In 2017, UCL UCU Branch Secretary Tony Brown was subject to a disciplinary sanction by UCL for setting up an email list on behalf of union reps in ISD, in his capacity as a union rep.
Despite local representations and a letter from Sally Hunt, UCL refused to withdraw the sanction, and we took the matter to the London Employment Tribunal. The Tribunal unanimously determined that UCL had breached laws on victimisation of trade unionists, read in conjunction with Human Rights laws on freedom of association – i.e., UCL was violating Tony Brown’s rights. The tribunal found that “the main purpose of disciplining [Mr Brown] was to penalise him for taking part in trade union activities”.
You can read the full Employment Tribunal decision, which is highly critical of UCL’s unlawful behaviour.
In spite of the tribunal’s harsh and pretty definitive criticisms, UCL has decided to appeal this Employment Tribunal decision. In our view, this Appeal has no legal merit, will be expensive, and has the effect of delaying a fair and reasonable negotiated outcome. It places continued stress and anxiety on Tony Brown – the person whose rights were violated.
UCL’s anti-trade union action also affects the ability of staff to discuss issues of common concern in the new UCL “Hub”, where ISD is co-located, at 1 St Martins Le Grand.
We are calling on all UCU members and supporters of trade union rights and of freedom of association to please sign our petition to UCL Provost Michael Arthur, requesting UCL to drop this senseless appeal process and respect trade union rights.
The right of union reps against victimisation for legitimate union activities is not just a matter for union members but for all staff at UCL