branch Members from UCU Wales Support Official 14th October 2009

I can confirm that Hamish Murphy was dismissed by Helen James on Wednesday the 5th October on the authority of the Vice-Chancellor. Helen James stated at the beginning of the hearing that Hamish Murphy was there in his capacity as UCU Branch Chair. I can confirm that I believe he was sacked because of his trade union activities.

Hamish Murphy was dismissed for the part he played in producing the UCU March issue of the UCU branch newsletter Hamish was clearly relaying concerns expressed by members and acting in what he believed to be the best interests of the members when he distributed the newsletter. Hamish has never been accused of any wrongdoing as a lecturer in Youth & Community studies and I can confirm that his dismissal had nothing to do with his role as a lecturer.

He was accused and found guilty of the following three offences:
- Bringing the University into disrepute;
- Damaging the relationship of trust and confidence between himself
and the University; and
- Raising false accusations against colleagues.

These allegations refer mainly to the distribution of the March 2009 UCU Branch Newsletter. There was also an issue raised about allegations made in what Hamish had intended to be a protected disclosure under the Universities Public Information Disclosure Policy. Hamish relayed the complaint on behalf of a number of members in a more specific way to the University soon after the newsletter came out.

We are currently taking legal advice to assist us with the appeal.

Unfortunately I cannot say any more at this stage as would not want anything to prejudice our chances of success at the appeal and any subsequent tribunal proceedings.

I would urge members to support the campaign to reinstate Hamish in any way you can.

Phil Markham
UCU Wales Support Official

The winter of discontent is closing in and it is no coincidence that the bureaucracy in Higher Education is keen to strangle debate and dissidence.

From: http://indefenceofyouthwork.wordpress.com/2009/10/


Anonymous said...

This refects poorly on the University. When representatives of staff are removed for raising concerns about the institution it is a sign that the institution is rotten at its core,My thoughts are with Hamish. Boycott Glyndwr University

Anonymous said...

My own experience with UCU has been less than favourable. After being convinced by them to engage in a lengthy process with my employers their solicitors wrote to say my case was not worth fighting. The same happened with my husband except the process was quicker. They also saw fit not to challenge my employer on the matter of a change of policy which took place within a period of a few days which meant that the appeals procedure was different. Good luck to Hamish, although the details of this case a far from clear

Anonymous said...

Rubbish, stop spending UCU money on incidents that don't warrant supporting. Hamish Murphy's UCU newsletter was offensive and insulting. He could have broken up peoples marriages over nothing but gossip!!! Shame on him, he should know better!