UCU ‘in internal court war’

By Leon Symons, May 14, 2009

Reports of a legal clash between the trustees of the University and College Union and its executive were circulating on Wednesday afternoon.

The JC was told that the trustees had gone to the High Court ahead of publication, due on Thursday, of the list of motions to be debated at UCU’s annual congress in Bournemouth at the end of the month. It is understood that the trustees were seeking an injunction to prevent publication of the list in case it contained an anti-Israel boycott motion.

We revealed last week that there were as many as three motions put down on the final list on “Palestine”. The executive had refused to say whether any debate on Israel would take place. Last week it voted against reading legal advice which was thought to warn against attempting to introduce another boycott motion.

Last year the union faced court action from some of its own members after trying to introduce a “back-door” boycott motion. Union members argued that any money spent by the UCU on an anti-Israel motion should be reimbursed and that the trustees should return personally any money spent. This may have prompted the action on Wednesday.

Last updated: 9:57am, May 14 2009