Strike action in higher education

Higher education sector conference

UCU Congress 2012 - HE sector conference: Friday 8 June 2012

Chapter 2 of the NEC's report to UCU Congress 2012:
UCU413.html | UCU413.rtf

Motions:

HE1 - National claim
L6 - Pay Claim

HE2 - National bargaining
HE3 - Performance management, productivity and pay
HE4 - The use of student feedback in performance management
HE5 - REF and performance management
HE6 - Performance and development review
HE7 - Black workers and performance management
HE8 - Replacement of National Student Survey with better feedback systems
HE9 - Closure of university degree courses
HE10 - Occupational health
HE11 - Grade drift
HE12 - Offscale and excessive payments
HE13 - Representing the professoriate
HE14 - Workloads
HE15 - Resisting a causalised workforce
HE16 - The terms and conditions of hourly paid staff
HE17 - Postgraduates
HE18 - Disclosing a disability
HE19 - Gendered impact on the HE workforce of cuts
HE20 - Cuts impacting on women as students
HE21 - Market ideology in HE
HE22 - Promoting fair treatment
HE23 - Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Doctoral Training Centres
HE24 - Post graduate education in non-elite institutions
HE25 - USS
HE26 - Suspension of USS industrial action
HE27 - USS
HE28 - Transferability of sick leave entitlement between HEIs
HE29 - Research Excellence Framework
HE30 - Research Excellence Framework
HE31 - Researcher redundancies
HE32 - Researchers on fixed-term contracts
HE33 - Academic-related terms and conditions
HE34 - Academic-related representation
HE35 - Opposition to outsourcing and shared services
HE36 - Teaching and research careers
HE37 - Teaching only contracts
HE38 - Threat to health professions and health educators
HE39 - Defend the public university
HE40 - Privatisation in higher education
HE41 - Joint campaigns with students
HE42 - Opposing privatisation
HE43 - Lecture capture, digitisation, and publishing
HE44 - Higher education governance
HE45 - Academic publishing
HE46 - Staff-student ratios and fees
HE47 - Fees for rest of UK students in Scotland


HE1 National claim - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes the submission of the claim for the 2012-13 New JNCHES negotiating round and the recommendations from the national negotiators' contained in UCUHE153 (pdf).

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE1A.1 Higher Education Committee

Add at end:

Although a majority of members did not support industrial action in a consultative ballot last year, conference notes members' increasing unease about continuing real-pay cuts.

Conference notes the utility of such ballots in campaigning and mobilisation as well as allowing for prioritisation of resources.

Conference instructs the HEC to carry out similar consultative ballots where they considered it appropriate in advance of statutory industrial action ballots on issues covered in JNCHES.

CARRIED

HE1A.2 Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

Add:

HESC resolves to mobilise members in Branches and Regions in campaigning and taking industrial action, if necessary, in support of the 2012 pay claim.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes the submission of the claim for the 2012-13 New JNCHES negotiating round and the recommendations from the national negotiators' contained in UCUHE153 (pdf).

Although a majority of members did not support industrial action in a consultative ballot last year, conference notes members' increasing unease about continuing real-pay cuts.

Conference notes the utility of such ballots in campaigning and mobilisation as well as allowing for prioritisation of resources.

Conference instructs the HEC to carry out similar consultative ballots where they considered it appropriate in advance of statutory industrial action ballots on issues covered in JNCHES.

HESC resolves to mobilise members in Branches and Regions in campaigning and taking industrial action, if necessary, in support of the 2012 pay claim.


L6 Composite: Pay Claim - University of Brighton Falmer, University of Brighton Grand Parade

HESC notes 

  1. UCEA's (initial) 'final offer' of 1% for 2012, and its failure to respond positively to other parts of the claim;
  2. that inflation has substantially eroded the real value of pay since 2006;
  3. the statement of intent from the NUT/NASUWT for a campaign in defence of members' jobs, pay, pensions and conditions.

HESC resolves that 

  1. the medium-term objective is the restoration of the real value of pay;
  2. the 2012 offer, and any short of RPI, will be put to a ballot of members in late June, with campaigning material including details of real pay cuts, annually and cumulatively, since 2006, with a clear and unambiguous recommendation to reject;
  3. national officers and officials will actively campaign in branches for a 'No' vote, and branches be urged to hold meetings on the pay claim where possible;
  4. the campaign for an RPI settlement will continue in September-October;

HEC will consider proposals and develop plans for a dispute, commencing with an industrial action ballot and campaign in October, linked where possible with action by the NUT/NASUWT.

CARRIED


New JNCHES review, paragraph 3.1

HE2 National bargaining - University of Brighton Moulsecoomb

Conference resolves that any attempt by employers to disengage from the JNCHES mechanism will be met with a campaign and ballot for local and/or national industrial action.

CARRIED


Performance and productivity, paragraph 4.1

HE3 Performance management, productivity and pay - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes that:

  1. despite a paucity of evidence supporting the efficacy of performance-related pay, some commentators in the sector continue to support the introduction of discredited Human Resource Management techniques
  2. some performance-management systems are conflating performance and productivity measures
  3. UCUHE/97 advises branches/LAs to engage management in discussion on professional development and career progression as an appropriate alternative to the introduction of arbitrary measures of performance-management and reproduces the 1987 agreement still applicable in pre-92 institutions.

Conference calls on HEC to initiate further research on the use of performance-management measures in HEIs, its impact on the equality, workload, health and welfare of academic and related staff, and its effectiveness within the sector.

Conference restates its opposition to performance-related pay mechanisms outwith the existing provisions in the national framework agreement, especially if not agreed with UCU.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE3A.1 LSE

Add new points and renumber

3. High quality performance is dependent upon the contributions of people across the institution and there is no reliable means of identifying the contribution of individuals

4. Performance related pay encourages destructive competition between individuals and a breakdown of necessary trust

Add at end

and to resist this attempt to replace collective bargaining with individual supplication.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes that:

  1. despite a paucity of evidence supporting the efficacy of performance-related pay, some commentators in the sector continue to support the introduction of discredited Human Resource Management techniques
  2. some performance-management systems are conflating performance and productivity measures
  3. high quality performance is dependent upon the contributions of people across the institution and there is no reliable means of identifying the contribution of individuals
  4. performance related pay encourages destructive competition between individuals and a breakdown of necessary trust
  5. UCUHE/97 advises branches/LAs to engage management in discussion on professional development and career progression as an appropriate alternative to the introduction of arbitrary measures of performance-management and reproduces the 1987 agreement still applicable in pre-92 institutions.

Conference calls on HEC to initiate further research on the use of performance-management measures in HEIs, its impact on the equality, workload, health and welfare of academic and related staff, and its effectiveness within the sector.

Conference restates its opposition to performance-related pay mechanisms outwith the existing provisions in the national framework agreement, especially if not agreed with UCU and to resist this attempt to replace collective bargaining with individual supplication.


HE4 The use of student feedback in performance management - Northumbria University

Concerns are growing with the use of the National Student Survey, module evaluations and other forms of student feedback being used in performance management practices. There are instances where students use anonymous evaluations to air grievances and name staff. Many problems are outside the remit of the staff, but as they are on the front line, they are targeted by both students and management. Less and less attention is given to annual staff development/appraisals as a forum for staff to air their grievances to management. Staff are asked more frequently what they can do for the institution and not the other way round.

Conference instructs HEC to:

  1. oppose all forms of management performance not agreed through UCU
  2. in particular resist performance related pay
  3. monitor various techniques being used
  4. remind members of the staff development/appraisal system and other forms of getting our voices heard.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE4A.1 University of Birmingham

End of first paragraph, after 'not the other way round.' Add:

'Conference believes that this misuse of student feedback lacks pedagogical or intellectual foundation and undermines teaching standards and staff morale.

