Davids join to face Goliath

February 19, 1999

Lecturers have set up a support group for academics caught in discrimination and victimisation disputes at Leicester University, which faces at least five industrial tribunal cases.

They say that aggrieved lecturers who take on universities face a "David and Goliath" battle. Thay are often unable to afford proper legal support yet universities invariably and unquestioningly spend large sums of public money on defending themselves.

The group has criticised the Association of University Teachers, which spends just Pounds 50,000 a year on supporting tribunal cases. Cambridge University alone last year spend Pounds 250,000 on legal fees.

The group leader, who can not be named because of reporting restrictions on her sex harassment case, said: "I have been appalled at how little support people get." The woman, who is a single mother on incapacity benefit, owes solicitors Pounds 2,500 and is now fighting the case without legal representation.

The group hopes to become a national group and may eventually be able to offer financial support. Details: gfrideric@aul.com

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