Both Jenny and Damien were summarily dismissed over allegations that they had brought the University into disrepute after details of the financial affairs of vice-chancellor George Holmes appeared in the media. The dismissals were highly unusual in that the University did not follow normal procedure – the dismissals were sudden and did not follow a proper investigation.
Jenny had been employed as an academic administrator and is member of UNISON, while Damien was a senior lecturer at the University and an activist in the UCU union.
The Markeys’ treatment has led to a campaign for their reinstatement that has been well supported by university staff, students and the public. UNISON and the UCU are organising a rally on Saturday 16 May in Bolton town centre.
Protestors will assemble at 10.30am at Queens Park (Spa Road/Mayor Street car park). At 11am there will a protest walk around Bolton town centre before a rally at 12 noon at Bolton Town Hall Square.
You can download a flyer here: Bolton University Rally – Flyer
Maxine Peake said:
“I support the campaign for the reinstatement of Damien and Jenny Markey at Bolton University. Attacks on trade unionists are part of a growing trend towards shutting down dissent. We need transparency and accountability from our public institutions and political representatives.”
Steve Stott, UNISON North West Regional Manager said:
“Jenny and Damien have been treated very harshly by the University and it is rare for a high-profile employer to behave so badly. University staff, students and the general public are surprised and outraged that an important local employer would behave in this way. UNISON’s lawyers have been instructed to seek to obtain justice through the courts. We will continue to support Jenny and campaign for a fair outcome.”