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Bullying of lecturers in Further Education
Bullying of teachers in schools
Callers from the education sector including universities have accounted for around 20% of all calls and enquiries to Bully OnLine since 1996. A survey published in the Times Higher Education Supplement (THES) on 16 September 2005 found the bullying is common in the academic workplace, with 40% or respondents saying they were currently the target of bullying. Lead researcher Petra Boynton, a University College London psychologist, uncovered 800 almost identical cases of bullying.
The survey revealed that those most likely to report being bullied were in the caring or support professions, such as social sciences - particularly psychology - health and medicine and academic support or human resources. It also indicated that senior academic staff - senior lecturers and professors - are as likely to be bullied as junior or contract staff. University HR departments, rather than helping victims, were seen by respondents as protecting institutions and bullies. [More]
Under university statutes a university lecturer in the UK has the the right of appeal against unfair dismissal. The statutes are derived from the model statutes in the 1988 Education Reform Act. The advantage of this course of action is that unlike unfair dismissal at an employment tribunal it is not subject to a compensation ceiling, thus the statutes generally give academics more rights than they have under the Employment Rights Act. For example, universities are required in all cases to apply the principles of justice and fairness, there are specific procedures that they are required to follow, and there is a guarantee that people will not be dismissed or placed under threat of dismissal for their opinions. The university has to appoint (and pay) a QC to hear the appeal, on top of their own lawyers.
Spotlight on higher education
Graduate debts 'hit £10,000': students are graduating from some universities with debts of £10,000 - and that's before tuition fees and the abolition of maintenance grants. (TES, 14 August 98)
Studies have revealed that children from rich families are 12 times more likely to go on to higher education that children from poor families. (Teletext, 17 August 98)
Sackings 'unfair': Wakefield College sacked 51 lecturers and managers to make savings of £1.7 million, but did so in an unfair manner, an industrial tribunal has ruled. (TES, May 1998)
Cut salaries or lose jobs, senior lecturers throughout the UK are being told: sixty teaching staff at Norwich City College are escalating industrial action in response to management attempts to force through £4.5 millions cuts (May 1998)
Case history #15 - bullying in a university research laboratory.
Eliminating professors: a guide to the dismissal process, Kenneth Westhues, Kempner Collegium Publications, 1998, ISBN 0773482105
Workplace Mobbing in Academe, Kenneth Westhues, Edwin Mellen Press, 2005, ISBN 0773462341
Administrative Mobbing at the University of Toronto: the Trial, Degradation, and Dismissal of a Professor during the Presidency of J.Robert S. Prichard, Kenneth Westhues, Mellen Press, 2004
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