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Higher education sector conference

UCU Congress 2013 - HE sector conference: Wednesday 28 May 2013

Chapter 2 of the NEC's report to UCU Congress 2013:

UCU/491.html | UCU/491.rtf

Motions:

HE1 - Mandatory reporting of senior staff pay and pay inequality
HE2 - Enforcing the National Framework Agreement (NFA)
HE3 - Performance management in HE
HE4 - Performance related pay
HE5 - Maternity leave cover
HE6 - Stress and bullying
HE7 - Use of zero hours contracts in higher education
HE8 - Disability leave
HE9 - Bullying and victimisation of black activists
HE10 - Unequal terms and conditions for researchers in post-92 institutions
HE11 - Erosion of fixed-term redundancy righs and redundancy consultation requirements
HE12 - Research funding
HE13 - REF 2014: ensuring equality
HE14 - Career progression and professional development for academic-related staff
HE15 - Academic-related staff recognition
HE16 - Threat to education departments in higher education
HE17 - UCLan privatisation - change of corporate status
L1 - University Governance and Post-16 Education Bill - UCU Scotland
HE18 - Academic freedom and military and industrial funding
HE19 - Defence of academic freedom
HE20 - Open access
HE21 - Open access publishing
HE22 - The Finch Report
HE23 - Open access and impact on LGBT in the curriculum
HE24 - Defence of the university and universal access
HE25 - Student entitlements: beyond a consumer approach
HE26 - Disproportionate impact of fees on women staff and students
HE27 - Greater coordination with student unions
HE28 - Student accommodation provision by universities
HE29 - National claim/negotiations with UCEA
HE30 - Pay and conditions
HE31 - Pay negotiations 2013, call for joint union action
HE32 - 2013 Pay claim
HE33 - Industrial action
HE34 - USS
HE35 - USS Investment in British American Tobacco  


National negotiations, paragraph 4.2

HE1 Mandatory reporting of senior staff pay and pay inequality - Newcastle University

Conference notes:

  1. high and ever increasing Vice-Chancellors and senior staff pay;
  2. the lack of transparency in remuneration awards of senior staff, including bonus payments and discretionary increases;
  3. the increasing inequality gap in pay between the majority of employees in HE Institutions and the highest paid at HE institutions;
  4. the gradual erosion of the standard of living of our members after 4 years of pay cuts in real terms.

Conference calls on our national negotiators and HEC to demand that HEI's annually publish:

  1. the ratio between the pay of the vice chancellor (and the highest paid employee, if different) and the lowest full time equivalent salary at the institution;
  2. full lists of pay of all staff earning more than £100K;
  3. a seat on remuneration committee guaranteed to a UCU representative at all HEIs.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE1A.1 Black members standing committee

Add new point d:

d. A separate list showing the number of black and women staff at all levels of the organisation by grades

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. high and ever increasing Vice-Chancellors and senior staff pay
  2. the lack of transparency in remuneration awards of senior staff, including bonus payments and discretionary increases
  3. the increasing inequality gap in pay between the majority of employees in HE Institutions and the highest paid at HE institutions
  4. the gradual erosion of the standard of living of our members after 4 years of pay cuts in real terms.

Conference calls on our national negotiators and HEC to demand that HEI's annually publish:

  1. the ratio between the pay of the vice chancellor (and the highest paid employee, if different) and the lowest full time equivalent salary at the institution
  2. full lists of pay of all staff earning more than £100K
  3. a seat on remuneration committee guaranteed to a UCU representative at all HEIs
  4. a separate list showing the number of black and women staff at all levels of the organisation by grades.

Local pay bargaining/national framework agreement, paragraph 4.1

HE2 Enforcing the National Framework Agreement (NFA) - East Midlands regional HE committee

HE Conference notes

  1. The NFA contains detailed provisions on pay grades underpinned by a job evaluation scheme and nationally negotiated roles profiles.
  2. HEIs have begun to erode the provisions of the NFA by introducing intense performance management processes and are redefining unilaterally the responsibilities within roles.
  3. HEIs are adapting staff appraisal systems to introduce performance related pay outside the provisions of the NFA.