Conference welcomes the Birmingham University UCU document 'Challenges to some assumptions about the proposed Module Evaluation Questionnaire to be introduced at the University of Birmingham', and instructs HEC to adapt this document as appropriate for national circulation and use in local negotiations to seek to avoid the implementation of MEQ-based performance management.'

Amend 'Conference instructs HEC' to 'Conference further instructs HEC'.

CARRIED

HE4A.2 University of Aberdeen

Insert after 'name' in the second sentence 'and defame'.

Add a final bullet point:

1 work with the NUS to oppose the invidious use of student feedback

CARRIED

HE4A.3 Higher Education Committee

In the first sentence replace 'with the use of' with 'with how'; after 'student feedback, insert 'are'

Add after second sentence:

Conference notes that to use student evaluations in this way may target women, black, disabled, international and LGBT staff in a discriminatory way.

Add final bullet point:

5. Investigate the potential discriminatory impacts of the use of student feedback in performance management and campaign for equality impact assessments.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Concerns are growing with how the National Student Survey, module evaluations and other forms of student feedback are being used in performance management practices. There are instances where students use anonymous evaluations to air grievances and name staff. Conference notes that to use student evaluations in this way may target women, black, disabled, international and LGBT staff in a discriminatory way. Many problems are outside the remit of the staff, but as they are on the front line, they are targeted by both students and management. Less and less attention is given to annual staff development/appraisals as a forum for staff to air their grievances to management. Staff are asked more frequently what they can do for the institution and not the other way round.

Conference believes that this misuse of student feedback lacks pedagogical or intellectual foundation and undermines teaching standards and staff morale.Conference welcomes the Birmingham University UCU document

Challenges to some assumptions about the proposed Module Evaluation Questionnaire to be introduced at the University of Birmingham', and instructs HEC to adapt this document as appropriate for national circulation and use in local negotiations to seek to avoid the implementation of MEQ-based performance management.

Conference further instructs HEC to:

  1. oppose all forms of management performance not agreed through UCU
  2. in particular resist performance related pay
  3. monitor various techniques being used
  4. remind members of the staff development/appraisal system and other forms of getting our voices heard
  5. work with the NUS to oppose the invidious use of student feedback
  6. investigate the potential discriminatory impacts of the use of student feedback in performance management and campaign for equality impact assessments.

HE5 REF and performance management - University of Warwick

UCU reiterates its position that the REF, along with its predecessor the RAE, is highly divisive as well as a source of considerable stress and anxiety for many members. Accordingly, UCU will continue to oppose it in principle. UCU reaffirms its belief that real knowledge is not determined by the perceived quality of the outlet in which it is published. Conference also opposes the use of the REF to micro-manage and bully staff. Conference instructs the HEC to equip branches to combat such oppressive practises and calls upon the HEC to investigate the legality of university managers using the REF to determine standards of academic performance.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE5A.1 Disabled members standing committee

Insert new sentence after third sentence ('...in which it is published.'): 'Conference deplores any institution not taking adequate steps to ensure commitment to equality, particularly for staff with protected characteristics'.

Add last sentence 'Congress also instructs HEC to write to all Vice-Chancellors and Principals asking them to publish their equality Code of Practice for REF'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

UCU reiterates its position that the REF, along with its predecessor the RAE, is highly divisive as well as a source of considerable stress and anxiety for many members. Accordingly, UCU will continue to oppose it in principle. UCU reaffirms its belief that real knowledge is not determined by the perceived quality of the outlet in which it is published. Conference deplores any institution not taking adequate steps to ensure commitment to equality, particularly for staff with protected characteristics. Conference also opposes the use of the REF to micro-manage and bully staff. Conference instructs the HEC to equip branches to combat such oppressive practises and calls upon the HEC to investigate the legality of university managers using the REF to determine standards of academic performance. Congress also instructs HEC to write to all Vice-Chancellors and Principals asking them to publish their equality Code of Practice for REF.


Performance and productivity, paragraph 4.2

HE6 Performance and Development Review - University of Glasgow

Conference notes with alarm the growing managerial practices of Performance and Development procedures across HE. Evidence from members across the UK reveal a plethora of invidious processes which further serve to demoralize staff and to further embed a mistrust of management and managerial systems. Conference firmly believes that the staff member and development should be at the heart of any effective P&DR system and that determination to use these schemes as performance management tools is flawed and divisive, resulting in de-motivated, demoralised staff and widening the gulf between management structures and hard-pressed staff. Conference calls on HEC to draw up best practice guidelines for a P&DR system which reflects that which was agreed in the Framework Agreement.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE6A.1 LGBT members standing committee

Delete full stop at end and add: 'in particular with respect to the promotion of best practice in equality matters, including training for all managers and other staff involved in PDR'.

CARRIED

HE6A.2 Women members standing committee

Before final sentence, insert

'Conference also believes that such managerial practices result in the unfair treatment of women and of staff with other protected characteristics.'

And at the end add

'and ensure that such guidelines fully recognise the need to protect staff from bullying, harassment, stereotyping and all other forms of discrimination.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes with alarm the growing managerial practices of Performance and Development procedures across HE. Evidence from members across the UK reveal a plethora of invidious processes which further serve to demoralize staff and to further embed a mistrust of management and managerial systems. Conference firmly believes that the staff member and development should be at the heart of any effective P&DR system and that determination to use these schemes as performance management tools is flawed and divisive, resulting in de-motivated, demoralised staff and widening the gulf between management structures and hard-pressed staff. Conference also believes that such managerial practices result in the unfair treatment of women and of staff with other protected characteristics. Conference calls on HEC to draw up best practice guidelines for a P&DR system which reflects that which was agreed in the Framework Agreement in particular with respect to the promotion of best practice in equality matters, including training for all managers and other staff involved in PDR, and ensure that such guidelines fully recognise the need to protect staff from bullying, harassment, stereotyping and all other forms of discrimination.


HE7 Black workers and performance management - Black members standing committee

Conference notes that performance management systems are increasingly used throughout the sector.

Performance management systems are increasingly used disproportionately to micromanage black workers and disproportionately used to subject black workers to higher workloads.

Conference calls on HEC to undertake research on performance management in HEIs to assess its impact on the workload, career progression and pay of black workers.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE7A.1 Black members standing committee

Insert at the beginning of the second paragraph 'Anecdotal evidence from Black staff suggests that '

In third paragraph insert, after 'performance management', 'policies and practices' and insert, after 'its impact on', 'the working conditions in particular respect to'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes that performance management systems are increasingly used throughout the sector.

Anecdotal evidence from Black staff suggests that performance management systems are increasingly used disproportionately to micromanage black workers and disproportionately used to subject black workers to higher workloads.

Conference calls on HEC to undertake research on performance management in HEIs to assess its impact on the working conditions in particular respect to the workload, career progression and pay of black workers.


Performance and productivity, paragraph 4.3

HE8 Replacement of National Student Survey with better feedback systems - University of Lincoln

Conference notes that

  1. the NSS casts students as passive consumers of a student 'experience' rather than active participants in their education
  2. the NSS is used by the media and by university management for comparative and self-representative purposes despite its many flaws
  3. courses are being closed, or threatened with closure, where management expectations regarding results and student participation rates are not met
  4. the NSS and the uses to which its results are put therefore cause damage to the education of students and demoralise staff.

Conference calls on the HEC

  1. to raise public awareness of the detrimental nature of the NSS to university students' education
  2. to campaign with the NUS for tools which can give genuine representation to students' experiences and opinions
  3. to discuss with HE employers the development of a framework which protects our members against the abuses outlined above.

