Why have been forced to go on strike again

Both the UCU and EIS will be out on strike on Wednesday 1st February

Both our unions felt there was no option but to go on strike in November, to show the UK management of UK universities wages and conditions – UCEA (the University and College Employers Association) – that after 13 years of wages never reaching that years inflation rate, this had to end now.

We also made demands that action was taken to close the gender, ethnic and disability pay gaps. We also asked that the employment of staff on casual contracts, rather than permanent contracts be minimised. We also asked that there should be UK wide action to cut down on excessive workloads

The cause of the strike tomorrow is clear, the employers refusal to negotiate seriously on pay and conditions. When we put the joint union demands to a recent meeting of the negotiating meeting in London the response from employers was: ‘Is this some sort of April Fool’s joke?’

The branch committee is agreed that there is little alternative now open to the union to make the employers appreciate how serious we are about the current situation.

The hope is that this escalating action will bring the employers back to meaningful negotiations quickly. EIS have announced an additional 5 days strike over the next month, and UCU have announced 18 days of strike action between now and the end of March.

We hope our new Principal, Professor Decent sees the strength of feeling at GCU when we strike and that he will feed back to the employers association the urgency for serious and meaningful negotiations to bring the dispute to an end.

Our picket line will operate from 7.30 to 11.00 approximately and I would welcome as many of our members as possible to come along and support the branch. We welcome support from students and members of the public. Public opinion continues to be on our side – our working conditions are students’ learning conditions

My final point is about the increasingly aggressive anti-TU position being adopted by the government in their approach to striking workers and the recent bill passed in parliament which would effectively end the right of workers to take any meaningful action. Withdrawing our labour is the only action open to us as workers when disputes cannot be settled through negotiations. So, our turnout on Wednesday will send a signal both to the employers and to the government that we do not accept our rights being taken away from us in this way.

There is a STUC rally being held on Wednesday click through the link for further details details are below 

Along with the TUC, the STUC are coordinating a protect the right to strike day on Wednesday 1 February. Book a ticket for our Defend the Right to Strike Rally in Glasgow.

Douglas Chalmers, Vice President UCU@GCU

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