Category Archives: Executive Board

GCU Petition to Court launched as UCU and EIS decide for action

Following senior management rejection of the joint Trade Unions offer to work together to lobby the new government for additional funding if the threat of compulsory redundancies was lifted, an all staff petition has been launched to pressurise the University Court to live up to its responsibilities towards GCU.
This reads:

Dear Chair of Court
We the undersigned as members of staff at GCU oppose the threat of 95 compulsory redundancies and ask management to follow Glasgow University’s lead and to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies until the new Scottish Government has formed and, in the meantime, to engage with the campus unions on a positive way forward. In return, the unions will pause their local campaign.

Already this is gaining widespread support with some departments reporting unanimous backing from staff on its first day of launch. The petition can be downloaded here.

Please use it in your own department if you haven’t personally been approached about it yet. Return it to any union rep of any of the campus unions.
Meanwhile the local branch of UCU voted unanimously for the following motion at it’s meeting on May 3rd:

Compulsory Redundancies
In light of the decision by GCU management to reject the offer of a cessation of the campaign being conducted by UCU and other campus unions against the threat of compulsory redundancy, GCU UCU members instruct the branch office bearers to construct the dispute with management as a legally defined trade dispute in order to allow members to be balloted on industrial action in furtherance of the dispute over compulsory redundancies of UCU members at GCU.

The local branch of EIS will be meeting on Monday to consider its action to help make senior management remove the threat of compulsory redundancies.

They have issued the following message to EIS members:

Hi All,

I hope you all had a restful weekend at a very stressful time at the University.

You may have been directly informed that there was an official Yes vote for our action short of strike action with 72% in favour. This is likely to commence next week.

To discuss this – what it means for us as EIS members at GCU and how it fits in with our local battles against redundancies there will be an EIS/ULA meeting next Monday.

Try and come along as we are facing a critical battle in the next few weeks at GCU.

Glasgow Caledonian EIS/ULA


Industrial Action

Monday 9th May

Room W715

12 Noon


Management at GCU spurn trade union olive branch and continue with threat of redundancies

To begin with a quote from the message management formally gave the Unions at the consultation meeting yesterday

We are not at this moment in a position to guarantee no compulsory redundancies, but have stated that we will remove the risk of redundancy in respect of this consultation if and when we are in a position to do so”

This was followed by the email yesterday which said that management could “ unequivocally confirm”  that there would be no threat to school based staff.   Management informed us of this yesterday and asked the unions to endorse this move, we rejected this.    The Unions have never been given detailed structures of what the  administrative support for schools would be – unlike in the Central Clusters.  This was confirmed in the message of Mike Smith on 18th April:

“You may recall that the University Court paper dated 3 March provided some information regarding the proposals for administrative and support structures in the new Schools.  The Restructuring Coordination Group are continuing to work on further detail regarding these proposals, including financial analysis of where savings could be made within Schools in order to contribute to our £5million savings target.  We plan to circulate this additional proposal information week commencing 2 May.”

Further today a message has been sent out that this promise has been extended to staff in Facilities and Estate management.

“Divide and Rule”   Continue reading

Scottish, British (and International) Media concerned at suspension of GCU licence to recruit international students

The story that GCU has become the first UK University to lose its licence to recruit international students, has been treated as a serious matter by media outlets through the UK and wider afield, thus giving weight to the fears of GCU unions that ‘This move will damage our reputation internationally and domestically’. It adds urgency to the need for the Chair of University Court to convene an emergency meeting to examine this serious situation.

Amongst the coverage were interviews with CUC spokespeople on Radio 4 at 4pm, and Radio 5 Live drive show. and for about 20 minutes on STV (link here)

The UK Press Association reported: University’s student visas halted.  The issue featured on BBC Scotland Reporting Scotland, and also at 10.30pm. The BBC on-line site featured Glasgow Caledonian University has licence suspended . The UK Daily Telegraph featured University has foreign student licence suspended The Herald reported: University Visas suspended  and a letter reported: Students may suffer if university loses its international licence.   Times Higher Education reported: Border Agency suspends Glasgow Caledonian’s Tier 4 licence   The Scottish Daily Record reported: Glasgow Caledonian questioned by UK Border Agency over abuse of student visa system Glasgow Evening Times reported: University faces losing foreign student licence

There have also started to be reports in the international media. Here is one from the Manila Standard in the Phillipines.

It was disappointing that despite the importance of this for the future of the University, and despite the need for a frank discussion of what went wrong, and how this can be avoided, like the recent successful UCU strike at the university, Caledonian Connect had no mention of this whatsoever. No sign of Glasnost in our own publications – this does not seem to be a mature way to handle important issues.

Unison Consultative Ballot – 97% in favour of being balloted on industrial action at GCU!

In a ballot of all Unison members at Glasgow Caledonian, and with a turnout of over 60 percent, an incredible 97% have voted in favour of being balloted on industrial action.

In response to GCU Management plans for devastating cuts at the university, UNISON, the largest trade union at Glasgow Caledonian University representing both academics and support staff, conducted a consultative ballot of members this week. The ballot asked members if they were in favour of being balloted on industrial action – with 97 per cent voting in favour of the move.

This action follows an announcement byManagement last month of plans to cut 95 jobs, a move which staff say will hit the most vulnerable students hardest. But union officials are still hopeful that a dispute can be avoided and are urging university bosses to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and to think twice about implementing such devastating cuts.

Davena Rankin, branch secretary of UNISON’s Glasgow Caledonian branch, said: Continue reading

Unions at GCU call for emergency meeting of Court, and immediate independent inquiry into Senior Management

Following David Beeby’s announcement at 7.30pm yesterday evening the GCU Combined Union Committee have issued the following statement

“The trade unions at Glasgow Caledonian note with astonishment the statement from senior management that the UK Borders Agency has suspended our licence to recruit international students for 28 days.   This is the first time this has ever happened to a University in the United Kingdom.

The unions believe serious questions must be asked of our senior management that have allowed this situation to develop.  This move will damage our reputation internationally and domestically.  It also seems to confirm the warnings that the Combined Union Committee have made over the increasingly risky strategic decisions management have made concerning the University. Continue reading

GCU suspends “processing immigration paperwork”. What does this mean?

Breaking news: This is covered in the Herald:University Visas Suspended and in the Telegraph: University has Foreign Student Licence Suspended

Earlier today (Wednesday 19th) , David Beeby,Vice-Principal Internationalisation, and Head of Finance at GCU, informed all staff that:

“You may be aware that GCU is cooperating with the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to address issues specific to a group of international students on the BSc Nursing/BSc Professional Development.

We expect to have these resolved in the near future, and as conversations are ongoing, the UKBA has required the University to implement a 28 day suspension of our processing of immigration paperwork, as their processes require.

While we feel that this action is disproportionate, we are cooperating with the UKBA to fully understand the issues and implement any changes needed as a result. Continue reading

New Question on Value for Money regarding iPads for Executive at GCU

A previous post iPad2s for them and P45s for us?  pointed out the incongruity of ten iPad2s being purchased for the GCU executive on the same day as the 90 day notices regarding possible redundancies were issued to staff. A UCU member has reminded us of University guidelines on Value for Money, which were issued to all staff at the start of this year.

These guidelines are reprinted below: Continue reading