CARRIED

HE8A.1 Goldsmiths

Add at end:

d. to oppose the NSS for the above reasons and to urge members not to comply with procedures related to the NSS as it is currently formulated

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes that

  1. the NSS casts students as passive consumers of a student 'experience' rather than active participants in their education
  2. the NSS is used by the media and by university management for comparative and self-representative purposes despite its many flaws
  3. courses are being closed, or threatened with closure, where management expectations regarding results and student participation rates are not met
  4. the NSS and the uses to which its results are put therefore cause damage to the education of students and demoralise staff.

Conference calls on the HEC

  1. to raise public awareness of the detrimental nature of the NSS to university students' education
  2. to campaign with the NUS for tools which can give genuine representation to students' experiences and opinions
  3. to discuss with HE employers the development of a framework which protects our members against the abuses outlined above
  4. to oppose the NSS for the above reasons and to urge members not to comply with procedures related to the NSS as it is currently formulated.

HE9 Closure of university degree courses - East Midlands HE sector committee

Conference notes that:

  1. The number of university degree courses in Great Britain has been reduced by 27% since 2005;
  2. Decisions about the future of courses are being made without any agreed criteria, thereby putting at risk the posts of UCU members;
  3. The National Student Survey (NSS), a flawed means of assessing the quality of academic provision, is being used as a crude tool to determine the future of degree courses; and
  4. Universities have adopted a 'traffic light system' whereby lecturers are expected to meet arbitrary benchmarks for student performance.

Conference calls on the HEC to:

  1. Conduct a survey to ascertain how prevalent the use of the NSS and the traffic light system is in deciding the future of degree courses;
  2. Support branches in campaigning against the use of inappropriate criteria in making decisions about academic provision;
  3. Assist branches in negotiating criteria for assessing the viability of degree courses.

CARRIED


HE10 Occupational health - University of Hull

Conference is concerned that, at some institutions, Occupational Health is now seen as a branch of Human Resources. Occupational Health Staff are potentially breaching confidentiality and their professional code of conduct by releasing confidential information to Human Resources. For Occupational Health Staff who are managed by Human Resources there is a potential conflict of duty between providing information to Human Resources and confidentiality to their clients.

This Conference calls for UCU to investigate the extent of the problem, and to campaign for the reassignment of Occupational Health line management responsibility away from Human Resources.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE10A.1 Disabled members standing committee

Insert in last sentence, after 'extent of the problem',  'including submitting FOI requests to all institutions seeking clarification of their occupational health provision and any external companies contracted for this purpose'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference is concerned that, at some institutions, Occupational Health is now seen as a branch of Human Resources. Occupational Health Staff are potentially breaching confidentiality and their professional code of conduct by releasing confidential information to Human Resources. For Occupational Health Staff who are managed by Human Resources there is a potential conflict of duty between providing information to Human Resources and confidentiality to their clients.

This Conference calls for UCU to investigate the extent of the problem, including submitting FOI requests to all institutions seeking clarification of their occupational health provision and any external companies contracted for this purpose, and to campaign for the reassignment of Occupational Health line management responsibility away from Human Resources.


Grading structures, paragraph 5.1

HE11 Grade drift - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes that:

  1. the 2004 national framework agreement included an agreed set of academic role profiles (NARPs)
  2. while branches/LAs may have agreed to slight variances of the NARPs during Framework negotiations, they should not differ fundamentally from those agreed nationally
  3. although we do not have nationally agreed academic related role profiles, UCU has developed its own set of model academic related profiles
  4. these national role profiles have established the minimum rate for the job across the sector
  5. analysis undertaken by UCU nationally suggests pressure on the role profiles is leading to worsening terms for probationers, grade drift, and the undermining of the 'rate for the job'.

Conference resolves that all branches shall resist the lowering of pay rates across the sector by utilising the advice and guidance contained in UCUHE/136 and should call for Equality Impact Assessments of proposed changes to job profiles.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE11A.1 Open University

Add the following as point 6 after point 5:

6 Variations from the NARPs, especially of the Teaching and Scholarship branch, and/or a reinterpretation of the word 'scholarship' to provide a higher bar than the profiles themselves can provide an excuse not to assimilate hourly paid lecturers, or to place them on a lower grade than they should be.

Add as a final sentence:

Conference also asks the HEC to ensure branches and regional officials are aware of the potential consequences to hourly paid lecturers, of variations from the NARPs.

CARRIED

HE11A.2 Academic-related staff committee

Add new point before 'Conference resolves':

6 Academic-Related Staff are increasingly unable to gain promotion other than by waiting to step into 'dead men's shoes' or by taking on management responsibilities which they do not want nor have received training for.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes that:

  1. the 2004 national framework agreement included an agreed set of academic role profiles (NARPs)
  2. while branches/LAs may have agreed to slight variances of the NARPs during Framework negotiations, they should not differ fundamentally from those agreed nationally
  3. although we do not have nationally agreed academic related role profiles, UCU has developed its own set of model academic related profiles
  4. these national role profiles have established the minimum rate for the job across the sector
  5. analysis undertaken by UCU nationally suggests pressure on the role profiles is leading to worsening terms for probationers, grade drift, and the undermining of the 'rate for the job'
  6. variations from the NARPs, especially of the Teaching and Scholarship branch, and/or a reinterpretation of the word 'scholarship' to provide a higher bar than the profiles themselves can provide an excuse not to assimilate hourly paid lecturers, or to place them on a lower grade than they should be
  7. Academic-Related Staff are increasingly unable to gain promotion other than by waiting to step into 'dead men's shoes' or by taking on management responsibilities which they do not want nor have received training for.

Conference resolves that all branches shall resist the lowering of pay rates across the sector by utilising the advice and guidance contained in UCUHE/136 and should call for Equality Impact Assessments of proposed changes to job profiles.

Conference also asks the HEC to ensure branches and regional officials are aware of the potential consequences to hourly paid lecturers, of variations from the NARPs.


HE12 Offscale and excessive payments - University of Warwick

University staff have seen the real value of their pay decline drastically since 2008, with below inflation derisory pay increases. In addition, it is believed many universities' managements are making payments which are offscale for staff covered by the framework, excessively large to attract 'research stars' and to themselves. HE conference instructs the HEC to discover the extent of such activities by using methods such as Freedom of Information legislation and to use this material in forthcoming pay campaigns. Such information should also include data to highlight inequalities across the sector.

CARRIED

Professorial grading structures and recognition, paragraph 6.2

HE13 Representing the professoriate - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes that an increasing number of UCU members are paid beyond spinal column point 51 and welcomes HEC's commitment to develop advice and materials for branches / LAs on recruiting among the professoriate, obtaining recognition and negotiating rights, and the development of transparent and fair professorial grading structures. These structures should meet the same standards of equality proofing and accountability as other grades.

Conference also urges HEC to work with the Equality Committee to develop initiatives to tackle under-representation of women, BME and Disabled staff and to tackle any identified pay gaps amongst the professoriate.

CARRIED

Workload, paragraph 7.1

HE14 Composite: Workloads University of Glasgow -Southern regional HE committee, University of Edinburgh

Conference notes the increase in work hours and workloads. Many pre-1992 institutions opt out of the European Union working-time directive and increased workloads mean our members work more than 40 hours a week to fulfil their duties. In post-1992 institutions increased non-contact work e.g. assessment boards, curriculum development and administration, increased quality assurance - means that staff regularly work beyond their formal contract. This leads to stress and poor work-life balance.

A recent survey of UCU Edinburgh members confirmed that academic staff in particular not only work excessive hours but take significantly less than their full entitlement of annual leave. An article in THE (24.02.2012) identified lecturers as topping the list for unpaid overtime.

