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Business of the recruitment and organising committee

14:00, Friday 29 May 2009

National Organising Plan (paragraphs 1 and 2)

L3  Support for Gary Duke, Branch Secretary, University of Salford Branch - University of Salford

Conference notes that:

  • Gary was elected to the position of Branch Secretary at the AGM on 29th April after leading the fight against job cuts at Salford University
  • on 19th May Gary was suspended – a substantial power to be used in the gravest of cases in a measured, reasonable and proportionate manner
  • an email was sent by the VC to staff in two schools which could have a detrimental effect on Gary Duke's case and wellbeing.

Conference resolves that:

  • Gary's situation be publicised at national level of UCU
  • members email and write to the Vice Chancellor of University of Salford in support of Gary, asking for his suspension to be reviewed immediately
  • Sally Hunt contacts the VC of University of Salford urgently to address this most serious of matters
  • University of Salford are given national support in any branch resolutions to be taken.

WITHDRAWN


L12  In support of victimised trade union activist Penny Gower - Scottish Central Group

Congress notes:

  • Penny Gower, EIS activist at Carnegie College in Fife, has been dismissed for attempting to carry out a safety inspection
  • Penny's dismissal is a victimisation of a trade union activist carrying out a legal activity
  • Penny's case has gained widespread support not simply from her own union EIS but from activists in UCU, UNITE, GMB, PCS and hazards.org campaign.

Congress resolves:

  • to write to Carnegie College management calling for Penny's reinstatement
  • write to Penny and her union branch giving her UCU's full support
  • circulate her case to all members asking them to show her support.

CARRIED


65  National Organising Plan priorities 2009-10 - National Executive Committee

Congress recognises the substantial progress made in implementing the National Organising Plan ('NOP') and reiterates that UCU's key task is to defend and improve pay and conditions, and to promote UCU's vision of education as a critical democratic resource.

Under the NOP, UCU's regional structure has been reconfigured to include organising plans; increased resources have been made available to reps; effective campaigns fought against dereognition, privatisation and job cuts; and projects aimed at improving organisation initiated.

Congress notes that further progress will be dependent on focusing regional and national committees on campaigning and organising, and engaging branches in the work of the NOP. The NEC is asked to issue further guidance to branches and regions on their role in implementing the NOP.

Congress notes and endorses the revised NOP priorities for 2009/10 and instructs the NEC to review progress against the Plan's recommendations, reporting back to congress.

CARRIED (AS AMENDED)

65A.1  - University of Dundee

Add:

Recruitment is crucial to the success of the NOP. Specifically there is urgent need to recruit young lecturers/academic-related staff into the UCU

That many unions, such as the NUT, have successful young members' structures (35 and under).

To develop a young members' network in the UCU. To call a national young members conference. To set up and elect a national young members advisory committee with two delegates from every UCU region.

CARRIED

Substantive motion:

Congress recognises the substantial progress made in implementing the National Organising Plan ('NOP') and reiterates that UCU's key task is to defend and improve pay and conditions, and to promote UCU's vision of education as a critical democratic resource.

Under the NOP, UCU's regional structure has been reconfigured to include organising plans; increased resources have been made available to reps; effective campaigns fought against dereognition, privatisation and job cuts; and projects aimed at improving organisation initiated.

Congress notes that further progress will be dependent on focusing regional and national committees on campaigning and organising, and engaging branches in the work of the NOP. The NEC is asked to issue further guidance to branches and regions on their role in implementing the NOP.

Congress notes and endorses the revised NOP priorities for 2009/10 and instructs the NEC to review progress against the Plan's recommendations, reporting back to congress.

Recruitment is crucial to the success of the NOP. Specifically there is urgent need to recruit young lecturers/academic-related staff into the UCU

That many unions, such as the NUT, have successful young members' structures (35 and under).

To develop a young members' network in the UCU. To call a national young members conference. To set up and elect a national young members advisory committee with two delegates from every UCU region.


66  National Organising Plan - UCU Scotland

This congress welcomes the initiative taken by UCU Congress in approving a National Organising Plan and recognising that each region and devolved nation should customise this into an appropriate plan suited to the requirements of the branches and, where applicable, the need to engage with devolved governments, funding bodies and other organisations as well as undertaking generic organisational development to strengthen the union itself.