HE Conference calls on the HEC

  1. to monitor the implementation of the NFA locally by working with branches, local associations and regional offices;
  2. to wage a national campaign to prevent employers from either contravening or circumventing the provisions of the NFA to the detriment of academic and academic related staff.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE2A.1 Anti-casualisation committee

Under notes, add new point

'4 Not all HEIs have fully assimilated hourly paid staff onto the national pay spine'

At point a. add after 'NFA': ', including the assimilation of hourly paid staff,'

CARRIED

HE2A.2 Higher education committee

To add an additional point after point 3 -

4. that in some universities health educators are treated as second class academics. Many of these members deliver curricula over 45 weeks a year, with multiple intakes and intense student placement visiting. They are disadvantaged through lack of time to engage with additional research activities and may be 'downgraded' as a result. Conference condemns this practice.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HE Conference notes

  1. the NFA contains detailed provisions on pay grades underpinned by a job evaluation scheme and nationally negotiated roles profiles
  2. HEIs have begun to erode the provisions of the NFA by introducing intense performance management processes and are redefining unilaterally the responsibilities within roles
  3. HEIs are adapting staff appraisal systems to introduce performance related pay outside the provisions of the NFA
  4. not all HEIs have fully assimilated hourly paid staff onto the national pay spine
  5. that in some universities health educators are treated as second class academics. Many of these members deliver curricula over 45 weeks a year, with multiple intakes and intense student placement visiting. They are disadvantaged through lack of time to engage with additional research activities and may be 'downgraded' as a result. Conference condemns this practice.

HE Conference calls on the HEC

  1. to monitor the implementation of the NFA, including the assimilation of hourly paid staff, locally by working with branches, local associations and regional offices;
  2. to wage a national campaign to prevent employers from either contravening or circumventing the provisions of the NFA to the detriment of academic and academic related staff.

Performance and productivity, paragraph 4.4.2

HE3 Performance management in HE - Queen Mary, University of London

Conference notes the increasing pressure on staff across the sector to be subject to metrics-based measurement as a means of 'performance management'. Using crude metrics, such policies create insecurity amongst staff and strike at the heart of collegiality - upon which UK higher education relies - and undermines academic freedom and innovation in research. Most of these arrangements are imposed by managers on staff, with little consideration of the appropriateness of the 'targets' set, and the circumstances of individual members of staff. The outcome can be destructive not only of the careers of individual members of staff but the wider fabric of institutions. Conference calls upon HEC to mount a national and co-ordinated campaign against the imposition of performance management in HE.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE3A.1 Disabled members standing committee

Add after third sentence ending 'of staff'

'This includes institutions not taking into account any reasonable adjustments secured by disabled staff which may impact on their ability to meet crude targets'

Add at end of paragraph ' including the impact on disabled members'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes the increasing pressure on staff across the sector to be subject to metrics-based measurement as a means of 'performance management'. Using crude metrics, such policies create insecurity amongst staff and strike at the heart of collegiality - upon which UK higher education relies - and undermines academic freedom and innovation in research. Most of these arrangements are imposed by managers on staff, with little consideration of the appropriateness of the 'targets' set, and the circumstances of individual members of staff. This includes institutions not taking into account any reasonable adjustments secured by disabled staff which may impact on their ability to meet crude targets. The outcome can be destructive not only of the careers of individual members of staff but the wider fabric of institutions. Conference calls upon HEC to mount a national and co-ordinated campaign against the imposition of performance management in HE including the impact on disabled members.


HE4 Performance related pay - University of Hertfordshire

Conference notes with alarm events at Halesowen College where student outcomes were used in an attempt to discipline UCU members.

Conference notes the increasing use across the HE sector of such data, gathered on the premise of enhancing student experience but which is, in effect, used to scrutinise and regulate the actions of academics.

Conference believes that the use of such measures could be used by some employers as a major step towards performance related pay.

