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UCU Glasgow Picket lines – Guidance

If you are planning on attending one of our physical picket lines, we kindly ask you to:  

  • Observe social distancing where possible, and respect other peoples’ spaces  
  • Bring gloves and use hand sanitiser regularly
  • Attend only if you do not have any symptoms of Covid-19 or feel unwell

General picket line advice:  

  • Bring waterproof clothes, warm shoes and socks, and a hat, glove and scarf  
  • Make sure you have some snacks and a bottle of water with you  
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Guidance for Migrant workers in relation to industrial action

While we decide next steps in the UCU Rising dispute, please familiarise yourself with the UCU Guidance on taking action as a migrant worker: UCU – Migrant workers and taking action – and share with your colleagues.

You can see a very helpful summary of the key points by our Migrants Members Rep Maha Rafi Atal here:

Dr Maha on Twitter: “Glad to see that @ucu has published updated guidance on migrant workers and industrial action. This guidance is an improvement in several ways:” / Twitter

If you have any questions about your rights to take part in industrial action as a migrant worker, please contact or the UCU Glasgow Office – we’ll be happy to help!

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UCU Climate & Ecological Emergency Meeting – 10 November 2022

UCU national is holding its annual meeting for the Climate & Ecological Emergency on 10 November 2022, 11:00-16:00 on Zoom.

Registration – deadline Friday 4 November, 12 noon.

Members with an interest in furthering the union’s work on climate and ecological emergency may register to attend the meeting

To register click on the below link:

Nominations to the Climate & Ecological Emergency Committee – deadline Thursday 27 October 2022.

The AGM will also elect (4) members to the Climate & Ecological Emergency Committee which advises and makes recommendations to the National Executive Committee on any issues specifically related to the climate and ecological emergency and environmental sustainability. 

Each branch can nominate one person to the committee.  It’s a  2-year term, the committee meets (3) times a year and committee members will have their expenses paid.

If you’re interested in standing or would like to find out more about the role, please contact our Environmental Rep Chrissy Sanachan.  We need all hands on deck so if you were looking for a way to become a bit more involved in environmental activism or in UCU’s work for a just transition, this is great way to contribute.  You would have the full support of the branch committee, so no experience is required. 

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STUC event – Diverse Voices, Challenging Injustice: Banner Tales from Glasgow

Come along on the 22nd September to a book launch related to a book put together by a UCU Glasgow member in collaboration with staff from Glasgow Museums about their collection of trade union banners and campaigns banners.

The event will take place at the STUC building, in Bridgeton, on 22 September from 1pm – 3.30pm.

You can register here:

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UCU Rising – FAQs and ‘Difficult questions’ 

General FAQs from UCU national: including: If we decide to take industrial action, what am I expected to do, or: What happens if the vote is for action, and when will action take place? 

From #UCUrising Launch Video

Video times are marked before each question along with a brief summary of Jo Grady’s answers 

8:20 I’m literally still having strike pay deducted from my wages. I completely support the union but I simply cannot afford to make more action if it’s the same as last time. 
tl;dr punitive sanctions from employers demonstrate why we need to do this. two commitments: 1) will recommend different kind of action, that will 2) reflect growing confidence. reality is that we cannot afford NOT to fight back 
13:50 The union has let us down before when we’ve given you our support. Will that happen again? 
tl;dr everyone has felt left down due to nature of trade union decision-making. but our union never stops fighting for members. give us the mandate, the dispute will be different, with democratic input from members 
16:10 On a casual contract and simply can’t afford to be part of a prolonged strike. What would you say? 
tl;dr since 2019, casualized members have become centered in campaigns. look at the Open University deal — 4,800 all transferred to permanent contracts, which has reduced casual workforce in the sector by 15% nationally. it is not pie-in-the-sky to think that we can cure HE of casualization. there is a strike fund prioritizing casualized, lower paid members with different paperwork 
20:25 Why are we balloting and campaigning NOW? Nobody is at work, this is a terrible time to do it. 
tl;dr two answers: 1) we are democratic organization, HEC decided this within timeframe given by Congress. 2) real answer: we didn’t choose this time, the employer did — we have to do it now if we want to save jobs, etc. they didn’t stop persecuting us so we can’t stop either 
23:10 Morale is at an all-time low at my university. I can’t see people voting for this because of that. 
tl;dr my question is: what are we going to do about it? bottom line: if we do nothing, morale and conditions will get worse. voting yes, working together, is the only way to make things better. this is a meticulous, inspirational, methodical journey. in 4 weeks’ time I promise you will be transformed. 

