Edwards urges AUT to action

July 28, 1995

Cyril Edwards, the professor who was made redundant by Goldsmiths College last year, is appealing to the Association of University Teachers not to drop its High Court action against the institution.

The union has told German and linguistics scholar Dr Edwards that the action must be withdrawn because this was the undertaking - to which he was party - given to the college if it offered him a post. Goldsmiths offered him a part-time lecturing contract this month.

The AUT argues that the amount awarded if the action succeeded would be negligible, because the redundancy payment and any earnings would be deducted. If the court case was lost this could jeopardise the union's other 34,000 members.

But Dr Edwards, who has just accepted a two-year, full-time post at Oxford University, says fresh evidence about the action of the college is now available.

Dr Edwards' fresh evidence relates to his dismissal on the grounds that the college no longer wanted to teach his subject. He says that the college is still teaching a postgraduate MA in German language and this is still being offered to students in the prospectus, as is an undergraduate course in linguistics.

Bob Aylett, director of quality affairs for the college and a senior lecturer in German, said that some of the courses mentioned by Dr Edwards were federal ones taught on an intercollegiate basis and were not owned by the college.

"If the judge finds in my favour, it will show how difficult it is to put the principle of thematic redundancy into practice," said Dr Edwards.

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