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Higher education sector conference

HE sector conference motion, UCU Congress 2010

HE1 National bargaining - London South Bank University

Conference notes:

  1. London South Bank University (LSBU) management's announcement of a pay freeze for 2009-10 in breach of the agreed 0.5% pay award;
  2. LSBU's threats to move to local bargaining on pay and other matters;
  3. LSBU's plans to introduce performance related pay (linked to a new appraisal scheme that has been imposed without UCU agreement).

Conference believes that:

  1. LSBU's actions threaten UCU policy on pay catch-up and future pay levels at LSBU;
  2. other HEI managements are monitoring developments at LSBU with a view to emulation;
  3. LSBU's moves breach collective agreements with UCU and threaten national bargaining and the national pay framework.

Conference resolves:

  1. to support LSBU UCU branches' resistance to the breach with national bargaining - including preparation for industrial action;
  2. to organise a national campaign in defence of education that highlights the defence of national bargaining.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE1A.1 - Staffordshire University

Under "Conference notes" add at end of ii) "and Staffordshire University's announced intention to break from national pay bargaining", add at end of iii) "and Staffordshire University's proposed "modern interpretation" of the national contract."
Under "Conference believes that" ii), add after LSBU "and Staffordshire", and at iii) add after LSBU "and Staffordshire"

Under "Conference resolves" i) add after LSBU "and Staffordshire", and add "iv) to press Staffordshire University management not to withdraw from national bargaining."

CARRIED

HE1A.2 - London South Bank University

under conference notes ii), delete 'threats to move to local bargaining on pay and other matters'. Replace with 'break from national pay bargaining'

under conference believes iii), delete 'threaten'. Replace with 'pose a serious threat to'

under conference resolves, add new point at end: 'to organise the grey-listing of LSBU if it has not committed to honour the 2009-10 pay award and return to national bargaining before 4 June 2010'

CARRIED

HE1A.3 - University of Hertfordshire

Add new point at end of motion:

'to prevent any UCU branches from doing local deals that undermine national bargaining or conditions of service.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. London South Bank University (LSBU) management's announcement of a pay freeze for 2009-10 in breach of the agreed 0.5% pay award;
  2. LSBU's threats to move to local bargaining on pay and other matters, and Staffordshire University's announced intention to break from national pay bargaining;
  3. LSBU's plans to introduce performance related pay (linked to a new appraisal scheme that has been imposed without UCU agreement) and Staffordshire University's proposed "modern interpretation" of the national contract..

Conference believes that:

  1. LSBU and Staffordshire's actions threaten UCU policy on pay catch-up and future pay levels at LSBU and Staffordshire;
  2. other HEI managements are monitoring developments at LSBU with a view to emulation;
  3. LSBU's moves breach collective agreements with UCU and pose a serious threat to national bargaining and the national pay framework.

Conference resolves:

  1. to support LSBU UCU branches' resistance to the breach with national bargaining - including preparation for industrial action;
  2. to organise a national campaign in defence of education that highlights the defence of national bargaining
  3. to organise the grey-listing of LSBU if it has not committed to honour the 2009-10 pay award and return to national bargaining before 4 June 2010
  4. to prevent any UCU branches from doing local deals that undermine national bargaining or conditions of service.

HE2 Joint union working - Higher education committee

Conference notes the closer working relationships established with the other HE trade unions during the past 12 months. In particular, conference welcomes the joint campaigning work, both locally and nationally, under the '5 unions, 1 demand - defend higher education, defend jobs' banner; and the local examples where joint approaches have been taken to a range of issues, including pressing employers for equality impact assessments.

Conference also congratulates the national trade union side for effectively resisting employer attempts to create divisions amongst the five unions during the 2009/10 negotiating round.

Conference notes the tough financial and political environment within which the sector is operating. While recognising that each union has its own policies and procedures to consider and promote in the interests of its membership, conference believes that joint union working should be encouraged, wherever appropriate.

CARRIED


HE3 Job security - Fixed term contract regulations - University of Manchester

Conference recognises that, despite the introduction of the fixed term regulations eight years ago, progress towards real job security for university researchers remains disappointingly slow. Conference therefore instructs the UCU executive to continue robustly tackling inertia on this issue in the following ways:

  1. Lobbying research funding bodies, including Research Councils UK (RCUK), for changes in procedures to accommodate permanent research positions and encourage career progression for established as well as early career researchers.
  2. Putting pressure on university employers to change the way staff on fixed term funding are managed so that contracts are not specifically linked to fixed term funding.
  3. Rolling out a national recruitment campaign to organise and mobilise contract researchers, focussing on relevant achievements of UCU to date, continuing campaigning activity and the need for researchers to support the fight for improvements to their career structure.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE3A.1 - University of Manchester

Paragraph 1, first sentence - after 'university researchers' add 'and other FTC staff''  (drafting amendment)
Paragraph 2, point 1 - add at the end, 'and staff on fixed term funding'.
Paragraph 4, point 3 - add after researchers 'and fixed term contract (FTC) staff to support the fight for improvements to their career structure'.

CARRIED

HE3A.2 - Higher education committee

In point 3, replace 'Rolling out a' with 'Continue with the'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference recognises that, despite the introduction of the fixed term regulations eight years ago, progress towards real job security for university researchers and other FTC staff remains disappointingly slow. Conference therefore instructs the UCU executive to continue robustly tackling inertia on this issue in the following ways:

  1. Lobbying research funding bodies, including Research Councils UK (RCUK), for changes in procedures to accommodate permanent research positions and encourage career progression for established as well as early career researchers and staff on fixed-term funding.
  2. Putting pressure on university employers to change the way staff on fixed term funding are managed so that contracts are not specifically linked to fixed term funding.
  3. Rolling out a national recruitment campaign to organise and mobilise contract researchers, focussing on relevant achievements of UCU to date, continuing campaigning activity and the need for researchers and fixed term contract (FTC) staff to support the fight for improvements to their career structure.

HE4 Hours of work for hourly paid staff - Anti-casualisation committee

HESC notes that: many hourly-paid staff receive insufficient information on hours of work and pay; this is particularly problematic for postgraduate and early career staff teaching new topics, requiring more preparation; demonstrators are frequently used as a cheap teaching resource; staff have concerns about possible effects of raising issues on future employment and treatment in the workplace and/or in their student capacity.

