GUCU BALLOT for action STARTS 16 Nov + Branch Meeting

Next week on Monday 16th November GUCU’s ballot on industrial action opens, and you will receive a ballot paper through the post asking you to vote. 

GUCU is holding a branch meeting on the same day at 1pm for all members in order to discuss in full all of the issues at stake. We will also hear from:

  • James Richards of Heriot-Watt University UCU – where a strong yes vote for action by members in a recent ballot has SAVED JOBS and a DEPARTMENT.
  • Professors Forum will talk about the NO CONFIDENCE VOTE launched today. 

GUCU Branch Meeting – Monday Nov 16, 1PM-2PM

Why is GUCU balloting? 

Goldsmiths UCU is in dispute with our employer over a reduction in staffing levels and “staff cost control” measures taken as part of the ‘Recovery Plan’ which have led to huge increases in workload, reduction in AL/GTT budgets and further inequality. 

The next phase of the restructure threatens more compulsory redundancies despite net student figures holding up and alternative non-staff cost saving opportunities having been identified by the Independent Business Review carried out by KPMG. 

The review itself is also wasting precious resources on KPMG – almost the same amount “saved” by cutting our casualised colleagues in the summer. 

What does GUCU want? 

1.         NO COMPULSORY REDUNDANCIES: To persuade the employer to commit to making no compulsory redundancies over the coming 24 months

2.         REVERSE MEASURES that have led to IMPOSSIBLE WORKLOADS & CUTS TO VALUABLE COLLEAGUES: To persuade the employer to reverse and mitigate the policies underpinning the staff cost control measures introduced to date. This means retaining and in some cases restoring Associate Lecturer and Fixed-Term Contracts staff budgets at/to pre-Covid levels and insisting that budgetary responsibility and oversight must remain with department management teams  

3.         PROTECT ALL STAFF: To work with the employer to devise a plan that can safeguard the future of Goldsmiths while protecting its staff.


What will GUCU do if members vote Yes to taking action?

A vote for action will provide us with powerful collective means of opposing further reductions in staffing, inequality and spiralling workloads, engaging in meaningful consultation, and preventing redundancies. A successful ballot outcome will in itself dramatically strengthen our capacity to negotiate with our employer. 

The branch is focused on Action Short of a Strike and a Marking and Assessment Boycott, but it is important that we have all possible means of opposition available – namely, action short of a strike, a marking and assessment boycott, and as a last resort, strike action should we need it. As a local dispute, the branch democratically controls what action we take and when, and all members will have a voice regarding any proposed escalation.

In order to achieve these three aims GUCU will begin balloting members for local industrial action from Monday 16 November. As a member of the union you will be eligible to vote in this ballot. You should receive a postal ballot at the beginning of the balloting period. The cut off day to send your ballot is: Wednesday 9 December.

In the coming weeks, UCU department representatives will be in contact to make sure you have received your ballot and to urge you to vote for collective action. 

If you have not already, please can you ensure that your record is up to date either by accessing My UCU: or by passing a current home address to c.nast [at ] and we will update on your behalf. It’s imperative that you do this, as otherwise it is going to make it harder for the branch to reach the all-important 50% plus turnout required by law.