6th Dec, 2016

Coventry University staff win fight for union recognition

Les Reid 25th Sep, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

ENGLISH teachers employed by one of Coventry University’s subsidiary companies have won their fight for union recognition, says the University and College Union (UCU).

It means they can be represented together by a union, and have access to collective bargaining with their employers over issues including pay and conditions.

The UCU said about 70 teachers delivering English language courses for international students at CU Services Ltd can now be represented by the union after it satisfied the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) – the body who rules on such matters – that the majority of staff backed the move.

In a vote* held by the CAC following the union’s application for recognition, all the staff who voted (100 per cent) voted in favour of recognition, on a turnout of 73 per cent.

Because CU Services Ltd did not recognise UCU, teachers at the company did not have access to collective bargaining, unlike their colleagues at Coventry University.

Statistics show that public sector staff in unionised workplaces earn 21.6 per cent more than those in non-unionised ones, adds UCU.

CU head of higher education, Paul Bridge, said: “We are very pleased that these staff have finally got the recognition they have fought for.

“The remarkable size of the vote in favour is a testament to their determination and recognition of the positive work unions do. We believe that all staff in higher education should have access to the benefits that collective bargaining brings.

“We look forward to building positive industrial relations with CU Services Ltd and we hope that this can mark a new chapter in industrial relations between the union and all Coventry University’s subsidiary companies.”

Coventry University has several subsidiary companies which deliver higher education, including CU Services Ltd, Coventry University College and Coventry University London Campus. Until now, none recognised UCU for collective bargaining, says UCU.