We ask HEC to press employers for contracts / terms and conditions which:

  • specify a reasonable number of work hours, having regard to UCU guidelines on preparation time
  • include a realistic calculation of hours for marking
  • specify maximum hours and state that staff are not expected to exceed these
  • indicate how hourly-paid staff can question, without detriment, demands on their time which exceed the maximum
  • offer fair pay
  • make clear any distinctions in pay for different types of work

CARRIED


HE5 Zero tolerance for zero hours contracts - University of Birmingham

HESC notes with dismay the continued use of 'zero-hours contracts' in HE, and the resulting low pay and job insecurity of members employed on such contracts.

HESC instructs HEC to launch a vigorous campaign entitled 'zero tolerance for zero hours' with the aim of stamping out such contracts. The campaign should include lobbying of MPs, MSPs and MWAs to make such contracts illegal in the course of the current Parliament. (drafting amendment)

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE5A.1 - Women members standing committee

Add second sentence to first paragraph:

HESC notes that the increased use of such exploitative contracts has a disproportionate effect on women.

CARRIED

HE5A.2 - Higher education committee

In the second paragraph, after 'HEC' add 'to seek support from the recruitment, organising and campaigning committee (ROCC)'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HESC notes with dismay the continued use of 'zero-hours contracts' in HE, and the resulting low pay and job insecurity of members employed on such contracts. HESC notes that the increased use of such exploitative contracts has a disproportionate effect on women.

HESC instructs HEC to seek support from the recruitment, organising and campaigning committee (ROCC) to launch a vigorous campaign entitled 'zero tolerance for zero hours' with the aim of stamping out such contracts. The campaign should include lobbying of MPs, MSPs and MWAs to make such contracts illegal in the course of the current parliament.


HE6 Fighting job/pay cuts and ensuring equality impact assessments - Northumbria University

Conference notes:

  • the effects that the financial crisis has had on the education sector
  • the increasing number of redundancies and cutbacks experienced by our members over the last year
  • the effect this will have had on under-represented and minority groups in our sector

It calls for:

  • an urgent organisation to fight job losses and cutbacks
  • a fair pay rise with total opposition to pay freezes or pay cuts
  • an audit of education equality impact assessments to ensure that the legal obligations are being met by the employers

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE6A.1 - Higher education committee

At start of final paragraph 'It calls' to be replaced with 'Conference calls on HEC to continue the development of strategies'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  • the effects that the financial crisis has had on the education sector
  • the increasing number of redundancies and cutbacks experienced by our members over the last year
  • the effect this will have had on under-represented and minority groups in our sector

Conference calls on HEC to continue the development of strategies for:

  • an urgent organisation to fight job losses and cutbacks
  • a fair pay rise with total opposition to pay freezes or pay cuts
  • an audit of education equality impact assessments to ensure that the legal obligations are being met by the employers

HE7 Equality Impact Assessment - University of Manchester

Noting the legislative requirement for employers to conduct impact assessments on all relevant policies and policy changes and noting that many higher education institutions have been slow at implementing their statutory duties in this respect, conference urges the HEC to adopt a stance against further procrastination.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE7A.1 - University of Manchester

At the end add, 'Conference instructs the HEC to investigate what steps can be taken to ensure that employers fulfil their statutory obligation'.

CARRIED

HE7A.2 - Higher education committee

After 'conferences urges the HEC to', add 'build on existing campaigns'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Noting the legislative requirement for employers to conduct impact assessments on all relevant policies and policy changes and noting that many higher education institutions have been slow at implementing their statutory duties in this respect, conference urges the HEC to build on existing campaigns to adopt a stance against further procrastination. Conference instructs the HEC to investigate what steps can be taken to ensure that employers fulfil their statutory obligation.


HE8 Equal pay - Disabled members standing committee

Sector conference notes the Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staffs (JNCHES) guidance on equal pay reviews which calls on institutions to undertake regular equal pay reviews covering all equality areas including disability.

Sector conference calls on the HEC, in liaison with the equality committee, to:

  1. Ensure comprehensive equal pay reviews covering all equality areas including disability are a key industrial priority in 2010/11.
  2. To report back to HESC 2011 on progress made.

CARRIED


HE9 Disability equality agreement - Disabled members standing committee

Sector conference notes the new national guidance agreement on disability equality for further education colleges, which includes an agreement on disability leave and disability related absence. HESC further notes that no such national agreement exists in the higher education sector.

HESC calls on the HEC, in liaison with the disabled members standing committee to:

  • Call on JNCHES to adopt a similar agreement to cover all HEIs.
  • Support branches to negotiate local disability leave agreements.

CARRIED


HE10 Cut-backs and equality in HE - LGBT members standing committee

Conference notes that cut-backs in higher education reflect choices about what kind of society we live in. Conference believes that higher education in the UK must be for the benefit of all and that equality must be at the heart of all operations. Recognising the significant work being done by UCU members and staff at a number of universities, conference condemns Government cuts and opposes the ill-considered employment proposals that many universities across the country have been issuing. Conference also notes that it is often the workers who are most marginalised or feel most uncomfortable in the institutions that will go first. In this context conference calls on HEC to review and report on the equality impact of these cuts on employment proposals and practices as they affect all equality strands and work to ensure that schemes do not have a disproportionate effect on any group of members.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE10A.1 - Higher education committee

In the last sentence after ' In this context the conference calls on HEC to' add 'build on bargaining priorities and campaigns to'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that cut-backs in higher education reflect choices about what kind of society we live in. Conference believes that higher education in the UK must be for the benefit of all and that equality must be at the heart of all operations. Recognising the significant work being done by UCU members and staff at a number of universities, conference condemns Government cuts and opposes the ill-considered employment proposals that many universities across the country have been issuing. Conference also notes that it is often the workers who are most marginalised or feel most uncomfortable in the institutions that will go first. In this context conference calls on HEC to build on bargaining priorities and campaigns to review and report on the equality impact of these cuts on employment proposals and practices as they affect all equality strands and work to ensure that schemes do not have a disproportionate effect on any group of members.


HE11 Higher Education Race Forum - Black members standing committee

Conference notes the HEFCE funded Higher Education Race Forum which is conducting research into the experiences of black and minority ethnic (BME) staff working in the higher education sector. The initial research centres on how management practice, support frameworks and relationships, and leadership and development opportunities impact on BME staff.

