Lecturers at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) warned today that they may take strike action over an ongoing row about how the university negotiates with the branch.
The university has formally terminated recognition of UCU in what has been described as a 'direct attack on independent trade unionism' by the union.
UCU says Nottingham Trent has been attempting to tear up the current terms for negotiating with the union for months in favour of radically inferior arrangements that would marginalise the campus unions and cut facility time for union reps by 80%.
Despite NTU saying it will continue to deal with the union, it is insisting that it will only recognise UCU if it complies with the University's new proposals. UCU said today that a further example of the University's disregard for agreements was highlighted by its decision to formally terminate the current recognition agreement with UCU in three months' time – a full six months less than is actually stipulated in the current agreement.
NTU UCU secretary, Colin Bryson, said: 'This is the culmination of actions by senior human resources managers to undermine union officers and members and belittle the contribution of academic staff, the vast majority of whom are UCU members. We have strived to remain reasonable and to try to compromise in the face of unrelenting hostility. This is the last straw and we will now take every step necessary, including strike action, to defend our members and will have no hesitation in exposing how defective management of this university has been for some time.'
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'Nottingham Trent University needs to understand that UCU does not take threats like this lightly. Union members have a right to expect to be properly protected at work and not messed around like this. The university can rest assured that it will feel the full force of the national union if it persists with trying to dictate the terms of the recognition agreement. The university's behaviour is insulting and its timing is cowardly, right at the end of the academic year. If the university hoped to sneak this through without a fuss, it is severely mistaken.'