The recent work to contract has provided ample demonstration of the growing workloads faced by academic and related staff in HEIs. By withdrawing goodwill and working only contracted hours UCU members forced the employers to negotiate on USS. However this strategy has only been successful because of the additional hours previously worked above and beyond those specified by contracts. Increased demands on staff's time such as the REF, student expectation, and management's cost cutting have resulted in ridiculous workloads with fewer staff doing more work. University managements have not engaged seriously with this issue or made genuine attempts to address this.

Conference affirms that the suspension of industrial action does not give employers permission to insist on unhealthy and unsustainable workloads, and recognises that long work hours damage the health and safety of our members.

Conference therefore calls for a UK-wide campaign to establish the extent of this problem and the nature of its impact, and asks HEC to:

  1. call upon members to
    • record their actual hours worked and draw management attention to excessive hours and the effects of these
    • record requests for annual leave and any impediments to taking take their full leave entitlement
    • participate in Work your Proper Hours Day 2013
  2. prioritise an on-going campaign to reduce long work hours in HE aimed at ensuring a better work-life balance and addressing, where appropriate, such matters as employers' breach of contract or health and safety legislation
  3. ensure that all HE institutions comply with the EU working-time directive
  4. produce workload model guidelines and to campaign to 'give us back the weekend'.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE14A.1 Higher Education Committee

Add an additional action point:

5. publicise UCU's existing model guidance and use it as a tool, for negotiations and campaigning

CARRIED

HE14A.2 Anti-casualisation committee

Add as point 5 at end:

'Highlight cases where part-time and/or casualised staff are expected to work hours and take on responsibilities that are significantly disproportionate to their paid contractual hours, and campaign to bring remuneration and contractual hours into line with the real workload and responsibility.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes the increase in work hours and workloads. Many pre-1992 institutions opt out of the European Union working-time directive and increased workloads mean our members work more than 40 hours a week to fulfil their duties. In post-1992 institutions increased non-contact work e.g. assessment boards, curriculum development and administration, increased quality assurance - means that staff regularly work beyond their formal contract. This leads to stress and poor work-life balance.

A recent survey of UCU Edinburgh members confirmed that academic staff in particular not only work excessive hours but take significantly less than their full entitlement of annual leave. An article in THE (24.02.2012) identified lecturers as topping the list for unpaid overtime.

The recent work to contract has provided ample demonstration of the growing workloads faced by academic and related staff in HEIs. By withdrawing goodwill and working only contracted hours UCU members forced the employers to negotiate on USS. However this strategy has only been successful because of the additional hours previously worked above and beyond those specified by contracts. Increased demands on staff's time such as the REF, student expectation, and management's cost cutting have resulted in ridiculous workloads with fewer staff doing more work. University managements have not engaged seriously with this issue or made genuine attempts to address this.

Conference affirms that the suspension of industrial action does not give employers permission to insist on unhealthy and unsustainable workloads, and recognises that long work hours damage the health and safety of our members.

Conference therefore calls for a UK-wide campaign to establish the extent of this problem and the nature of its impact, and asks HEC to:

  1. call upon members to
    • record their actual hours worked and draw management attention to excessive hours and the effects of these
    • record requests for annual leave and any impediments to taking take their full leave entitlement
    • participate in Work your Proper Hours Day 2013
  2. prioritise an on-going campaign to reduce long work hours in HE aimed at ensuring a better work-life balance and addressing, where appropriate, such matters as employers' breach of contract or health and safety legislation
  3. ensure that all HE institutions comply with the EU working-time directive
  4. produce workload model guidelines and to campaign to 'give us back the weekend'
  5. publicise UCU's existing model guidance and use it as a tool, for negotiations and campaigning
  6. highlight cases where part-time and/or casualised staff are expected to work hours and take on responsibilities that are significantly disproportionate to their paid contractual hours, and campaign to bring remuneration and contractual hours into line with the real workload and responsibility.

Casualised workforce - hourly paid (HP) lecturers, paragraph 10.1

HE15 Resisting a casualised workforce - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes that the increasingly marketised, competitive and differentiated higher education system is encouraging HEI managements to reassess current staffing models.

Conference notes the significant body of national UCU policy and advice. Conference agrees that branches need to be vigilant in monitoring proposed changes in staffing arrangements, including reward and retention mechanisms.

Conference calls on all HE branches to

  1. work with their regional offices to recruit existing casualised staff through local campaigns on Hourly Paid Lecturers assimilation, Graduate Teaching Assistants and permanency for those on Fixed-Term Contracts and to resist moves for further casualisation of the sector
  2. defend normal progression arrangements for the academic and related job families;
  3. ensure that institutional pay and grading structures for all academic and related staff are transparent and equality-proofed for all academic and related staff.

CARRIED


HE16 The terms and conditions of hourly-paid staff - Teesside University

HESC notes the diversity of contracts for hourly-paid staff, varying from department to department in some universities. We are concerned by the continued use of zero hours contracts. For many members this is their only work in these economic conditions, with no guarantee of further work.

HESC calls on the HEC for continued and renewed efforts to achieve:

  1. the abolition of zero hours contracts
  2. permanent fractional contracts for all part-time hourly-paid staff that meet the requirement not to be treated less favourably than full-time staff doing comparable work, including equal access to professional development and attendance at conferences
  3. an end to the overloading with extra unpaid teaching of postgraduate staff who are contracted to teach as part of their study agreements
  4. increased recruitment of hourly-paid staff members
  5. updated information and support to local branches on these issues.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE16A.1 Women members standing committee

After the first paragraph insert new paragraph.

'Sector conference also notes that pension rules and recent changes to the pension schemes also result in disproportionate disadvantage to part-time and hourly paid staff; potentially condemning a disproportionately female group of staff to poverty in old age'.

In the last sentence between 'on' and 'these' insert 'all of'.

CARRIED

HE16A.2 Higher Education Committee

Add a new action point at end

6. The assimilation of all hourly paid staff to the pay and grading structures on fractional contracts; and, if the employers are not willing to move speedily to resolve this, to give serious consideration to commence preparations for the submission of multiple tribunal cases against institutions under the Part-Time Workers Regulations.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

HESC notes the diversity of contracts for hourly-paid staff, varying from department to department in some universities. We are concerned by the continued use of zero hours contracts. For many members this is their only work in these economic conditions, with no guarantee of further work.

Sector conference also notes that pension rules and recent changes to the pension schemes also result in disproportionate disadvantage to part-time and hourly paid staff; potentially condemning a disproportionately female group of staff to poverty in old age.

HESC calls on the HEC for continued and renewed efforts to achieve:

  1. the abolition of zero hours contracts
  2. permanent fractional contracts for all part-time hourly-paid staff that meet the requirement not to be treated less favourably than full-time staff doing comparable work, including equal access to professional development and attendance at conferences
  3. an end to the overloading with extra unpaid teaching of postgraduate staff who are contracted to teach as part of their study agreements
  4. increased recruitment of hourly-paid staff members
  5. updated information and support to local branches on all of these issues
  6. the assimilation of all hourly paid staff to the pay and grading structures on fractional contracts; and, if the employers are not willing to move speedily to resolve this, to give serious consideration to commence preparations for the submission of multiple tribunal cases against institutions under the Part-Time Workers Regulations.

HE17 Postgraduates - Anti-Casualisation Committee

HESC notes the commitment of UCU to support postgraduate employment rights; and that a high number of postgraduates work in academic and academic-related roles, mostly on casualised contracts, with many unaware of their right to join UCU.

Widespread anecdotal evidence suggests that many are actively discouraged by perceptions that the work they perform is an expected part of their duties, or that UCU 'is not for them'.

This conference calls on the HEC to urge local associations and branches to reach out to recruit and support postgraduates in a targeted way, and to provide them with resources to do so, including:

  1. the wealth of excellent resources available from UCU such as the Postgraduate Charter that was authored jointly with the NUS
  2. advice on how to ensure that postgraduate teaching staff that are contracted to teach as part of their study agreements are not overloaded with extra unpaid teaching.