The next stage of the project will be focused on recommendations and practical outcomes, with a phase of work dedicated to developing and piloting initiatives aimed at improving the experiences of black staff.

The research is underpinned and informed by the involvement of black staff and UCU has four places on the forum. We believe that the nature of the work is such that we must continue to provide a high level of commitment and engagement.

Conference resolves to support this important initiative and looks forward to a full report next year of the outcomes and proposed future work.

CARRIED


HE12 Promoting sexual orientation equality in HE - LGBT members standing committee

Sector conference notes the publication of Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) research into the experience of LGB and T staff and students in higher education. Sector conference calls on HEC, the Equality Committee and regional executives to

  • review the findings,
  • organise campaigns and produce publications aimed at embedding this research into the mainstream of union work.
  • produce publicity materials for use at events identified as strategically useful for reaching members
  • provide training for branch officers delivered in partnership with regional offices

· support the Equality Committee in getting HE branches and LAs to respond to the next survey based on the sexual orientation equality checklist.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE12A.1 - Higher education committee

Add 'seek support from ROCC to' at the beginning of second, third and forth bullet points.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Sector conference notes the publication of Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) research into the experience of LGB and T staff and students in higher education. Sector conference calls on HEC, the Equality Committee and regional executives to

  • review the findings,
  • seek support from ROCC to organise campaigns and produce publications aimed at embedding this research into the mainstream of union work.
  • seek support from ROCC to produce publicity materials for use at events identified as strategically useful for reaching members
  • seek support from ROCC to provide training for branch officers delivered in partnership with regional offices
  • support the Equality Committee in getting HE branches and LAs to respond to the next survey based on the sexual orientation equality checklist.

CBC advice, motions HE13 and HE14: If motion HE13 is passed, motion HE14 falls.

HE13 London - Regional HE committee

Conference notes:

  • the decision of HEC to commence necessary preparations for simultaneous industrial action at all HEIs should no satisfactory response be made to our claim;
  • no acceptable offer on either job security or pay was made at JNCHES talks on April 19

Conference resolves:

  • to ballot all HEIs so national strike action could commence at the beginning of Autumn term should no satisfactory offer be made at JNCHES talks on May 5.

CARRIED


HE14 Defending jobs, defending education - University of Brighton Grand Parade

Conference notes the decision of the Special HE Sector Conference to build towards a national ballot for industrial action this year over jobs and educational provision, and to link this continuing fight to next year's pay claim.

Conference reaffirms that decision and instructs the HEC to identify a detailed plan for a ballot this year that will draw together all local disputes and threats.

WITHDRAWN

HE14A.1 Composite - Open University, Queen's University Belfast

In the first sentence delete 'a' and replace 'ballot' with 'mobilisation', insert 'should the component institutions of UCEA refuse to agree to negotiations' between 'year' and 'over', and delete 'educational'.

In the second sentence replace 'this year' with 'during the current pay round, when the strongest campaign may be built'.

CBC advice, amendments HE14A.2 and HE14A.3 (below): if amendment HE14A.2 is passed, amendment HE14A.3 falls

HE14A.2 - Open University

Add at the end of the second paragraph, 'The timing of any future industrial action, including the timing of the ballot and the commencement and termination of industrial action, must be decided at full meetings of the HEC.'

HE14A.3 - Queen's University Belfast

Add at end of second para 'The timing of any future national
industrial action, including the timing of the ballot and the commencement and suspension of industrial action, must be decided by the HEC.


HE15 Role of HE Conference and of HE Committee - University of Brighton, Grand Parade and Falmer

Conference registers that February's Special HE Sector Conference (SHESC) policy on jobs and pay has been effectively overturned by subsequent decisions of the Higher Education Committee. The SHESC determined on a summer ballot for industrial action in the absence of a national agreement on redundancy avoidance, linked to the 2010-11 pay claim, and carried forward into next year. HEC has, thus far, adopted a dispute timetable that threatens to postpone the ballot until next academic year, and thus action until the Spring.

In censure of such earlier decisions, HE Sector Conference reaffirms that it is the supreme policy-making body in respect of HE, and the role of the HEC is to implement conference policy.

LOST


HE16 Cut management excess not staff jobs - London Metropolitan University (North Branch)

Conference notes:

  • Vice-chancellors' salaries, following an average 7% rise in 2009, have risen to an average £193,970 a year, with 80+ earning significantly more than the Prime Minister;
  • The massive increase in the number of senior managers in universities earning more than £100,000 a year and receiving generous private health insurance and pension benefits;
  • The use of generous bonuses and PRP payments to 'incentivise' senior university managers;
  • The vast majority of redundancies announced within our sector have targeted main grade academic, academic-related, and administrative staff.

Conference believes:

  • Any payroll savings should primarily come from a reduction in management excess, and, if necessary, a rationalisation of senior management posts.

Conference resolves:

  • To promote the argument that out with the fight for increased funding of our universities we should be aiming to re-structure our universities away from excessive, expensive, top-down managerialist structures towards flatter, elected, collegiate structures.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE16A.1 - LGBT members standing committee

Under 'Conference notes', at the end of the fourth bullet point delete the full stop and replace with a semi-colon, then add:

'yet Equality Impact Assessments are not carried out. Meanwhile Vice Chancellors should be condemned for failing to protect members' jobs while protecting their own.'

Under 'Conference resolves', delete 'To promote the argument that out with the' and replace with 'That the NEC campaign to'

After 'funding of our universities' delete 'we should be aiming' and replace with 'with the aim'

After the end of the sentence add: 'Further to ensure appropriate equality capacity building skills for managers.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  • Vice-chancellors' salaries, following an average 7% rise in 2009, have risen to an average £193,970 a year, with 80+ earning significantly more than the Prime Minister;
  • The massive increase in the number of senior managers in universities earning more than £100,000 a year and receiving generous private health insurance and pension benefits;
  • The use of generous bonuses and PRP payments to 'incentivise' senior university managers;
  • The vast majority of redundancies announced within our sector have targeted main grade academic, academic-related, and administrative staff;
  • Yet Equality Impact Assessments are not carried out. Meanwhile Vice Chancellors should be condemned for failing to protect members' jobs while protecting their own.

Conference believes:

  • Any payroll savings should primarily come from a reduction in management excess, and, if necessary, a rationalisation of senior management posts.

