Why are City of Glasgow College Lecturers Going on Strike?

Created on: 05 May 2023 | Last modified: 12 Oct 2023

Your lecturers at City of Glasgow College are taking industrial action to preserve the quality of education and ensure students are fully supported in their educational journey at City of Glasgow College.

Industrial action is a last resort 

Over the last academic year EIS-FELA (the union which represents your lecturers) has tried very hard to encourage College management to engage in meaningful negotiations about the cuts and changes they have implemented in the College. These cuts and changes affect students and lecturers and if College management continue with more cuts this will be harmful to the quality and provision of education in the College.

What are the cuts and changes?

Local EIS-FELA representatives met on the 3rd of May with members of City of Glasgow College senior management to be told that the college workforce will be reduced by up to 100 through the use of compulsory redundancies. This meeting started the beginning of a (minimum) 45-day consultation period on compulsory redundancies.

The College's Board of Management has not seen the details of the business case, yet has agreed a “direction of travel” that includes up to 100 individual members of staff losing their jobs. The majority of these are teaching posts.

As this shows, one of the biggest cuts is to the number of staff in the College which will mean that by the end of the academic year up to 100 lecturers will lose their jobs. Cuts have also been made to teaching time which has meant that lecturers have less time with students and are given extra classes to teach which means an increase in lecturers' workload and more cuts to teaching time are planned for the next academic year.

The College has lost nearly all Learning Support Lecturers who provide valuable expertise to support students with additional learning support needs.

Why are lecturers taking industrial action?

Lecturing and support staff are above all else committed to students, but College management have been making it more difficult to provide the quality of learning, teaching and support that is necessary for students to complete their learning journey and prepare for whatever learning and/or career goals they have.

By cutting the amount of teaching time that lecturers have with students, this will mean that we are less able to provide guided supported learning and students will be expected to do more work independently. College management have argued that this will help students to become independent learners, but we believe that our students need more support, not less, to be able to successfully complete courses and gain qualifications.

The loss of potentially hundreds of lecturers through redundancy and cuts means that valuable skills and expertise in subject areas will be gone and some courses will be cut. This could have a devastating impact on the ability of the College to provide further education for the people of Glasgow and surrounding areas.

Learning Support

It is important to point out that management intend to eradicate individual contextualised learning support.  This cannot be provided by the subject lecturer, nor can alternative assessment arrangements. This clearly has serious implications for all students with Personal Learning Support Plans (PLSPs).

What does this mean for the student?

This means that lecturers will be working the 35 hours for which they are contracted and no more. In turn, this means that preparation of classes, and marking, will only be done within the 35 hours lecturers are contracted to work, when they are not teaching between Monday and Friday, and no work will be undertaken beyond these hours/at home.

It also means, that due to previous cuts to delivery time of courses, where some lecturers have been made redundant, lecturers who have had additional courses added to their timetable are no longer required to deliver these courses. Lecturers will continue to deliver your subjects for 3 hours per week.  You may find that you are without a lecturer for some of your subjects.

Does this mean I will not get a qualification?

It may mean this in the immediate future. Your lecturer will keep you informed of your progress and will let you know when you have passed.  However, as part of the industrial action, no results will be entered on Enquirer until the dispute is resolved.

When the dispute is resolved, you will get a qualification – and worthy of the certificate it is printed on, and also ensure that students who follow you will get the same.

Any resolution to the dispute will require an agreement with the management of the College on lecturing staff being paid for the work required to catch up. Lecturers are no longer going to work for nothing, nor are they going to contribute to the diminution of learning and teaching.

Is there anything I can do to support my lecturers?

Yes! We need your support to stop the plans for cutting staff, courses and teaching time.

You can support your lecturers by asking College management, and the Chair of the College Board of Management, to stop the cuts to staff, teaching time, courses, and learning support. Please feel free to copy in the lecturers' union at EIS.Officebearers@cityofglasgowcollege.ac.uk