Congress calls on the NEC to agree to roll the 2008/9 National Organising Plan forward for 2009/10, as the objectives are both ambitious and enduring. The year 2009/10 should be used for wider consultation with a view to developing a more focused National Organising Plan for May 2010 onwards and to ensure that national Congresses including UCU Scotland Congress and regional committees can inform the development of the detailed plan prior to ROCC and National Executive Committee drafting the plan for approval by UCU Congress.

CARRIED


67  The NOP and bargaining strategies - Composite (University of Brighton, Moulsecoomb; South East Regional Committee)

Congress notes the:

  • success of the NOP in beginning the enhancement of departmental and institutional representation, unfolding universal training programmes, and coordinating recruitment activity
  • Branch development organiser appointments soon to cover all regions, and the national coordination of NOP-related work of regional offices
  • ongoing refinement of regional maps of local agreements in FE and HE sectors, and the mapping of membership densities within and between institutions.

Congress resolves that, using the NOP, the NEC and sub-committees initiate a 'levelling-up' campaign involving the:

  • identification of the best pay and conditions regionally, and regional patterns of divergence from national agreements or sectoral trends
  • forging of FE and HE regional committees into cohesive and informed bodies that devise regional industrial strategies in conjunction with the regional office staff

REMITTANCE MOVED: LOST

CARRIED (AS AMENDED)

67A.1 Anti-Casualisation Committee

Add 4th bullet point at end: 'highlighting of the interests of casualised members'

CARRIED

(67 amendment) B24 South East Regional Committee

(originally not ruled into the agenda)

Insert new paragraph at the end: 'Congress also welcomes the continuing and increasing level of co-operation between UCU and the National Union of Teachers at national and local level and calls on the NEC to encourage further co-operation with the NUT at regional and local level through the NOP and continue to investigate the possiblity of a merger with the NUT.'

Taken in parts:

Part 1:

Insert new paragraph at the end: 'Congress also welcomes the continuing and increasing level of co-operation between UCU and the National Union of Teachers at national and local level and calls on the NEC to encourage further co-operation with the NUT at regional and local level through the NOP.'

CARRIED

Part 2:

'And continue to investigate the possiblity of a merger with the NUT.'

LOST

Substantive motion:

Congress notes the:

  • success of the NOP in beginning the enhancement of departmental and institutional representation, unfolding universal training programmes, and coordinating recruitment activity
  • Branch development organiser appointments soon to cover all regions, and the national coordination of NOP-related work of regional offices
  • ongoing refinement of regional maps of local agreements in FE and HE sectors, and the mapping of membership densities within and between institutions.

Congress resolves that, using the NOP, the NEC and sub-committees initiate a 'levelling-up' campaign involving the:

  • identification of the best pay and conditions regionally, and regional patterns of divergence from national agreements or sectoral trends
  • forging of FE and HE regional committees into cohesive and informed bodies that devise regional industrial strategies in conjunction with the regional office staff
  • organisation and mobilisation of branches in regional campaigns of negotiations and industrial action to level up pay and conditions to the best available
  • highlighting of the interests of casualised members.

Congress also welcomes the continuing and increasing level of co-operation between UCU and the National Union of Teachers at national and local level and calls on the NEC to encourage further co-operation with the NUT at regional and local level through the NOP.


68  National organising plan - Women's Standing Committee

Congress welcomes the move to draw up a National Organising Plan (NOP) that will place a clear focus on the organising agenda. Congress sees the place of women in the union to be central to the organising agenda and calls on the NEC to support the efforts of the Women's Committee to:

  • take an active role in providing advice that will contribute to the NOP
  • identify its own work within the NOP
  • monitor the implementation of the NOP in relation to its impact on women members
  • ensure that the NOP is reviewed and updates to ensure it maintains the concerns of women as a central aim.

CARRIED


69  Training programme for union representatives - Aston University

Congress recognises the importance of training of union representatives in the National Organising Plan. However, the current training programme is inflexible in the way it delivers the training and is thus a barrier to participation, particularly for those with caring responsibilities or on fixed working hours. This congress therefore instructs NEC to develop a training programme which is more flexible in its delivery including considering distance learning elements.