Conference resolves:

  • That the NEC campaign to fight for increased funding of our universities with the aim to re-structure our universities away from excessive, expensive, top-down managerialist structures towards flatter, elected, collegiate structures. Further to ensure appropriate equality capacity building skills for managers.

HE17 Facilities for academics - University of Leeds

Conference notes that in the present economic climate, many academics will be pressurised to accept various redundancy packages. For academics, loss of position entails not only loss of income but also major disruption to, or loss of careers built up over many years.

Conference resolves that the UCU enter into negotiations with Universities UK to establish the automatic right of access of all academics (teaching, research, related etc.) to all universities' facilities, irrespective of employment status and without charge to the academic. These facilities to include, computing (including university email address), library, peer support, departmental desk space, with the right to publish in the academic literature from the academic base, participate in academic discussion and to apply for funding etc. This will mitigate the effects of job loss and enable academics to continue to develop their careers with minimal disruption.

REMITTED


HE18 Solidarity with our students - London Metropolitan University (North Branch)

Conference notes:

  • The recent wave of student protests against education cuts at a number of universities, including Sussex, Westminster and London Met.

Conference believes:

  • The development of a vibrant student movement is a key ingredient in a successful fight against education cuts and job losses, and that UCU must seek alliances with students and their organisations in that fight.

Conference resolves to:

  • Urge branches to work with local student representatives to plan joint campaigning in order to better resist education cuts and job losses;
  • Organise joint campaigning and co-ordinated actions with national NUS, and local student anti-cuts campaigns, as and when possible;
  • Support the right of student self-activity (including occupations and other non-violent direct actions) in defending staff jobs and education provision;
  • Support any student faced with victimisation for taking part in non-violent direct action in support of staff unions and in defence of staff jobs and education provision.

CARRIED


HE19 'Total Place': outsourcing of HR and other functions - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

HESC notes with concern moves to outsource functions such as human resources and facilities management to external units, such as Total Place, where the resource is shared with other organisations. This has implications for university governance, local collective bargaining and the jobs of UCU members. It instructs HEC to:

  • develop policy in this area;
  • produce guidance for local branches;
  • oppose any moves detrimental to collegiate governance in HE.

CARRIED


HE20 Grading and transparent promotion criteria - University of Liverpool

Conference deplores the serious lack of transparency and consistency in promotion criteria, including those for promotion to professor and academic-related grade 10, which
is found in many institutions. The introduction of job evaluation in the 2004 Framework Agreement has not in reality delivered equal pay for work of equal value.

Conference instructs HEC:

  1. To attempt to negotiate agreement at national level on an extended pay spine which encompasses all academic and academic-related staff (including professorial /grade 10) together with well-defined criteria for promotion to each grade;
  2. To support branches and LAs in applying pressure at local level, for example by encouraging equal pay cases wherever appropriate;
  3. To identify models of good practice which will set a standard for the whole HE sector.

CARRIED


HE21 Promotion and professional development for academic-related staff - Academic-related staff committee

The 2010 Academic Related (AR) annual meeting noted significant concerns from branches over promotion and professional development for AR staff since the introduction of the Framework Agreement.

HESC recognises the sector funding difficulties and the pressure on budget holders to cut costs across institutions. However, continued support for professional development and training opportunities for existing AR staff will allow institutions to maximise past investment and deliver the services required to meet changing staff and student needs.

HESC calls upon the HEC, in conjunction with the ARSC, to:

  • continue campaigning on the professional status of AR staff;
  • make continued professional development one of the committee priorities;
  • propose and promote models of best practice for employers;
  • evaluate the application and effectiveness of existing HE role profiles for AR posts;
  • report on continuing investigations into the effect of the single pay spine on AR members' progression and development.

CARRIED


HE22 Imposed assimilation arrangements for hourly-paid staff - Anti-casualisation committee

When branches are negotiating collective agreements for groups of staff (such as hourly-paid staff) in which the UCU has low membership density, and which universities rely on exploiting, universities may impose arrangements for assimilation to the pay and grading structures which include provisions the UCU finds unacceptable and which would not pass the UCU's ratification panel.

In such cases, it is imperative that the local UCU branch publicise (via their website and to their membership) exactly what portions of the arrangements made agreement impossible, and why, and how they aim to improve the situation. Otherwise, the UCU's perceived agreement to unacceptable terms of employment for marginalised groups of staff can be an obstacle to future organising among these staff, and demoralise UCU activists who had been involved in trying to improve employment conditions for such staff.

CARRIED


HE23 Funding cuts - Southern regional HE committee

This sector conference is gravely concerned at government's announced cuts to HE funding and the inevitable consequences in terms of reduction in the unit of resource and undermining of the quality of provision, HEIs are threatening cuts in teaching staff leaving which would leave those who remain to take up the load. This will inevitably result in further stress on members who already put in more unpaid overtime than any other profession.

In this context, sector conference instructs the HEC as a matter of urgency to organise a campaign on workload protection and to ensure that the National Agreement is fully implemented.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE23A.1 - Academic related committee

First sentence, after comma: HEIs are threatening cuts in teaching staff leaving ...  Delete 'teaching' and 'leaving'.

CARRIED

HE23A.2 - Higher education committee

In the final paragraph replace 'organise a' with 'continue to'.

In the final paragraph, after 'workload protection and to' add 'support branches to'.

In the final paragraph, before 'National Agreement' add 'post-92'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

This sector conference is gravely concerned at government's announced cuts to HE funding and the inevitable consequences in terms of reduction in the unit of resource and undermining of the quality of provision, HEIs are threatening cuts in staff which would leave those who remain to take up the load. This will inevitably result in further stress on members who already put in more unpaid overtime than any other profession.

In this context, sector conference instructs the HEC as a matter of urgency to continue to campaign on workload protection and to support branches to ensure that the post-92 National Agreement is fully implemented.


HE24 Increased workload and stress - Birkbeck, University of London

Conference deplores the crisis in higher education funding, which is leading to cuts and threats of cuts in funding to institutions across the country.

Conference notes that the pressures to improve both recruitment and retention without increasing staff numbers, and in some cases even reducing staff numbers through redundancies, have led to poor morale and heavy workloads for many academic and academic-related staff and have had an impact on the services we provide to students. This situation has led to an increase in the already high levels of stress, with many colleagues suffering from long-term stress-related illnesses and disabilities or even leaving university employment, thus creating ever higher workloads and levels of stress for those remaining.

