In a week when the VC presentation included her desire to reaffirm the principles of compassion, it is perhaps disappointing to learn from some colleagues that they are not only being subjected to an embargo on any new applications for leave over the forthcoming period of strike action, but also that leave already booked is at risk of being revoked.

The embargo clearly discriminates against non union members who are by definition unlikely to consider striking, but also those with caring responsibilities, and has already caused consternation for some who have leave booked to coincide with half term.

In practice, it is difficult to imagine how managers will be able to revoke leave on the grounds of service disruption when there is no way of knowing who will be on strike until after the fact. One can only conclude therefore that the threat is designed primarily to set employees against one another in the run up to the strike period.

This tactic was used in the last period of striking, where managers actively sought replacements amongst their work colleagues for striking staff who were protesting for the rights of those colleagues.

It appears that workplace harmony and well being comes a poor second in some quarters!

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