Tribunal orders college to give in

23rd April 2004 at 01:00
The ongoing row over the sacking of Jim O'Donovan, the union leader at Central College of Commerce in Glasgow, went a stage further this week when an employment tribunal ordered the college to give Mr O'Donovan his job back within four weeks.

The tribunal continued the case to decide on compensation.

Peter Duncan, the college's principal, has already undertaken to consider reinstatement as one of a number of "parallel tracking activities", although the college board has not yet ruled out an appeal against the tribunal's judgment (TESS, April 2).

Mr Duncan is pledged to restore "constructive industrial relations" at the college.

The tribunal had already taken the unusual step at the end of last year of issuing its findings through an informal statement by Hugh Murphy, its chairman, who described Mr O'Donovan's offence as "utterly trivial".

He was fired over remarks made in a corridor meeting with a member of the college's board of management which the college described as "intimidatory, threatening and confrontational".

The college denied that Mr O'Donovan, president of the Educational Institute of Scotland's Further Education Lecturers' Association, had been sacked for his union activities.

But the tribunal, in its written judgment issued on Monday, said it was "satisfied that the underlying cause of that dismissal was the fact that the applicant had proved himself such a nuisance in the course of trade union activities".

The tribunal suggested in particular that Mr O'Donovan's opposition to a reorganisation of posts at the college had clouded the management's judgment of him to such an extent that he was dismissed.

The written decision said that the college had exaggerated its evidence against Mr O'Donovan and made "mountains out of molehills (if there were ever molehills in the first place)".

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today