Conference instructs UCU to make workload and stress a focus of its campaign to defend higher education funding and in its negotiations with individual institutions and UCEA.

CARRIED


HE25 Performance Management of Research - Queen Mary, University of London

Congress notes that HE institutions are attempting to introduce or widen the application of performance management criteria. For individuals these include research grant income, publication quality and rates and numbers of PhD students supervised, most of which are not under the control of the individual. The aim is to maximise grant income and publications suitable for submission under the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Staff who fail to meet set criteria are subjected to disciplinary measures, mistreated, made ill and forced to resign.

There is scant evidence that the measures are effective. Taken across the sector, they lead to the degradation of university life, narrowing the range of research undertaken, curtailment of academic freedom, poor teaching, student dissatisfaction, and the decline of UK universities' standing in the world.

Congress therefore instructs the NEC to organise a campaign of opposition to formal research performance management procedures and to promote in their place effective consent-based management.

CARRIED

HE25A.1 - Higher education committee

In final paragraph, replace 'NEC' with 'HEC in conjunction with ROCC'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes that HE institutions are attempting to introduce or widen the application of performance management criteria. For individuals these include research grant income, publication quality and rates and numbers of PhD students supervised, most of which are not under the control of the individual. The aim is to maximise grant income and publications suitable for submission under the Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Staff who fail to meet set criteria are subjected to disciplinary measures, mistreated, made ill and forced to resign.

There is scant evidence that the measures are effective. Taken across the sector, they lead to the degradation of university life, narrowing the range of research undertaken, curtailment of academic freedom, poor teaching, student dissatisfaction, and the decline of UK universities' standing in the world.

Congress therefore instructs the HEC in conjunction with ROCC to organise a campaign of opposition to formal research performance management procedures and to promote in their place effective consent-based management.


HE26 Research Excellence Framework and the 'impact' agenda - Higher education committee

Conference notes the:

  • publication of the Research Excellence Framework by HEFCE in September;
  • failure of the funding council to equality proof research assessment;
  • widespread opposition to the 'impact' element within the REF;
  • increasing use of 'economic impact' statements by the Research Councils.

Conference believes that the 'economic impact' agenda:

  • undermines basic research and fails to acknowledge that impact is often unpredictable;
  • risks the further commercialisation of research and consequent damage to academic freedom
  • increases the bureaucratic nature of the assessment process.

Conference believes that universities must be spaces in which the spirit of adventure thrives and where researchers enjoy academic freedom to push back the boundaries of knowledge in their disciplines.

Conference, therefore, calls on HEFCE to:

  • withdraw their current impact proposals;
  • work with academics and their representatives on creating a funding regime which supports and fosters high quality research.

CARRIED


HE27 Research Excellence Framework - University of Brighton Falmer

Conference notes the:

  • divisive effects of the REF will have on collegiality, in institutions and sector wide;
  • damaging effect on research through a culture of publication at all costs, the creation of a attitude of competition rather than cooperation, and the imposition of an arbitrary time horizon for research completion and dissemination;
  • use of Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results and future REF results as excuses to close schools and departments irrespective of need or financial stability, or to attempt to restaff departments.

Conference believes that there should be a system of public accountability for the use of public funds for research but that it should not be market-driven or competitive.

Conference instructs the HEC

  • to build a campaign against the REF's terms of operation, and its implementation in its current form;
  • to campaign for a boycott of the REF in its current form.

CARRIED


HE28 Research impact assessment and policy research - LSE

Conference notes and endorses the concerns expressed by:

  1. science and technology researchers that funding on the basis of impact will discourage basic research
  2. humanities researchers that the impact of their work is not reducible to instrumentalist measures

Conference notes that research, particularly in social and public policy fields, that supports current Government strategy is more likely to be adopted and thus show demonstrable impact. Conference is alarmed that measurement of impact of policy research will discourage oppositional and critical research and lead to conformity and loss of academic freedom.

Conference instructs HEC to contact academic professional bodies concerned with policy research to initiate a joint campaign to highlight these threats to academic freedom and the likely curtailment of informed public debate.

CARRIED


HE29 The impact of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) on black members - Black members standing committee

Conference notes with some concern the impact the Research Excellence Framework (REF) will have on black researchers in higher education. With regard to ethnicity, the selection rate for black staff was found to be significantly lower than all other ethnic groups.

A qualitative study undertaken on behalf of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) - analysed RAE codes of practice and other RAE equality-related documentation. The report identifies a number of deficiencies with the equality process, such as nonexistent or inadequate impact assessments, a failure to involve staff unions in the development of RAE codes of practice and inconsistencies in the treatment of 'personal circumstances'.

The funding councils claim that it is one of the aims of the REF 'to promote equality and diversity'

Conference resolves to press for the establishment of a specialist equality group made up of key stakeholders to address these inequalities.

CARRIED


HE30 The REF and women - Women members standing committee

The REF raises particular concerns for women. The 25% weighting proposed for 'economic and social impact' is likely to impact adversely on the arts and humanities, areas where there is a higher concentration of women academics and researchers. This will further exacerbate the problem of exclusion of women which arose in past RAE exercises.

Conference notes that campaigning by UCU led to greater recognition of equality issues in RAE 2008. It calls on UCU

  • to continue to press for improvements in equality provisions of REF including the full implementation of equality audits
  • to campaign against the proposed provisions for impact assessment
  • to develop proposals for a funding regime that is fair and inclusive and which also encourages the richness and diversity of knowledge development.

CARRIED


HE31 Research funding - Higher education committee

Conference notes the call by the government for "more research concentration where institutions are strongest" (Higher Ambitions). At the same time, conference notes that high quality research is undertaken across a wide range of UK higher education institutions.

Conference believes that the further concentration of research funding would carry with it

  • the risk of reduced research capacity for some regions
  • greater difference in experiences for students
  • a reduction in the diversity of the UK's research base.

Conference, therefore, calls on the government to reverse its policy of further research concentration and to recognise and reward high-quality research wherever it exists.

CARRIED


HE32 Academic freedom - Higher education committee

Conference believes that the freedoms to conduct research, teach, speak, and publish without interference or penalty, are increasingly under threat in UK higher education.

Conference, therefore, welcomes the re-launch of the UCU's academic freedom statement and calls for branches and local associations to promote it widely amongst the membership and to contact VCs and Principals asking them to endorse the statement.

