Friday, 5 October 2007

Academic freedom and bullying: strong correlations with an inept union

There are massive breaches of contract with regard to academic freedom but it looks as UCU is interested in different types of things at the moment. The breach of contract is the sacrosanct topic in the discussion amongst union members before undertaking action against the employer. I am clear here in saying that it has become a topic of discussion on paper more that being the central topic of union branch meetings.

The bullying starts when the union do not act vigorously on the institution retaliating against the free academic who wants to express his/her ideas democratically. Even academic freedom has become an academic speculative piece oftext. Plenty of research and articles. But...I say BUT are the breaches of contract on the increase or decrease for this? And the same for all the other breaches of academic contracts.

It is the breach of the contract that should trigger union actions. The bullying starts when it is too late. With the obvious disastrous consequences of the cases. Possibly, let me say that by acting early on the breaches of contract it may bring the potential bully in line with the contract. In this case we need the STRONG support of good, genuine people.

Forget all that jazz of labour, new labour and the third way. On this we can open a frank debate on how we want to proceed and politically set ourselves a line through which we can open a dialogue with the major political forces.

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