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HE sector conference 2022

20 May 2022

Motions for debate at the HE sector conference 2022, Thursday 2 June.

Motions allocated to the NEC's report to Congress (UCU/2040).


Private session

USS

HE1  USS - Higher education committee

HE Sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the SWG contained in UCUBANHE80 (SWG June 2022).

CARRIED

HE2  USS - UCL

Noting the positive improvement in the USS monitoring position due to increases in the Bank of England base rate, Congress resolves to urgently campaign to prioritise the diversion of deficit recovery contributions into pension benefits in the short term as part of our industrial and political strategy to defend our pensions.

CARRIED

HE3  Failures in the governance of USS - Southern HE sector regional committee

HEC notes:

Conference views with concern, failures in the governance of USS that have resulted in the adoption of a damaging, flawed and poorly evidenced valuation. This in turn has had a severe and adverse impact on the Scheme benefits.

UCU negotiators should table the necessary motions to enable:

  1. a reshaping of the JNC to exclude the role of the JNC chair
  2. removal of USS from Master Trust status
  3. rescinding of the side letter that gave away our right to remove or replace USS trustees
  4. a strong stance against leveraging the pension fund.

CARRIED as amended

HE3A.1 Southern regional HE committee

Insert the word 'independent' between 'the' and 'JNC chair.'

Insert the word 'in' between 'leveraging' and 'the pension fund'

CARRIED

L5  UCU must support the court case to reverse pension cuts - Composite: King's College London, Royal Holloway, University of London

HESC notes:

  1. the USS pension was cut on 1 April 2022 by over 30% for a typical university staff member
  2. the 'Save university pensions, and save the planet' was crowdfunded to reverse the cuts for everyone by injunction, and to bring claims against the USS trustees and managers for: discrimination, negligence and general managerial failures
  3. the initial success of this crowdfunding campaign and the willingness of people and UCU branches to fund the campaign, to the value of over £220 000 so far
  4. that the campaign needs to appeal against the recent verdict that it "failed on its merits".

HESC further notes

  1. the High Court decided on 24 May 2022 that beneficiaries can bring a claim against the USS directors for breach of duty, but did not yet give permission to proceed, based on caselaw from 1843
  2. the QC estimates costs of an appeal at £350,000, and £700,000 to the Supreme Court
  3. UCU accounts for 2021 show £35.27million in the accumulated fund
  4. the pension cuts for many members are over £350,000, there are 200,000 active members, and the total loss from cuts is £18-20bn.  

Conference believes:

  1. having an alternative, legal route to challenge USS trustees' scheme management, alongside the UCU industrial dispute, provides the best chance of protecting USS members' retirement security.

Conference resolves:

  1. to call on UCU to financially support this campaign going forward
  2. to use UCU resources to gain additional publicity and political support for this legal challenge
  3. that UCU must back the case publicly by email and social media.

CARRIED

Pay

HE4  National claim/New JNCHES - Higher education committee

HE Sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the national negotiators contained in UCUBANHE81 (New JNCHES June2022).

LOST

HE5  Fair pay for all our labour - University of Sheffield

Conference notes:

  1. the hugely differential, unregulated, and often inadequate, rates of pay for ad hoc labour in higher education, such as external examination, PhD examination, and guest lectures
  2. the absence of centralised UCU guidance on pay for these kinds of labour, akin to nationally negotiated salary scales, despite various discussion papers over the years, such as to the 2010 Review of External Examining Arrangements
  3. Grassroots resignations of external examiners in solidarity with recent industrial action
  4. attempts by some employers to move away from established quality assurance mechanisms such as external examining in an attempt to undermine solidarity actions

Conference resolves to:

  1. instruct HEC to develop centralised guidance on appropriate rates for the range of external and ad hoc roles that members undertake for universities
  2. develop this as a component of the next UK-wide JNCHES pay claim

CARRIED

Taking action

Advice from Congress business committee on consequentials (motions HE6 and HE7): If amendment HE6A.1 is passed, amendment HE6A.2 falls.