Conference also recognises the continuing relevance of the 1997 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Recommendation on the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel, particularly its belief that security of employment constitutes "one of the major procedural safeguards of academic freedom and against arbitrary decisions."

Conference supports the development of a new UCU 'academic alert' system and calls for the HEC to prioritise the defence of academic freedom in 2010-11.

CARRIED


HE33 Defence of academic freedom in higher education - University of Leeds

Conference notes that government inspired plans to restructure the University of Leeds were put on hold by the determination of Leeds UCU to take strike action.

In the likely event that renewed efforts will be made by any future government to attack our sector following the May election, conference resolves to support to the hilt every branch and LA fighting to defend jobs.

Conference further resolves that the fight for jobs is a defence of academic freedom and will build a national campaign in defence of higher education jobs and academic freedom and will seek international support including appeals to such organisations as AAUP (American Association of University Professors) and CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers). Such a campaign will include the creation of an international strike fund in defence of academic jobs and freedom.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE33A.1 - Higher education committee

In the first sentence of the final paragraph:

  • replace 'is a defence of academic freedom' with 'and the defence of academic freedom are often linked'.
  • replace 'will build a' with 'instructs the HEC to take this into account in the existing'.
  • after 'higher education jobs and academic freedom' add a full stop.

Start the second sentence of the final paragraph with 'Conference asks the HEC to explore building an international campaign linking these issues with international sister unions such as' and delete 'and will seek international support including appeals to such organisations as'.

In last sentence of the final paragraph, after 'Such' replace 'a campaign' with 'an approach'.

In the last sentence of the final paragraph, replace 'creation of' with 'proposal to create'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that government inspired plans to restructure the University of Leeds were put on hold by the determination of Leeds UCU to take strike action.

In the likely event that renewed efforts will be made by any future government to attack our sector following the May election, conference resolves to support to the hilt every branch and LA fighting to defend jobs.

Conference further resolves that the fight for jobs and the defence of academic freedom are often linked and instructs the HEC to take this into account in the existing national campaign in defence of higher education jobs and academic freedom. Conference asks the HEC to explore building an international campaign linking these issues with international sister unions such as AAUP (American Association of University Professors) and CAUT (Canadian Association of University Teachers). Such an approach will include the proposal to create an international strike fund in defence of academic jobs and freedom.


HE34 Research, academic freedom and reform of the libel laws - Northumbria University

Conference is extremely concerned at the way that UK libel laws can be used to stifle genuine enquiry and criticism, and gives the power to shut down valid comment to those who can outspend their critics. Conference notes that recent examples of this behaviour include the libel proceedings involving scientists giving expert opinion on the efficacy of specific treatments. Conference pledges support to the Libel Reform Campaign, endorses its petition statement, and urges the government to reform UK libel laws to restore the balance between free speech and the protection of reputation.

CARRIED


HE35 Thomson Reuters control over the academic press - LSE

Conference notes:

  1. that appointment, review and promotions decisions in universities are increasingly governed by citation counts.
  2. that the most widely used citation counts are those based upon Thomson Reuters owned Web of Science and thus researchers are coerced to publish in those journals included in the Web of Science.
  3. that the criteria for inclusion in Web of Science are not public, nor are the membership of advisory panels published, nor are the processes publicly audited.

Conference expresses it deep concern that the careers of UK university staff are in the control of a private company.

Conference instructs the HEC to call for independent public scrutiny of the selection process for Web of Science and similar resources to ensure that all approaches to academic research are given equal treatment.

CARRIED


HE36 Overseas working - Higher education committee

HESC notes that in recent years many UK higher education institutions have established international collaborations and overseas campuses, involving UCU members being posted overseas.

Although members can find overseas working necessary and/or attractive, HESC notes that support for HEI staff posted overseas has not always been satisfactory. Travel and accommodation standards and local facilities overseas have not always been of an adequate standard, and employers have not always paid proper attention to ensuring that the health and safety of staff is guaranteed, that workloads are not excessive, and that equality principles and academic freedom are guaranteed. HESC welcomes the advice to members on overseas working adopted by HEC and instructs it to develop further this advice and to include negotiating advice to branches/LAs, with a view to ensuring that employee rights and terms and conditions of employment are adequately safeguarded.

CARRIED


HE37 HE funding and tuition fees - Manchester Metropolitan University

HESC notes the increasing debts that graduates in England and Wales face due to rapidly rising tuition fees.  We note that many tens of thousands of applicants were without places in 2009/10 and this figure will be much higher in 2010/11.

We call for the reversal of short-sighted cuts and for increased funding in HE in the current financial crisis and recession.

HESC demands equal opportunities for part-time students, the removal of equivalent or lower qualification (ELQ) regulations and the cap on student numbers, all of which deny opportunities for many who most need them and make a mockery of the claim to provide lifelong education;

HESC demands (in the short term) that the stunningly inefficient Student Loans Company be taken out of private hands and renationalised and subsequently replaced by the provision of a progressive maintenance grant and bursary system.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE37A.1 - Higher education committee

At the end of the first sentence add ', restates its principled opposition to tuition fees and resolves to oppose vigorously any attempt to raise the fee cap.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HESC notes the increasing debts that graduates in England and Wales face due to rapidly rising tuition fees, restates its principled opposition to tuition fees and resolves to oppose vigorously any attempt to raise the fee cap. We note that many tens of thousands of applicants were without places in 2009/10 and this figure will be much higher in 2010/11.

We call for the reversal of short-sighted cuts and for increased funding in HE in the current financial crisis and recession.

HESC demands equal opportunities for part-time students, the removal of equivalent or lower qualification (ELQ) regulations and the cap on student numbers, all of which deny opportunities for many who most need them and make a mockery of the claim to provide lifelong education;

HESC demands (in the short term) that the stunningly inefficient Student Loans Company be taken out of private hands and renationalised and subsequently replaced by the provision of a progressive maintenance grant and bursary system.


HE38 Higher education - front line service - University of Glasgow

This conference recognises the importance of universities' defining role as centres for advancing knowledge and promoting intellectual and personal development. Conference notes that recognition of this is central if we are to maintain and enhance our increasingly vital contribution to the UK's economic development, its technological innovation, and its evidential base for public policy. Within the emerging culture of cuts in funding to the public sector it is vital that we maintain this profile as a front line service that is critical to the positive and sustainable development of our society.

Conference calls on HEC to campaign vigorously to promote the positive contribution to society by HE.