CARRIED


70  Campaigning on workload protection - National Executive Committee

Congress urges ROCC to make workload protection a campaigning priority for the whole union and recommends to ROCC the HESC working group paper as a basis for the campaign. Both HE and FE members are subject to increasing workloads and the reduction and control of workload is an issue for the entire union.

CARRIED


National organising plan (paragraph 3)

71  Strikes over contracting out - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. the current international jobs slaughter
  2. mass resistance to job losses in France, Greece, Spain, Ireland
  3. government bailouts for bankers, but their refusal to protect jobs
  4. strike action against contractors exploiting European legislation to undermine pay and conditions, fuelled by the bosses; neo-liberal economic agenda
  5. the slogan 'British jobs for British workers', welcomed by the right-wing press and the BNP, and the dangerous sentiments underlying it.

Congress:

  1. reiterates support for equal pay, binding national agreements negotiated by TUs, equal legal status for all regardless of nationality, all workers' rights to work abroad
  2. condemns 'contracting out' and privatisation which uses competition to drive down workers' pay and conditions
  3. applauds action to defend jobs but believes the above slogan can only divide working class communities and advantage the bosses, the BNP fascists and all those hostile to the trade union movement.

CARRIED


72  Organisation of staff in private education suppliers -  Queen's University Belfast

UCU reaffirms its opposition to all forms of privatisation, including outsourcing, of further and higher education in the UK. However where privatisation does occur, UCU recognises a need to provide protection for staff in privatised initiatives. Congress thus instructs the NEC to:

  1. continue campaigns opposing privatisation, highlighting both the employment rights of staff in private education suppliers and their potential to undermine the work and conditions of service of staff in public further and higher education;
  2. initiate vigorous organising campaigns in all privatized suppliers of further and higher education to ensure that staff in these ventures benefit from trade union recognition and representation;
  3. focus said campaign around the inferior work relations, and terms and conditions in these enterprises.

CARRIED


73  Outsourcing - Oxford and Cherwell Valley College

Congress is concerned about the growing use of outsourcing in further and higher education. While initially such outsourcing was in areas such as cleaning and catering, it is now spreading to other functions including teaching and the provision of key services including the reporting of sickness absences. In essence, outsourcing is a form of privatisation and is only taken on by private sector companies to make a profit. UCU is opposed to the general principle of such outsourcing and calls upon the union at all levels to continue to oppose further moves in this direction. Further and higher education institutions should aim to provide all services directly and employ the staff on standard and negotiated terms and conditions of employment.

CARRIED (AS AMENDED)

73A.1  London Regional Committee

Add as final paragraph:

Congress is concerned that outsourcing of IT systems and services in post-16 institutions may be the first step to 'taking out' an institution. Congress instructs NEC to commission an audit of all outsourcing in post 16 education to report by next congress.

CARRIED

Substantive motion:

Congress is concerned about the growing use of outsourcing in further and higher education. While initially such outsourcing was in areas such as cleaning and catering, it is now spreading to other functions including teaching and the provision of key services including the reporting of sickness absences. In essence, outsourcing is a form of privatisation and is only taken on by private sector companies to make a profit. UCU is opposed to the general principle of such outsourcing and calls upon the union at all levels to continue to oppose further moves in this direction. Further and higher education institutions should aim to provide all services directly and employ the staff on standard and negotiated terms and conditions of employment.

Congress is concerned that outsourcing of IT systems and services in post-16 institutions may be the first step to 'taking out' an institution. Congress instructs NEC to commission an audit of all outsourcing in post 16 education to report by next congress.


74  Email outsourcing – the high cost of low price - University College London

Congress believes:

  • that all forms of marketisation are an attack on our employment conditions
  • that marketisation takes two typical forms: outsourcing services previously provided by employed staff and hiring staff via external agencies.

Congress notes:

  • proposals to outsource information technology (IT) services to private sector providers are often formulated without consulting staff and students
  • technical arguments are often disingenuous and little regard is given to improving in-house provision
  • external providers such as Microsoft are presenting schemes that will be initially 'free' but do not take into account high transition costs and ultimately higher fees for service provision
  • questions regarding privacy, security, training and accountability go unanswered.