CARRIED

Disabled staff, paragraph 12.1

HE18 Disclosing a disability - Disabled members standing committee

This conference welcomes the inclusion of disability leave as part of the national pay claim. The importance of disability leave being counted separately is critical when many members are facing redundancy criteria which includes sick leave.  To make sure all disabled members can be supported by this leave, we must encourage a culture of disclosure within higher education. Many members are still wary of what the consequences may be of disclosure. Conference calls upon the higher education committee to:

  1. ensure all branches are aware of the new disclosure guidelines and raise the issues with employers
  2. raise disclosure as part of the negotiations on disability leave
  3. encourage branches to challenge through the public sector equality duty analysis, employers data on disability and propose ways to improve monitoring
  4. ensure the research produced by the Equality Challenge Unit in 2011 which included disclosure is developed and acted upon.

CARRIED (UNAMENDED)

HE18A.1 LGBT members standing committee

Delete all in point 2 and substitute 'ensure that branches and reps are made aware that disclosure is a sensitive issue and should only occur if reps and members are satisfied that it will take place within a sufficiently supportive environment.'

LOST

New section, Impact of the cuts on women, after paragraph 13.1

HE19 Gendered impact on the HE workforce of cuts - Women members standing committee

HE Sector Conference recognises that effective campaigning is only possible where it is based on the best available data. In order to further motions passed at Conference in 2011 and the equality agenda of UCU more generally this Conference asks for research to be carried out on a continuing basis into the gendered impact on the HE workforce of cuts and changes in government policy.

This research should as far as possible:

  1. acknowledge and explore the compounding effect of multiple discrimination and look at impacts and potential impacts on older women, black women, disabled women and women as carers
  2. be made available to ROCC and to SFC to inform decisions made in those committees, and
  3. be made available to women members standing committee to enable them to report to women members annual conference.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE19A.1 Academic-related staff Committee

In point 1, after 'disabled women', add ', mothers' (before 'and women as carers').

CARRIED


HE20 Cuts impacting on women as students - Women members standing committee

The disparate impact of austerity measures on women has been widely acknowledged, however as yet UCU has barely begun to factor into its response the potential for disparate impact on the self-organising groups. HE Conference calls on HEC to remedy this, not only in relation to the workforce, but also in relation to our students. As yet it is not clear what the long term and short term impacts of extortionate fees and attacks on the arts and humanities and other female dominated subject areas will be. As such Conference calls on HEC to:

  1. ensure that adequate research is undertaken to understand the impacts and potential impacts of these policies on female students, and
  2. monitor the impact on part time students, women returners and women from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

CARRIED

New section, LGBT members in the workplace, after paragraph 13.1

HE21 Market Ideology in HE - LGBT members standing committee

Conference notes increasing pressure to run only those HE courses that can be justified by the market. This threatens courses such as studies pertaining to LGBT issues. Conference believes that education is not only for producing useful resources for those who own businesses and run the free market economy. Awareness of diverse relationship configurations, spectrums of gender identity and sexual orientations are important in developing a mature society that embraces living diversity.

Conference calls on HEC to support branches in

  1. developing awareness that diverse relationships in society are reflected in the workplace and lecture hall through specific resources and training for reps especially within LGBT history month annually
  2. campaigning against the continued marketisation of HE including evidence of the impact on LGBT people and studies
  3. getting management to monitor sexual orientation and gender identity including a more diverse approach to monitoring sex as a protected characteristic.

CARRIED


HE22 Promoting Fair Treatment in the Workplace - LBGT members standing committee

LGB employees are more likely than others to experience workplace ill-treatment. ECU research (2009) reported that LGB employees reported negative treatment on the grounds of their sexual orientation from colleagues (33 .8 %), from students (18.9 %) and those working in other areas of their HEI (25.3 %). Trans people have high levels of discrimination in the workplace and in the provision of education and training across HEIs.

Conference calls on HEC to

  1. encourage HEIs to implement compulsory induction and training programmes on LGBT equality including case studies about the nature and effect of negative treatment on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity
  2. encourage systematic research and data collection in relation to negative treatment on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in education institutions; and
  3. actively support work with the HE sector including the NUS to achieve the best results for LGBT equality.

CARRIED

New section, Postgraduate training, after paragraph 13.1

HE23 Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) Doctoral Training Centres - Black members standing committee

Conference notes that since 2010 the ESRC has created Doctoral Training Centres which are located in Russell group institutions only. These institutions tend to have a lower proportion of Black staff and students.

Conference calls HEC to ask ESRC to undertake an impact assessment of the effect of concentrating the centres in institutions where black staff and students are underrepresented.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE23A.1 Black members standing committee

Insert in first sentence after 'Doctoral Training Centres which are' the word 'predominantly' and delete 'only' at the end of that sentence. Delete second sentence and insert new sentence 'There is no  evidence that an impact assessment of this policy was undertaken prior to its implementation. Black staff and students tend to be underrepresented in Russell Group universities more so than in other institutions. Black staff are more likely to be adversely affected by this policy and to lose out on doctoral training opportunities which it offers'

CARRIED


HE24 Post graduate education in non-elite institutions - London Metropolitan University (City)

UCU HE Sector Conference notes the potential for post graduate education, including post graduate vocationally orientated education, to become confined to elite institutions and available only for comparatively rich graduates.

Conference instructs HEC/NEC to work with the NUS and other bodies to collate details of the reduction in number and diversity of post graduate courses across the sector and to give publicity to the worst examples.

CARRIED

Motions HE25-27 to be taken as timed business, in private session, 14:00-14:45

USS, paragraph 14.6

HE25 USS - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes the report on the progress of talks to resolve the USS dispute and approves the recommendations from the HEC's Superannuation Working Group contained in UCUHE/154.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE25A.1 Yorkshire & Humberside regional HE committee and University of Leeds

Delete 'and approves etc' to end of sentence. Replace with:
Conference instructs HEC:

  1. to reinstate the work to contract with immediate effect
  2. to campaign over the summer for a programme of sustained industrial action in the Autumn
  3. to report to a special sector Conference in early September with a credible strategy for escalating action in the Autumn term, and beyond if necessary.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes the report on the progress of talks to resolve the USS dispute. Conference instructs HEC:

  1. to reinstate the work to contract with immediate effect
  2. to campaign over the summer for a programme of sustained industrial action in the Autumn
  3. to report to a special sector Conference in early September with a credible strategy for escalating action in the Autumn term, and beyond if necessary.

HE26 Suspension of USS industrial action - Cardiff University

HESC notes the UCU pre-1992 special conference on 31 January 2012 passed a motion agreeing to suspend industrial action on the USS pension dispute if the employers' negotiators agreed to a series of conditions.

HESC understands these conditions to be to the effect of: negotiation of a CARE accrual rate no worse than that for the TPS system; negotiation on redundancy provision; agreement of a negotiation timetable completing negotiations no later than May 2012; and replacement of Sir Andrew Cubie as independent chair of USS JNC.

HESC believes none of these four conditions were fulfilled by 15 February 2012 and therefore that UCU's suspension of industrial action was in error. We note UCU publications HE132 and HE134, discussing the suspension, did not make reference to these conditions.

HESC resolves to resume industrial action on USS as soon as legally possible unless all four of the above conditions have been fulfilled.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE26A.1 Higher Education Committee

Change 'May 2012' to 'June 2012'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

HESC notes the UCU pre-1992 special conference on 31 January 2012 passed a motion agreeing to suspend industrial action on the USS pension dispute if the employers' negotiators agreed to a series of conditions.