HE6  Effective industrial action on Four Fights and USS - University of Liverpool

Conference notes:

  1. decisions taken at previous Conferences, and repeatedly expressed at Branch Delegate Meetings, to maintain the link between Four Fights and USS
  2. the successful action by UCU members at the University of Liverpool last year, which involved both periods of sustained strike action, and a marking and assessment boycott
  3. that brief periods of strike action (1-3 days) are ineffective.

Conference resolves:

  1. to maintain the link between the two disputes until sufficient progress is made in one or both to justify separation
  2. to call escalating strike action and a marking and assessment boycott over both disputes
  3. to allow limited local variation, to minimise as far as possible strike action on unproductive days, while maintaining maximum effective action overall
  4. to respond to 100% pay deductions for ASOS by immediately calling further strikes.

CARRIED as amended

HE6A.1 London regional HE sector committee, UCL

Add at end:

  1. to commence disaggregated reballots in all branches over both disputes from as soon as possible in June to as late as possible in September,
    1. with end dates timed to permit action in induction week,
    2. with both disputes in the same envelope where possible, and
    3. to liaise with branch officers immediately to identify induction week dates.

Where branches have strike mandates until October, the end date may be extended accordingly.

LOST

HE6A.2 SOAS

Add at end:

  1. to commence an aggregated national reballot over both disputes from as soon as possible in June to as late as possible in September,
    1. with end dates timed to permit action in induction week,
    2. with both disputes in the same envelope where possible, and
    3. to liaise with branch officers immediately to identify induction week dates.

Where branches have strike mandates until October, the end date may be extended accordingly.

CARRIED

HE7  Industrial strategy for 2022/23 - University of Birmingham

Congress notes the outcome of recent special HESCs and the general secretary's email to all members on 13th April 2022.

Congress resolves:

  1. that UCU will coordinate a comprehensive industrial strategy on the Four Fights and USS via HEC through the Summer of 2022 for 2022/23
  2. this strategy should include an extended aggregated ballot, running from October 2022 to January 2023, timed to close so that the 6 month mandate covers the majority of the Spring term and the examination period
  3. branches should be given a weekly update on exclusions reported to Civica and ballots received by Civica
  4. strike dates should be agreed with branches via branch delegates' meetings with voting rights
  5. UCU should launch an ambitious fund-raising drive in the Autumn term
  6. branches should be given meaningful legal support on any threats to punitively deduct pay.

CARRIED

HE8  Call for a return to aggregated strike ballots - University of Southampton

UCU's current strategy of running disaggregated ballots in national disputes has not recently been successful. In the 2021 USS ballot only 35 branches initially met the threshold for action on an overall turnout of 53%. In the Four Fights ballot, 54 managed this on an overall turnout of 51%. While aggregated ballots would have enabled industrial action across the sector, disaggregated ballots have enabled university leaders to characterise disputes as enjoying only the support of a minority. This weakens our negotiating hand, risks damaging solidarity across the sector, and weakens the public impact and media profile of the action.

Conference

  1. instructs HEC in future to make aggregated ballots the default position in future sector-wide industrial disputes
  2. resolves to provide support to branches with low turnouts to enable them to increase these

CARRIED

HE9  Focus industrial action on research as well - University of Aberdeen

Congress notes that:

  1. strike action places a heavier burden on colleagues who are teaching during strike days
  2. many members are reluctant to take action which they feel may negatively affects students and our employers exploit that
  3. many universities claim the main reason they cannot afford to address concerns over pay, pensions and workload is a structural underfunding of research (claiming it costs 25% more to conduct than they get paid to do it)
  4. research funders can powerfully influence behaviour change of UK Universities (g. Athena Swan).

Congress calls on UCU to:

  1. target research activities such as REF submissions, internal and external grant reviewing, ResearchFish submission in future industrial disputes
  2. negotiate with major funders to gain their assistance in tackling the funding issues that Universities use to justify worsening working conditions of colleagues.

