London BUIRA study group: 2011-12


The programme for 2011/12 was focussed on changes and developments in the regulation of employment relations and in disputes resolution in a time of crisis. It began late, due to building works at the University, and comprised three sessions:

  • 30th March 2012 The changing roles of arbitration, conciliation and mediation introduced by Ian Fitzgerald (Northumbria University) with Gill Dix (ACAS) on Conciliation in employment disputes and Steve Brawley (Chief Executive) and Sheik Khan (Senior National Officer) the Electrical Contracting Joint Industry Board (JIB) on Employment mediation.


  • 27th April 2012 Alternative approaches to Austerity: their significance for IR and employment relations, led by Dr Ozlem Onaran (University of Westminster) on Why do lower wages not create more employment? with Andrew Watt (Senior Researcher, European Trade Union Institute) on Progressive alternatives for European economic governance and Sian Errington (Research l Department, Unite)


  • 25th May 2012 Where next Employment Tribunals? with David Renton (Barrister, Garden Court Chambers) and, by way of comparison, Pete Burgess (University of Greenwich) Tripartism Affirmed? Continuity and challenges in the German labour court system


Each seminar was well attended and there were very lively discussions and good feedback. For next year, it is hoped that discussion on alternatives to austerity can continue, particularly with approaches to this being proposed in France. In addition, it is proposed to discuss what is going on in relation to industrial relations in other parts of the world, including Russia and Latin America.


Linda Clarke, University of Westminster