Hope and fairness at London Met! Drop the charges against Steve & Max! Wear Green to show your support!

You probably know that Professor Steve Jefferys and Research Administrator Max Watson are both appealing against final written warnings following their involvement in the recruitment, some five years ago, of Jawad Botmeh onto a temporary contract. Jawad is an employee who the University recently confirmed they had full confidence in.

Steve was found to have acted within his delegated authority in making the appointment but was disciplined for not referring the matter upwards (when Jawad subsequently applied for a permanent role his appointment was ‘referred upwards’ and was approved). If you can work out what Steve did wrong (particularly as he was found to have made the original appointment ‘within his delegated authority’) then you deserve a prize.

Max’s disciplinary relates to the fact that he could not remember (some five years after) that he had actually taken a phone enquiry relating to the job from Jawad prior to Jawad submitting his formal application. No one has suggested that any written rule of the University’s recruitment procedure has been broken.

This simply cannot be right. The University has contrived allegations of misconduct by inventing ‘non-rules’ that neither Steve or Max have broken. If these disciplinary findings are not quashed on appeal then no one, student or staff, can ever be sure that even when complying with the rules in doing their jobs that charges cannot be brought against them – even up to five years later.

As students and staff of LondonMet we demand hope and fairness. We wish to persuade the Board of Governors to ensure respect for all Londonmet staff by insisting on proper procedures and real charges based only on actual misconduct in all disciplinaries in future. To do this we need to get a moral avalanche moving and we need your help to do it.

We need your support to do two things. To distribute this leaflet to your colleagues whether they be students or staff, and to wear a green badge for hope and fairness.

We want to leaflet everyone at the University alerting them to this injustice over the two weeks beginning Tuesday 28 May, and we want to encourage people to wear a small plain green badge as a sign of hope and fairness in the week of the Appeals on Wednesday 29th May (Max) and Wednesday June 12th (Steve).

The six months final written warnings follow five weeks of being suspended on ‘gross misconduct charges’ which were dropped following a huge campaign. Max, Steve and Jawad have been reinstated – they should now be allowed to get on with their jobs and lives.  Max and Steve are appealing against ‘serious misconduct’ charges:

Steve was disciplined, despite:

  • The VC’s clean bill of health for Jawad, confirming Steve’s judgement that there was no risk to anyone in Steve’s appointing Jawad; and
  • Jawad’s background as a victim of a miscarriage of justice; and
  • Evidence from top immigration lawyers that Jawad always had the right to remain and work in the UK, there being no risk at all of a breach of immigration law; and
  • HR never raising a single query about the forms Steve filled in,

the accusations against Steve are that he exposed the university to risk and didn’t fill in forms properly.

Max was disciplined, despite

  • Jawad being the only candidate who got his application for the part-time casual PSG3 post in by the deadline; and
  • Max, a PSG4 admin worker, encouraging others to apply; and
  • Max having met Jawad once prior to his appointment and having answered two telephone and two email queries from him; and
  • Max being one of three people who interviewed Jawad; and
  • Steve having responsibility for Casual appointments and being responsible for submitting the Casual Employment Forms,

the accusations against Max are that he unfairly favoured Jawad.

Continuing with these ‘charges’ is an attack on logic. It is an attack on trade unionism. It is an attack on academic freedom.

For hope and fairness at London Met!

Drop the charges against Steve & Max!

Wear Green to show your support!

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