Conference calls for:

  1. a campaign to challenge the use of NSS by employers as a way of controlling academic actions.
  2. support for local campaigns where employers use similar mechanisms in individual institutions for the purpose of scrutinising and regulating our members.

Conference asserts its belief that dialogue needs to be encouraged between students and academics to explain our opposition to such measures.

CARRIED


Workload, paragraph 4.5

HE5 Maternity leave cover - University of Glasgow

Conference believes that cover for staff on maternity leave is a right and not a privilege. Colleagues should not be asked to increase workload to cover for staff on maternity leave and staff on maternity leave should have an expectation that their work is not sidelined while they are on leave. Lack of cover can lead to local resentment, stalling of careers and discrimination, both direct and indirect. Conference believes that university resources should be made available to enable local areas to provide adequate cover. Initiatives such as Athena Swan can provide a mechanism to pressure institutions to address their responsibilities. Conference calls on HEC to develop best practice guidelines to assist branches in local negotiations.

CARRIED


HE6 Stress and bullying - South East regional HE committee

HE Sector Conference recognises that stress levels of staff in the HE sector have increased in recent years. These enhanced stress levels are caused by several factors such as job uncertainty, increased workloads, enhanced levels of bullying, etc. These job-related pressures are affecting us all but especially groups with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.

HE Sector Conference instructs its officers and officials to continue the stress and bullying campaign as this will be an increasingly important issue in the future.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE6A.1 LSE

Add after first paragraph

Conference condemns the emergence of a series of management practices that have exacerbated REF-induced stress:

  • Annual pre-REF assessments starting five or six years before the census date inevitably telling staff that submission fails to meet required standards;
  • External assessors providing little constructive feedback
  • Assessments by non-UK assessors penalizing submissions for not publishing in US journals;
  • Complex circumstance processes failing to redress disadvantage but increasing stress
  • Non-submission leading to career detriment

CARRIED

HE6A.2 University of Manchester

Replace 2nd paragraph with the following:

HE Sector Conference instructs its officers and officials to
1. Extend the stress and bullying campaign to cover wider issues of staff satisfaction, along the same/similar lines as the Student Satisfaction Survey;
2. Make more publicity of the results of these surveys by also ranking universities according to staff satisfaction with their management and working environment.

REMITTED

HE6A.3 Black members standing committee

Add at the end after 'future': ', and instructs officers and officials to prepare an annual statement of the number of cases reported to the UCU at all levels on bullying and harassment of the groups with characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010.'

CARRIED

HE6A.4 Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

Add:

Recognising that strong union workplace organisation and visibility, with active local reps, are key to tackling and resisting a bullying culture, HE Sector Conference encourages branches and LAs to: make good use of UCU workload and campaign materials; educate members in their conditions of service, H&S, workload, bullying; and ensure that these issues are taken up in union recruitment campaigns.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HE Sector Conference recognises that stress levels of staff in the HE sector have increased in recent years. These enhanced stress levels are caused by several factors such as job uncertainty, increased workloads, enhanced levels of bullying, etc. These job-related pressures are affecting us all but especially groups with characteristics protected by the Equality Act 2010.

Conference condemns the emergence of a series of management practices that have exacerbated REF-induced stress:

  • Annual pre-REF assessments starting five or six years before the census date inevitably telling staff that submission fails to meet required standards;
  • External assessors providing little constructive feedback
  • Assessments by non-UK assessors penalizing submissions for not publishing in US journals;
  • Complex circumstance processes failing to redress disadvantage but increasing stress
  • Non-submission leading to career detriment

HE Sector Conference instructs its officers and officials to continue the stress and bullying campaign as this will be an increasingly important issue in the future, and instructs officers and officials to prepare an annual statement of the number of cases reported to the UCU at all levels on bullying and harassment of the groups with characteristics protected under the Equality Act 2010.

Recognising that strong union workplace organisation and visibility, with active local reps, are key to tackling and resisting a bullying culture, HE Sector Conference encourages branches and LAs to: make good use of UCU workload and campaign materials; educate members in their conditions of service, H&S, workload, bullying; and ensure that these issues are taken up in union recruitment campaigns.


Casualised workforce - hourly paid lecturers, paragraph 5.3

HE7 Use of zero hours contracts in higher education - Anti-casualisation committee

Conference notes, that despite our firm policy against their use, the use of zero hours contracts appears to be increasing across the sector. However, this Conference notes that there is no formal collation of statistics on the use of such contracts - HESA data merely collects data on the use of 'atypical' contracts.

Conference further notes that currently UCEA are refusing to undertake research in this area.

Conference believes that to fully understand the impact of these contracts in the sector we need further data on their use.

Conference therefore calls for the HEC to:

  1. continue to call on UCEA to undertake research into the use of zero hours contracts, including data of the numbers of staff on such contracts that are without work at any given time;
  2. that if UCEA continue to refuse, that HEC undertake its own research to gather such data.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE7A.1 Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

Add:

3. Prepare a model claim for provision of 'paid time on' as union facility time for HPLs and staff on fractional contracts who are elected to union office. This would mean that part-time staff could have the right to choose to take facility time either as increased paid working hours at their substantive pay point or protected within their existing working hours.

CARRIED

HE7A.2 LSE

Add at end

Conference notes that hourly paid research staff are frequently treated even worse than teachers.
Conference recognises that research duties are less predictable than teaching duties and some contract variability is inevitable. However, currently all risk is carried by staff, frequently employed on inappropriately low grades.
Conference urges branches to prioritise the situation of hourly paid research staff to combat abuse and, as a first step, insist they are fully assimilated into the framework agreement.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes, that despite our firm policy against their use, the use of zero hours contracts appears to be increasing across the sector. However, this Conference notes that there is no formal collation of statistics on the use of such contracts - HESA data merely collects data on the use of 'atypical' contracts.

Conference further notes that currently UCEA are refusing to undertake research in this area.

Conference believes that to fully understand the impact of these contracts in the sector we need further data on their use.

Conference therefore calls for the HEC to:

  1. continue to call on UCEA to undertake research into the use of zero hours contracts, including data of the numbers of staff on such contracts that are without work at any given time
  2. that if UCEA continue to refuse, that HEC undertake its own research to gather such data
  3. prepare a model claim for provision of 'paid time on' as union facility time for HPLs and staff on fractional contracts who are elected to union office. This would mean that part-time staff could have the right to choose to take facility time either as increased paid working hours at their substantive pay point or protected within their existing working hours.

Conference notes that hourly paid research staff are frequently treated even worse than teachers.

Conference recognises that research duties are less predictable than teaching duties and some contract variability is inevitable. However, currently all risk is carried by staff, frequently employed on inappropriately low grades.

Conference urges branches to prioritise the situation of hourly paid research staff to combat abuse and, as a first step, insist they are fully assimilated into the framework agreement.


Disabled staff, paragraph 5.5

HE8 Disability leave - Disabled members standing committee

Conference congratulates the national negotiators in prioritising disability leave as part of the national claim. Conference is appalled that the employers refused to enter into national discussions but suggested it is left for local negotiation. This attitude perpetuates disability discrimination.

Disability leave is a key agreement for disabled workers particularly in the current climate. To secure the right to have time off relating to your disability counted separately from sickness leave. This will assist in ensuring disabled workers are not identified as having high sickness rates and therefore targeted for redundancy or otherwise discriminated against.

Conference calls upon the Higher Education Committee to continue to educate branches and employers on the importance of disability leave through briefings and urges branches to  raise this issue  as soon as possible as part of local negotiations.

Conference also calls upon HEC to ensure developments in case law and policy be disseminated to branches.

CARRIED


BME staff, paragraph 5.6

HE9 Bullying and victimisation of black activists - Black members standing committee

Conference acknowledges the bullying tactics of higher education institutions, under the umbrella of efficiency or cost-saving measures. This practice has specifically targeting known union activists, and includes dismissal, misuse of disciplinary procedures, failure to follow agreed procedures, and failure to safeguard equality and effective consultation with staff, students and the wider community.

Black staff and students have been made vulnerable by these abuses. Courses and programmes with high proportions of black staff and/or students appear to be under attack.

Conference resolves to:

  1. monitor patterns of misuse of policies, practices procedures, including bullying, victimisation and targeting of activists
  2. work with the NUS to highlight the importance of safeguarding equality for staff and students in the face of cuts contractual changes
  3. publicise the impact of cuts in courses, support for students, restructuring, increase workloads and lack of access to education by BME communities.

CARRIED


New paragraph, TPS, after paragraph 6.2.1

HE10 Unequal terms and conditions for researchers in post-92 institutions - Anti-casualisation committee

Conference notes that researchers in some post-92 universities are not allowed to join the Teachers' Pension Scheme but are placed in local government schemes. Conference further notes that researchers on some grades in some post-92 universities are given less annual leave than lecturers.

Conference believes that research staff should benefit from terms and conditions that are no less beneficial that those of their lecturing colleagues.

Conference therefore agrees to:

  1. determine the extent of detrimental terms and conditions for research staff in post 92 universities;
  2. campaign for the right of research staff in post-92 universities to join TPS;
  3. challenge and campaign against any other detrimental terms and conditions including annual leave.

CARRIED

Job security, paragraph 7.1

HE11 Composite: Erosion of fixed-term redundancy rights and redundancy consultation requirements - Higher Education Committee, UCU Scotland

Conference notes the ideological attack on workers' rights by this government, including retrograde changes to redundancy consultation requirements.

These changes:

  1. remove the requirement of employers to consult with trade unions when fixed term contracts expire reducing the rights of those on fixed-term vontracts.
  2. halve the minimum consultation period to 45 days where there are 100 or more potential redundancies

Conference notes the endemic use of FTCs in the sector and further notes that HEI management played a significant role in persuading the government to remove fixed-term workers from collective redundancy consultations.

Conference condemns this diminution of rights for fixed-term staff and condemns those HE employers who lobbied the government to remove the 'burden' of their consulting on FTC redundancies.

Conference resolves that branches should seek full commitment from their employer to:

  1. consult with UCU on all collective redundancies of fixed-term contract staff with a view to avoiding such dismissals
  2. allow a minimum consultation period of at least 90 days in the event of 100 or more potential redundancies
  3. justify the use of all FTCs and not to use these contracts beyond a four year period.

Conference calls on HEC to campaign for these rights to be regained by lobbying the responsible Minister and working with branches to maintain redundancy consultation rights in HEIs.

CARRIED


Research and research careers, paragraph 8

HE12 Research funding - University of Brighton Moulsecoomb

Conference notes that

  1. 2010, 2011 and 2012 Conferences instructed HEC to
    • organise campaigns against research performance management,
    • promote consent-based management, and
    • secure a funding regime protective of academic freedom.
  2. HE27 (2010) instructed HEC 'to build a campaign against the REF's terms of operation, and its implementation in its current form', and 'campaign for a boycott of the REF in its current form'.

Conference reaffirms

  1. those commitments to an alternative funding regime and to academic freedom;
  2. our profession's definition of research as the scholarly use of resources allowing and encouraging intellectual endeavour to push back the boundaries of knowledge.

Conference instructs HEC to

  1. revisit the motions on research from Congress 2010, 2011, and 2012, and create a strategy to carry forward policy between now and REF 2019;
  2. inform all members of the policy in a dedicated communication, and prepare branches for an extended campaign in line with policy.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE12A.1 Higher education committee

Delete point b.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that

  1. 2010, 2011 and 2012 Conferences instructed HEC to
    • organise campaigns against research performance management,
    • promote consent-based management, and
    • secure a funding regime protective of academic freedom.
  2. HE27 (2010) instructed HEC 'to build a campaign against the REF's terms of operation, and its implementation in its current form', and 'campaign for a boycott of the REF in its current form'.

Conference reaffirms those commitments to an alternative funding regime and to academic freedom.

Conference instructs HEC to

  1. revisit the motions on research from Congress 2010, 2011, and 2012, and create a strategy to carry forward policy between now and REF 2019;
  2. inform all members of the policy in a dedicated communication, and prepare branches for an extended campaign in line with policy.

HE13 REF 2014: ensuring equality - Women members standing committee

HESC welcome the introduction of explicit Equality & Diversity policies related to REF 2014 and the work of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) in providing case studies for those with 'complex circumstances'. However, it notes that maternity leave was only recognised as requiring a reduction in outputs after UCU lobbying and is concerned to ensure that policies have really impacted on institutional processes.

Therefore, conference calls upon branches to alert UCU [HQ] of any concerns relating to institutional equality and diversity practices surrounding REF 2014.

HESC also calls upon UCU to:

  1. analyse post REF 2014 E & D data
  2. establish the percentage of academics using disclosure forms  (broken down by gender and institution); and
  3. where there are examples of good practice, explore how these might  be helpfully embedded within our institutions, especially with regard to promotion processes.

CARRIED


Academic-related staff, paragraph 9

HE14 Career progression and professional development for academic-related staff - Academic-related staff committee

Universities are attempting to introduce policies which deny the right of academic-related staff to continued professional development, career progression, and promotion opportunities within their present roles, and to expand their roles to take on more duties and responsibilities. Workers in comparable roles in the private sector do have such opportunities and are encouraged to use them.

Consequently, academic-related staff are unable to progress except by changing employer. This reduces the pool of knowledge and expertise within an institution and creates gaps in essential support.

Conference condemns the attitude of employers towards academic-related staff and calls on HEC to:

  1. press for parity of career progression and promotion for academic-related and academic staff
  2. insist on the right to continued professional development for academic-related members.
  3. liaise with other unions in the HE sector to agree a joint approach to management on non-academic promotions.

CARRIED


HE15 Academic-related staff recognition - Academic-related staff committee

HE Sector Conference notes with concern a recent attempt by one university to derecognise UCU as body representing academic-related staff and

  1. re-affirms its opposition to removing the close link between academic and academic-related staff groups in pre-92 institutions, including any attempt to de-recognise UCU as the trade union with collective bargaining recognition for academic related staff
  2. believes that academic-related staff are part of the academic team,
  3. believes that central to UCU's professional as well as trades union work in the pre-92 institutions is the ability to recruit and negotiate for members within both academic and academic-related areas.
  4. believes the academic-related committee is central to this work.

HESC instructs the HEC to ensure that any branch which faces a threat of de-recognition for academic related staff is given the fullest possible support from the union nationally to resist any such threat.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE15A.1 University of Cambridge

Delete bullet point 2 and replace with:

2. believes that academic-­related staff are an inseparable part of the academic team,

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HE Sector Conference notes with concern a recent attempt by one university to derecognise UCU as body representing academic-related staff and

  1. re-affirms its opposition to removing the close link between academic and academic-related staff groups in pre-92 institutions, including any attempt to de-recognise UCU as the trade union with collective bargaining recognition for academic related staff
  2. believes that academic-­related staff are an inseparable part of the academic team,
  3. believes that central to UCU's professional as well as trades union work in the pre-92 institutions is the ability to recruit and negotiate for members within both academic and academic-related areas.
  4. believes the academic-related committee is central to this work.

HESC instructs the HEC to ensure that any branch which faces a threat of de-recognition for academic related staff is given the fullest possible support from the union nationally to resist any such threat.


Initial teacher training, paragraph 11

HE16 Composite: Threat to education departments in higher education - Goldsmiths University of London, Newcastle University

Congress notes:

  1. The drastic cut in ITE places in universities as a result of current government policy to sever links between HE education departments and schools, transferring responsibility and funding for ITE from universities to schools via 'Schools Direct', despite evidence that HEI-led partnerships offer the most effective route into teaching
  2. Congress 2012 has agreed to a joint conference with other unions in relation this matter.

Conference believes:

  1. this policy, and the government's view of teaching as a craft, de-professionalises and deskills teachers and teacher educators and will damage children's education;
  2. this policy has serious implications for members' workloads and job security
    and may result in mass redundancies amongst our members, affecting education departments and the wider university through loss of funding.

Congress resolves:

  1. to urge UCU nationally to formulate and publicise a joint position and campaign strategy with other education unions, challenging the evidence base upon which this policy is based and widely publicising a critical analysis of government policy on ITE
  2. to launch a campaign on the defence of Education departments with immediate effect
  3. to conduct a national audit of branches to find out the effect of cuts on numbers of staff, courses and research in education departments and across universities;
  4. to issue urgent advice to branches on what discussions they should have with management;
  5. that members should be balloted for industrial action to resist compulsory redundancies.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE16A.1 North West HE Committee

After point 2, insert:

3. Gove's assault on pre-16 education, and condemns the attacks on teachers and thecurriculum. This is a step back to a stratified system which entrenches class and other inequalities. We need to defend equal access for all to a broad and balanced curriculum which develops critical thinking, not rote learning.

After point ii add new point iii:

iii to campaign with other unions and interested groups to publicise and expose the detrimental effects of Gove's policies in pre-16 education

CARRIED

HE16A.2 Higher education committee

Replace point v with:

That branches should be encouraged to ballot for industrial action to resist compulsory redundancies.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. the drastic cut in ITE places in universities as a result of current government policy to sever links between HE education departments and schools, transferring responsibility and funding for ITE from universities to schools via 'Schools Direct', despite evidence that HEI-led partnerships offer the most effective route into teaching
  2. Congress 2012 has agreed to a joint conference with other unions in relation this matter
  3. Gove's assault on pre-16 education, and condemns the attacks on teachers and thecurriculum. This is a step back to a stratified system which entrenches class and other inequalities. We need to defend equal access for all to a broad and balanced curriculum which develops critical thinking, not rote learning.

Conference believes:

  1. this policy, and the government's view of teaching as a craft, de-professionalises and deskills teachers and teacher educators and will damage children's education
  2. this policy has serious implications for members' workloads and job security
    and may result in mass redundancies amongst our members, affecting education departments and the wider university through loss of funding.

Congress resolves:

  1. to urge UCU nationally to formulate and publicise a joint position and campaign strategy with other education unions, challenging the evidence base upon which this policy is based and widely publicising a critical analysis of government policy on ITE
  2. to launch a campaign on the defence of Education departments with immediate effect
  3. to campaign with other unions and interested groups to publicise and expose the detrimental effects of Gove's policies in pre-16 education
  4. to conduct a national audit of branches to find out the effect of cuts on numbers of staff, courses and research in education departments and across universities
  5. to issue urgent advice to branches on what discussions they should have with management
  6. that branches should be encouraged to ballot for industrial action to resist compulsory redundancies.

Competition and privatisation - monitoring new providers, paragraph 12.1.1

HE17 UCLan privatisation - change of corporate status - University of Central Lancashire

Conference notes the Vice Chancellor and Board of Governors of the University of Central Lancashire has undertaken to dissolve the University's status as a Higher Education Corporation and to change its corporate form to that of a private company limited by guarantee (CLG).

Conference believes that the proposed change of corporate form at UCLan will:

  1. weaken the democratic accountability of the institution
  2. concentrate power into the hands of the VC/CEO
  3. place the public assets of the University at risk from private equity interests
  4. move the University significantly closer to becoming a for-profit institution.

Conference supports the branch's campaign against the change of corporate form at UCLan and urges the national union to campaign to defend the status of all post-92 HEIs as publicly accountable HE institutions.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE17A.1 North West regional HE committee

Delete final paragraph (''Conference supports...')

Add: Conference congratulates UCLAN branch, with the support of the regional and national union, on a successful campaign against the privatisation of UCLAN by means of change of corporate status; a campaign which brought together unions, students, local politicians and community groups. Conference renews its resolve to oppose all forms of privatisation.