HESC understands these conditions to be to the effect of: negotiation of a CARE accrual rate no worse than that for the TPS system; negotiation on redundancy provision; agreement of a negotiation timetable completing negotiations no later than June 2012; and replacement of Sir Andrew Cubie as independent chair of USS JNC.

HESC believes none of these four conditions were fulfilled by 15 February 2012 and therefore that UCU's suspension of industrial action was in error. We note UCU publications HE132 and HE134, discussing the suspension, did not make reference to these conditions.

HESC resolves to resume industrial action on USS as soon as legally possible unless all four of the above conditions have been fulfilled.


HE27 USS - University of Bath

Following the imposition of disputed changes to our USS pension this conference seeks:

  1. to instruct the UCU to put forward a vote of no confidence in the 'independent' Chair Andrew Cubie
  2. to avoid other draconian changes occurring when the vast majority of members are against them this conference calls on the UCU to instigate changes to the procedural rules of the USS through a clause that demands a ballot of USS members in the event of proposed changes to the scheme.

LOST

Job security, after paragraph 16.1

HE28 Transferability of sick leave entitlement between HEIs - Queen Margaret University

Conference notes that there is a lack of agreement across the UK about the transfer of sick leave entitlement between HEIs. Staff who have built up the maximum entitlement in one HEI may lose this when they take up employment at another HEI. This impacts negatively on staff with chronic illnesses and becomes an increasing risk factor with increasing age. It therefore also is a differential impediment to staff mobility, resulting in inequalities of job opportunities for older staff and those with chronic illness.

Conference therefore instructs the UCU to negotiate and agree a UK-wide agreement on the transfer of sick leave entitlement to ensure that staff retain their entitlement when they transfer HEIs.

CARRIED

Research and research careers, paragraph 17

HE29 Composite: Research Excellence Framework - Higher Education Committee, LSE

Conference notes the detrimental impact of the REF on the academic profession, and on the HE sector in general, and the updated guidance and report of the consultative branch meeting on the REF held in February 2012, contained in UCUHE141. Conference believes that the REF exercise is deeply flawed in terms of its claimed objective to promote and reward good research and in its effect upon staff.

Conference believes REF is designed to increase funding council control of universities and increase managerialist control within institutions.

Conference notes that REF processes within universities can easily be compromised by discriminatory behaviour both in respect of individuals and research topics and approaches and deplores the stress it places on staff and the risk to their careers.

Conference calls upon HE branches to seek no-detriment agreements at their institutions on the treatment of staff not included in the REF, and professional development policies that recognise that the research and wider academic contribution of staff should not be measured simply by means of whether they are included in this flawed exercise. Conference commits the union to support fully branches that defend members who suffer detriment from non-submission.

Conference calls upon HEC to:

  1. undertake survey work to ascertain the impact of the REF on our members, including increases in stress and workloads resulting from REF, and work with other national committees to highlight the detrimental impact of the REF on the sector and on HE staff, and seek to convince sectoral organisations and public policy-makers that the current research assessment system is discredited
  2. provide advice to branches on how to press for local REF processes that confront institutional discrimination
  3. assist branches in monitoring the fairness of institutional REF processes.

CARRIED


HE30 Research Excellence Framework (REF) - Northern regional HE committee

HESC condemns REF as a cynical way of distributing inadequate research funding. HESC further condemns the fact that it promotes gender, race and other inequalities, threatens jobs, courses, subject areas, departments and even the quality of research and encourages 'gameplaying' with contracts ending shortly after the REF exercise and other corrupt practices.

HESC calls on the government to significantly increase research funding and to abolish (not replace) REF.

HESC agrees to mandate HEC to:

  1. ballot members on the abolition of the REF
  2. organise a high profile campaign, including a rally and lobby of parliament
  3. seek support from professional institutions, research council, science campaigning bodies and public figures for this campaign
  4. gather data about contract end dates and the REF, and any useful data in the campaign for job security for researchers.

CARRIED

HE30A.1 Higher Education Committee

Delete bullet point 1. In bullet point 2, add 'possibly' before 'including'

LOST


HE31 Researcher redundancies - University of Manchester

Despite the introduction of the Fixed Term Employees Regulations in 2002, 10 years later the exploitation they aimed to prevent continues on a massive scale in Higher Education. Employees with fixed term contracts, or so-called 'open ended contracts' tied to external funding, are made compulsorily redundant every day. In many institutions, even researchers progressing to grades deemed 'academic' fall foul of this system.

Conference notes the urgent need to challenge the culture of continued exploitation of research staff, including outdated attitudes articulated by management and academic staff including, unfortunately, many UCU colleagues, implying that these redundancies are necessary and/ or beneficial for research progress. Conference instructs the HEC to initiate a campaign to raise awareness in branches, of the importance of challenging all compulsory redundancies, including those of fixed term staff, equally forcefully and the UCU leadership to make the plight of research staff a national priority.

CARRIED


HE32 Composite: Researchers on fixed-term contracts - Anti-casualisation committee, Teesside University

HESC notes that the 'four-year rule' requiring staff on fixed-term contracts are recognised as permanent (unless a substantial reason provided to the contrary) is often ignored; that researchers of many years' standing are viewed as apprentices; and the associated stress and inconvenience. 

Conference calls on the HEC:

  1. to provide information and support to branches to push for conversion to permanent contracts after four years as a default position
  2. to approach employers and funding bodies to achieve for researchers:
    1. an end to expectations to contribute to REF without paid time allowed
    2. paid time to pursue their own research
    3. personal development systems which include the allocation of time for Research and Scholarly Activity on the same basis as academics that teach
    4. grades commensurate with their role, not below
    5. management of income streams and collaborative working across research projects to support permanency
    6. that any remaining fixed-term contracts are of long duration
    7. an end to discrimination against progression to further responsibility, including principal investigator, readership and professorial roles.

CARRIED

Academic-related staff, paragraph 18

HE33 Academic-related terms and conditions - Academic-related staff committee

Conference notes:

  1. institutions have removed 'academic-related' from their statutes
  2. the Framework Agreement commitment to the normal expectation of annual progression up to the contribution threshold and for progression from grade 6 to 7 for academic-related staff
  3. the UCU commitment to retain the link between academic and related staff.

Conference regrets that most employers have used dubious techniques to deny progression to academic-related staff and renege on the Agreement.

Conference instructs HEC to:

  1. conduct a survey on the attitude of different institutions to academic related staff
  2. develop advice/support to assist branches in:
  3. protecting and revitalising the link between academic and related staff and to ensure a common approach for career development
  4. ensuring no impact on terms and conditions when staff are moved between categories, and that employment rights are common across these groups
  5. prioritise making the employers keep to the Agreement.

CARRIED


HE34 Academic-related representation - Academic-related staff committee

Conference notes:

  1. the attacks on academic related jobs, protections under statutes and terms and conditions, and parity with academic staff
  2. the need to improve communication with academic-related staff by developing a list of contacts that will provide a two way route for information on issues affecting these staff and build a network of academic-related staff in the branches.

Conference therefore calls upon HEC:

  1. to support academic-related staff in working with other national committees to gather data to fight redundancies affecting academic-related staff, to develop a list of academic-related contacts at all universities with academic-related staff.
  2. Conference urges all branches and regional committees with academic-related staff to urgently identify at least one rep dedicated to academic-related staff issues to support the above.

CARRIED


HE35 Opposition to outsourcing and shared services - London regional HE committee

Conference notes

  1. London Metropolitan University management announced a plan in December for its central services to be shared with other colleges. This explicit 'shared services' agenda coincides with LMU cutting three quarters of courses to 'reposition' themselves in the fees 'marketplace'.
  2. Meanwhile University College London Information Services Division restructuring is modelled on private-sector 'facilities management', splitting teams of support staff and developers and centralising local IT.

