College ordered to rehire union president

As we went to press this week, it emerged that Glasgow College of Commerce has been ordered to reinstate the lecturer it sacked - for the second time.

A reconvened employment tribunal said that Jim O'Donovan, who alleges he was sacked for his union activities and was found by an earlier hearing to have been unfairly dismissed, should be re-engaged by the end of the month and paid pound;60,000 in lost salary.

An order in April last year stipulated that Mr O'Donovan should be reinstated within four weeks. Talks took place regarding his re-employment but without success.

The tribunal had ruled that Mr O'Donovan, aged 45, who is president of the Further Education Lecturers' Association, was unfairly dismissed over allegations of bullying and harassment and that the real reason was that he had engaged in union activities.

Peter Duncan, the college's principal, told the tribunal he considered Mr O'Donovan, a computing lecturer, was part of a campaign to undermine both him and the management of the college and to discredit the college.

Hugh Murphy, the tribunal chairman, said on Wednesday that there was no foundation for Mr Duncan's belief, although the tribunal accepted it was genuinely held. Conditions on Mr O'Donovan's re-engagement include him issuing a public statement saying he does not believe the college or any member of the board of management has been guilty of misuse of public funds in connection with a project at the college.

It also demanded that Mr O'Donovan publicly state his expression of regret if anything said or done by him had been misunderstood or misinterpreted.

FE Focus 4

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