From our 1 Sep Ballot Meeting: 

What happened to the WhatsApp group we had last round? 

The Branch Committee decided to make this an admin-only chat because it was set up without any kind of formal oversight. There are concerns around the security of WhatsApp because anyone who joins a chat makes their contact information to everyone else in the group. The Committee has considered opening up ‘official’ branch WhatsApp groups subject to clear guidelines (e.g. the Open University guideline) and volunteer moderators or announcement-only WhatsApp groups, as well as other platforms for discussion like Teams and Zulip, but this is a complex issue that hasn’t yet been resolved and probably requires a collective decision at a General Meeting. 

Still, it’s generally recognized that better branch-wide communication is absolutely key for high turnout, for transparency, etc. Of course, members are always encouraged to organize themselves however they like (including with WhatsApp groups); what needs to be decided is simply whether the branch wants to have particular Whatsapp groups that they oversee. 

Note also that there will be weekly drop-in sessions on Fridays from 11.30am until 1pm (and weekly stalls, sign up by emailing – stalls will take place on Tuesdays from 12noon – 1pm) where everyone is encouraged to drop by and discuss the ballot! 

What, specifically, will we be asked to do from national? Will there be strikes, or a marking and assessment boycott? How are these decisions been made?

These are democratic decisions that will be undertaken by the Higher Education Committee. The more involved you get, the more direct impact you as an individual can have on these decisions. Glasgow has an HEC member in our branch (Marion Hersh) as well as the usual branch delegates. 

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UCU Rising needs you!

Volunteer form here:

Communications Officer/Rep(s): It would greatly help out the officers and M&R if you or someone you know could take on a role that focuses on internal and external communications: ie, periodic updates on the ballot and local negotiations, social media, etc. 

Graphic designer(s): If you or someone you know is good at designing infographics, posters, social media memes, etc. it would be great to have experienced/professional people doing this! 

Social event organiser(s): Since one of the branch priorities is re-building union community and solidarity, the Membership and Recruitment Team has been planning weekly stalls, drop-ins, and one big social events on 7th October. If you or anyone you know is interested in helping to organize food and drinks, venues, activities (e.g. music, childcare, fundraising, bake sale or arts and crafts sale to boost strike funds)! 

Weekly stalls from 12noon to 1pm every Tuesday – locations TBC.

Weekly drop-in every Friday from 11.30am to 1pm, location TBC.

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UCU Rising – key information


If you want to find out how much should be earning, if below-inflation pay increase and overwhelming workload didn’t exist, click here – and you can compare it to how much money the University made just last year here

What is the balloting timetable?

Tuesday 6 September 2022: ballot packs are dispatched to members’ preferred mailing address by the independent scrutineer Civica Election Services

Wednesday 7 September 2022: ballot packs start arriving at members’ preferred mailing address

Wednesday 14 September 2022 (9am): replacement ballot request form opens

Sunday 16 October (midnight): cut-off date for new members to join and be automatically included in the industrial action ballot

Monday 17 October (noon): replacement ballot request form closes

Monday 17 October (noon): cut-off date for branches to submit ballot exclusions

Tuesday 18 October: last ‘safe’ posting date

Friday 21 October 2022 (5pm): ballot closes

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UCU Rising – local contacts

Locally, the Membership & Recruitment Subcommittee is working on the Get The Vote Out (GTVO) campaign. To contact us, please email, or

UCU is a democratic union, led by its membership. The decision to ballot, and also the decision on what action will be taken after the successful ballot, will be made by the Higher Education Committee. You can contact your HEC and NEC Reps as detailed below:

Marion Hersh ( is a UCU Glasgow member, and sits on the HEC.

Ann Gow ( is a UCU Glasgow member and sits on the National Executive Committee (NEC).

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Goldsmiths Solidarity rally – 12 May

UCU Goldsmiths is organising a solidarity rally online from 6pm to 7pm on Thursday, 12 May 2022.

You can register here. 

Goldsmiths UCU has been fighting to defend the university from a vicious programme of staffing cuts, course closures, and restructure but after 37 days of strikes, management has persisted in forcing through compulsory redundancies of professional services staff as well as academic staff in two departments. 

Find out more here:

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UCU Glasgow Annual General Meeting

UCU Glasgow’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place on Wednesday, 8th June 2022 at 12noon, on Zoom.

The agenda and papers will be circulated on Thursday, 26th May 2022.

The deadline to submit motions and nominations to join the UCU Glasgow Branch Committee for 2022/23 is 12noon on Tuesday, 24th May 2022.

More details were sent out to members on 21st April 2022 – please email if you did not receive this information.

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