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Universities - Nottingham Trent 'greylisted'


Pressure on Nottingham Trent University (NTU) management is rising now it has formally axed its recognition agreement with the University and College Union (UCU). Following a successful one-day strike on 21 October, the union has decided to “greylist” the university.

Greylisting entails academic staff across the country, other trade unions, labour movement organisations and the international academic community supporting the UCU in any way possible.

The action will include not attending, speaking at or organising academic or other conferences at the university; not applying for jobs there; not giving lectures; not accepting positions as visiting professors or researchers; not writing for any academic journal that is edited from the university; and not taking up new contracts as external examiners for taught courses.

This type of action is only taken by UCU members in exceptional circumstances. It requires discipline and the exercise of peer pressure. If conducted systematically it has the potential to undermine the whole quality assurance of the university as contracts for external examiners come up for renewal throughout the year.

The greylisting is due to start on 1 December, so management at NTU has every opportunity to return to the negotiating table and thereby protect their reputation, students and staff.

The UCU website has a countdown clock reminding members of the days, hours, minutes and seconds to the start of the action. NTU managers would be well advised to have it as the screen saver on their computers.