Tag Archives: Salaries

GCU unions out in force on strike day December 3rd

The library, along with other departments and classes were affected

The library, along with other departments and classes were affected

Representatives of Glasgow Caledonian trade unions UCU, Unison, EIS and Unite expressed themselves as extremely heartened by the support they received from staff   on 3rd December following the failure of the UK university managements to seriously negotiate a realistic wages offer with university staff.

Having leafleted GCU students the previous day asking for support for the staff action, which was then translated into a clear drop in student attendance on the 3rd, they also received a message of support from the GCU Students Association, which was backing up a earlier on-line survey of students which had also come out in favour of the planned action. Two of the Student Association officers also attended  the Edinburgh rally held on the day of the strike.

A leaflet was issued the day before the action, asking for student support

A leaflet was issued the day before the action, asking for student support

Representing UCU Scotland at the lunchtime rally in Adelaide’s  in Bath Street,  local GCU president Douglas Chalmers called for the university management side to take their responsibility seriously and help create a properly resourced Higher Education sector where staff were treated in a professional manner, and students could be secure in knowing that they would be receiving a proper, well funded education.

Also speaking at the rally were Nick McKerrall President of EIS (also incidentally from GCU), and Unison Executive representative Davena Rankin – making up a triumvirate from Glasgow Caledonian, amongst the 5 strong speakers, with Gordon Casey from Unite and Ian Trushell bringing support from the Scottish Trades Union Congress.

GCU University unions move towards strike action 3rd December

UCU, Unison and Unite members out in force

UCU, Unison and Unite members out in force

Following the failure of the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) to offer an increased pay offer to university staff, Glasgow Caledonian University unions will be joining their colleagues throughout Scotland and South of the border in a further day’s strike on Tuesday 3rd December.

October 31st saw a tremendous turnout from staff from three of the four university unions, now to be joined by EIS on December 3rd.

Why we are in dispute

Universities are central to a modern forward looking society, but increasingly staff working within them are seeing their living standards being cut, at a time when universities have adequate reserves to pay decent salaries, and when principals are continuing to accept massive salary increases.

Comparative figures between 2009 and 2012 show that in this period, the median pay for full time and casualised staff working as Higher Education teaching professionals has decreased by 2.27 percent in absolute terms to a median wage of £39,414. Over the same period, inflation has increased the cost of living by a cumulative 15.5 percent.

Higher education teaching professionals are still paid significantly below comparably skilled professionals, including legal professional workers, marketing and sales directors, train and tram drivers, human resource managers and directors, IT specialist managers, health professionals, and police officers (sergeant and below).

For a professional service to our students and to our communities, university employers need to ensure their staff are paid a professional salary.

That’s why we will be on strike on December 3rd.

Comparative Scottish Salaries for Univerisity Principals

Comparative Scottish Salaries for Univerisity Principals

UCU Unison Unite pre-strike rally Wednesday M201

UCU Unison Unite

Supported by GCU Combined Union Committee.

United for Education – Fair Pay Now

Pre-Strike Rally

Wednesday October 30th 12 noon M201 (Old Library)

Speakers tbc

The pay claim is affordable

The money is there – universities have more than £1 BILLION in reserves

Higher education staff are worth it!

Why you should strike for fair pay:

pay rates have fallen by 13% in real terms


zero hours contracts

job security


a Living Wage

funding surpluses

UCU to be balloted for industrial action over 1% pay offer

UCU confirmed on 17th September that it will ballot its members working in universities, later this month.
The union highlighted its members in higher education have not received a meaningful pay increase since October 2008. Since 2009, they have suffered four consecutive years of pay cuts and seen their pay drop by 13% in real terms.

The squeeze on staff pay comes at a time when the cumulative operating surplus in the sector was over £1 billion, while many higher education institutions have built up cash reserves, and overall student numbers have held up in the face of higher tuition fees.
Overall staff costs in higher education as a proportion of income have fallen from 58% in 2001/02, to 55.5% in 2011/12, although a minority at the top have enjoyed generous increases.

As part of its pay claim, UCU called on the employers to address other problematic areas including disability leave, the gender pay gap, increased workloads, and the increasing use of zero-hour contracts, but was stone-walled.
UCU head of higher education, Michael MacNeil, said: ‘What is very clear is that the employers can afford to pay their staff more than the miserly 1% on the table but they are making a calculated choice not to.
’Those in charge are cynically using a more competitive funding environment to justify driving down terms and conditions and pay for the majority of staff. At a time when staff have been under great pressure to improve the student experience and workloads have increased, they have had their pay held down.’
UCU’s ballot will open on Wednesday 25 September and close on 10 October.
A ‘yes’ vote would result in industrial action during the autumn term.
UNISON and UNITE are also balloting for strike action.

