Unite the Union

Unite the Union

August 24, 2007 08:09 ET

Unite Wins Right to Recognition Ballot at the College of Law

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Aug. 24, 2007) - The Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) has supported an application by Unite trade union to ballot staff at the College of Law for trade union recognition.

The decision by CAC follows a three year dispute between the College of Law and Amicus, predecessor union to Unite, during which the College refused to give voluntary recognition to the union, despite it achieving a membership of 41%. The CAC also decided that the College of Law establishes a bargaining unite for pay negotiations.

Unite will now ballot all College of Law employees on recognition and, if 50% vote yes, Unite will be granted statutory recognition requiring the College of Law to negotiate with Unite on a broad range of issues, including pay. Unite has been critical of the pay awards granted by the College of Law which is says falls well below comparative Higher Education institutions. It has also condemned the College for imposing detrimental pension changes on staff without proper consultation.

Unite National officer for Higher Education, Mike Robinson, said:

"We are delighted that the CAC agreed with us that the bargaining unit should be applied to all College of Law staff and that Unite can ballot for union recognition across all the Colleges sites.

"We believe that both would mean College of Law staff would have better representation and a better argued case for improved pay and hopefully match the 13.1% over three years pay deal Unite negotiated in higher education.

"Above all, all decisions relating to staff pay and conditions will be made by members to vote and decide on. If staff vote for recognition there will be no more top down forced decisions."

College of Law staff will receive visits from Unite representatives and materials on what voting for recognition will mean for them. The ballot of tutor staff will be conducted before Christmas.

Unite say that once the issue of tutor staff recognition has been resolved they will attempt to win recognition for support staff.

Note to editors

1. The College of Law operate from seven sites in the UK. Their main Head Office, admin and teaching centre is at Guildford Surrey but the College of Law also have colleges in York, Chester Birmingham as well as three sites in London at Bloomsbury, Moorgate and a small office near Chancery Lane.

2. The College provide legal qualifications for Solicitors in the main and those working in the legal profession (barristers paralegals) across the UK. The College employees around 700 staff including the clerical support staff as well as the professional tutor group and management staff.

Contact Information

  • Catherine Bithell
    Unite Press Office
    020 7 420 8909 or 07958 473 224