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Taking action in higher education

Rule changes

Rule changes to UCU Congress 2012 to be taken in private session: Sunday 10 June, 11:45-12:30

Current rules:

UCU rules 2011-12 [292kb]

UCU rules 2011-12 [243kb]


70 - Rule change 4.5 - Legal advice and assistance scheme
71 - Rule change 12.4 - retired members
72 - Proposed new rule 12.5
73 - Rule change - criteria for NEC UK-elected HE seats
74 - Proposed new rule 32.1 - national negotiators
75 - Proposed new rule - ballot on final offer
76 - Congress standing order change

Motions to be taken in private session

70 Rule change proposal - Rule 4.5 - Legal Advice and Assistance Scheme - Barnet College

Rule 4.5 in second sentence after National Executive Committee, insert:

except that the criteria (in priority order) for deciding whether to offer a member legal services, and if it does so, what legal services to supply, shall be determined by Annual National Congress. These shall be as follows:

  1. the objectives you seek to achieve and the suitability of legal processes to achieve them
  2. the legal merits of your case
  3. the significance of your case both to you and other Union members
  4. the aims, objectives and policies of the Union
  5. the costs of providing you with legal services
  6. the resource implications for the Union.

Within these criteria...



  1. To raise the importance and profile of the criteria
  2. To ensure that members receive legal support in deserving cases.
  3. To ensure that strategic considerations prevail over simplistic cost considerations

70A.1 North West regional committee

Delete "(in priority order)".


71 Rules governing retired members. Proposed rule change 12.4 - West Midlands retired members

Existing rule.

12.4 Members who are retired shall belong to a regional retired members' branch, unless the member chooses to belong to their former branch/local association instead.

Proposed amended rule.

12.4 Members who are retired have the right to belong to a regional retired members' branch as well as a local branch/association but can only hold office in one branch/association.

Purpose: It is proposed to change this rule to bring the rights of RMs in line with those of agency workers or members working in more than one institution.


71A.1 Coleg Gwent Newport

12.4 Delete all after 'office' in second line and replace with 'in the retired members branch'

Motion 71, 72: CBC advice to chair: if motion 71 is passed, motion 72 falls.

72 Proposed new rule 12.5 - Yorkshire and Humberside retired members

Insert new 12.5 and re-number consequentially

"Retired members assigned to a retired members' branch may attend meetings of their former local association/branch, and retired members assigned to a workplace local association/branch may attend meetings of a regional retired members' branch, but in either case they may hold office and vote in national elections only in their assigned branch/local association."


Purpose: to allow members in a retired members branch to understand and be involved in issues facing members in the in a workplace branch, and for retired members who choose to remain in their workplace branch to understand and be involved in issues facing retired members.

73 Rule change: criteria for NEC UK-elected HE seats - National Executive Committee

Delete rule 18.8.4.

Purpose: to retain within the rules the criteria for a minimum number of pre- and post-92 members and academic-related members within the NEC UK-elected HE seats.


74 Rule change: New rule 32.1, national negotiators - University of Southampton, Aberystwyth University

Rule 16.3, at end, delete 'and shall elect national negotiators for the sector according to a formula approved by the sector conference'.

Insert new rule 32, bargaining and negotiating. Re-number subsequent rules accordingly.

32.1 Members of national negotiating teams, other than any who are members of the negotiating team by virtue of their office, shall be elected by a ballot of members in the relevant constituency.

Renumber subsequent rules accordingly.

Purpose: to give members the opportunity to elect directly their national negotiators (other than those involved by virtue of office or employment- eg sector vice president, sector committee vice chairs, national official).

FALLS (see motion 65 - Changes to UCU structure)

74A.1 Plymouth University

R6, add at end of new rule 32.1:

'The formula for the composition of a national negotiating team shall be approved by the relevant sector conference"

74A.2 Coleg Gwent Newport

Add 32.2 (renumber subsequent rules accordingly)

Rule 32.1 shall only apply in the Nations where there are devolved powers for education (Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland) if a motion proposing such a change is passed by the required majority at a meeting of the relevant National Annual Congress.

75 Rule-change: New rule 32.2, ballot on final offer - University of Southampton, Swansea University, Aberystwyth University

Insert new rule 32, bargaining and negotiating. Re-number subsequent rules accordingly.

32.2 Where an offer relating to pay or terms and conditions is made by an employer or employer body which the majority of UCU's negotiators deem cannot be improved through further negotiation, a ballot of the relevant members will be held. Such a ballot will ask whether members accept or reject the offer, and whether they wish to initiate or escalate industrial action. Where such an offer exists, no special conference on the furtherance of the dispute may be held until such a ballot has been conducted.

Purpose: to allow members to be balloted on final offers, and their views taken into account by the union before decisions about whether to initiate or escalate industrial action are taken.

FALLS (see motion 65 - Changes to UCU structure)

75A.1 Open University

Delete "the majority of UCU's negotiators deem" in the first sentence and insert "the appropriate sector committee, acting on the advice of the majority of UCU negotiators, deems"

76 Congress standing order change - Anti-casualisation committee

Congress standing order 3.1 add at end:

However, in the case of special meetings of National Congress or Sector Conferences called under rule 16.10 motions submitted by those Committees listed in 16.6.4 will be accepted if the Committee Chair submitting the motion can certify that at least 1/3 of the voting representatives have expressed an opinion and a that a majority of those expressing an opinion are in favour of the motion.

Purpose: This rule change would allow motions, supported by the relevant Committees, to be submitted to special meetings of National Congress or Sector Conferences without the need for a full meeting of the relevant Committee.


Last updated: 13 September 2012