Tag Archives: GCU London

Pooches for Pay and the Postie supports us again

A new slogan replaced the GCU Common Weal sign this morning – signalling our views to new graduates

Whistles, pooches and leaflets and stickers for graduates plus an alternative University Mission statement all made their appearance on today’s picket line.

Pooches against the pay gap – consistent supporters

GCU London students joined our staff in solidarity at the London Campus

Together with some great solidarity photos from our GCU students at GCU London and some twitter activity towards Annie Lennox our Chancellor, pickets were again in good spirits – being also joined towards lunchtime at a short solidarity shout-up by Mary Senior, UCU Scotland Official, and speakers from our sister unions at GCU. EIS provided the hot rolls, and again the Student Association officers came up trumps with coffee and tea.

But firstly with Graduation taking place, some students had expressed worries on how our actions might impact them. However, as they had heard from the UCU at their Students Voice meeting, this action wasn’t targeted at them, but rather at the University Employers’ Association UCEA.

The UCU had produced a special leaflet congratulating students on their graduation, and also printed some posters showing how pleased we were with their achievements. Some students and their friends and families also wore solidarity stickers to the graduation, as a measure of support.

Materials were distributed and postered supporting our students

Annie Lennox’s songs had featured strongly in our solidarity music playlist, and we added to that by texting our Chancellor to inform her of what was happening. We’ll let you know of any response!

A tweet to our Chancellor on what’s happening at GCU

And again – the CWU came up trumps in solidarity – thanks comrades!

The Postie again refuses to cross a picket line

 

 

Education Minister pledges to work in partnership with UCU

Mike Russell, Education Minister, addressed UCU Congress on a range of issues and answered questions on various topics including GCU London

The UCU Scottish Congress took place in Edinburgh on March 23rd with full involvement of representatives from GCU and with a keynote address given by Education Minister Mike Russell.

In contrast to last year’s Congress when GCU members spoke, but did not present motions, almost one third of the motions at Congress this year were from the GCU branch with all GCU motions passed unanimously after a vigorous debate. These were on University Governance, GCU London, INTO, and on the implications of the GCU Staff survey.

Branch reps also took full part in the debates on Scotland’s Constitutional Future, and also on an emergency motion on the next steps in the fight to save all our pensions. John Biggam, branch Health and Safety rep, also introduced and led a session on Health and Safety at work.
The branch mounted an exhibition showing the posters, leaflets, and other materials produced over the past year, and also had a iPhoto slideshow of the years activity.

Opening Congress, a keynote speech was given by Mike Russell, the Education Minister, who announced he was keen on strong partnership working with the UCU and others. Amongst the points that Mike Russell put to congress, was the government’s belief that the existing four year degree was not a weakness, but a strength, and had to remain the cornerstone of what the Government offered.

He also addressed Congress on a range of issues, and answered questions on various topics including GCU London.
On Governance, the minister announced broad support for the two recent reviews which he wanted to take forward, so that Governance was ‘Fit for purpose, accountable, and where Governors fulfilled their roles. When questioned on conditions at ‘satellite’ institutions linked to Scottish based universities, he declared that he would expect Scottish universities to be ‘a beacon of equality and good treatment, in terms of conditions at these institutions’.

A copy of the Glasgow Caledonian UCU bulletin about the congress can be downloaded here.

GCU Unions – Management do not have a monopoly on wisdom

The trade unions at GCU note that Court endorsed the Executive proposals on restructuring at their meeting yesterday.

Whilst happy with the removal of the threat of 95 compulsory redundancies, which was made by the Executive on 18th May, the trade unions are disappointed that none of the suggestions and alternatives to the management driven structures have been taken on board either by the Executive or the Court.

Staff in many support clusters took time and energy to put forward viable alternative models for many of the clusters both through their trade union reps and individually. These have been dismissed either with cursory comments or in many cases no comment at all.

Thus many front line services will be lost and senior management posts have been created without a full explanation of why alternatives were not considered.

The Unions are aware that although the threat of compulsory redundancies has been removed many staff who possibly do not have positions within the new structures will feel vulnerable.

Just as your Unions forced management to withdraw their ill conceived plans for compulsory redundancies, we will also ensure that all staff at GCU will be fully protected and not forced out the back door in the restructuring process.

Meanwhile a reminder – celebrate VE day – Victory in Education Day, and the withdrawal of the compulsory redundancies. Friday 10th June 5pm till late. Dows Bar, Dundas Street Glasgow.
We’ll see you there!

UNISON warns of ‘dark future’ for students if university cuts go ahead at Glagow Caledonian University

UNISON Scotland has condemned planned cuts by Glasgow Caledonian University, claiming students will face a dark future if cuts go ahead.
Earlier this month, management announced plans to cut 95 jobs at the university – a move which staff say will hit the most vulnerable students hardest. Today staff will be given an outline of the cuts and told which jobs face the axe, with support and administrative staff most at risk.
Figures show that the number of support staff at the university has dropped by more than 25 per cent in the last five years. This is in stark contrast to the rise in higher paid staff at the university which has trebled in the same period (figures listed below).
Davena Rankin, branch secretary at Glasgow Caledonian University, said:
“These cuts spell a dark future for our students. Last year alone, more than 16,000 students sought support from our staff – vital support which can make the difference between a student staying on at university or dropping out. Despite this, many of these staff will find out today that their jobs will go. 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

GCU Management: Much of their financial speculations ‘based on projections’….(but ‘realistic’ projections…)

The trade unions at Glasgow Caledonian met with senior management for their second meeting on Wednesday 16th March to discuss the plans to make 95 staff redundant .

EIS, UCU, UNITE and UNISON were all represented by members from GCU and full time officials apart from UCU who were represented by an official only.

The Senior Management side was larger than the last meeting – Mike Smith and Karen Stanton from the Executive Board attended alongside Jan Hulme, Keith Ross and Stella Bartram.  There was also a minute taker from Human Resources present.

Mike Smith and Karen Stanton explained that they had not attended the first meeting because they had not been invited to it by Keith Ross.

The bulk of the meeting was taken up with explaining management’s response to the 4 requests put to them at the previous meeting from the Combined Union Committee. Continue reading