CARRIED

HE10  Effective decision making on Four Fights and USS - University of Liverpool

Conference notes:

  1. the successful action by UCU members at the University of Liverpool last year, which involved both periods of sustained strike action, and a marking and assessment boycott
  2. the importance of allowing branch members to decide each step of this local dispute, through frequent meetings, informed discussions, and members' votes.

Conference resolves:

  1. to call Branch Delegate Meetings with decision making facilities before every HEC during the current national disputes
  2. to call on HEC to implement the decisions made at Branch Delegate Meetings.

CARRIED

HE11  Branch delegate meetings - University of Edinburgh

Conference notes:

  1. guidance on holding branch delegate meetings (BDMs) Link
  2. that BDMs have not been called routinely during the course of the USS and Four - Fights disputes prior to meetings of Higher Education Committee (HEC)
  3. that votes have not always been held at BDMs

Conference believes:

  1. that BDMs are essential to internal democracy, allowing members views to be expressed through their delegates
  2. that BDMs greatly enhance HEC's ability to take key decisions that reflect and align with members' views.

Conference resolves:

  1. to take a much more robust approach to the use of BDMs
  2. to call a BDM before any HEC discussing UK-level disputes 
  3. to circulate questions to branches sufficiently in advance
  4. to instruct HEC to take a strong steer from BDMs.

CARRIED

HE12  Trade union coordination - University of Brighton Grand Parade, University of Brighton Moulsecoomb

Conference notes:

  1. UCU is one of a number of trade unions organising higher education workers and part of the JNCHES machinery
  2. unison has become more successful in disaggregated ballots and has struck alongside UCU members this academic year
  3. Justice for Worker, NUS and other student campaigns have also supported trade unions and continue to put pressure on our employers.

Conference believes:

  1. members of all campus unions and students share common interests in fair pay, equality and quality of education
  2. the most effective strike action involves shutting down university campuses and operations, which requires co-ordinated action between UCU and other campus unions
  3. co-ordinated joint union and student action maximises leverage over the employers.

Conference resolves:

That HEC and HEC officers maximise the opportunities for joint action at national and local level between UCU and other campus and student unions when deciding on industrial action dates, notifications and strategies.

CARRIED

HE13  Taking industrial actions does not cost jobs - Southern HE sector regional committee

HEC notes:

  1. that university managers claim that industrial action has a negative effect on student recruitment and satisfaction
  2. that this is a tactic to discourage members from taking industrial action by implying that it risks them losing their jobs
  3. that some members are sometimes apprehensive about taking industrial action because of such claims
  4. that these claims are not based on fact, and
  5. that industrial action is most effective when all members fully back the action.

HEC therefore:

  1. instructs UCU to investigate claims that industrial action affects student satisfaction and recruitment, thus putting jobs at risk, and seek to identify robust evidence to allow branches to counter such claims, and
  2. report the findings of this investigation back to HEC in 2023.

LOST

L6  Local control of boycott - University of Edinburgh

HESC notes:

  1. the current open-ended marking and assessment boycott
  2. delays in enacting decisions taken at previous (S)HESCs
  3. start date of current boycott reduces the number of members able to take disruptive action
  4. Liverpool delayed marking by combining boycott with 'go slow'.

HESC believes:

  1. branches are best placed to determine when to deploy different types of action
  2. taking action that members feel is not sufficiently disruptive saps morale, makes mobilisation harder and weakens our hand
  3. giving branches ownership of the action will help those members being asked to take this action to hold the line.

HESC resolves that a branch can, via a vote at a quorate branch meeting and in consultation with HE officers:

  1. pause local boycott and switch to go slow to target and maximise impact
  2. resume a paused boycott
  3. reduce the number of days of any supporting strike action if employer reduces or forgoes deductions for ASOS.

