A UNION is demanding Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) puts an end to staff job uncertainty before Christmas.

GMB Scotland has called on GCU)Principal Pamela Gillies to personally take charge and end the uncertainty over the futures of long-standing catering staff.

Some 69 workers are in limbo after Cordia lost GCU’s catering contract, while the university’s Chief Financial Officer has refused to confirm whether the workforce will be subject to a TUPE transfer.

With the Cordia contract currently winding down, GMB Scotland wants clarity on the employment status of Cordia staff at the university’s campus.

Part of the concern for staff is that, should they be relocated within Cordia, available positions would mean fewer hours and different shifts.

Glasgow Branch Secretary Rhea Wolfson said: “Our members need to know whether they have a future at GCU – they are a long standing workforce and have built their working lives around the campus.

“The absence of any communication from GCU’s financial department is causing additional and unnecessary worry so today we are calling for Pamela Gillies to personally intervene and bring an end to the uncertainty.”

The union wants an answer before Christmas.

Ms Wolfson added: “Without TUPE our members will be relocated through Cordia’s displaced list but this will result in members having to re-organise their working and personal lives over the festive period, which is far from ideal.

“However, after 16 years of loyal service our members want to stay with GCU and Pamela Gillies can take charge of the situation today in order to give the workforce clarity for Christmas.”

A spokeswoman for GCU said: "The staff of Cordia, and previously Encore, who have worked with the university for many years, have provided friendly, attentive service and have played a much appreciated role in our University community.

"We were therefore especially glad to understand that Cordia has undertaken to relocate them following the planned change to service providers.  

"The university is responsible for meeting the strong demand from staff and students for a more modern catering offer with choice, diversity and healthy options across our catering outlets on campus.

"Our new £32m refurbishment of campus facilities has brought fresh opportunities to deliver this variety by using a range of caterers rather than a single provider. This will follow completion of a due procurement process.

"The university’s catering service is a valuable contract which must periodically be subject to public tender.

"This was last done five years ago in 2011 when the contract was won by Cordia. It is now timely to retender and we are doing so on the basis of a multiple supplier solution.

"The university has been in discussion with Cordia since the current contract was formally extended beyond its original term for one further year in 2015.

"We feel that we have provided Cordia with sufficient opportunity to allow them to manage the implications for their own workforce. 

"The university has received a letter from the GMB union and has responded today Thursday, October 27 2016."