Update from 28.1.20 GSA UCU branch meeting

Firstly thanks to Carlo Morelli (elected UCU Scotland President) for making the round trip from Dundee to talk with our branch. Thanks also for branch members input both within and out with the forum of the meeting. For a full update, please speak to one of the Committee members.
If you haven’t had time yet, please take the time to read the email from Jo Grady you will have received last night via your UCU e-bulletin. It updates on negotiation progress and sits alongside what Carlo presented yesterday. 
Carlo was able to share with us his knowledge on the wider realities facing everyone working in HE, to supplement our local knowledge, regarding gender pay gap (for which there is good data) workloads, and the existing pay deal. He reminded us that within the national action, which we as a branch voted for in 2019, we are part of a collective voice fighting for those in precarious jobs, those experiencing a pay gap, and the most vulnerable within our national workplace. 
As members of UCU we are in a national dispute about pay, equality, casualisation, and workload. This is a national dispute, and the recommendation from elected officials and elected negotiators is that we support the recommendations of the ‘Higher Education Committee’ (HEC). 
We at the Glasgow Branch back in 2019 voted in favour of strike action, being one of fifty-six institutions able to surpass the needed 50% turnout. This was a democratic vote, and supported the national action. We are of course aware that not all our members were, or are, in favour of strike action, or ASOS, although the majority did. 
We are also aware that it was not explicit at the outset of the 2019 voting process what strike action would look like. The vote was to take strike action or not, with the duration to be decided by the recommendation of the HEC. We have communicated the concerns and issues raised by branch membership surrounding voting in these circumstances to both regional and head office. 
To ensure you are happy with representation at all levels of UCU, we would urge participation in elections, congress, and other union structures as the way to address this going forward. 
We as individuals will almost certainly soon be asked to participate in further strike action. In light of that, please consider the following questions raised/ prompted by yesterday’s meeting:
​• What are acceptable pay gaps?
​• What is an acceptable level of casualisation, individually and collectively?
​• How long are we prepared to accept falling pay?
​• Are we prepared for the increasing workload and uncontracted hours to be further normalised?
 So, what next?
The UCU HEC will need to make a decision on how best to progress the current industrial action. They meet on 30.1.20 to consider further actions. These dates are being considered only for the USS fight. However, HEC will consider and decide on 30.1.20 if there should be joint action, including Pay & Equalities fight with USS fight.
If there is a call for further strike action we can work together as a branch to support all who are willing and able to strike, and those who can work to rule (ASOS). 
This is a national action and, although hampered by anti-trade union laws, progress is still being made. 
This does not replace or negate local issues, and we must keep both the national and local clearly in our decision making. Beyond this dispute and action, if there is cause for local disputes, and appetite for bargaining, or action we can work together to improve our lives at GSA. 
Updates as and when we have them. 
Let us know what you think. We can represent you best when we have the fullest picture of our members’ views.
Thanks for your time 
Communication and Membership Rep GSA UCU Committee.

UCU Annual Meeting for Academic-Related, Professional Staff

Members at GSA in Academic-Related posts – please see the link to

National Annual Meeting, Thursday 12 March 2020

The Action is: To submit names of delegates for the Annual Meeting for Academic-Related Professional Staff, motions for the meeting and nominations for the Academic Related, Professional Staff Committee.

If anyone wishes to attend as a delegate, do follow the link. We can send up to 2 delegates from GSA.


28th Jan: Branch Meeting – Future Action Motions and Q&A with UCU Scotland President

Dear Members,

Please save the date and time – next week – Tuesday 28th Jan 12:00-14:00 in General Seminar Room 1.

There will be soup and sandwiches provided.

In attendance will be Carlo Morelli – the UCU Scotland President who will lay out the case for the upcoming 14 days of action.

It will also allow us to discuss two motions here at GSA: One which calls for formal consultation of the HEC and Branches, prior to the call for industrial action, and one to continue the action as is.

Motion 1: Motion on Future Industrial Action

This branch acknowledges the need to fight back against increasing casualisation, damaging workloads, antiquated gender and race pay gaps and a decade long erosion of our pay.

This branch notes the decision from HEC to coordinate ballot distribution and strike days for the Four Fights and USS disputes.  This strategy allowed for UCU’s most successful ballot turnout results on pay ever and led to eight days of impactful strike action which is empowering our national negotiators.

This branch recognises the need to increase pressure at this point and that in order to win we have to move towards escalating our industrial strategy.

This branch supports this existing strategy towards our two ongoing disputes in HE, and believes that strike action in pursuit of the Four Fights should continue to escalate simultaneously with action over USS, beginning with the 14 days endorsed by HESC in December 2019,

Motion 2: Motion for Formal Consultation with Branches

This branch notes:

1. The Special HE Sector Conference on the USS dispute in December voted for 14 more days of action over USS in February and March and another round of ballots over USS in February to April.

2. There has been no equivalent opportunity for branches to have their say about further action in the pay and conditions dispute.

3. This especially risks disenfranchising branches, including post-92 branches, that have voted for industrial action in the pay and conditions dispute but are outside the USS dispute, when the HEC meets on 30th January to consider calling further action in both disputes.

This branch resolves:

a. To call on the HEC on 30th January to urgently arrange a formal consultation of all branches holding a mandate for industrial action in the pay and conditions dispute on how to take that dispute forward, if possible culminating in a national branch delegates meeting, before HEC makes a decision on this question at its next meeting.

b. The consultation should lay out at least two options, offering different degrees and timescales of escalation.

We highly advise you to attend to discuss.

Again, we are asking for members to become caseworkers.

If time allows there will be an update from the Trade Union Forum and the Scottish UCU Executive meeting.

Hope to see you all on Tuesday.


Branch Meeting today, 8th Jan

Members Meeting 
Wednesday 8th January 5pm – the Reid Lecture Theatre.
• Branch Update
• Industrial Action Update – next round of strike action – ongoing Action Short Of Strike 
• Occupational Health + Safety update
• Any Other Business

Please consider what you position is towards another round of sustained strike action during Feb/March and join us to discuss how we as a branch can collectively engage with this next round of action.

Refreshments will (probably) be provided.
If you cant make it for 5pm please come along when you can, we should be finished by 6pm (ish)