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Business of the recruitment, organising and campaigning committee

18 May 2023

UCU Congress 2023: Monday 29 May 2023, 11:30-12:00 & 13:30-14:45

Motions have been allocated to a section of the NEC's report to Congress (UCU2068). Paragraph headings refer to paragraphs within this report. CBC has added some new paragraph headings to facilitate the ordering of motions.

Section 6: Business of the recruitment, organising and campaigning committee

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy

66  Recruitment, organising and campaigning committee - National executive committee 

Congress notes the progress made by ROCC in implementing the policies set by Congress, notably: 

  1. support for UK disputes in HE, FE, and Prison education 
  2. support for branches, including with GTVO and disputes 
  3. strengthening recruitment to build greater union density in all our sectors 
  4. developing training and education for activists 
  5. providing support for priority, UK industrial campaigns. 

It supports continued focus on these areas working: 

  1. to engage and involve our diverse groups of members 
  2. to actively support recruitment, campaigning and organising activities nationally, regionally, and locally 
  3. to ensure issues of climate justice and sustainability are integral to our work 
  4. with other unions to oppose the Strike (Minimum Service Levels) Bill 
  5. actively campaign against attacks on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers and other migrants 
  6. to progress ROCC related Congress resolutions.


67  Composite: Minimum Service Levels BillUCU Cymru, University College London

Congress notes that:

  1. the UK government introduced the "Transport Strikes (Minimum Service Levels)" Bill, which further restricts the right to strike, making anti-TU legislation among the worst in Europe
  2. unless we fight this bill, it will be applied to all unions; another attack against working and civil rights
  3. union leaders, including ours and the TUC, took an unacceptably long time to organise action, rather than an immediate upheaval against this new assault.

Congress resolves to:

  1. organise an ongoing, high-profile, high-priority campaign to stop the bill's enforcement and to repeal ALL anti-trade union laws that plague Britain and the working class, spearheaded by the NEC
  2. stand together, co-ordinate with sister unions, especially those targeted now and those next on the list (healthcare, education, civil servants, etc)
  3. stop being reactive and deferring vital action to the TUC leadership; we must go on the offensive today. 


68  Raising the stakes to win - Capital City College Group (Westminster Kingsway College)

Congress notes: 

  1. the inspiring strike action taken by the RMT, CWU, NEU and colleagues in HE and FE
  2. government/employers holding firm in most of these disputes. 

Believes that: 

  1. government/employers are standing firm because they are determined that we have to pay for the cost-of-living crisis
  2. they fear that settling with one group the floodgates will open
  3. when the stakes are high we need to raise the stakes to win
  4. taking strike days spread across months makes it easier for the employers/government to sit out strikes
  5. escalating quickly will place more pressure on the government/employers making them more likely to settle
  6. escalating quickly means members will need to take less action and therefore save money. 


  1. UCU to make clear to all members that the most effective way to win is to escalate quickly up to and including indefinite strike action. 


69  E-consultation prior to calling national industrial action - University of Essex 

Congress notes that:

  1. branch meetings are generally attended by a small fraction of a branch's total membership
  2. traditional methods of communication, including branch and UK meetings, and emails to members all have a role to play in mobilising members, which is essential in calling successful industrial action. However, industrial action is strengthened by large numbers of members participating; e-consultation allows the majority of members to have their say, mobilise and reach decisions. 

Congress resolves to:

  1. mandate that NEC, FEC and HEC undertake member e-consultation, alongside traditional forms of communication, and frame the e-consultation questions prior to calling UK-wide industrial action
  2. ensure that this e-consultation asks members if they are willing to take the action, and what form it will take, including its timing and duration
  3. ensure that this e-consultation informs NEC, FEC and HEC decisions, which will be explained transparently in relation to this e-consultation. 


70  Strike committees for the win - King's College London 

Congress notes: 

  1. the establishment of strike committees by many UCU branches to build action in the #ucuRISING campaign 
  2. the need to ensure that control of industrial action is the hands of the rank-and-file UCU members 
  3. the emergence of rank-and-file strike committees in other sectors.

Congress believes: 

  1. strike committees play an important role in building local and national action and 
  2. must be central to the union's decision-making process.

Congress resolves: 

  1. to encourage all branches to establish strike committees while in dispute
  2. to establish a national strike committee composed of delegates elected by branches to monitor the progress of all national disputes; make strategic decisions about their directions; hold the GS and other national officers to account for the conduct of these disputes and advise NEC
  3. to take concrete steps towards establishing local and national inter-union strike committees. 

Taken in parts:
Point ii: LOST
Remainder of motion: CARRIED

71  Industrial action reporting - University of Edinburgh 

Congress notes growing concern over practices that may constitute blocklisting and/or breach GDPR on reporting industrial action.

