GUCU is currently in formal dispute with SMT, and as of 4 January 2021 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.