NaRFU administration keeps persecuting lecturers for their social activities

16 Jun

In Arkhangelsk the persecution of NaRFU lecturers has been continuing for three months. The repression was caused by their social activities outside the university, including their outspoken support for the LGBT-community. However the situation at NaRFU is singled out from many other cases of discrimination on the part of employer by the fact that the pressure on the lecturers is initiated by the local prosecutor’s office and federal security service administration.
As far back as yesterday disciplinary penalties and dismissals at the request of the prosecutor’s office and federal security service seemed highly improbable, and today they are becoming a customary practice for the country’s universities.
Lately within the frame of inspection of non-profit organizations’ activities Arkhangelsk prosecutor’s office sent NaRFU administration another recommendation to bring disciplinary actions against the university’s lecturers. This time “workplace absence” is imputed to Olga Pospelova, Senior Research Fellow, and Oleg Klyuenkov, Associate Professors. For Klyuenkov it is the second notice of violation. According to the first one, NaRFU administration was to issue him with a reprimand which is being appealed to a court at the moment.
However there is more to the attempts to dismiss the undesirable lecturers than just issuance of the illegal orders. The lecturers are forced to leave NaRFU “voluntarily” by all means. Now and then it reaches absurd lengths. In this way, in the case of Tatiana Vinnichenko, Associate Professor, the academic administration declared expressly that she had to give up any public activity in order to continue her employment. Olga Pospelova was asked not to post materials of political nature to her social network pages.
Persecution at NaRFU has already attracted public attention, both in this country and abroad. The Inter-Regional Trade Union of the Higher-Education Teaching Personnel «University Solidarity» joined the struggle against persecution of the university’s employees who are the members of the trade union.
‘Lecturers are one of the most rightless and oppressed category of employees as they are. In the majority of the universities mass dismissals are carried out, teaching load of the academic staff is uncontrollably increasing. Anybody can be dismissed because of contract expiration. And now at NaRFU they use administrative pressure for civil activism,’ says Pavel Kudyukin, the co-chairman of the «University Solidarity» Trade Union. ‘Nowadays it is fundamental for our trade union to protect its members from discrimination based on any grounds, from ideology or public activity to sexual orientation or gender identity, which is an aspect of private life neither government nor employer have the right to interfere in.
What is more, the following situation is fraught with danger for the general public. Boris Kravchenko, the leader of Confederation of Labour of Russia and a member of President of Russia’s Council on Human Rights says: ‘In case of NaRFU competent authority’s interference in labor relations is not legal. We cannot allow the practice of illegal bringing to disciplinary responsibility to become a customary practice, and we will give all-round support to the members of the «University Solidarity» Trade Union who are fighting discrimination in the workplace.
More detailed information on situation at NaRFU can be received by phones:
+7 915 212 40 07 – Vladimir Komov, the secretary of the «University Solidarity» Trade Union

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