Categories
Uncategorized

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 
 
Digger 
Communication and Membership Rep GSA UCU Committee.
Categories
Uncategorized

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.

http://www.ucu.org.uk/circ/html/ucu992.html

Categories
Uncategorized

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.

Categories
Uncategorized

Branch Meeting today, 8th Jan

Members Meeting 
Wednesday 8th January 5pm – the Reid Lecture Theatre.
Agenda: 
• 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)

Categories
Uncategorized

More Strike Days Ahead??

The UCU Special HE Sector conference on the 6th December has resolved to : “take 14 days of strike action (20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th February; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th March). This pattern should spread the action as evenly as possible across different days of the week, so as not to place a disproportionate burden on particular members. 
In developing this proposal, we have taken into account the regional and national variations in the most appropriate timetable for action.”

Industrial action cannot be called by conference, but by the HEC. This decision will be made on the 30th Jan. 2020

Please see the section below for the actual conference notes and resolution, or go to https://www.ucu.org.uk/hesc_Dec19 to see all the proceedings.

4  Scheduling inclusive and equitable strike action: selecting days and weeks – City University of London

Conference notes that:

  1. different institutions have different term dates
  2. most university teaching recurs weekly on the same day
  3. strike action that hits one day harder than another produces inequities around which students are affected and inequities for staff
  4. staff inequities may be most consequential for casualised staff whose teaching is concentrated on particular day(s).

Conference believes that:

  1. student support is critical for members’ confidence and our effectiveness
  2. face-to-face classroom-based interaction is an essential mechanism by which members gain student support
  3. members’ typically want actions that are equitable and inclusive
  4. well-designed action makes it easier for members to participate.

Conference resolves that:

  1. future USS strike-days be spread across the week as equally as possible
  2. to facilitate prior face-to-face discussion with students, concurrent national action is timed so that no branch begins strike action earlier than week two of the teaching term.

4A.1 UCL

Add new Resolves (iii)
  1. accounting for different timetables and Reading Weeks, and timed allowing for branches whose ballots close end January to join, to call national strikes for twelve days in the Spring Term escalating from 2 to 5 days, concentrated for impact with a break of a week as follows: 2, 3 days (Thursday – Wednesday), 0, 2 days (Thursday – Friday), all 5 days per week, thereby evening up the impact on students from recent strikes.

LOST

4A.2 University of Liverpool

After ‘Conference resolves that’, delete i and replace with

  1. we take 14 days of strike action (20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th February; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th March). This pattern should spread the action as evenly as possible across different days of the week, so as not to place a disproportionate burden on particular members.

In developing this proposal, we have taken into account the regional and national variations in the most appropriate timetable for action.

CARRIED

4A.3 University of Dundee

Add at end of motion:

  1. announce immediately as practicable after conference an intention to strike in the following timetable and note a week’s pause is included to allow employers to reach a settlement prior to the action escalating further:
    Week [24-28 Feb], 2 days
    Week [2-6 Mar], 3 days
    Week [9-13), [pause]
    Wk 9 [16-20 Mar], 5 days
    Wk 10 [23-27 Mar], 5 days
  2. invite branches to adjust one of the strike weeks (as in the 2018 strike) to allow for reading weeks.

FELL

4A.4 UCL

Add new Resolves points (iv – vii)

  1. USS branches are reballoted for summer term action from mid-February to mid-late April, creating a strike mandate as far as late October.
  2. the ASOS ballot be extended to include REF, TEF and KEF duties.
  3. branches be encouraged to set up ‘summer term strike task groups’ to identify dates for the most effective strike action to hit examinations, marking and exam boards
  4. create an appeal to support the national strike hardship fund.

CARRIED

In regards to Motion 4 as amended, conference was reminded that it does not have the power to call industrial action. This power is delegated to HEC under the rules of the union. HEC will therefore decide on the next phase of industrial action having very serious regard to the clear view of conference as expressed in motion 4.

Substantive motion

Conference notes that:

  1. different institutions have different term dates
  2. most university teaching recurs weekly on the same day
  3. strike action that hits one day harder than another produces inequities around which students are affected and inequities for staff
  4. staff inequities may be most consequential for casualised staff whose teaching is concentrated on particular day(s).

Conference believes that:

  1. student support is critical for members’ confidence and our effectiveness
  2. face-to-face classroom-based interaction is an essential mechanism by which members gain student support
  3. members’ typically want actions that are equitable and inclusive
  4. well-designed action makes it easier for members to participate.

Conference resolves that:

  1. we take 14 days of strike action (20th, 21st, 24th, 25th, 26th February; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th March). This pattern should spread the action as evenly as possible across different days of the week, so as not to place a disproportionate burden on particular members. 
    In developing this proposal, we have taken into account the regional and national variations in the most appropriate timetable for action.
  2. to facilitate prior face-to-face discussion with students, concurrent national action is timed so that no branch begins strike action earlier than week two of the teaching term.
  3. USS branches are reballoted for summer term action from mid-February to mid-late April, creating a strike mandate as far as late October.
  4. the ASOS ballot be extended to include REF, TEF and KEF duties.
  5. branches be encouraged to set up ‘summer term strike task groups’ to identify dates for the most effective strike action to hit examinations, marking and exam boards.
  6. create an appeal to support the national strike hardship fund.
Categories
Uncategorized

ASOS – UCU FAQ’s

We have had requests regarding the contractual aspects of ASOS, and are aware members have been told to contact the Branch Representative(s) for clarification.

