Glasgow Caledonian University Support Staff Strike For Pay Justice, says UNISON

UNISON members at Glasgow Caledonian University will strike today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday), to protest another imposed, below-inflation national pay award in the university sector.

Security staff kicked off the strike with a walkout just past midnight last night (Sunday).

Previous action at Glasgow Caledonian University was suspended to allow time for promising local negotiations and consultation of members, but ultimately the university did not produce a local pay offer acceptable to UNISON members. In striking for pay justice, they urge their employer, but also the Scottish Government and sector leaders, to act with resolve to protect this workforce from the ravages of the cost of living crisis.  

Following strike action in September and October, UNISON and other campus trade unions at the University of Glasgow agreed a deal worth 6–12.9%, a major improvement on the previous position of 3-7.2%.

Davena Rankin, UNISON branch secretary at Glasgow Caledonian University said:

“Strike action is always the last resort for staff. However, this year’s pay award is a real terms pay cut. The professional and support staff have worked hard to keep GCU running and to provide support for students and they deserve a decent pay rise that they can afford to live on. While GCU can afford to pay a decent pay rise, my members literally can’t afford not to have one which is why we are taking strike action.”

Lorcan Mullen, UNISON Scotland’s head of higher and further education said:

“UNISON members at Glasgow Caledonian University will join a growing strike campaign for pay justice in the sector. Recent developments at the University of Glasgow show that collective action by administrators, library workers and cleaners can force more money from employers. This week, our members at a range of Scottish universities will continue their fight for pay justice in a sector plagued by obscene differentials of wealth and power, and we urge students, politiciansand community allies to visit pickets and express their support.”

Notes to editors

1. UNISON members will also strike on November 24th and 25th at Edinburgh Napier University and Robert Gordon University. UNISON members at almost all other Scottish universities will be balloted or re-balloted before the end of this year, meaning more of our branches are likely to join these pay strikes in time. UCU, EIS-ULA and Unite will be striking next week, depending on where they have secured the necessary ballot turnouts.
2. The disputed, imposed UCEA offer is 3% for most university staff, with some bottom loading bringing the award up to 7.2% for the lowest paid. This is still well off current inflation, projected inflation for later in this pay year, and comes after many years of worse, imposed offers than those paid to other education and public service workers in Scotland. Universities, unlike the vast majority of other public service employers, still do their pay bargaining at a UK, rather than a Scottish level. 
3. Any communications from employers that the national offer is worth “up to 9%” are misleading – this only applies to some English institutions where this rise applied to members set to earn less than the statutory minimum wage. This does not apply at any Scottish institution.
4. In Scottish universities, UNISON is the largest union for professional services and support staff, representing cleaners, security officers, student support staff, library workers, administrators, IT technicians, catering staff and a range of other professionals supporting educational activities.
5. For further information, please contact Lorcan Mullen on / 07903853116