LOST

L7  Twin to win - Liverpool John Moores University

HESC notes:

  1. c. 20 branches continue with the marking and assessment boycott as part of the Four Fights/USS disputes
  2. many of these branches are facing high salary deductions of up to 100% and a lock-out for undertaking the boycott
  3. fundraising is a crucial part of any industrial action strategy, yet this has not happened in an adequately concerted and coordinated way
  4. the cap on access to the national strike fund has not been raised to support members in branches taking 12+ days of industrial action
  5. UCU has not implemented a centrally organised twinning campaign
  6. grassroots activists initiated a twinning campaign to develop financial support and inter-branch solidarity.

HESC resolves:

  1. UCU should develop a twinning campaign learning from and inspired by the above campaign
  2. HEC to work to implement twinning now in collaboration with the above campaign
  3. to Develop twinning as a standard part of all disputes.

CARRIED

L8  Delays in industrial action and notifications - Newcastle University

Conference notes:

  1. that the legislation seeks to delay industrial action to render it less effective
  2. that delay rendered the marking boycott less effective for branches with a mandate
  3. that strike notifications for some branches still involved in the USS and Four Fights industrial action are still outstanding, including those facing 100% deductions
  4. that requested dates have already fallen foul of the fortnight's notice period
  5. that failure to notify leaves those branches in a weaker position in relation to the employer.

Conference confirms the CEIA as policy and recommendations about timely decision-making.

Conference resolves:

  1. that national decisions on approving industrial action should be transparent, democratic and consistent and in writing
  2. that written guidance should exist on how industrial action is approved
  3. that decisions should be treated as urgent including any branches involved in industrial action
  4. that strike notifications be communicated urgently in the case of branches currently in dispute.

CARRIED

L9  Building towards a genuinely transformation national dispute on pay - University of Essex

Conference notes:

  1. only 20 branches participated in the marking boycott on 23/05/2022. This significantly diminished the national 4Fights campaign
  2. time is required to build a strategic campaign to enable national participation in the action
  3. the membership's desire for a transformational offer on pay and equality
  4. the capacity of branch committees and the membership to organise GTVO campaigns is waning, presenting a potential threat to the movement.  

Conference resolves to:  

  1. build towards a significant, transformational 2023/4 pay award
  2. engage members in consultation on bargaining and the 2023/4 claim at the branch and regional level
  3. structure a detailed timetable to: build sufficient Fighting Fund finances; engage with sister unions involved in JNCHES with the intention of joint dispute and action
  4. strongly consider the use of an aggregated ballot for any industrial action resulting from the 2023/4 claim.

LOST

Open session

Defence of post-92 contract

HE14  Defence of post-92 contract - no to fragmentation of post-92 workforce - University of Westminster

Conference notes:

  1. the national post-92 contract stipulates explicit maxima for the teaching week and year; the right to 35 days leave and 5+ weeks research and scholarly activity
  2. the commitment of post-92 institutions to TPS
  3. the University of Staffordshire using a subsidiary company to employ new staff, thus circumventing commitment to TPS and fragmenting the workforce.

Conference agrees that:

  1. defence of the national Post-92 contract is of national importance for UCU
  2. the Staffordshire dispute is of national importance.

Conference resolves to:

  1. convene a national meeting of post-92 branches to discuss developments affecting the national contract and commitment to TPS
  2. inform in writing, and via the UCU website, all post-92 members about the contract on the maximum working week and year, and the right to a minimum 5 weeks self-directed research/scholarly activity
  3. offer national support to UCU University of Staffordshire and to any UCU branch facing a similar attack.

CARRIED

Support for Ukraine

HE15  Call to sever links with Russian universities - University of Bournemouth

Conference:

  1. calls on academics worldwide to take a stand against Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

Agrees that:

UCU should join international calls for all UK universities to:

  1. immediately sever any business links with Russian universities and UK universities
  2. consider rescinding honorary awards made to any person with links to Putin's regime

Resolves to:

  1. issue statements in support of the Global Student Forum, the European Students' Union, the Ukrainian Association of Students and Ukrainian and Russian academics who have condemned Putin's actions.

