Developing issues 1

November 18, 2005

Lecturers' union Natfhe is not alone in its concerns about the atmosphere created by the leadership of Leeds Metropolitan University ("Union accuses v-c of mass bullying", November 4).

Unison members have been refused leave during next September's staff development festival despite the fact that this will be the first opportunity many have for a summer break after clearing. Other members have family with fixed holidays, children starting school or, as low-paid staff, cannot afford to holiday during August. In an increasingly monitored workplace, leave is one of the few areas of control staff have left.

Staff development was one of Leeds Met's strengths because of its inclusive but voluntary nature. Press-ganging staff into two weeks of "development"

is a threat to our terms and conditions that both unions are seeking to redress.

Tom Spamer

Unison branch

Leeds Metropolitan University

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