Congress resolves to:

  1. survey industrial action reporting instructions, mechanisms, and information retention practices across post-16 institutions, using data gathering methods including surveys to branch executives and formal information requests to institutions
  2. determine where practices are legally compliant, and where practices appear to be lawful, how such mechanisms may be unfair and potentially discriminatory
  3. analyse results including via scrutiny by ROCC and the equality standing committees and special employment advisory committees (eg ARPS and Anticasualisation Committee)
  4. publish results and initial analysis of this survey, circulating to branches and other campus trade unions
  5. encourage regional and devolved national committees to discuss survey results and analysis, feeding back to NEC and subcommittees
  6. mount collective campaigns and (where applicable) provide legal support to resist unfair and deleterious industrial action reporting practices. 


71A.1  Migrant members standing committee

At end of point 2, insert 'or detrimental, for example to migrant members'


72  Solidarity to University of East Anglia UCU - University of East Anglia  

Congress notes that: 

  1. UEA UCU has been notified about the potential for mass redundancies affecting every sector of the university
  2. the scale and nature of these redundancies threaten the institution and the wider Norfolk community, amounting to nothing less than cultural vandalism. 

Congress resolves to: 

  1. support UEA UCU with all means available, and explore all avenues possible to save jobs at UEA, including, where and when appropriate, grey-listing
  2. at the branch's advice, as soon as a dispute is called, for it to be considered a local dispute of national importance
  3. publicise the threat of compulsory redundancies at UEA and call UCU branches and other trades unions to support UEA UCU
  4. invite UCU branches and the wider trades union movement to contribute to the UEA UCU hardship fund associated with the local dispute. 


L2  Stop the job cuts at Brighton University - University of Brighton

Conference condemns the plan to axe over 100 jobs at Brighton University. 

Conference believes:

  • the targeted staff are not genuinely redundant: the aim is to slash the wage bill by shedding higher earning staff
  • while the backdrop is marketisation and the tuition fee funding regime, staff are now being asked to pay with their jobs for mismanagement of the institution including overspending on estates
  • this is an attack on UCU by threatening to dismiss members of the branch leadership, including an NEC member, in order to clear the way for new terms and conditions and teaching only contracts. 

Conference resolves: 

  1. to declare Brighton a local dispute of national significance and to coordinate solidarity from across the union
  2. to pledge full support to the local branch in its fight to resist this attack.


73  Sheffield Needs a Payrise: a model for organising casualised workers - Anti-casualisation committee 

Congress notes:

  1. the Sheffield Needs a Payrise Campaign, based on a partnership between Sheffield Trades Council and BFAWU, has been incredibly successful in recruiting, organising and winning recognition in unorganised workplaces where zero-hours employment is the norm
  2. the campaign has been successful because of its use of Worker Patrols and surveys of workers, and because it has raised funds to hire a full-time organiser, employed jointly by Sheffield Trades Council and BFAWU and supported by donations from local and national trade unions
  3. Hallam UCU and Sheffield UCU have made significant contributions to this campaign
  4. Leeds Trades Council has initiated a similar campaign based on this model.

Congress resolves:

  1. to promote this model to UCU branches and encourage them to consider how we can work with trades councils and other unions to initiate similar campaigns in other towns, cities and regions
  2. to donate £1000 to the campaign. 


74  Accessible reps training - UCU Scotland executive committee 

Congress notes:

  1. the UCU training course Reps 1 is the bottleneck for much work that falls under trade union duties. Reps 1 is not offered often enough, and not accessible to everyone
  2. most branches need more reps but many struggle to get them trained.

Congress resolves to:

  1. extend the Reps 1 training offer to include more varied offers (synchronous, asynchronous, in person, online, etc) to improve accessibility
  2. provide opportunities to take Reps 1 every second month in every region and in diverse areas across the devolved nations
  3. put out clear guidance on which TUC courses will be accepted as a substitute. 


75  Paid development and training for casualised staff - London Metropolitan (City and North Branches)

Londonmet UCU recently negotiated mandatory training, including social justice trainings, to be resourced for casualised staff. While this is a small step forward, it is important that all training and development activities should be paid and resourced for all workers. Casualised workers do necessary trainings for free, costing time and money. Especially ironic, when training is often aimed at addressing social justice. Casualised workers in marginalised groups frequently experience disadvantage developing their careers which affects pay and progression gaps for the equality strands.

Congress resolves to:

  1. calculate hours worked by casualised workers on training, certification and development activities either to advance careers or to fulfil their contracted teaching requirements
  2. provide research on how far this contributes to equalities pay gaps
  3. provide learning rep training which incorporates casualised issues
  4. provide clear guidance to branches to negotiate equal rights to pay for training and development activities for casualised staff. 