CARRIED


HE39 Capping of student university places - Southern regional HE committee

This sector conference is very concerned about the effects of capping the number of student places available at universities.

The capping of student recruitment means that:

  1. Many excellent students with good entry qualifications cannot get a place
  2. Widening participation students, whom this government is committed to encouraging, find themselves more disadvantaged than ever
  3. Institutions have been using capping as a justification for cutting jobs
  4. Not only the opportunities for this generation of students, but also the aspirations of future generations of students is damaged

Conference demands the abolition of capping and a return to a situation of just and fair access to places, instead of the seesawing effect created by capping that puts jobs at risk and disadvantages students.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE39A.1 - Women members standing committee

Add new point ii (and renumber subsequently:

Women, disabled members and LGBT people, including those with excellent qualifications will be particularly disadvantaged.

Add at end:

As part of the campaign against capping HESC instructs HEC to write to the education minister to convey our firm belief that capping will have severely disciminatory effects with regards to a disproportionate reduction in access to university for all women.

Call for an equality impact of the likely impacts of capping to be carried out.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

This sector conference is very concerned about the effects of capping the number of student places available at universities.

The capping of student recruitment means that:

  1. Many excellent students with good entry qualifications cannot get a place
  2. Women, disabled members and LGBT people, including those with excellent qualifications will be particularly disadvantaged
  3. Widening participation students, whom this government is committed to encouraging, find themselves more disadvantaged than ever
  4. Institutions have been using capping as a justification for cutting jobs
  5. Not only the opportunities for this generation of students, but also the aspirations of future generations of students is damaged

Conference demands the abolition of capping and a return to a situation of just and fair access to places, instead of the seesawing effect created by capping that puts jobs at risk and disadvantages students.

As part of the campaign against capping HESC instructs HEC to write to the education minister to convey our firm belief that capping will have severely disciminatory effects with regards to a disproportionate reduction in access to university for all women.

Call for an equality impact of the likely impacts of capping to be carried out.


HE40 HE governance - Higher education committee

Conference is concerned to note that the growth of managerial models in the governance of HE institutions continues apace, despite the absence of evidence to link these with improved institutional effectiveness. In fact the recent disastrous failures in HEI governance clearly demonstrate that private sector led approaches have resulted in a weakening of collegiate decision making, eroded the role of staff and student representatives, and undermined even minimum standards of good governance. Conference also recognises the direct and adverse impact that failures in governance can have on our members' jobs.

Conference calls on government to reverse its policy of increasing the role of the private sector in the governance of HEIs.

Conference supports continued monitoring of governance practice in the HE sector. Conference calls on HEC to develop a charter for HE governance and take forward activities to improve engagement with elected staff on HEI governing bodies in 2010 -11.

CARRIED


HE41 Hidden and mental health discrimination: more data needed - Academic-related staff committee

HESC recognises that members face discrimination, victimisation and harassment for many reasons involving protected equality characteristics, especially in an era of tightening budgets. Staff with hidden and/or mental disabilities or those resulting from stress (especially as workloads increase) are especially under?represented in our understanding of the problems faced.  We would like to see this group better understood and resourced. UCU does not have comprehensive data on the scale of the issues faced, nor how branches are responding to these challenges.

HESC therefore calls upon the HEC to carry out a survey in conjunction with the academic related staff committee (ARSC)

  • to collect and analyse data on the equality issues faced by AR staff specifically and HE staff in general, and the successful outcomes that have been obtained by UCU intervention, from as many branches as possible
  • produce a digital repository of the best practices in the sector, available to all UCU branches.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE41A.1 - Academic-related staff committee

First bullet point: after 'AR staff specifically and HE staff in general', insert 'with hidden and/or mental health disabilities' (drafting amendment)

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HESC recognises that members face discrimination, victimisation and harassment for many reasons involving protected equality characteristics, especially in an era of tightening budgets. Staff with hidden and/or mental disabilities or those resulting from stress (especially as workloads increase) are especially under?represented in our understanding of the problems faced.  We would like to see this group better understood and resourced. UCU does not have comprehensive data on the scale of the issues faced, nor how branches are responding to these challenges.

HESC therefore calls upon the HEC to carry out a survey in conjunction with the academic related staff committee (ARSC)

  • to collect and analyse data on the equality issues faced by AR staff specifically and HE staff in general with hidden and/or mental health disabilities, and the successful outcomes that have been obtained by UCU intervention, from as many branches as possible
  • produce a digital repository of the best practices in the sector, available to all UCU branches.

HE42 Defend health education - Higher education committee

NHS spending will decrease substantially from 2011/12. This is likely to lead to cuts in funding for all health care professionals. The health education sector is still coping with substantial budget cuts over the past 3 years , resulting in redundancies for many and high workloads for staff who remain in the sector. Furthermore, employers are not replacing health educators when they retire, resulting in growing age profile imbalances in the sector.

Conference calls on the HEC to continue its campaigning work alongside sister unions, clients and carers, to protect jobs and employment conditions and the future provision of care to patients. Multi-professional education and training budgets should be ring-fenced in order to prevent them being raided to offset cuts in patient services. Demographic data on the age profile of health educators should be monitored and pressure put on employers to replace retiring staff.

CARRIED


HE43 Composite Regulation of internships - London Metropolitan University (City Branch), Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

Conference notes:

  • many graduates are now taking up internships to gain work experience;
  • some universities are offering internships to their graduates.

Conference believes:

  • internships which provide genuine work experience and training and are paid at the union rate for the job should be supported;
  • internships which are unpaid, do not offer genuine training and substitute unpaid interns for work normally done by paid employees or redundant employees should be opposed;
  • that where university staff are supervising interns they should have proper training and proper time on their work plans for this activity

Conference instructs HEC:

  • to carry out a survey of internships within the university sector, including pay levels and terms and conditions of employment;
  • to launch a campaign to demand that intern schemes within universities are regulated by collective agreements between the university and its recognised trade unions, and that such agreements ensure adherence to the above principles.

CARRIED


HE44 Teacher education - University of Glasgow

UCU HE Conference notes with concern the proposals to drastically reduce the number of funded teacher training places in Scotland - the equivalent of a 40% cut. Similar long term cuts in the rest of the UK will also no doubt be considered. Conference states that teacher educators are first and foremost skilled educators with vast experience which is essential for providing skilled and motivated teachers.