Congress resolves:

  • to campaign for sufficient staff, training and infrastructure investment to maintain and improve in-house IT services
  • to involve other campus trade unions and student unions in a joint campaign to defend in-house IT.

CARRIED


L4  Threatened redundancies at London Metropolitan University - London Metropolitan University

Congress notes:

  • the successful strike at London Metropolitan on 7 May
  • the appointment of an interim vice-chancellor announced on and effective from 18 May
  • that London Met management informed UCU that they still intended to implement their plan for compulsory redundancies

Congress rejects the necessity for compulsory redundancies.

Congress instructs the NEC to implement greylisting of London Metropolitan University in the event of compulsory redundancies.  This would follow notification of compulsory redundancies at the university and a request for greylisting from London Metropolitan UCU co-ordinating committee.

CARRIED


L13  Threat of compulsory redundancies at Northumberland College - Northumberland College

Congress condemns the decision of the management of Northumberland College to seek to make redundant 33.5 full time equivalent posts, the majority of which are lecturers' jobs. Lecturers are once again paying the price for years of financial mismanagement, ill-judged expenditure on a proposed new build, exacerbated by government funding cuts, which has resulted in a £1.2 million deficit being forecast this year.

Congress congratulates UCU members in voting overwhelmingly to resist this threat of compulsory redundancies and take strike action to defend jobs and calls on branches to send messages of solidarity and support to help maintain their fight.

CARRIED


75  University of Liverpool - departmental closures - National Executive Committee

Congress congratulates Liverpool University UCU for organising protests against widespread departmental closures.

Congress believes that these proposed closures are an unacceptable response to the outcome of the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

There is a danger that the employer response at Liverpool will generalise, creating a threat throughout the HE sector.

UCU members' jobs continue to be lost and provision cut across post-16 education despite government and employer rhetoric on the importance of the FE sector during recession.

Congress resolves to campaign for a large scale investment in education, favouring the expansion of jobs and opposition to the draconian closure of subject areas and whole departments.

ROCC, working with FEC and HEC under the NOP, is instructed to initiate a national campaign to:

  • protect jobs
  • defend provision
  • provide targeted support to branches fighting cuts
  • make common cause with other unions in campaigning against mass unemployment.

CARRIED (AS AMENDED)

75A.1   National Executive Committee

Before paragraph beginning 'Congress resolves', add new paragraphs:

Congress notes:

  1. the 'efficiency savings' of 340 million in FE and 180 million in HE
  2. that any cuts affecting teaching and non-teaching staff will affect the quality of education and threaten all jobs in the sector.

Believes:

  1. these cuts are detrimental and obscene when banks have been given billions, and many MPs have routinely defrauded the taxpayer
  2. pitting FE against HE, teaching against non-teaching, and public sector against private sector is divisive.

CARRIED

Substantive motion:

Congress congratulates Liverpool University UCU for organising protests against widespread departmental closures.

Congress believes that these proposed closures are an unacceptable response to the outcome of the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE).

There is a danger that the employer response at Liverpool will generalise, creating a threat throughout the HE sector.

UCU members' jobs continue to be lost and provision cut across post-16 education despite government and employer rhetoric on the importance of the FE sector during recession.

Congress notes:

  1. the 'efficiency savings' of 340 million in FE and 180 million in HE
  2. that any cuts affecting teaching and non-teaching staff will affect the quality of education and threaten all jobs in the sector.

Believes:

  1. these cuts are detrimental and obscene when banks have been given billions, and many MPs have routinely defrauded the taxpayer
  2. pitting FE against HE, teaching against non-teaching, and public sector against private sector is divisive.

Congress resolves to campaign for a large scale investment in education, favouring the expansion of jobs and opposition to the draconian closure of subject areas and whole departments.

ROCC, working with FEC and HEC under the NOP, is instructed to initiate a national campaign to:

  • protect jobs
  • defend provision
  • provide targeted support to branches fighting cuts
  • make common cause with other unions in campaigning against mass unemployment.

