Newham Trades Council SOLIDARITY with Sharon Morgan and NEU members at London Design Engineering UTC – Thursday 26 November 2020
In the summer term, London Design Engineering (LDE) UTC, NEU work rep – Sharon Morgan, was raising important issues on behalf of members regarding making the school as safe as possible due to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.
Instead of discussing this vital issue in a reasonable way, the LDE UTC Chief Executive, being it is a Free School so does not have a Head Teacher, disputed the rep’s right to represent members on matters of health and safety instead opting for a campaign of bullying and harassment which continued when the new term started.
This unfortunately escalated to the rep on Thursday 24 September 2020 having to raise a formal grievance about unwarranted behaviour. The following day (Friday 25 September 2020) the Chief Executive sacked rep, Sharon Morgan, without any hearing or investigation implemented.
LDE UTC’s employment contracts states that anyone with less than 2-years’ service can be dismissed without a hearing or investigation and with just one week’s notice so LDE UTC stated what they did to Sharon Morgan was lawful.
The National Education Union (NEU) responded by balloting members for strike action and submitting an Employment Tribunal (ET) claim for interim relief believing Sharon Morgan had been sacked for being a trade union rep.
The ET claim was successful and Sharon Morgan’s pay was restored. In response to the Judge’s stinging criticism (calling LDE’s behaviour “morally reprehensible”) LDE also agreed to reinstate Sharon Morgan. However, the next day LDE reneged on this assurance, so refuse to allow Sharon Morgan opportunity as agreed to return to job and supporting students.
The NEU’s key aim is to have Sharon Morgan rightly reinstated, ending LDE’s unfair contracts. The ET cannot compel LDE to reinstate Sharon Morgan.
Thursday 26 November 2020 was the first strike-day action held by NEU in support of their member. LDE Management have put a lot of pressure on NEU members not to support Sharon Morgan – an attempt that has failed, even though intimidation tactics were employed by the filming of staff on the picket line. Thursday witnessed excellent support for unfair treatment of a member for no valid reason.
Newham Trades Council support all action held under the circumstances and support Sharon Morgan and all NEU members and urge all to join picket line and support next proposed strike days:
Picket Line – 8am till 9.30am
15 University Way, Royal Docks,
5 mins walk from Cyprus DLR station.
- Tuesday 1 December 2020
- Wednesday 2 December 2020
- Tuesday 8 December 2020
- Wednesday 9 December 2020
- Thursday 10 December 2020