HE15A.1 LGBT+ members standing committee

Add new bullet point to Conference notes:

  1. Feminist and LGBT+ resistance to Putin's regime in Russia including in the Ukraine. This in the face of some rights being eroded and atrocities in some areas taken over by Russia e.g. Chechnya

Add new point to resolves:

  1. send messages of solidarity to feminist and LGBT+ groups that are providing resistance in Russia and the Ukraine.

Remitted (not taken)

HE16  Docked pay for supporting all affected by war in Ukraine - University of Dundee

Conference notes:

  1. the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and ongoing war
  2. the need to support all those affected by the war
  3. the money that the universities have saved by withholding pay from university staff on strike during this recent 15 days of strike.

Conference believes:

That we should do what we can as a university community practically to support those affected by the Russian invasion in Ukraine.

Conference resolves to:

  1. ask all the university managements to use the money withheld from our pay to provide material support for all staff and students in their university community affected by the war in Ukraine
  2. if there are still funds left over, ask the university management to use these funds to provide material support for other refugee staff and students in their university community.

Remitted (not taken)

Casualisation

HE17  Redundancy protection for casualised workers - Women members standing committee

Conference notes the implications and equalities impact of the Augur report:

  1. throughout Covid 19 universities' income has been badly hit, alongside increased investing in making facilities and processes COVID compliant
  2. a reduction of £2.47 billion (reflecting the estimated decline in university income after the pandemic) could translate to 30,280 job losses (240 per institution) in HE
  3. many casualised workers are disposed of first in these processes or lose substantial parts of work due to pandemic restructuring
  4. casualised workers often are not entitled to redundancy pay.

Conference resolves to:

  1. negotiate on redundancy as priority in bargaining agenda in future disputes
  2. campaign for awareness on lack of redundancy pay or redeployment rights for casualised workers
  3. produce guidance for branches to negotiate rights to redundancy pay for casualised workers.

Remitted (not taken)

HE18  Non-core funded research staff on casualised contracts - Anti-casualisation committee

Conference notes:

  1. the continued precarious and exploitative employment of non-core funded researchers at UK HEIs
  2. the precarious employment of non-core funded researchers in UK HEIs intersects unfavourably with issues of gender, ethnicity, disability, pregnancy, and maternity/paternity so further disadvantaging the disadvantaged.

Conference believes:

  1. no researcher, core-funded or not, should be precariously employed if they do not wish to be so.

Conference resolves:

  1. to establish a working group, including members who are non-core funded research staff, focused specifically on understanding more about the plight of 'at risk', non-core funded researchers at UK HEIs
  2. to enable the Equality standing committees to feed into to this working group
  3. for this working group to establish a set of minimum expectations for HEIs and funding bodies employing non-core funded researchers on precarious contracts
  4. for this working group to devise a national claim framework for local UCU branch negotiations regarding precariously employed, non-core funded researchers.

Remitted (not taken)

HE19  Downgrading and casualisation - Academic related, professional services staff committee

Conference notes that:

  1. there are many instances of downgrading of academic-related and professional services posts as a result of university restructures
  2. the increasing number of fixed-term or contract posts for academic-related and professional services staff (c.⅓ of currently advertised posts on jobs.ac.uk are fixed term or contract)
  3. the gender and ethnicity pay gaps are worsened by the situation above at a time when we are trying to close them.

Conference believes that:

  1. aRPS staff deserve appropriate remuneration and contracts for the contribution that they make to university business
  2. Fixed term and contract posts should only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Conference resolves to:

  1. work with the Anti-Casualisation Committee to learn from their campaigns and successes
  2. use existing data from the recent ARPS survey to assess the extent of the issue
  3. set up a central portal for logging data, working with branches to enable this
  4. provide training on job evaluation systems.

Remitted (not taken)

HE20  Strengthening UCU's work amongst research-only employees - Open University

Conference believes:

  1. precarity disrupts members on research- only contracts from being more active and experienced members, compounded by moving employer or locality
  2. that casualisation on research- only contracts is high, with 67% being fixed-term contracts, whilst many 'open-ended contracts' are 'subject-to- funding'.

