Tag Archives: strike

Stand Up (comedy)…for your rights… at GCU

Stand up collageTuesday 28th January  saw Unison member Eddie McKean donating part of his lunch time to give striking UCU members and their supporters at GCU the opportunity to be the audience for some of his latest stand up routines – normally seen at comedy fairs as part of the ‘Bright Club’ of academic stand ups.

Hosted at the Students Association, the routine was part of the latest two hours of industrial action conducted by UCU in they campaign for fair pay on campus, following some early morning leafleting to alert students of why some of their classes would be disrupted.

During the 2 hour period leaflets were distributed to students in the Student Association explaining the background of the strike, thanking them for their support in the current campaign.

GCU Students continue to support Lecturers’ Action

fair-pay-now-1fxqurmThe Executive Committee of the GCU Students association today issued a statement in support of the continuing action by lecturers for Fair Pay.

In a statement on their blog they said:

“The Students’ Association Executive Committee (Full time officers) believe fair pay is crucial in improving the student experience by ensuring the University attracts excellent staff who are happy and motivated in their roles; providing them with good working conditions is vital for maintaining a healthy workforce.

This has a direct impact on students as staff who are under-appreciated and over-worked are less likely to function well and more likely to fall victim to stress or other illnesses. Both of these consequences are more likely to have a disruptive and detrimental impact on student learning than an isolated day of strike action.

The Executive Committee have taken the following position:

‘The Executive Committee supports the industrial action by campus trade unions, on the condition that they engage with students and commit to examining alternative forms of industrial action that focus more on disrupting the institution and not students [as NUS Scotland are doing nationally], and that the Executive Committee seek the views of the wider student body at the next meeting of Student Voice to determine the position of GCU Students’ Association in terms of any future industrial action [i.e., that takes place after Student Voice]’”.

Said Douglas Chalmers, President of the UCU@GCU: “We are very grateful for the continuing support of the students, in a difficult time, and we hope that with enough pressure from staff and students alike throughout the country, we can come to a sensible and quick conclusion to this action – on the basis of a fair pay settlement”

The students’ full statement can be found on their blog here

Meanwhile, staff are preparing for an additional extended break in the Students Bistro, today from 2pm till 4pm during part of which local unison member Eddie McKean will donate his lunch break to doing a session of standup comedy for staff and students…. watch this space.

GCU Unions reject suggestion pay round is ‘concluded’

This dispute certainly isn't concluded yet, in anyone's terms

This dispute certainly isn’t concluded yet, in anyone’s terms

In an extremely surprising e-mail today university management at Glasgow Caledonian seem to have accepted the suggestion of the university employers representatives UCEA that the pay round has been ‘concluded’ and following this have decided to impose the sub inflation ‘rise’ of 1 percent on staff salaries.

An email to all GCU staff reads that: “The university employers’ representative, UCEA (University and College Employers Association), negotiate the national pay settlement with the staff unions on behalf of employers.   UCEA have now advised universities that the 2013-14 pay round is concluded and that participating institutions should implement the 1 % pay award.”

Even a brief on-line search (which we have provided above for the benefit of HR) would indicate that the use of the word ‘conclude’ is not merited here.

Very recently the Principal of UWS who authorised a one-off Christmas bonus to staff (as did the Principal of Robert Gordon university) approached the same issue by saying:

“I have, ….. asked that the University proceed with payment of the 1% uplift offered through those negotiations in December’s salaries, inclusive of back pay. This step should not be seen as undermining the national approach but as an action which seeks to balance the University’s commitment to the joint negotiating arrangements with a genuine concern for all staff
You will appreciate that in putting these measures in place the University is seeking to do all that it can to acknowledge the dedication of colleagues and your evident commitment to the future development of the University.”

The staff unions at Glasgow Caledonian together with the Students Association believe that university staff continue to have a valid case. Industrial action is still continuing and will increase in the coming months of the New Year.

Universities can afford to pay up say GCU unions

Photo for blog Dec 2013On 28 October, the Scottish Government announced that it was allocating £1.061 billion to Scottish Universities, a rise of £19 million from the planned budget for 2013/14.2

The latest available analysis by EIS showed that by 2011-12, Scottish universities had accumulated an operating surplus of almost £85 million between them, up from £15 million in 2008-9.3 The Scottish Funding Council also notes that this figure takes into account exceptional costs related to restructure and that the underlying surplus is £91.4 million, compared with a sector forecast of £70 million. They also held reserves of £2,497,677,000.4

A spokesperson for the combined unions at GCU said:  ‘What we are asking for is a modest and affordable pay rise to reward those who are the backbone of our current education system and who have made universities like Glasgow Caledonian the success story they are today.’

GCU Honourary Graduate Lily Cole refuses to cross picket line

Lily Cole GCU Honorary Graduate

Lily Cole GCU Honorary Graduate

Lily Cole, international fashion model, actress and social entrepreneur, who was recently recognised with an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by GCU for her outstanding contribution to humanitarian and environmental causes pulled out of speaking at Central St Martins due to the strike on the 3rd.

The combined unions at GCU are pleased to see that she has been prepared to go the extra mile by doing this.

When she was awarded the Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters,  Lily said amongst other things  “I think the most important things in life are really simple and it is about our attitude to life”. We salute her sincerity in respecting why university staff were on strike on Tuesday.

 Tweet revealing Lily respected the picket lines

Tweet revealing Lily respected our action

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

inequality

zero hours contracts

job security

workloads

a Living Wage

funding surpluses