Manager denies asking for bribe

A lecturer claims his manager repeatedly demanded he hand over 10 per cent of his salary as payment for being given a job.

Mohammad Bahrami, who taught computer science and engineering at Mancat - Manchester College of Arts and Technology - was giving evidence at a local employment tribunal, where he claims unfair dismissal.

He told the tribunal that Kabir Usman, head of the access studies department, also pressed him to falsify paperwork for funding purposes.

Mancat, which denies the claims, dismissed Dr Bahrami in July 2003 for alleged gross misconduct.

Dr Bahrami says he was dismissed unfairly after reporting his concerns to the Greater Manchester Open College Network. Mancat says he never raised the accusations internally and that he had brought the college into disrepute by going to the network.

The college claims there was "a breakdown in the employment relationship", that Dr Bahrami failed to attend meetings after a final written warning issued in April 2002.

Dr Bahrami said: "Kabir Usman pressurised members of staff to complete and sign forms for which work had not been carried out. I refused." He said forms had been forged in his name.

The tribunal heard that Dr Usman approached Dr Bahrami five times about surrendering a 10th of his salary. Dr Bahrami said: "He indicated that it was for helping me to secure a job at Mancat. I categorically refused."

Barbara Forshaw, deputy principal, said the allegations "were pernicious and unfounded." She said: "Kabir strongly denied requesting a bribe or money and starting a campaign of bullying and harassment. No one else had ever made this allegation against him."

The tribunal heard that Dr Bahrami had previously been suspended after he intervened in a fight between two students in February 2002. A disciplinary panel found him guilty of "inappropriate behaviour".

Dr Bahrami also claims he is owed sick pay and money for working beyond his contracted hours.

The tribunal hearing was adjourned until February.

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