City of Glasgow College has offered to continue its Trade Union Education Centre on a “month-to-month” basis and removed the potential for any compulsory redundancies next year.

The college also announced that the vast majority – 90% – of students’ results have been entered into college systems despite a nationwide results boycott by EIS-FELA, the union representing college lecturers.

EIS-FELA first announced the news when it wrote to members and announced several breakthroughs in relations with management, following a June 27 meeting between branch officers and Principal Paul Little.

The Herald has seen a copy of this letter.

During the meeting, EIS-FELA reported that the principal agreed that there would be no compulsory redundancies in the 2024/25 academic year.

This was confirmed in the “Principal’s Update” to staff, sent out on Friday, June 28, also seen by The Herald.

However, while the union claims this was the result of an agreement between Mr Little and branch officers, the college’s letter to staff credits it only to the college’s “improved financial position.”

It added: “Assuming no significant deterioration in our funding from the Scottish Government there are no further plans for any more College-wide structural Organisational Change.

“The additional consultation process will stop too.”

EIS-FELA reported that Mr Little also said during the June 27 meeting that deeming staff, or deducting pay, for partial job performance “may not be something that the college would do now".

This would mark an immediate shift in the college’s stance on how to respond to staff taking part in a results boycott, although the college denies this was an agreement.

Instead, a college spokesperson said that the strategy of deducting pay – while a “last resort” and one which has “not been rescinded” – has been effective so far in ensuring students receive their results on time.

"Targeting students by withholding their hard-earned results cannot be condoned, and we made it clear to lecturing staff that where students’ results are withheld, lecturers’ pay would be withheld.

“We are now pleased to report record resulting performance with 90% results now submitted, with the remainder coming after summer catch up classes and graded units have been finalised.”

Last week the college’s board heard challenges to the threats of deducting 100% of pay from boycotting staff. When asked about any legal concerns, the college told The Herald that it had conducted the due diligence necessary to deduct pay legally.

EIS-FELA reported that Mr Little also agreed to continue an existing partnership between the college and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to operate the TUC Education Centre on the college’s campus.

The college had announced earlier in the Spring that it had opened a consultation to end its partnership with the TUC EC when it expires at the end of this academic year. 

A spokesperson for the college said on Friday that college staff are consulting with TUC EC staff on a proposal and “will work with them on a month-to-month basis to explore all options to secure its future.”

“The TU Education Centre is costing the College some £150,000 annually to operate, with less than 10% of these operating costs being covered by the TUC.

“Demand for these kinds of courses has fallen by some 72% since 2018/19.”

The centre provides education and skills training for trade unionists across Scotland, but City of Glasgow College management had suggested ending the partnership and closing the TUC EC because enrollment and staffing have been on the decline in recent years.

Trade unionists and academics came out strongly in favour of preserving the TUC EC, with many writing open letters to politicians and First Minister John Swinney calling for intervention.

EIS-FELA believes that the principal’s decision will allow the TUC EC to continue long enough to put together a revised business case and discuss the best methods of future trade union education.

A spokesperson for EIS-FELA at the college said that they believed the promise of no compulsory redundancies, potential for abandoning the deeming strategy and extended timeline for consultation on the TUC EC were the result of the conversation between branch officers and Mr Little this week.

"CoGC EIS-FELA are disappointed, though not surprised by the mixed messaging coming out of CoGC management.

“We stand by the statement issued to our members earlier today, which came directly from the meeting between CoGC management and Branch Officers and EIS Area Officer.”