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College fined for unfair dismissal of lecturer

An industrial tribunal has ruled that a former welding lecturer was unfairly dismissed by Borders College and has ordered it to pay Pounds 2,000 in compensation.

The written judgment in the case of Rodney Adams, one of seven lecturers made redundant by the college last year, found there had been a lack of consultation during the steps leading to his dismissal and ruled that the appeal process was "flawed".

The tribunal estimated that Mr Adams stood to lose Pounds 15,000 in future earnings, although this was offset by a Pounds 4,500 enhanced redundancy settlement from the college.

But the tribunal decided that, had the college followed the correct procedures, there would have been an 80 per cent chance that Mr Adams would still have been made redundant. It therefore reduced the pay-out to Pounds 2107.27.

The college management hopes that the Adams judgment will draw a line under a turbulent period of industrial relations. Three other lecturers who went to a tribunal alleging unfair dismissal have settled their cases out of court. Campbell Pearson, the former principal, announced his early retirement at the beginning of the year.

The tribunal concluded that the college "did not hold 'fair consultation' with the applicant, an employee of theirs for the past 18 years".

The system whereby Mr Pearson dismissed Mr Adams and then heard his appeal meant the former principal "was judge and jury and the appeal to the principal was flawed".

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