On the 8th March, unknown to the staff at Coventry University, the University revealed that it had registered its staff association, the Staff Consultative Group, as a union and signed a recognition agreement with it. CU Group board meeting minutes from March 2016 show that the Group considered this as a way of preventing unions from applying for recognition.
A petition has been started calling for the University to derecognise their company union and recognise University College Union (UCU), gaining 9,502 signatures at the time of writing this.
Commenting, Jim Cunningham, MP for Coventry South said:
“I have written to the Vice Chancellor of Coventry University, Professor John Latham, raising my concerns about the actions of Coventry University Group (CUG) in relation to staff representation and trade union recognition, pointing out the need to review this decision. The approach taken shows a worrying disregard for the wishes of CUG staff and their right to meaningful collective bargaining on the issues of concern.”
“I believe, as The Labour Party always has, that strong trade union representation is tremendously important. I am proud of the link between trade unions and the Labour Party. I have urged the University to change its course, reconsider this approach and agree to an appropriate recognition agreement with the University and College Union (UCU) in accordance with the wishes of staff.”