Branch Reps are not employment lawyers, and will only advise you to refer to the UCU FAQ’s regarding ASOS and other aspects of the current mandated industrial action.

For reference: https://www.ucu.org.uk/he-action-faqs

Categories
Uncategorized

Well done and thank-you.

The 8 days are done.

We now move to Action Short of a Strike (ASOS).

Under the ASOS mandate, UCU is asking members to:

  • work to contract
  • not cover for absent colleagues
  • not reschedule lectures or classes cancelled due to strike action
  • not undertake any voluntary activities.

It is worth familiarising yourself with the extensive guidance on ASOS on our action centre webpage and making sure that members are also aware of this resource:

Please post to social media using #UCUasos. If you still need guidance on any aspect of ASOS then, as usual, the quickest way to contact Mike Waddup is by email.

Categories
Uncategorized

What an amazing day!!!

Great turn out from members on the picket line.

Matched by significant numbers of GSA students standing in solidarity.

Glasgow University helping us to lose our reserve and chant.

Receiving support from ‘the people on the street’ as we walked to…

The UCU Scotland rally on Buchanan Street, where we stood with hundreds of UCU members.

Inspired by Jo Grady UCU, Aamer Anwar GU Rector, Liam McCabe NUS Scotland, and our very own Branch President Nicholas Oddy.

Head to twitter for a full rundown of the day.

@GSAUCU
@UCUScotland
@UCU


 You know the score:

Tuesday: After meeting at 8:30 on the picket line, we will head down to the political hustings (with soup and a sandwich) at the STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, at 12 noon.

Wednesday: last day of the strike. We intend to picket all day, so please do let us know when you can join the picket line.

Reply to this email stating which time slot(s) you can do.
8:30 till 11:30 | 11:00 till 14:00 | 13:30 till 16:30 | 16:00 till 18:00 
Thanks to those who have already let us know.

Action Short Of Strike from then on.

Categories
Uncategorized

Thanks!


The GSA-UCU committee would like to thank all members for: picketing, striking, talking, tweeting, and supporting the action this week.

‘Warm’ thanks to the hardy souls who braved the subzero temperatures today.


 
Next Week

Monday: Jo Grady and the UCU press will be joining us on the picket line. This will be followed by the UCU rally on Buchanan Street steps which starts at 12.30, and we will walk down with our new big banners. 

Nicolas will be speaking at the UCU rally on Monday!

Tuesday: After meeting at 8:30 on the picket line, we will head down to the political hustings (with soup and a sandwich) at the STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, at 12 noon.

Wednesday: last day of the strike. We intend to picket all day, so let us know when you can join the picket line. Reply to this email stating which time slot(s) you can do.
8:30 till 11:30 | 11:00 till 14:00 | 13:30 till 16:30 | 16:00 till 18:00 
(Thanks to those who have already let us know.)
 
If you can’t be there in person please help amplify the UCU position by re-tweeting @GSAUCU and @UCUScotland and @ucu tweets.

If you are unable to join on the picket do hold to the strike, our collective effort is what makes us strong!

UCU asks all members to take 8 days of Strike Action  See you at 8.30 Monday
Enjoy your weekend

GSA-UCU Committee



Categories
Uncategorized

Halfway There!!

Halfway There!

Today:
Picketing Dogs
Backpack Placards
Halfway Point

Well Done!

Tomorrow: Meet at the Reid at 8:30. Later we will head to the Climate Strike at George Square, taking place between 11am – 2pm.

UCU update – in your inbox

“UCU has said it needs to see more than ‘warm words and meagre promises’ ”

“It’s a genuine shame that we have been forced to create this level of disruption to make employers negotiate with us.’

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10467/UCU-statement-on-latest-pay-talks

Strike Pay

As of today, and if you are able to prove you have lost pay, you will be able to apply to the UCU strike fund.

https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/10333/Strike-fund-support

Next Week

Monday: Jo Grady and the UCU press will be joining us on the picket line, more details as soon as we have them. This will be followed by the UCU rally on Buchanan Street steps which starts at 12.30, and we will walk down with our new big banners.

Tuesday: After meeting at 8:30 on the picket line, we will head down to the political hustings (with soup and a sandwich) at the STUC, 333 Woodlands Road, at 12 noon.

Wednesday: last day of the strike. We intend to picket all day, so let us know when you can join the picket line. Reply to this email stating which time slot(s) you can do.
8:30 till 11:30 | 11:00 till 14:00 | 13:30 till 16:30 | 16:00 till 18:00

If you can’t be there in person please help amplify the UCU position by re-tweeting @GSAUCU and @UCUScotland and @ucu tweets.

If you are unable to join on the picket do hold to the strike, our collective effort is what makes us strong!

UCU asks all members to take 8 days of Strike Action