76  Compulsory redundancies in Wales - Composite (Coleg Morgannwg, Deeside College)

Congress congratulates members of UCU Wales on their successful campaign to restore the 7.4% FE funding cuts.

It welcomes the Welsh Assembly Government decision to increase this years budget by £9m, aimed at negating any need for redundancies.

However congress utterly condemns fforwm and those Welsh colleges who have made it clear that they will still press ahead with redundancies despite the Assembly's decision.

Furthermore congress fully endorses UCU Cymru's decision to urge all Welsh branches facing the threat of compulsory redundancies immediately to ballot for industrial action, up to and including strike action.

Congress also endorses Wales FESC decision to organise national lobbies outside affected colleges to support striking colleagues.

CARRIED

76A.1  - Compositing amendment (Deeside College)

Add at end of 4th paragraph: ', and agrees to pay sustentation at £50 per day'.

WITHDRAWN


77  Jobs for all - Composite (East Midlands Regional Committee, Manchester Metropolitan University)

Congress notes:

  1. we celebrate diversity in our colleges, our schools, and our communities
  2. teachers, private and public sector workers, unemployed and students are stronger when they are united
  3. workers are right to fights cuts
  4. 'British Jobs for British Workers' is a nationalist slogan that divides workers and fuels racism. This deflects the real anger over unemployment and cuts away from the bosses, politicians and bankers
  5. billions of pounds of taxpayers money has disappeared to bail out the bankers. This money is for education and public services
  6. estimates suggest the crisis will leave 3 million unemployed
  7. the gutter press attempts to divide employed workers against unemployed workers, private sector against public sector workers, and 'British Worker' against 'Foreign Worker'

Congress believes that an injury to one is an injury to all, and in jobs and education for all. We will not let race, nationality or status divide us.

Congress therefore resolves to:

  1. raise the slogans 'an injury to one is an injury to all', 'jobs for all' and 'education for all'
  2. resist division based on race, nationality or status.

CARRIED


78  Resistance in the recession - Bradford College

Congress congratulates the workers of Prisme and Visteon on their successful campaigns against summary dismissal with no compensation, and UCU members at Doncaster College on their inspiring victory against a large scale threat of redundancies and dilution.

Congress also congratulates Wales UCU on the successful outcome to their campaign to force more funding from the Welsh Assembly.

In each case workers have refused to accept that job losses, cuts and closures in this recession are inevitable. They have refused to accept the view that workers must inevitably pay for the crisis.

These successful disputes, which have attracted widespread solidarity and support, have shown that through militant resistance, including strike action, occupations, rallies, mass lobbies and demonstrations, workers and their unions can mobilise popular and successful fightbacks.

Congress resolves to widely publicise these victories as examples of the sort of militant fightback required to defend our own members' jobs and conditions.

CARRIED


79  Defending jobs and education - London Regional Committee

Congress:

  • notes that UCU members' jobs continue to be lost and provision cut across post-16 education despite government and employer rhetoric on the importance of our sector during a recession
  • believes that making educators redundant is an act of vandalism when rising unemployment and social and economic inequity mean education has never been so important
  • instructs ROCC, working with the FE and HE committees under the National Organising Plan to initiate a national campaign to protect jobs, defend provision; provide targeted support to branches fighting cuts; and make common cause with other unions in campaigning against mass unemployment

CARRIED (AS AMENDED)

79A.1  - Anti-Casualisation Committee

Add fourth bullet point at end: 'Recognises that cuts may disproportionately affect fixed-term and hourly paid staff and resolves to oppose these redundancies with equal vigour as those of staff on full-time and permanent contracts'.

CARRIED

79A.2  - London Regional Committee

Add as final bullet point:

  • Congress agrees to support the conference 'Fight for the Right to Work' supported by Visteon workers and the Waterford Crystal shop stewards on 13th June in London

CARRIED

Substantive motion:

Congress:

