No ifs….and definitely no butts……

A strange thing happened on our latest UCU picket this morning (Wednesday 15th). A key point of the UCU Four Fights Campaign has been to demand action is taken to end the gender pay gap – which we don’t think the university sector is taking seriously enough.

As we were setting up the UCU picket, a member of GCU senior management (as they crossed our picket line), raised an issue with us regarding gender which was that management believed gender issues should be taken seriously and therefore…….. we should take down our poster (see CaledonianUnion passim and our image above) which was encouraging passing cars to express support for our cause, but ……. apparently might be interpreted as sexist.

Hmm… always wishing to take the extra step for positive consensus, the poster was ‘amended’ as seen above. Is it too much to ask however that perhaps tomorrow there might be reciprocal action one would hope from GCU to get UCEA to actually move on the issue of the gender pay gap? We can’t hold our breath too long – last week the United Nations secretary-general warned at the start of a major women’s conference that at the current pace, gender equality is projected to be 300 years away.

We need the sector to move beyond ‘performative’ positions and achieve real change.

Our President Catriona Mowat, put the point on the STUC’s twitter feed today:

Today was also the first ‘unveiling’ of our new Workloads are unsustainable banner, since the successful joint union meeting last week for staff in Nursing and Community Health.

At the meeting , speakers from UCU, EIS and Unison heard the worries of staff regarding workload and how this affected their professionalism and also in their view Health and Safety due to the inability to properly upskill and improve CPD due to pressures of increased workload and admin. This will be taken further in the weeks to come

Last week’s successful joint union meeting for staff in Nursing and Community Health is the first of several to take place, looking at the issue of excessive workloads.

The joint unions are currently discussing lodging a local joint claim for urgent action in this area

Just a couple of photos from today’s picket – including a visit from striking PCS workers, and Dave Moxham Deputy General Secretary of the STUC. More photos and reports from the picket line tomorrow.

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