Strike Action

Industrial Action – Frequently Asked Questions for Students

Some members of Glasgow Caledonian University's teaching staff, members of the University and College Union, are taking industrial action today. Across our campuses it's a mixed picture and we expect the UCU members' response to the strike call will change day-to-day over the remainder of the period of industrial action. The University is doing its best to maintain learning and teaching and to keep disruption to a minimum. We are also endeavouring to keep our students updated with the position relating to their classes. Our intention is to inform students when we know a class is being cancelled: this will be managed locally from departments within schools.

We are doing our best to make minimise disruption to your classes that might result from the strike action being taken by members of the University and College Union. When we know a class will have to be cancelled, we'll try to let you know as soon as we can. Please keep checking your email and the other university feeds including social media.

1. What is the industrial action about?

 At GCU the UCU (Universities and College Union) has called the industrial action because it is unhappy about the 2019 pay settlement for staff.  Members of other Trade Unions are not taking part in the industrial action.

2. What dates is the industrial action taking place on?

Strike action will take place over four weeks on the following dates;

 Week one – Thursday 20 & Friday 21 February
 Week two – Monday 24, Tuesday 25 & Wednesday 26 February
 Week three – Monday 2, Tuesday 3, Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 March
 Week four – Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11, Thursday 12 & Friday 13 March

An extended period of Action Short of Strike (sometimes called working to contract, where staff only commit to work to which is detailed within their contract of employment) is scheduled for December to April 2020. 

3. Will I still be able to come onto campus during the strike action?

Yes, the campus – including all learning, social and sports facilities – will remain open throughout the strike and you should attend university as normal.

There may be a picket line (a boundary line established by workers) at one or more of the entrances and it is expected that this would take place peacefully and courteously. Pickets may seek your support and hand out flyers, however you should not be prevented from crossing the picket line and you are free to attend University.

4. Will my classes be cancelled?

At this stage, it is hard to determine what impact the industrial action will have, as the university does not currently know how many of UCU members intend to strike.  Whilst the University will endeavour to ensure classes will be delivered as scheduled, there is a possibility some teaching (e.g. lectures, seminars, tutorials, and laboratory sessions) may be cancelled during the period of 20th February- 13th March. Beyond this date, classes will continue as scheduled.

During the strike, you should attend classes as normal unless specifically advised not to do so due to strike action.

5. If my class is cancelled will it be rescheduled?

The University will do everything we can to minimise any disruption to your learning experience. Some classes may be rescheduled but not as a matter of course. Any learning deficits due to cancelled classes will be made on a case by case basis by local programme teams.

The University will aim for any learning materials from cancelled classes to be made available via GCU Learn as soon as possible.

6. Will my attendance at classes be monitored as normal?

 Unless told otherwise you are expected to attend classes as normal.  However, no student will be disadvantaged for non-attendance during the strike days.

7. I am a Tier 4 student; will the strike affect my visa requirements?

No, the UK Government has specified that cancellation of classes will not impact on visa requirements

8. Who should I speak to for further information if I attend a class and it is not running due to the industrial action

Should you wish to speak to someone if you arrive for class and it has been cancelled please contact the relevant person from your School:

GSBS: W116/117 (Hamish Wood Building

SHLS: A501 (Govan Mbeki Building)

SCEBE: M215A (George Moore Building)

9. I have submission deadlines during these dates, should I still turn in course work?

Yes, all submission deadlines should be adhered to as normal

10. I am expecting coursework results during this period, will I still receive them?

Whilst we will endeavour to provide feedback within in the normal 3-week timeframe, there may be instances where this is not possible. Where delays are likely, you will be informed of the revised turnaround time we are endeavouring to meet. 

Students are reminded that marks provided at this time are provisional and maybe subject to change.

11. Will exams and class tests continue as scheduled during the strike period?

Whilst the University will endeavour to ensure exams and class tests are delivered as scheduled, there is a possibility some may be cancelled during the period of 20th February- 13th March. Beyond this date, scheduled exams and class tests will continue as scheduled.

Should you wish to speak to someone if you arrive for an exam or class test and it has been cancelled please contact the relevant person from your School, as detailed in question 

12. Should I submit Mitigating Circumstances on the grounds that my performance has been impacted due to the strike action?

No, there are no requirements to submit Mitigating Circumstances on these grounds. The university will evaluate the impact of the strike on a case by case basis.

13.  Will student support services be open as normal?

Yes, all services will be open but some may have to offer reduced services.  For example, appointments may be cancelled and rescheduled so please check with the relevant services to see whether your appointment has been affected.

If you require an urgent appointment during this period please contact the relevant service.

14. When will more information be available?

We will provide further updates by on the student website, email and social media as information becomes available. 

15. Can I request compensation for missed teaching?

Tuition fees relate to your education as a whole, including the other services and facilities that you receive as a student, and not to individual teaching sessions. On the basis of the information currently to hand, the University is not considering any form of reduction in fees or compensation because we have mitigation plans in place to ensure that students suffer no detriment as a result of any impact that may be incurred. The University will be keeping full records of any and all impacts of the industrial action to ensure this is the case.


If you have any questions you can email

For up to date information on the industrial action please refer to

Please also refer to the GCU Student’s Association statement: