On Thursday 20th December the branch secretary of Halesowen College UCU branch, Dave Muritu, was sacked on trumped up charges relating to student grades and achievement in A-Level Maths. Dave is an active UCU member and has often opposed management at the college. Three other colleagues who also teach maths face similar action at their hearings planned for the beginning of next term.
Below are extracts from a message posted on the union’s Activists List this morning by the Acting Branch Secretary, Rhiannon Lockley:
On Thursday night our branch secretary, Dave Muritu, was sacked, not following process (evidence was not provided to us 3 days prior to the hearing, in accordance with our local and ACAS guidelines) or following any precedented grounds for dismissal – he has been accused (in spite of achieving grade 2 lesson observations) of failing to support students outside of the classroom – with no evidence of this produced.
3 more maths lecturers who are active UCU members will be under disciplinary hearings in the next 2 weeks, with probable dismissals. We will be lobbying the hearings (for details of the lobby please contact the branch on the e-mail address below.) – we would be really grateful for any support with this, putting together a campaign group, and the branch have passed a motion to ballot for escalating industrial action.
This is a truly outrageous attack by the college management. It raises all sorts of concerns about academic standards, links to capability and disciplinary action, and responsibility avoidance by college managers.
Dave’s dismissal letter includes the line “you must be held accountable for the results of the students”.
Yet senior management at the college have consistently failed to support the Maths teachers over a period of time and have clearly targeted these staff under threat of dismissal. They have reportedly hired replacement staff even before the dismissal decisions have been reached! Clearly Dave’s dismissal, and the likely dismissal of the other three, has very serious implications throughout FE and HE should they be upheld.
Despite the start of the Christmas break we urge all supporters to send a message of support to Dave Muritu via his branch and a message of protest to the college principal.
Messages to Dave and the branch: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Principal’s email is email@example.com
Please take a few minutes this weekend to forward your messages of support and sign this petition.