Said local President Douglas Chalmers: “We will be campaigning hard for a yes vote at GCU. We have tremendously hard working staff here – who have suffered a real decline in their take home pay. Staff in HE are professionals who deserve professional salaries”

We urge all members to attend the branch meeting at:

1.30 pm Wednesday 2nd October M301

Invited Speaker: Mary Senior

EIS take action over pay while Universities stockpile reserves

University unions are angry about the living standards of their members going down – today EIS are taking industrial action and striking over this.

All other unions have shown their anger at the living standards of their members going down, although only EIS has chosen to strike.

Meanwhile figures released  by EIS suggest the universities’ claim of being cash strapped is far from the truth. Here are the figures supplied by EIS, and why people are angry.

Reserves by Scottish HEI 2011 2010 % Rise
University of Edinburgh 1,203,948,000 1,117,718,000 7.7
University of Glasgow 342,680,000 312,915,000 9.5
University of Aberdeen 328,704,000 327,065,000 0.5
The Robert Gordon University 179,878,000 175,495,000 2.5
Glasgow Caledonian University 141,088,000 136,755,000 3.2
University of Strathclyde 133,272,000 135,846,000 -1.9
University of St Andrews 74,634,000 66,773,000 11.8
University of Stirling 36,474,000 22,566,000 61.6
Edinburgh Napier University 34,258,000 19,094,000 79.4
University of Dundee 31,644,000 26,883,000 17.7
University of The West of Scotland 28,565,000 10,196,000 180.1
Heriot-Watt University 27,606,000 17,591,000 56.9
University of Abertay Dundee 20,088,000 16,732,000 20.1
Queen Margaret University 15,412,000 13,546,000 13.8
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 12,193,000 7,085,000 72.1
The Glasgow School of Art 11,744,000 15,714,000 -25.3
University of the Highlands and Islands 112,000 848,000 -86.8
Total 2,622,300,000 2,422,822,000 8.2

Why we are striking at GCU – EIS

Nick McKerrel: “Our strike on Tuesday is about fair pay in Higher Education”

ON Tuesday 23rd October, Members of the EIS employed in Higher Education will be striking. At the request of the Caledonianunion blog, Dr Nick McKerrell  Convenor of the Combined Unions at Caledonian and the EIS branch sent a message to all staff at GCU:

Our strike on Tuesday is about fair pay in Higher Education.  Over the last four years staff have accepted meagre increases recognising the economic situation that we all find ourselves in (although not because of anything we have done).  These sub-inflation pay offers  has meant that staff have taken pay cuts of around 12% : for a lecturer at the top of the scale that amounts to a loss of £5000!”

“Meanwhile senior University Management across the sector have pocketed inflation busting bonuses and continue to jet around the world.   Research released by the EIS this week shows that Scottish University have millions in reserve but will not put a decent offer for pay on the table for staff.”

“The STUC’s campaign against cuts in public spending states there is a better way – never has that phrase been more true for Higher Education and recognising the contribution of ordinary staff”

There will be a picket line at the main gates from 8am.  Although all the other unions at GCU are in dispute over pay they are not taking strike action at the moment.  But the  local EIS  branch would like to invite fellow union members to come along to a lunchtime rally at the main gates of the University at 12 noon.

Use your lunch hour time to come along to the rally and show your support for striking colleagues – they will be really happy to see you.

All the best


Dr Nick McKerrell

Convenor of Glasgow Caledonian Combined Union Committee and EIS/ULA branch.

EIS Strike Day
Tuesday March 23rd
Lunchtime Rally at Cally Gates
12 noon
Show support and solidarity.
Fair Pay for All H.E. Staff.
Speakers from all the main unions at GCU

A message of support to EIS from UCU

Although UCU has voted not to strike on this occasion, we are fully behind efforts to win better conditions for staff

On behalf of UCU members at Glasgow Caledonian Local UCU President Douglas Chalmers sent a message of solidarity to fellow academics in EIS who are taking action on the 23rd and confirmed he would be speaking at the Rally at midday in their support.

Said Douglas: “Although our members did not vote for strike action on the 23rd, we are fully behind all efforts to help win better conditions for all staff in Higher Education in Scotland and wider afield. The latest figures released in relation to surpluses held by Scottish universities shows that there are funds there, which the universities are choosing not to use to help the living standards of their staff. This is wrong. It is about time that staff at Scottish universities were properly rewarded and appreciated by management. The vision held by the management of Scottish Universities, and those South of the border, is negative and self-defeating, and does not create the world class universities our country needs. We say this is wrong and has to change”