Conference believes

  1. that this is the wrong response to Government cuts.
  2. the employers' agenda passes cuts onto staff. It is designed to centralise academic related staff and isolate them from academics, 'share' staff between institutions, and ultimately outsource them.
  3. that private companies see HEIs as a 'soft touch' for privatisation.

Conference resolves

  1. to support local campaigns against outsourcing and 'shared services'
  2. to initiate a national campaign to prepare branches to the threat and to develop campaign materials.

CARRIED

HE35A.1 Higher Education Committee

Add at the end of point (i): ', where they are detrimental to members' interests and services'

LOST

New section, Academic careers, after paragraph 18.1

HE36 Teaching and research careers - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes

  1. that as a consequence of policy and financial drivers, such as the REF, research is increasingly being concentrated among a small number of institutions and staff
  2. that shifts in student funding are likely to lead to increased importance of the teaching role within the sector
  3. that there is anecdotal evidence of a trend for university management to consider employing more academic staff on teaching-only contracts.

Conference believes that

  1. effective teaching requires continuous engagement in scholarly activity;
  2. teaching and research should be regarded as equally important facets to the academic role
  3. teaching and research roles should have parity in earning capacity and promotion opportunities.

Conference calls on HEC to

  1. obtain branch and members views on the use of teaching-focussed contracts
  2. develop guidance for branches/LAs on the introduction of career pathways for teaching and research staff
  3. defend the post-92 'national contract'.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE36A.1 University of Bath

After point 3 add point 4:

the increasing use of 10 month contracts for teaching-only contracts that cover an academic year.

After point c add point d:

the increased use of 10-month contracts represents a worsening of nationally agreed conditions

Add to point iii:

in general, and oppose the increased use of 10 month contracts in particular.

CARRIED

HE36A.2 University of Essex

Insert after 'teaching' in point b), ', scholarship'
Insert before 'earning capacity' in point c), 'esteem,'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes

  1. that as a consequence of policy and financial drivers, such as the REF, research is increasingly being concentrated among a small number of institutions and staff
  2. that shifts in student funding are likely to lead to increased importance of the teaching role within the sector
  3. that there is anecdotal evidence of a trend for university management to consider employing more academic staff on teaching-only contracts
  4. the increasing use of 10 month contracts for teaching-only contracts that cover an academic year.

Conference believes that

  1. effective teaching requires continuous engagement in scholarly activity;
  2. teaching, scholarship and research should be regarded as equally important facets to the academic role
  3. teaching and research roles should have parity in esteem, earning capacity and promotion opportunities
  4. the increased use of 10-month contracts represents a worsening of nationally agreed conditions.

Conference calls on HEC to

  1. obtain branch and members views on the use of teaching-focussed contracts
  2. develop guidance for branches/LAs on the introduction of career pathways for teaching and research staff
  3. defend the post-92 'national contract in general, and oppose the increased use of 10 month contracts in particular.

HE37 Teaching only contracts - London Metropolitan University (North)

UCU HE Sector Conference notes the potential danger of 'teacher only' contracts as means to increase work load and to hinder the academic potential of HE lecturers and researchers.

Conference calls on the HEC to promote support up to and including active promotion of nationally aggregated action for branches and local associations where 'teacher only' contracts are proposed for introduction.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE37A.1 Higher Education Committee

In the first paragraph, insert after 'teacher only' contracts ',which do not have provision for scholarly activity,'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

UCU HE Sector Conference notes the potential danger of 'teacher only' contracts, which do not have provision for scholarly activity, as means to increase work load and to hinder the academic potential of HE lecturers and researchers.

Conference calls on the HEC to promote support up to and including active promotion of nationally aggregated action for branches and local associations where 'teacher only' contracts are proposed for introduction.

Health Educators, paragraph 19.1

HE38 Threat to health professions and health educators - London regional HE committee

Conference notes

  1. NHS London's reduction in commissions for adult nursing and physiotherapy in London HE institutions and that the DOH links this to 'skill mix' and EU nurses joining the UK register.
  2. This will further impact on the financial stability of some HE institutions in London and threaten the jobs of Health Educators and UCU members.
  3. This attack is integrally linked to the wider attack on the NHS leading to privatisation, deregulation and deskilling.
  4. The EU proposal to re-negotiate the Mutual Recognition of Professional Qualifications Directive by 2013.

Conference resolves

  1. to circulate information to all branches about the threat to the Health professions and health educators.
  2. to work with sister unions and the regulators to ensure that the renegotiated EU directive makes allowances for language testing by the regulator (not the employer), so providing a level playing field for all overseas trained nurses.

CARRIED

English white paper - competition and privatisation, paragraph 20

HE39 Defend the public university - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

Conference notes the threat of closure to some HE institutions, the shift from education to training, the adoption of market approaches to the curriculum, the threat of privatisation and the abandoning of liberal educational values.

Conference notes that campaigns such as the Campaign for the Defence of the Public University have taken the initiative. Conference notes the successful national conference organised by the Education Committee of the NEC.

Conference resolves to organise a series of high profile regional rallies in the Autumn term, focussed particularly where institutional closure or restructuring are threatened, putting the case for the Public University and opposing privatisation.

CARRIED

HE39A.1 South East regional HE committee

After 'restructuring' in third paragraph add ', merger or resource sharing'

At end add two new paragraphs:

Branches are urged to join student activists, local Student Unions and the Campaign for the Public University, to organise 'teach-in' days in Autumn and Spring, and approach VCs for appropriate teaching suspension.

HEC is instructed to:

1 coordinate with local groups and the Campaign to provide NEC speakers and anti-privatisation resources for a national programme of 'teach-ins'

2 consider how for-profit initiatives can be boycotted, and advise branches and regions.

CARRIED

HE39A.2 Higher Education Committee

Replace

'Conference resolves to organise a series of high profile regional rallies in the Autumn term, focussed particularly where institutional closure or restructuring are threatened...'

with

'Conference encourages regional HE committees to organise high profile events in the autumn term, particularly focussing on locations where institutional closure or restructuring are threatened...'

LOST

HE39A.3 Southern regional HE committee

Delete final paragraph (Conference resolves to organise....opposing privatisation) and replace with:

Conference asks HEC to publicly support these campaigns and to encourage and support Regional Committees to organise or support regional rallies or events linked with these in the autumn term.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes the threat of closure to some HE institutions, the shift from education to training, the adoption of market approaches to the curriculum, the threat of privatisation and the abandoning of liberal educational values.

Conference notes that campaigns such as the Campaign for the Defence of the Public University have taken the initiative. Conference notes the successful national conference organised by the Education Committee of the NEC.

Conference asks HEC to publicly support these campaigns and to encourage and support Regional Committees to organise or support regional rallies or events linked with these in the autumn term.

Branches are urged to join student activists, local Student Unions and the Campaign for the Public University, to organise 'teach-in' days in Autumn and Spring, and approach VCs for appropriate teaching suspension.

HEC is instructed to:

1 coordinate with local groups and the Campaign to provide NEC speakers and anti-privatisation resources for a national programme of 'teach-ins'

2 consider how for-profit initiatives can be boycotted, and advise branches and regions.


HE40 Composite: Privatisation in higher education - Northumbria University, University of Hertfordshire

Conference notes that:

  1. the White Paper on higher education will deregulate the sector and open the door to private providers on a large scale in awarding degrees
  2. this is a threat to the pay and conditions of service of staff and the range and quality of education for students
  3. this is part of a wider marketisation of education by the coalition government.

