Withholding pay – GCU Management steps back from the brink – but needs to go further

Unions at GCU welcomed the ‘clarification’ statement released by HR following our protestation at the proposal to withhold wages from staff involved in action short of a strike.

Following our protests and communication with HR, all staff have now had the university’s new position outlined as follows:

“Dear Colleagues

EIS has now clarified the nature of the proposed action short of a strike – information we didn’t have when I wrote to colleagues earlier this week. The University doesn’t consider that any of the action advocated by EIS in its most recent communication to the University would cause the University to invoke its policy of withholding pay for partial performance.  I hope this clarifies the position but do please contact your HR BP if you have any queries”.

All very welcome, and well as it goes perhaps, but reference to the university’s ‘policy of withholding pay for partial performance’ sounds to the impartial reader like an implicit threat held in reserve.  Our staff don’t ‘partially perform’ – they over perform, in increasingly difficult circumstances. The staff survey showed just how committed our staff are to the future of the university – and, indeed also indicated where it was felt that partial performance was really being carried out – confidence in the performance of Senior Management (even amongst Senior Management) was very low.

Our management need to look at how to better invest in the staff who are keeping this university going – and keeping it up in the esteem it is held in, in Scotland. We need a positive approach from our management in support of staff aspirations on wages and pensions.

Dr Nick McKerrell, Convenor of the EIS/ULA at GCU, said “EIS members welcome the clarification of management’s position at GCU.  It is a shame that they rushed in using bullying language rather than waiting to see what our industrial action consisted of.  However members have to be vigilant in their campaign for fair pay for all in Higher Education to make sure that GCU will not resurrect these threats as the industrial action continues”

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