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From The Socialist newspaper, 15 October 2008

Beat the 'Man from Mars'

Hundreds of members of the University and College Union (UCU) gathered outside Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall last week where the vice chancellor was delivering a speech to students. It was a protest at the attempt by the Nottingham Trent University to de-recognise the lecturers' union. The national union believes that unless the lecturers at Nottingham Trent University win their battle then other universities may follow suit.

Brian Ward, UCU branch chair said: "It's a dispute that's not of our making. The university came to us with proposals on trade union recognition. This involved an 85% cut in any time we have to represent our members. It involved setting up a forum that would be packed with non-trade union members.

"We said this looks to us to be more like a de-recognition agreement than a recognition agreement. The university then proceeded to end, without due notice, our previous recognition agreement from 2001.

"We have a national petition with over 12,000 signatures on. We had a strike ballot, 77% of people voted for industrial action. We have a strike planned on 21 October if it is not resolved."

The university's vice chancellor used to work for the board of Mars Ltd. As someone at the rally said: "He is living on Mars if he thinks we are going to back down!".

  • Please send messages of support to: recognition@ntuucu.org.uk
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