Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Thursday, 26 June 2008 17:13 UK

Vote over college bullying claims

NEWI campus sign
The institute says it "does not accept that it has failed to act in this matter"

Lecturers at the North East Wales Institute (Newi) are to be balloted on strike action after claims it failed to tackle alleged staff bullying.

The University and College Union (UCU) said at least eight staff members had complained of bullying, but claimed the institute failed to take action.

The union said any potential industrial action would take place in September.

Wrexham-based Newi said it did not tolerate bullying and took staff welfare seriously.

The union claimed it had received repeated allegations against an individual.

If an allegation is raised we investigate matters thoroughly, following the appropriate procedures which have been agreed in consultation with the unions
North East Wales Institute

It said a "collective grievance" was lodged in January but was rejected by Newi managers.

The union said it had repeatedly asked for an independent investigation into the allegations .

Wales UCU regional official Margaret Phelan said: "Bullying is a major concern amongst staff in colleges and universities, and a cause of stress and illness.

"It is all too common and UCU is taking bullying very seriously, wherever it happens."

The union has also expressed concern about the human resources department's mechanism to respond to bullying claims.

In a statement, Newi said: "The institute does not tolerate bullying and harassment and takes the welfare of all staff and students very seriously.

"If an allegation is raised we investigate matters thoroughly, following the appropriate procedures which have been agreed in consultation with the unions.

"The institute does not accept that it has failed to act in this matter but does not feel that it is appropriate to comment on individual cases."




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