76  Recruitment, organising and recognition in outsourced/private education providers - University of Sheffield International College

Congress notes:

  1. the proliferation of outsourced/private education providers in both HE and FE represents a clear threat to terms and conditions
  2. UCU has taken big steps forward in one provider (Study Group) with the successful recognition campaign at Sussex International College and the first ever strike in an outsourced higher education provider in the UK at the University of Sheffield International College, which secured a pay award of 10% for most staff and 8% for managerial staff over two years
  3. ongoing grassroots efforts to win recognition in further outsourced/private education providers
  4. winning recognition and organising in outsourced/private education providers is essential to ending privatisation and outsourcing.

Congress resolves: 

  1. to conduct a mapping exercise of existing UCU members working in private/outsourced education providers to identify potential targets for recruitment and recognition campaigns
  2. to restate and remind branches of existing UCU policy on outsourced/private education providers.


77  Joint membership schemes with Unite and Unison - University of Sheffield 

Congress notes: 

  1. UCU currently has joint membership schemes with 10 trade unions, but not yet Unite or Unison
  2. alongside UCU, Unite and UNISON are two of the most common trade unions for tertiary education staff in terms of membership.

Congress believes: 

  1. joint membership may be beneficial for improving branch density, increasing/expanding local recognition agreements, and increasing the impact of industrial action.

Congress resolves: 

  1. to ask the relevant NEC subcommittee to develop a proposal for joint membership agreements with Unite and Unison
  2. to authorise NEC to approve said joint membership agreements, approach relevant bodies within Unite and Unison, and implement them prior to Congress 2024
  3. to request a report on these agreements to be provided to branches at the point of implementation, and a report on their take up to date to be provided to Congress 2024. 


77A.1  Academic related, professional services staff committee

Congress notes point 1 remove ", or" and add at the end "or GMB."

Congress believes add "a." before "Joint membership..." and add a second point "b. There is significant overlap in issues affecting UCU ARPS staff and members of Unite, UNISON and GMB."

"Congress resolves" point i, remove ", and" and add at the end "and GMB, then approach the three unions for interest in a joint membership scheme."

Before Congress resolves point ii insert "And further resolves".

Congress resolves point ii after "To authorise" add "relevant" and after NEC add "subcommittee". Delete "approve said" and replace with "draw up". Delete ", approach relevant bodies within Unite and UNISON,".

Congress resolves point iii, after "and a report on their" add "impact and".

78  Strengthening bargaining and negotiations through collectively developing our decarbonisation campaign - Open University 

Congress believes:

  1. UCU has pioneered the intensification and mainstreaming of action against the Climate and Ecological Emergency (CEE), in tertiary education and the labour movement
  2. commitments to strengthen sectoral bargaining and pursue a Green New Deal through a national joint claim (Congress 2022, Motion 60) would benefit from greater grassroots knowledge.

Congress resolves:

  1. to issue guidance on members collectively influencing Professional Bodies and Learned Societies to revise ethics, events and funding processes. 
  2. to grant the Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee status under Rule 25; to submit Motions and send Delegates to Conferences and Congress.
  3. to gather information through Branch Delegate Meetings on the content of, and member support for, particular policies, including: 
    1. requirements for professional development or job retraining 
    2. restrictions on non-fossil fuel flights, paid time for use of slower low-carbon transport
    3. reasonable adjustments appropriate to considerations including (but not limited too) protected characteristics, employment type, or career stage.


78A.1  National executive committee

Delete point b of Congress resolves:

  1. to grant the Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee status under Rule 25; to submit Motions and send Delegates to Conferences and Congress.   

Replace with:

  1. that NEC should bring a rule change to Congress 2024 which allows the Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee to submit motions and amendments to Congress, and in 2023-24 motions and amendments from the committee will be considered by the NEC for submission to Congress.

78A.2  Composite: University of Edinburgh, Open University

Add at end:

  1. the Climate and Ecological Emergency Committee will be supported to organise regular meetings with all elected FE and HE negotiators to advise on climate bargaining objectives' integration into sector level claims
  2. issue guidance on members collectively influencing employers to recognise the need for flexible working (including but not limited to working from home) and a move towards a four-day week as a response to the climate emergency
  3. explore and advocate support for climate organising and bargaining including Green New Deal claims
  4. support UCU branches across the UK to lodge Green New Deal claims.

79  Composite: Climate justice and the right to peaceful protest - University of Glasgow, National executive committee

Congress reaffirms:

  1. commitment to urgent action to avert climate change.
  2. support for the right to take part in peaceful protest on environmental and other issues, including civil disobedience.

