Tag Archives: Mary Senior

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



UCU to join Strike Action on the 30th

University staff in the UCU have voted for strike action in the row over changes to public sector pensions.

Members of the University and College Union (UCU) in the Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme (STSS) voted by 2:1 to take strike action in protest at changes to their pensions that would see them pay more and work longer in exchange for reduced benefits in retirement.

The Union will now join a host of other public sector unions in co-ordinated action on Wednesday 30 November.

Despite the fact that the STSS pension scheme is a devolved matter, the Scottish government will be implementing the increase in employee contributions in 2012/13 in line with the Westminster proposals.

UCU Scottish official, Mary Senior, said:

‘UCU members have shown they are opposed to the changes that will see them pay more and work longer in exchange for reduced benefits in retirement. Members will take strike action to defend their pensions joining our members in all universities and all Scottish education unions along with around three million trade union members across the UK on 30 November.

‘The Scottish Government should work with the unions to seek a resolution to the dispute and not simply impose changes to pensions that will result in lecturers paying an extra £90 a month in exchange for reduced benefits.’

Unions at Glasgow Caledonian University condemn GCU cuts

Unions at Glasgow Caledonian University condemn the announcement today (Thursday) of staff cuts and the lack of meaningful consultation.

Management at Glasgow Caledonian University have announced their plans for cuts that do not consider any options other than redundancies for front line staff while perversely increasing management posts. Unions have called for a freeze on all posts and consideration of other methods to save costs. The proposals include clustering of the loss of posts into particular areas which may lead to greater possibility of compulsory redundancies if job losses are not met on a voluntary basis in some clusters.

Many of these proposals will fundamentally damage the university’s mission to widen access and undermine the quality of teaching and learning.  Real substantive posts that help students on the front line would be lost if these proposals are implemented.

UCU Scottish official, Mary Senior, said: “The proposals from Glasgow Caledonian University management simply propose cutting front line staff while perversely increasing management posts.  We will oppose any compulsory redundancies and are concerned that the clustering of job losses could increase their possibility.”

Dr Tony Axon w: 0131 226 6694 m: 07807 030626; e: taxon@ucu.org.uk

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