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Halesowen College staff anger as union demo to hit open day

Dudley | News | Published:

Around 150 staff at under-fire Halesowen College have signed a counter-petition in opposition to union officials who have called a protest over the sacking of a maths lecturer.

Members of the University and College Union are due to stage a protest outside the gates of the college tomorrow to coincide with an open day for prospective students. Four lecturers including David Muritu were dismissed by college bosses recently claiming they were failing to meet standards. Staff say they deplore the union's actions.

They are angry that the protest is targeting the open day where parents are likely to attend with the children and have now launched a petition against the moves.

In a letter to Sally Hunt, General Secretary of the University and College Union, staff said: "We appreciate that there are policies and procedures in place for individual members of staff to appeal against management decisions including those relating to their employment.

"However, we do not wish to tolerate being harassed by protestors nor having our safety, or the safety of our students, compromised by them blocking entrances to the college premises.

"We do not think it is appropriate that UCU plan to damage our open day as this will ultimately have an adverse impact on students and may affect enrolments and jobs.

"We would ask that you respect the channels of legitimate action open to you to resolve the issues that any individuals may currently have with Halesowen College and allow the rest of the staff to provide an unhampered event for prospective students on Saturday."

Union bosses said Mr Muritu was told he was sacked because of students' results, but they say they are above the national average. It is also claimed the college was determined to dismiss Mr Muritu.

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