UPDATE ON INDUSTRIAL ACTION 8 Jan 2021

GUCU is currently in formal dispute with SMT, and as of this week we are taking industrial action against our employer which is in the form of Action Short of a Strike including an assessment boycott.

Our key demands:

❖no compulsory redundancies for the next 2 years

❖a material demonstration that all measures other than staff cuts have been taken

❖full transparency on the intended restructure plan

❖a reversal of staff cost control measures taken to date

GUCU representatives are continuing to negotiate with SMT with a view to finding a resolution to this dispute that would enable us to call off industrial action. Unfortunately, there has been virtually no progress on our call for a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies for the next two years (at present we have been offered such a guarantee only until the Easter/Spring Break at the end of this term).  Instead, every indication is that major staff cost savings are being sought across professional, academic and academic-related areas.

This comes off the back of already significant job losses through cuts to casualised staff, non-renewal of contracts and VSS which has had hugely damaging consequences in terms of equalities and the loss of women, global majority and early careers staff; and escalating workloads for those left. In the context of all the additional demands being generated by Covid working conditions, and fresh pressures on parents and carers, the situation is unsustainable.  If left unchallenged it will have devastating consequences for staff and students’ learning and working conditions. 

Effective action now – is vital.

What are the actions involved in this ASOS (Action Short of a Strike)?

The balloted action for ASOS takes the following description:

•      refusing to cover for absent colleagues;

•      refusing face-to-face teaching;

•      refusing face-to-face professional duties;

•      refusing to reschedule work cancelled due to industrial action and or to share materials in relation to such action;

•      boycott of all undergraduate and postgraduate assessments.

The practical implementation of ASOS is something that members should decide at a department level using the branch wide guidance circulated to members by email. If you are unsure, get in touch with your department rep: https://goldsmithsucu.org/departmental-reps/ or email GUCU branch organiser h.dee@gold.ac.uk 

A GUCU Action Committee has been formed – and it will be the main hub where members can check in for advice, offer ideas and strategies and coordinate actions. This committee meets weekly and is open to all – please do come along. 

How you can support the action?

  • Observe GUCU agreed forms of action. The more united we are the best chance we have of achieving a speedy resolution to the dispute. 

It is vital we talk to students about the issues behind the current dispute and what is at stake: 

  • Ask students if they can help amplify our demands, and pressure on SMT to commit to stopping job cuts:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xOQgjt4lsnLQle_da6JBBrHIDoRHNnFOrmeloPIDikg/edit

If you are in touch with colleagues in other universities, colleges or workplaces, their branches can support by passing the following motion: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1aPpcEB55zFJ-bOYY1UNY3Q34f0Z_uLWm4NRdcjLw1mM/edit