Conference resolves that UCU produce:

  1. a strategy for influencing research funders (including government) to focus on building employers and structures that create permanency
  2. guidance on how members in Learned Societies might influence them to oppose casualisation
  3. a pilot initiative for UCU to support members' seeking to integrate solidarity economy activities into research work, such as linking to UCU-aligned organisations requiring research, or Community Wealth Building as impact
  4. bitesize political education, covering UCU activities, structures and 'everyday' actions
  5. branch guidance on securing paid time ('facilities time') for all contract types, or as additional pay for members who cannot receive paid time off.

Remitted (not taken)

Defend education

HE21  Defend Education - Fight for the Future - UCL

Conference notes:

  1. the student tuition fee cap freeze of £27,295 for post-2012 English and Welsh graduates, with RPI+3% over 30 years
  2. 2023-entry graduates will repay RPI-rated student loans above a salary threshold of £25,000 - for 40 years
  3. additional proposals for minimum exam entry requirements for undergraduates, and caps in student recruitment for courses without 'well paid graduate jobs'
  4. the existing marketisation process is creating university 'winners and losers', job losses and course closures, and undermining national bargaining.

Conference resolves:

  1. to build a UK-wide campaign against these changes and for a sustainable funding model without fees and loans, and approach the NUS, the TUC and individual trade unions, and campaigning organisations such as the CDBU, CPU and HE Convention for support
  2. to call national demonstrations in Autumn 2022 in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast under the slogan 'Defend Education - Fight for the Future'.

Remitted (not taken)

HE21A.1 Birmingham City University

After point 4, add:

  1. the move to bar students from student (HE) loans who don't achieve good marks in GCSE or A-level
  2. the proposed cut of Foundation Year HE courses.

Between the section titled Conference notes and the section titled Conference resolves, add:

Conference believes such proposals:

  • disproportionately affect working-class students, disabled students, and students in particular regions, and will only benefit high earners
  • represent an attack on Post-92 institutions and Arts and Humanities

Conference strongly opposes limiting access to university.

Outsourcing

HE22  End outsourcing of student support services - University of Central Lancashire

Conference notes that there has been a sharp rise increase in the number of students in higher education needing disability support. Prior to the introduction of student fees, student support services were provided in-house, with non-medical support workers employed on terms and conditions agreed through collective bargaining.

In January 2021 the Competition and Markets Authority warned providers of support services against price fixing and collusion, including over-charging for goods and services.

This is yet another example of the failure of marketisation in HE to provide a social and educational need, resulting in the massive profits for private providers and a poorer service to disabled students.

Conference resolves:

to support campaigns with other campus and student unions for an end to outsourcing of student services in higher education as part of the wider campaign to end outsourcing in the public sector as a whole.

Remitted (not taken)

Workers' rights

HE23  Precariousness post pandemic - Women members standing committee

Conference notes:

  1. the pandemic has encouraged different forms of working, notably home based and online working increasing workloads for women due to caring responsibilities and home-schooling
  2. the pandemic has disrupted researchers' workload - creating delays and difficulties with research, grant seeking, teaching, writing, publishing
    and reviewing
  3. the Augar report proposes to extend the repayment of student debt to be extended to 40 years, disadvantaging teachers, nurses and other low earners (predominantly women)
  4. arts and Care work degrees and careers chosen by many women are sacrificed in favour of stem and business jobs

Conference calls on HEC:

  1. to make women workers' needs, rights, and interests central to union responses and policies regarding new working arrangements
  2. to resist any increases in job insecurity and discrimination against casualised and/or zero hours workers, often women
  3. to take account of how gender disadvantage interacts with race, disability, sexuality and migrant status creating multiple discriminations.

