Reinstate David Muritu

What do you call an employer that circumvents long-established disciplinary procedures and sacks the branch secretary of its recognised trade union on the last day before the seasonal break? There are many unpleasant names that spring to mind, but because it’s Christmas I’ll use this employer’s official title: Halesowen College.

I reproduce below the statement supporting the reinstatement of UCU branch secretary, David Muritu. It is my understanding that this is just the beginning. Entirely coincidentally, of course, three more active members of the union are facing disciplinaries. This comes ahead of strike action planned in the New Year, which was unanimously endorsed by local UCU members. When that’s the case, you know management must be as poor as it is bellicose.

From what I can gather, David is popular among staff and students at the college. Like a number of others, he works ridiculous hours for his students against a pretty shoddy background . I ask you, what other college makes lecturers cover two classes *at the same time*, foists non-specialists to teach certain specialised courses, and fails to provide specialist cover when there are absences?

They’re hardly cash-strapped either. According to their own minutes of June’s corporate meeting, they have an operating *surplus* of over £2.7m. Management’s actions are plain bizarre. You can only agree with the petition statement’s opening, David Muritu’s sacking “is an attack on eduction and trade unionism”.

Make sure you sign the petition. Solidarity messages can be sent via

Halesowen College: Reinstate David Muritu as a Maths Lecturer at the college

This is an attack on education and trades unionism. On December 20th Dave Muritu, a known local socialist trades union activist, was sacked from his position as Maths lecturer. This followed disregard of the college disciplinary procedure (no evidence was presented 3 days in advance of the hearing), without anything other than deductive reasoning (his sacking was linked to results, with no regard for competency procedure or accurate review of statistical significance (his results are above national average).

Please sign and convey your disappointment in the college failure to prioritise student needs and achievement over politics. The only logical conclusion which can be drawn from the situation is that as no substantial evidence has been produced, Dave has been sacked on grounds of disagreement with the principal on educational theory and politics. The maths department have received considerable lack of support in the face of student needs, including

1) Failure of the principal to agree specialist cover in staff absence, inspite of a substantial surplus which could fund this

2) Students in a functional lesson being encouraged by management to give up the studies their time is allocated for in order to participate in a “focus group” based around leading questions with no rigorous development or consistent recording of data

3) Victimisation of a known trades unionist, along with possible victimisation of other known activists in the maths department, setting a precedent for activists to be targeted with knock-on effects for other trades-unionists nationally.

Please sign and join us in fighting this outrageous decision collectively.

7 comments on “Reinstate David Muritu

  1. prianikoff on said:

    David is a very hard-working guy and has always been a committed trade union member. I strongly suspect that it’s the latter quality that’s driven the management at Halesowen to vicitimise him.

    When management goes for a union branch secretary, it’s not worth bothering with an industrial tribunal.
    Strike action to achieve reinstatement is the only alternative.

    Defend the Halesowen 4

  2. Steven Saunders on said:

    I think this is a sign of things to come. The ideology of managerialism demands complete compliance from ‘staff.’ It recognises the validity of Union activity less and less, every term. If we are not careful, if we do not strike back, they will try to completely negate every branch of our Union. That is their obvious agenda, and they are becoming more and more brutal in their pursuit of that agenda.

  3. prianikoff on said:

    Two reports on the progress of the campaign to reinstate David Muritu:-

    HALESOWEN College’s maths department is in chaos after one senior lectuter has been sacked and three others are facing disciplinary measures.
    Students were greeted today by protesters with banners shouting slogans and demanding action over the “Halesowen Four”.

    All four maths teachers are members of the University and College Union and a nationwide campaign has been launched to save their jobs and increased industrial action is in the pipeline.
    College management sacked senior maths lecturer and UCU branch secretary Dave Muritu on December 20 citing poor A-level results and supporting [sic] pupils outside the classroom as the reason for dismissal.
    He said: “This is outrageous, the maths department has had its problems because of understaffing and the college not employing specialist teachers as cover.
    “We have even had to teach GCSE and A-level pupil in the same room, and now the teachers have got the blame.”

    Three other lecturers are facing disciplinary proceedings today which the UCU claim will result in their dismissal after replacement lecturers have already been employed.
    UCU Acting Branch Secretary Rhiannon said: “Our branch secretary, Dave Muritu, was sacked, not following process as evidence was not provided to us three days prior to the hearing, in accordance with our local and ACAS guidelines.

    “Three more maths lecturers who are active UCU members will be under disciplinary hearings in the next two weeks, with probable dismissals.”
    The union has already passed a resolution for a ballot for industrial action concerning the problems at the college….

    “Halesowen staff undivided over sacked maths lecturer”
    by Jerry Langford and Darrall Cozens

    More than 50 UCU lecturers and supporters from other unions picketed three entrances of Halesowen College in the Black Country on the first day back on Monday of this week.

    They were there to demand the reinstatement of Dave Muritu, a popular maths lecturer and union branch secretary who was summarily dismissed on 20 December. Three other maths lecturers also face disciplinary hearings—and it is no coincidence they are all active union members.

    The union branch voted unanimously in December to strike to defend Dave, and is set to begin a formal strike ballot this week.
    Dave had a disciplinary hearing and was told that his results weren’t good enough. In fact they are above the national average and he is considered a good lecturer.

    The union says that management is victimising union activists and has disregarded its own disciplinary procedures. UCU regional official Nick Varney said it was “impossible not to link this to his union activity”.

    Around 1,000 people have so far signed a petition to reinstate Dave.
    Send messages of support to the branch at
    Join the campaign to reinstate Dave and to defend other lecturers under attack

  4. prianikoff on said:

    Reinstate the HalesOwen 4
    Day of Action, Saturday 26th January

    The Halesowen UCU branch are urging people to get to the college to lobby the Open Day and a governors’ meeting by 9:30am.
    There will be a demonstration assembling at 10:45.

    There will be a ‘Solidarity with the Halesowen 4’ meeting after the demonstration.
    12:30, Shepstone Theatre, Halesowen Library, (town centre).

    Branch members at Halesowen are being balloted for industrial action.
    Hopefully the result will be known by the day of action.
    We urge people to time transport so that you can get along to this.


    Messages of un-support to:-

    Keith Bate
    Halesowen College
    Whittingham Road
    B63 3NA

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