The Bradford West MP hit out at ‘Victorian mill owner’ tactics over a range of intimidatory threats to lecturers and staff who are protesting about mooted reductions to their pension rights and benefits. “A university is meant to be a place of education, learning and enlightenment,” Galloway said, “not a workhouse where the bosses in top hats, twirling long moustaches, bully and threaten their employees into submission.”
The staff are taking protest action, short of striking, which involves a boycott of marking. It is believed this represent about a 5% reduction in work hours. “But the university is threatening to stop all of the wages of anyone taking part,” the MP continued. “Not only that they’re saying they will remove death in service benefits to anyone who dies so that their family will receive nothing. And if these bullying threats are no enough they also claim that if any student brings legal action against the university over remiss education they will include protestors in the action, potentially giving rise to huge damages. Are we really living in 2014 and not 1814? Clearly the management wants to spin back the clock to the dark ages.”
The MP’s motion urges the education secretary Nicky Morgan to intervene to stop the university management ‘s heavy-handed blackmail and bullying of its staff.