Conference recognises that, despite the delay in the promised Higher Education Bill, pressures towards privatisation and new business models remain. In particular:

  1. The trend towards international services, including branch campuses and joint ventures, will continue.
  2. More private sector organisations will seek degree-awarding powers, on the back of the government-commissioned survey of private providers.
  3. The consultation on the Review of the 2006 Charities Act is soliciting comments from statutory and Royal Charter corporations about making any change of legal status easier.
  4. Models already exist allowing university buy-outs or the injection of private capital without the institution losing state grants.
  5. The offer of tax breaks for merging back-office functions will be an incentive for full-scale mergers in time.

Conference believes that:

  1. members should resist privatisation (in all its form) in their own institutions
  2. members should work with colleagues in other higher education institutions and in further education to defend local 'publically' funded provision.

Conference reaffirms this union's position that higher education should be a service and not a source of profit, and resolves to campaign energetically against any further inroads of privatisation in our sector.

CARRIED


HE41 Joint campaigns with students - Northern regional HE committee

Even though the government has postponed the HE Bill, for now, UCU remains committed to oppose creeping privatisation. This includes tuition fees, unfair access into higher education, the gendered narrowing of curricula, unpaid internships and other forms of student exploitation.

UCU works with the NUS nationally on common campaign issues. However, at the local level this opportunity may be less than effective for various reasons.

Conference calls upon the HEC to support and develop a memo of co-operation with the NUS nationally to ensure that joint campaigning work is taken forward at a local level.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE41A.1 South East regional HE committee

Add at end:

Conference resolves to:

  1. support the NUS national, autumn demonstration against cuts and fees
  2. display notice of this demonstration prominently on the Home Page of the UCU website from September
  3. produce placards and leaflets for the demonstration, highlighting the UCU's opposition to cuts, fees and privatisation
  4. urge branches to link this to any local 'teach-ins'
  5. instruct HEC/ROCC to facilitate transport for branches to the demonstration.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Even though the government has postponed the HE Bill, for now, UCU remains committed to oppose creeping privatisation. This includes tuition fees, unfair access into higher education, the gendered narrowing of curricula, unpaid internships and other forms of student exploitation.

UCU works with the NUS nationally on common campaign issues. However, at the local level this opportunity may be less than effective for various reasons.

Conference calls upon the HEC to support and develop a memo of co-operation with the NUS nationally to ensure that joint campaigning work is taken forward at a local level.

Conference resolves to:

  1. support the NUS national, autumn demonstration against cuts and fees
  2. display notice of this demonstration prominently on the Home Page of the UCU website from September
  3. produce placards and leaflets for the demonstration, highlighting the UCU's opposition to cuts, fees and privatisation
  4. urge branches to link this to any local 'teach-ins'
  5. instruct HEC/ROCC to facilitate transport for branches to the demonstration.

HE42 Opposing privatisation - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee and Leeds Metropolitan University

Conference notes the growing threat of privatisation in Higher Education, including outsourcing and partnerships with private providers. It welcomes the research undertaken by UCU's Universities Department into employment conditions in private providers. This research usefully documents the variations in pay and conditions between public and private universities.

Conference supports UCU efforts to unionise, represent and negotiate for staff already employed by private providers of HE, while continuing to campaign against the growth of privatisation of the HE sector.

Developments in Leeds highlight the dangers of privatisation (in particular the threatened outsourcing of English language provision and disability support services) and the ability to stand up to this through campaigning trade unionism. Sector Conference declares its support for branches in Leeds who are campaigning and organising on this issue.

CARRIED

New section Intellectual Property Rights, after paragraph 20.3

HE43 Lecture capture, digitisation, and publishing - Newcastle University

Conference notes that:

  1. with the marketisation of higher education, many HE institutions are investing in lecture capture and publishing technology
  2. there are serious questions about the pedagogical value of such technologies, given that they may encourage superficial and dependent learning strategies and discourage attendance
  3. such investment diverts resources from a reduction in staff-student ratios and opens up the possibility of the using or franchising or selling staff lecture performances.

Conference resolves:

  1. to support staff who refuse to have their lectures recorded

    REMITTED
  2. that universities should not be creating expectations that all lectures will be recorded

    CARRIED
  3. to provide materials with advice on the issues of performance rights, copyrighted materials used in lectures, and intellectual property rights regarding the future use of a lecture

    CARRIED
  4. to provide materials indicating the pedagogical value of recorded lecture materials.

    CARRIED

TAKEN IN PARTS - CARRIED

Governance/academic freedom, paragraph 21

HE44 Higher education governance - University of St Andrews

Conference notes the publication in February 2012 of the Scottish Government's report on the Review of Higher Education Governance in Scotland, and the alignment of that Report with many central UCU policies, such as the participation of trade unions in University governance.

Conference instructs UCU to:

  1. initiate debate on the recommendations of the Report in branches across all Regions of UCU;
  2. on the basis of feedback from that debate, prepare a strategy to pressurise the Scottish government to implement the desirable recommendations of the report, and to pressure other UK parliaments to adopt similar measures.

CARRIED


HE45 Academic publishing - University of Bath

It is now clear that a few publishers have gained a quasi-monopoly in academic publishing. Publications are the primary form of dissemination of academic work, and careers depend on them. Given the manner in which some publishers have abused their power by increasing prices and by publishing thinly disguised corporate pamphlets, for example, we are concerned by the practices of part of the academic publishing business.

Thus, HESC resolves to:

  1. examine ways in which the damage done by publishers' abuse of power can be limited
  2. support efforts to develop models of publishing which maintain values of academic freedom and free exchange and dissemination of ideas within and without universities
  3. develop guidance for local associations and branches on protecting members from pressure to publish in possibly inappropriate journals, including rejection of `impact factors' and `h factors' as measures for quality or career progression.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE45A.1 Higher Education Committee

Add new point 4:

'Congratulate the MRC on its support for unrestricted access to the published outputs of research as a fundamental part of its mission and a public benefit.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

It is now clear that a few publishers have gained a quasi-monopoly in academic publishing. Publications are the primary form of dissemination of academic work, and careers depend on them. Given the manner in which some publishers have abused their power by increasing prices and by publishing thinly disguised corporate pamphlets, for example, we are concerned by the practices of part of the academic publishing business.

Thus, HESC resolves to:

  1. examine ways in which the damage done by publishers' abuse of power can be limited
  2. support efforts to develop models of publishing which maintain values of academic freedom and free exchange and dissemination of ideas within and without universities
  3. develop guidance for local associations and branches on protecting members from pressure to publish in possibly inappropriate journals, including rejection of `impact factors' and `h factors' as measures for quality or career progression
  4. congratulate the MRC on its support for unrestricted access to the published outputs of research as a fundamental part of its mission and a public benefit.

Scotland, paragraph 23.2

HE46 Staff-student ratios and fees - University of St Andrews

Conference notes the higher rate of growth in student numbers in comparison to growth in numbers of academic and related staff, and (with regret) the introduction of significantly increased fees across the UK.

Conference resolves:

  1. to develop a strategy to pressure the HE sector to ensure that income generated by higher student numbers is directed to the protection of teaching quality, scholarship and research, driven by investment in academic and related staff and the improvement of their working environment
  2. to report on the implementation of that strategy to Conference in 2013.

CARRIED


HE47 Fees for rest of UK students in Scotland - UCU Scotland

Conference condemns

  1. the charges for Scottish students studying in the rest of the UK which restricts choice
  2. the introduction of fees for rest of UK students which imports the market in education to Scotland
  3. the maximum level of fees announced by most institutions despite the government call for restraint
  4. the fee levels set by St Andrews and Edinburgh universities which have resulted in the highest cost of an undergraduate degree for UK students at £36 000.

Conference reiterates its opposition to university tuition fees, and commits to supporting UCU Scotland campaigns against fees and to guard against the undermining of the traditional four-year degree in Scotland.

CARRIED

Last updated: 8 June 2012