Tag Archives: Court

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


Adding insult to injury: GCU management organise line manager workshops for ‘when you have to give bad news’ at GCU

In an incredibly insensitive e-mail to GCU all staff  the GCU OD department are now publicly advertising workships for line-managers on ‘handling difficult conversations’.

Described as ‘a range of resources available to staff to support during the restructuring process’ the e-mail image below is  perhaps ‘worth a thousand words’, or at least more than a thousand management claims that they are aiming to lift the threat of compulsory redundancies if and when possible. If this was honestly the case, then why the line manager workshops? Continue reading

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.

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

Union delegation to inspect plans for INTO Building this Thursday at Glasgow Caledonian University

Thanks to an eagle eyed member of staff who spotted the public notice in the Evening Times on April 1st, the day that management published its proposals for the restructuring of clusters involving compulsory redundancies.

Three years after senior management at GCU signed a deal with private company INTO, run by a property developer to recruit and teach international students, a “pre-application consultation” for building work has begun.

As part of the INTO deal with GCU it appeared that management had given a building – Peter McCann House – valued at £3 million – to Andrew Colin, head of INTO. Despite numerous union requests, details of this were never revealed due to “commercial confidentiality”. Continue reading

“Every page of the document shows that this exercise is clearly cost driven”…… Unions first response to GCU management’s ‘restructuring’ proposals

Firstly the Trade Union acknowledges we were given sight of this document (Cluster Proposals ) 48 hours before it was issued to all staff. However it is very difficult to understand the proposed changes without seeing the current structures, and the University’s failure to provide all the appropriate information may render the consultation less than meaningful.

Indeed without this information there is an undermining of trade union representation as these figures will mean a lot to staff who could lose their posts, but for full time officials and local union reps who have agreed to confidentiality and thus cannot consult with affected members we have in a sense one hand tied behind our back. Continue reading

Executive given new iPad2s, plus pay rise at GCU, while staff face compulsory redundancy threat…. oh and four students from GCU London flown up by EasyJet for classes here (allegedly)

iPads for them? And P45s for us?

We’re sorry but that’s just not acceptable in a well managed university.

There was incredulity expressed at a packed meeting of GCU staff in Glasgow Caledonian on Monday 28th March, when visiting MSP Pauline McNeil informed staff that fact finding information that morning had revealed that the GCU Executive were at the ‘top of the queue’ on the day that the new iPad2 was launched with a decision taken ‘at the stroke of a pen’ to order 10 of the machines while redundancy and cuts hung over many of the staff.

She was part of a fact finding mission with fellow MSPs Bill Kidd and Patrick Harvie, all of whom expressed dissatisfaction with the current situation. Continue reading

Question asked about GCU in Scottish Parliament

Elaine Smith (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab): Many of my constituents go to local colleges in order to access higher education institutions such as Glasgow Caledonian University, where a rally against cuts was held yesterday. Does the cabinet secretary believe that it is a good use of education funding for GCU bosses to spend over £1 million on a campus in London while planning major cuts to funding in Scotland, meaning further job losses and a poorer standard of education?

John Swinney: Obviously, individual institutions, of which Glasgow Caledonian is one, must take decisions about the appropriate use of their resources. Our further and higher education institutions are involved in activities to encourage students from other parts of the United Kingdom and other countries to come to study in Scotland because it is an important revenue source to many of them. Although such decisions are best taken by the institutions, all of us who depend on public finance must take careful and prudent decisions to ensure that we maximise the effectiveness of public expenditure in an increasingly tight financial environment.

A link to the official report is available here:

Letter in Scotsman about ‘deeply secretive and incestuous system’ at GCU

Here is the text of a letter from UCU Scotland in reply to David Beeby’s letter in the Scotsman of 2nd March:
David Beeby, Executive Director of Finance, is correct to state (letters 2 March) that senior staff at Caledonian university are paid at the same ludicrous rate as comparable universities. The burgeoning budget for the executive team at universities while staff are laid off and offered pay rises of 0.5% shows that we are not all in this together.
Rather than top-down strong leadership at this time, what we need is consensus and inclusion of unions in the decision making process. Instead we get executive teams with nothing better to do than develop incoherent and morale busting plans that have led to disputes in Glasgow and Heriot-Watt Universities with more likely to follow.  As for academic leadership this should be left to the academic leaders rather than those whose only motivation is financial. Beeby’s view is that of the highly paid Executive team Continue reading