Website URL : http://www.ucu.org.uk/194
UCU Scotland has an autonomous executive which operates under the umbrella of national UCU.
The UCU Scotland executive has representatives from every branch in Scotland.
UCU Scotland raises issues by:
- lobbying the Scottish Parliament
- working with the Scottish Government and MSPs.
We work with and influence:
- Universities Scotland
- The Scottish Funding Council
- Scottish media
- NUS Scotland
- Scottish representative bodies
UCU Scotland's seven ideas for the next government
In preparation for the general election in 2015, UCU Scotland set out seven policy proposals for higher education and called on politicians from all parties to recognise the value of higher education and support these proposals.
Find our more about our manifesto and UCU's wider election campaigning here.
Consultation on higher education governance bill
The Scottish government recently held a consultation on governance in Scottish universities and plans for a higher education bill.
Our reaction to Universities Scotland's response to the proposals:
Unsurprisingly UCU don't agree with what they're saying. In fact, as a trade union member you might even be insulted by some of what they're saying. In their submission the principals:
- describe proposals to include trade union nominees onto governing bodies as 'undemocratic' and draw a bizarre comparison with trade unionism in the 1970s while not opposing on the same grounds proposals for other groups
- describe the inclusion of trade union nominees as being contrary to the Nolan principles of public life. Those principles are - selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. That principals believe trade unionists acting as nominees on university courts wouldn't be able to act as such betrays a mind-set that is stuck in the 1980s; and
- by a remarkable stretch of logic manage to describe electing chairs of governing bodies as reducing their accountability - while failing to address why this is not the case in those institutions where it happens at present.
Universities who want to maintain status quo on new transparency rules are out of touch
UCU says that universities opposing plans for better staff and student representatives on their key decision-making bodies are out of touch.
The union was responding to the report released by the Scottish government that analysed the responses to its recent consultation on governance in Scottish universities and plans for a higher education bill.
The majority of universities that responded opposed votes for staff and students to elect chairs of governing bodies and dismissed the idea of trade union nominees having a seat at the top table. They also said they did not back the idea of expenses for chairs of governing bodies; a move proponents say will improve the diversity of people likely to apply for the post. Read the full story here.
We now know, if we didn't already, that we've got a fight on our hands to win what we want:
- elected chairs of governing bodies
- for those bodies to be more representative and to include student and trade union nominees; and
- a new definition of academic freedom.
This is a prize worth winning.
If you've not already done so please sign our petition telling the education secretary Angela Constance that you support the campaign. Ultimately she will decide whether or not to proceed with legislation. Let her know that the principals don't speak for the sector and that students and staff matter too.
You can sign the petition here.
You can follow UCU Scotland on Twitter: @ucuscotland
Or visit the UCU Scotland blog at: ucuscotland.wordpress.com
Staff support is provided by the Scottish UCU office.