THREE lecturers, key union activists who are members of Natfhe, have won unfair dismissal claims at separate employment tribunals, writes Ngaio Crequer.
In London, a tribunal has unanimously ruled that former Southwark College lecturers and branch officers Andrea Kenneally and David Jenkins were unfairly dismissed. They were sacked after an acrimonious 10-week strike at the south London college in July 1997.
Both lecturers were active in the strike. The tribunal dismissed the claim that they were sacked because they were union activists. However, it ruled that the dismissals were unfair because they had a contractual right to a further year's employment to obtain alternative tasks.
A Sheffield industrial tribunal ruled that John Giddins, formerly a lecturer at Doncaster College, had been made redundant when the college should have offered him alternative employment. The tribunal found that Mr Giddins' refusal to sign a new contract was a major factor in the decision not to offer him a new post.
Natfhe says the cases are the most recent in a series of lengthy, expensive litigation involving colleges and the sacking of union activists. Some colleges were incurring huge costs as a result of mishandled dismissals of key union activists.