Congress notes:

  1. climate and ecological breakdown and extreme weather events are leading to an increased displacement of people, particularly in the Global South. 
  2. the term climate refugee is being increasingly used to describe people displaced by such climate disasters


  1. those most affected by climate and ecological breakdown are those least responsible for climate and ecological breakdown, but are the one who are suffering the most as a result of it
  2. indifference to human suffering characterises this government's attitude to refugees and its lack of action on environmental targets 
  3. climate denial and hostility to refugees share a common right wing ideology that regards human life as expendable
  4. struggles against all forms of oppression, including calls for climate justice, are interlinked. 

Congress condemns:

  1. the 'Cop City' project to destroy a forest near Atlanta, USA to set up a police training city mimicking an urban area, with the risk of training for militarised police attacks on Black neighbourhoods
  2. the violent treatment of protestors
  3. the arrest of 23 people, including a legal observer, on charges of 'domestic terrorism' with possible 35-year prison sentences
  4. police shooting and killing non-binary activist Tortuguita - condolences to their friends and family.

Congress resolves to:

  1. send solidarity messages to protestors
  2. with TUC, put pressure on US government to cancel the Cop City project and release protestors
  3. campaign against restrictions on the right to protest
  4. encourage members to participate in local climate actions
  5. support campaigns and groups making the link between climate justice and racial justice
  6. demonstrations and actions in support of the above.


80  The crisis in social care - Southern retired members' branch 

The current crisis in social care is the outcome of the failure of successive governments to provide adequate funding for the care of dependent people and for support for their families. Ministerial promises to 'fix the problem' have been repeatedly broken, whilst the crisis deepens. Hospitals cannot safely discharge patients who are ready to return home because domiciliary support is not available. 

Congress recognises that effective social care provision cannot be achieved under misconceived austerity policies, that 'care for profit' has often been inadequate and that exhausted, unpaid family carers feel unrecognised and undervalued. The state should be central to the funding and delivery of vital social care at home and in residential settings. 

Congress instructs the NEC to join the National Pensioners Convention in campaigning for: 

  1. an urgent, short-term plan to tackle the immediate crisis; 
  2. a comprehensive, long-term social care strategy substantially based on state funding. 


81  Water nationalisation West Midlands retired members' branch 

Congress notes that since the privatisation of the water industry: 

  1. investment has fallen by 20%
  2. each day 3bn litres, one fifth of the total volume, is lost through leakages
  3. only 14% of rivers now meet ecological standards due to sewage leaks
  4. debt levels are now £60bn and interest payments each year of £1.3bn are passed on to consumers
  5. £72bn have been paid out in dividends
  6. £58m in pay and remuneration have been paid out over the past 5 years
  7. average CEO pay is £1.7m
  8. 90% of water companies are owned by shareholders abroad
  9. the price of water has risen by 40% in real terms. 

Congress believes that water companies should be publicly owned and controlled. 

Congress pledges to campaign with trade unions and other groups to bring water companies into public ownership under democratic control without compensation being paid.


82  Reparations - Croydon College

Congress notes:

  1. Rishi Sunak's refusal to offer a full and meaningful apology for the UK's role in slavery and colonialism, and commit to reparatory justice (PMQ 26 April 23).
  2. the formation of the Heirs of Slavery group and its adoption of the CARICOM 10 point plan for Reparatory justice.
  3. the United Nations recognises slavery was a crime against humanity. The UN Human Rights Council has urged global action including reparations.

Congress believes:

  1. trade unions in Britain should be part of these campaigns for social and economic justice.

Congress resolves:

  1. to support the campaign for reparative justice including the Drax campaign
  2. to encourage the wider British labour movement to also support this campaign
  3. to support an international conference on reparations in the UK.


83  Black Lives Matter: justice for Sheku Bayoh - National executive committee

UCU Congress notes: 

  1. the death in police custody of Sheku Bayoh in Kirkcaldy on 3 May 2015 in the presence of nine police officers. At least five police offices were directly involved in restraining him, CS spray and pepper spray were used, he was handcuffed, and he suffered from lacerations, bruising and a broken rib
  2. Sheku's family's fight for justice and the longstanding support from UCU Scotland and Scotland's trade union movement for the Justice for Sheku Bayoh Campaign (
  3. the establishment in 2022 of the Sheku Bayoh Inquiry in Edinburgh, and the next phase of the Inquiry starting on 9th May 2023. 

UCU Congress decides to: 

  1. express our union's support for Sheku Bayoh's family, and publicise the campaign and Inquiry to members and branches (
  2. encourage UCU branches to donate to the Justice for Sheku Bayoh campaign via STUC (Scottish Trade Union Congress):


Last updated: 18 October 2023