A group of striking lecturers and students stand under the main gate of Glasgow University, holding UCU placards and a banner saying "students support strikes".
Credit: Athina Bohner

Unions on campus slam Anton’s calls not to strike

By Kimberley Mannion

Unite, Unison, and GMB at the University of Glasgow have all voted yes to industrial action, with the UCU also balloting.

The University of Glasgow’s Joint Union Liaison Committee (JULC), which represents the four trade unions on campus: University and College Union (UCU), GMB, Unite and Unison, has penned a letter condemning the attitude expressed toward their upcoming industrial action by University Principal Anton Muscatelli in communication to University staff.

In an email sent to staff members, Professor Muscatelli recognised the challenges University staff are facing in the face of the rising cost of living and assured his “primary concern is to ensure that all members of staff are treated fairly with regard to pay”.

In its public letter, the JULC calls “unreasonable” Muscatelli’s request that UofG staff do not participate in nationwide industrial action organised by their unions. “Senior managers know that it is not even within the power of the local branches to decide on behalf of members to not take part in strikes in a national dispute,” writes the JULC. “We categorically reject any insinuation that any additional uplift should be “in return” for voting against industrial action, or for unilaterally overriding the wishes of the membership if they choose to strike” it continues.

The unions said the attempt to impose these conditions by the University’s Senior Management Group “makes a mockery of their claims to want to support university staff” and added that it has led them to believe Senior Management “wasted a large amount of our time and our goodwill over the summer”.

Unison, Unite, and JMB have all recently voted in favour of industrial action, involving staff working in areas across the University including library and security staff, cleaners, and technicians. The UCU – the union responsible for lecturers and academic staff which carried out several periods of strike action over low pay, insecure contracts, and inequality during the last academic year – is also balloting to hold its own strike.


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