  • notes that UCU members' jobs continue to be lost and provision cut across post-16 education despite government and employer rhetoric on the importance of our sector during a recession
  • believes that making educators redundant is an act of vandalism when rising unemployment and social and economic inequity mean education has never been so important
  • instructs ROCC, working with the FE and HE committees under the National Organising Plan to initiate a national campaign to protect jobs, defend provision; provide targeted support to branches fighting cuts; and make common cause with other unions in campaigning against mass unemployment
  • recognises that cuts may disproportionately affect fixed-term and hourly paid staff and resolves to oppose these redundancies with equal vigour as those of staff on full-time and permanent contracts
  • Congress agrees to support the conference 'Fight for the Right to Work' supported by Visteon workers and the Waterford Crystal shop stewards on 13th June in London

L5   Late motion on funding cuts  - Nelson and Colne College

Alistair Darling's Budget demand that universities and colleges make £400 million pounds of 'efficiency savings';
John Denham's (Secretary of State, DIUS) announcement that universities can recruit only 10,000 extra students this year but must save £180 million by 2010-11.

Congress believes these cuts:

  • fail to address the need to invest in education during a recession
  • fail to address the demand for more places in response to rising mass unemployment
  • represent a major attack on jobs and conditions in F and HE and threaten many courses and thousands of lecturing jobs
  • will reverse the expansion of higher education and Labour's pledge that 50% of 18-30 year olds will have a degree or be studying for one by 2010
  • will impact disproportionately on working class students and prospective students.

Congress resolves to prioritise resistance to the effects of these cuts in order to defend jobs, pay, conditions and education itself.

CARRIED


80  People's Charter for Change - Northern Regional Committee

Congress welcomes the launch of the Peoples' Charter by a broad coalition of trade unions and progressive organisations and supports its policies for:

  • a fair economy for a fairer Britain
  • more and better jobs
  • decent homes for all
  • protecting and improving public services
  • social justice
  • a secure and sustainable future.

We believe that a mass popular campaign for the People's Charter can help to bring about a change of direction in government policy, away from the interests of big business and towards the interests of working people.

We therefore urge UCU organisations and members to collect signatures for the People's Charter petition and help organise activities to promote it. We also instruct the National Executive Committee to affiliate to the campaign and provide assistance as appropriate.

CARRIED


Anti-casualisation (paragraph 4)

81  Collective grievances and campaigning for fractionalisation - Composite (Anti-Casualisation Committee; University of Dundee)

Congress notes:

  • the marketisation of education continues to drive casualisation
  • hourly paid lecturers may not be provided with written terms and conditions, often fail to have their rate increased with annual uplifts and miss out on incremental progression
  • through effective local organisation and employment law, collective claims present the best opportunity of winning fractionalisation for a significant number of casualised staff.

Congress believes:

  • the fight against casualisation cannot wait on the employers' goodwill
  • collective grievance procedures can help win fractionalisation and provide an effective recruiting tool among casualised staff.

Congress calls for:

  • branches to campaign in support of hourly paid lecturers and for their move to fractionalised contracts
  • a guide to organising and pursuing collective grievances for fractionalisation of casualised staff and parity of conditions
  • a series of national and regional briefings for branch officers and representatives to promote collective grievance organisation.

CARRIED


82  Agency Workers - Anti-Casualisation Committee

Congress deplores the exploitation of agency workers in education. It calls on the NEC to work vigorously for:

  1. the implementation of the European Agency Workers' Directive into UK law, in a way that fully covers agency workers in FE and HE, specifically challenging the 12 week rule
  2. acceptance in our sectors that agency workers (including, for example, researchers in HE and lecturers in FE) receive the same terms and conditions, including pay, as directly employed staff, bringing them in line with local and national bargaining agreements
  3. UCU branches to represent, and be recognised as representing, agency workers in their institution who are members, by specifically challenging the false notion of self employment
  4. equal access for agency workers to occupational pension schemes
  5. an accumulation of data on the growth of employment agencies in our sector, with which to inform our future policies.

CARRIED


Work with other committees (paragraph 8)

83  Academic-related Manifesto - Academic-related Staff Committee

This congress welcomes the production of the AR manifesto and commends its use to all UCU regional committees, local associations and branches.

The manifesto highlights the importance of administrators, librarians, IT professionals and other related categories within UCU.

This congress asks that all regional committees, local associations and branches be provided with copies of the AR manifesto and encouraged to consider how best the manifesto could be utilised in the context of the National Organising Plan.

CARRIED

Last updated: 29 May 2009