Remitted (not taken)

HE23A.1 LGBT+ members standing committee

Add new point to conference notes:

  1. that LGBT+ studies are side-lined in many institutions and many LGBT+ people experience precarity in their careers

Delete the word 'sexuality' in conference calls point c and replace with the term 'LGBT+'

HE24  Bereavement leave - Anti-casualisation committee

Conference notes:

  1. that UCU has an active 'PGRs as Staff' campaign that is working for postgraduate researchers to be treated as staff
  2. that currently PGRs often do not have the entitlements of other staff to leave including bereavement leave
  3. a recent case where a PGR who is also a parent was initially denied bereavement leave by their research council after the loss of their child, thus compounding their distress at a difficult time.

Conference believes:

  1. that all casualised workers should have equal access to leave, including bereavement leave.

Conference resolves:

  1. to campaign through the PGRs as staff campaign and through all other means for the right to bereavement leave for all, including all PGRs, to be recognised by Research Councils and HEIs.

Remitted (not taken)

HE25  Well-being of black workers in higher education - Black members standing committee

Conference notes:

  1. the increasing pressure of workload on black academics due to Covid19 and hybrid working
  2. structural racism and barriers to black staff well-being in HE
  3. experiencing racism on a continual daily basis can compromise black staff's mental faculties
  4. Failure to implement appropriate workload model and resources for hybrid working
  5. Failure to implement appropriate EDI institutional policies subjecting thus, black academics to unnecessary discriminations

Conference resolves:

  1. to support the implementation of an appropriate workload model with resources for hybrid working in HE
  2. commission research to audit how institutional and structural racism within UK higher education systems shape the mental health and well-being experiences and outcomes of black staff
  3. develop and support interventions to resolve the violence of the racialised experiences of black academics
  4. support students and UCU branches taking action to protect themselves and their communities on workload and racism.

Remitted (not taken)

HE26  Protecting disabled staff in the HE workplace - Disabled members standing committee

Our workplaces still have a long way to go to embed the employer's anticipatory duty under section 20 of the Equality act 2010 (EA 2010) in particular regarding organisational change within HE institutions.

Conference notes: That there is often a disproportionate impact on disabled staff when organisational change is taking place

Conference believes: That our workplaces should not become less diverse as a consequence of organisational change.

Conference resolves: To instruct UCU to produce guidance for branches to ensure employers undertake rigorous equality impact assessments so that disabled workers are not disproportionally made redundant when an organisational change is taking place. In addition, conference resolves to provide the Equalities team with sufficient resource to undertake this work.

Remitted (not taken)

UCU recognition in study group

HE27  Campaign for National Recognition in Study Group - University of Sheffield International College

Conference notes:

  1. the successful ballot for industrial action on pay and conditions at the University of Sheffield International College (a Study Group institution)
  2. the successful campaign for UCU recognition at Sussex International Study Centre (a Study Group institution)
  3. that both HEC and ACC have resolved to support campaigns to win union recognition in private higher education providers such as Study Group, On Campus and Kaplan
  4. that winning union recognition in private education providers is key to stemming the tide of outsourcing, privatisation and casualisation.

Conference resolves:

  1. to launch a serious high-profile campaign to win national recognition for UCU in Study Group, based on engagement with Study Group at the national level and supporting recruitment, organising and branch building in Study Group institutions at the workplace level.

Remitted (not taken)

HESA data and academic related staff

HE28  HESA data - Academic related, professional services staff committee

UCU notes that:

  1. academic-related staff work in diverse HE roles, collaborating with academic staff to develop and deliver research, teaching and learning
  2. staff on non-academic contracts are approximately half the HE workforce
  3. in 2019/20, OfS made it non-mandatory to provide data on staff on non-academic contracts to HESA in England & Northern Ireland
  4. the coverage of HESA data could drop from near 100%, to 50% of the HE workforce
  5. in 2019/20, 36 institutions didn't report any data for staff on non-academic contracts.

UCU believes that high quality data on the whole HE workforce is essential for improving pay and conditions for all members.

UCU resolves to:

  1. work with other stakeholders (UCEA, other unions) to lobby OfS to include all HE staff in the mandatory data collection
  2. request data on non-academic staff from institutions that don't provide data on academic-related staff via HESA.

Remitted (not taken)

Last updated: 6 June 2022