HESC commends UCU Scotland for its committed action against the teacher education cuts in Scotland and for working to ensure that teacher education has a sustainable and long term future. HESC instructs HEC and the campaign team to liaise with UCU Scotland officials to learn from their experience, to begin campaigning now to highlight the long term importance of teacher education to our HE institutions and to wider society and to support industrial or other action as called for by branches.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE44A.1 - Higher education committee

In second sentence of the final paragraph replace 'and the campaign team to liaise' with 'to liaise with ROCC and,'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

UCU HE Conference notes with concern the proposals to drastically reduce the number of funded teacher training places in Scotland - the equivalent of a 40% cut. Similar long term cuts in the rest of the UK will also no doubt be considered. Conference states that teacher educators are first and foremost skilled educators with vast experience which is essential for providing skilled and motivated teachers.

HESC commends UCU Scotland for its committed action against the teacher education cuts in Scotland and for working to ensure that teacher education has a sustainable and long term future. HESC instructs HEC to liaise with ROCC and with UCU Scotland officials to learn from their experience, to begin campaigning now to highlight the long term importance of teacher education to our HE institutions and to wider society and to support industrial or other action as called for by branches.


HE45 HE delivery in FE colleges - Higher education committee

Conference agrees that all students should be able to access the most suitable learning environment for their needs and aspirations. Conference is concerned that the current funding and policy environment increases the likelihood of further expansion of HE provision in FE institutions as a cost-cutting measure which is likely to impact on quality.

Conference calls on the HEC to work with the further education committee:

  1. to establish the extent of HE course provision in FE colleges
  2. to ascertain the pay and contractual terms applicable to lecturers delivering HE courses in FE.
  3. to produce a policy document as a basis for consultation with HE and FE branches/LAs covering the UCU response to public policy developments, in particular:
    • seeking to ensure the quality of provision whether in HE or FE
    • making proposals for a national approach to determine appropriate pay rates and contractual conditions.

CARRIED


HE46 USS review - Higher education committee

HESC notes the outcome of the consultative ballot of members on the USS review. Sector conference instructs HEC to pursue a strategy to ensure that the USS pension scheme remains an attractive and affordable pension scheme. Conference agrees that should attempts be made to change the scheme without UCU agreement then HEC should implement a strategy to pursue an industrial dispute with the employers.

CARRIED


HE47 Pension contributions: staff with more than 40 years' pensionable service - Cardiff University

That, as a matter of urgency, especially given the Government's plans for a higher retirement age, UCU take all possible action to ensure that all pre-92 HE universities continue to make pension contributions to USS in respect of staff with more than 40 years' pensionable service. Not to do so, as is currently the case in some universities, is effectively a pay cut for staff who have worked more than 40 years or who have bought in additional voluntary contributions.

CARRIED


L5 Composite: Defending the USS pension scheme - University of Leeds, UCL, Goldsmiths University of London

Congress deplores the vicious attack by university employers on the USS pension scheme, including:

  1. The insistence by the Employers Pensions Forum (EPF) on a two-tier scheme, with a career average revalued earnings scheme for new and re-entrants;
  2. The EPF proposal to freeze the employers' current contribution rate, so that future cost increases will fall on USS members;
  3. Their rejection of UCU's proposed tiered member contribution rates;
  4. The EPF's demand that UCU give up its equal representation in the USS Joint Negotiation Committee

Five million workers in public sector pension schemes cost the public purse £4.1 billion per year, in contrast to the £10 billion cost of tax relief on the private pensions of the super-rich top 1% of earners.

HESC resolves that UCU will declare a national dispute with the employers over the future of USS. This dispute should continue until the employers' representatives' proposals for changes in USS are withdrawn and negotiations, conducted through the Joint Review Group (JRG) until a few weeks ago, are reconvened again on UCU terms. This Conference is dismayed at what it has learned about the behaviour of the employers' representatives on the JRG.

In addition to and where relevant instead of the current UCU proposed reforms, conference calls upon its national negotiators to make the following demands:

  1. The JRG should be reconvened and given the authority and opportunity to continue with its work in a constructive and suitably deliberative fashion
  2. pensionable age should remain at 60
  3. a cap be placed on pensions at £80,000 per annum
  4. that there be no cuts in benefits for career breaks: the conditions under which a member joins USS will be honoured for the duration of their career.

UCU resolves to give all possible support, making these and similar arguments, in the campaign to defend USS, up to and including industrial action.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

L5A.1 - University of Stirling

Add new point:

e. to make it mandatory that excessive salary increases in later years are excluded for the purposes of pension calculations by USS directors.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress deplores the vicious attack by university employers on the USS pension scheme, including:

  1. The insistence by the Employers Pensions Forum (EPF) on a two-tier scheme, with a career average revalued earnings scheme for new and re-entrants;
  2. The EPF proposal to freeze the employers' current contribution rate, so that future cost increases will fall on USS members;
  3. Their rejection of UCU's proposed tiered member contribution rates;
  4. The EPF's demand that UCU give up its equal representation in the USS Joint Negotiation Committee

Five million workers in public sector pension schemes cost the public purse £4.1 billion per year, in contrast to the £10 billion cost of tax relief on the private pensions of the super-rich top 1% of earners.

HESC resolves that UCU will declare a national dispute with the employers over the future of USS. This dispute should continue until the employers' representatives' proposals for changes in USS are withdrawn and negotiations, conducted through the Joint Review Group (JRG) until a few weeks ago, are reconvened again on UCU terms. This Conference is dismayed at what it has learned about the behaviour of the employers' representatives on the JRG.

In addition to and where relevant instead of the current UCU proposed reforms, conference calls upon its national negotiators to make the following demands:

  1. The JRG should be reconvened and given the authority and opportunity to continue with its work in a constructive and suitably deliberative fashion
  2. pensionable age should remain at 60
  3. a cap be placed on pensions at £80,000 per annum
  4. that there be no cuts in benefits for career breaks: the conditions under which a member joins USS will be honoured for the duration of their career
  5. to make it mandatory that excessive salary increases in later years are excluded for the purposes of pension calculations by USS directors.

UCU resolves to give all possible support, making these and similar arguments, in the campaign to defend USS, up to and including industrial action.


HE48 Censure and academic boycott - Higher education committee

Conference approves the draft censure and academic boycott policy as detailed in circular UCUHE/56 (pdf).

CARRIED

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