Teesside University branch quoted by Times Higher Education

A Times Higher Education article ‘The UCU at the Microlevel’ was published today.  Dave Eagle, (Teesside Uni UCU Branch Chair) and Terry Murphy, (Teesside Uni UCU Branch Secretary and Regional Chair) were quoted.


The Times Higher Education’s reporter Jack Grove wrote:

Terry Murphy, Teesside University branch

Terry Murphy, Teesside University branch

Many institutions are proud of their close relationships with trade unions, which can also save them money by avoiding costly industrial disputes or employment tribunals. “Both sides win and everyone sees the benefit,” says Terry Murphy, chair of the UCU branch at Teesside University, of his branch’s excellent relationship with Teesside management.

“We try to mediate where conflicts arise and join meetings with human relations to see how cases are handled,” Murphy says, adding that Teesside has one of the lowest outlays on legal fees as a result. “It also helps that we have regular meetings with the vice-chancellor, rather than just talking to junior management,” he says.

At Teesside, the money spent by institutions on “facilities time” – hours worked by elected union officers on union business – is vastly exceeded by the savings achieved by the UCU each year, Murphy believes.

But this “more sensible” relationship with management can attract criticism, says Dave Eagle,

Teesside branch secretary. “You cannot get too much into bed with management – and I think we are tough on the big issues – but it is good for everyone that there are fewer formal grievances thanks to our success with management,” he adds.

Teesside University UCU branch

Teesside University UCU branch

Eagle believes that “compromise” is not a dirty word, particularly when dealing with cases of alleged bullying when emotions can run high. “You are there to get the best possible result for a member, not to get ‘justice’,” he says. That will inevitably mean compromise on both sides, rather than a grand reckoning in which bullies are drummed out of the institution and complainants given a grovelling apology, Eagle believes.


Read the full article at https://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/the-ucu-at-the-microlevel