CARRIED

HE17A.2 Higher education committee

Last para

Delete 'post-92 HEIs' and replace by 'HEIs'

FALLS

Substantive motion

Conference notes the Vice Chancellor and Board of Governors of the University of Central Lancashire has undertaken to dissolve the University's status as a Higher Education Corporation and to change its corporate form to that of a private company limited by guarantee (CLG).

Conference believes that the proposed change of corporate form at UCLan will:

  1. weaken the democratic accountability of the institution
  2. concentrate power into the hands of the VC/CEO
  3. place the public assets of the University at risk from private equity interests
  4. move the University significantly closer to becoming a for-profit institution.

Conference congratulates UCLAN branch, with the support of the regional and national union, on a successful campaign against the privatisation of UCLAN by means of change of corporate status; a campaign which brought together unions, students, local politicians and community groups. Conference renews its resolve to oppose all forms of privatisation.


Governance/academic freedom, after paragraph 12.2.2

L1 University Governance and Post-16 Education Bill - UCU Scotland

HESC notes the publication of a new draft code of governance for Scottish Universities on 16/04/13. This code, produced by retired university managers at the instruction of the Scottish Chairs of Court, fails to grasp the key points of the von Prondzynski report and seeks to maintain the status quo in university governance.

In contrast to the von Prondzynski report the draft code has been drafted without staff or student involvement and has published no broad base of evidence to support its conclusions.

The post 16 education bill in Scotland presents an opportunity to legislate for good governance. HESC believes that any new code must address the recommendations of the von Prondzynski review and include trade union membership on governing bodies. We call on the Scottish government to reject the governance code produced by managers for managers and any subsequent governance code which is not von Prondzynski compliant.

CARRIED

HE18 Academic freedom and military and industrial funding - University of Glasgow

HESC notes:

  1. the pressures on members in science and engineering to obtain industrial funding
  2. military and industrial funders have been known to restrict publication of results and/or put pressure on researchers to distort and falsify results for instance to show the safety and benefits of a particular product.

HESC instructs HEC to:

  1. carry out a survey of the extent of military and industrial funding and other sponsorship, pressures on researchers and unethical practices arising from this sponsorship
  2. name and shame funders and universities involved in bad practices
  3. campaign for improved state funding of research
  4. draw up guidelines for improved regulation of industrial and military sponsorship of research
  5. provide a briefing to members
  6. provide full support to members who act as whistleblowers or otherwise draw attention to suspected abuses related to industrial or military funding of research.

CARRIED


HE19 Defence of academic freedom - LSE

Conference is concerned that threats to academic freedom continue to intensify through:

  1. 'Modernisation' of statutes to increase control through managerialist disciplinary procedures
  2. Escalating pressure to publish in 'high-quality' and mainly orthodox journals through REF and recruitment and promotion procedures
  3. Attempts by universities to control academics' use of social media
  4. Increasing dependence on corporate funding and fundraising
  5. Pressure on research councils to follow political agendas

Conference:

  1. Instructs HEC to publicise these threats
  2. Urges all branches to campaigning on threats to academic freedom.

UCU cannot defend academic freedom alone and Conference instructs HEC and urges branches to support relevant campaigns and seek to mobilise a broad alliance. Conference demands that UUK and all mission groups resist pressure to conformity and urge their members not to collaborate in processes that threaten unconstrained research aims and refuse funding with strings attached that threaten independence of thought.

CARRIED


New paragraph, Open access, after paragraph 12.2.2

HE20 Composite: Open access Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee - Higher Education Committee, University of Lincoln

HESC notes:

  1. 2012 Congress policy on 'Open Access'.
  2. Unilateral imposition by RCUK and HEFCE of the Finch report's 'gold' open access.
  3. Staff engaged in publicly funded research are expected to publish only in journals levying 'APC' charges to author institutions; which
    1. threatens academic freedom and control of research;
    2. diverts funds to already wealthy publishers;
    3. increases academic inequality across and within institutions; impacting especially on women, under-represented groups and minority subjects;
    4. threatens academic control of research.

Conference deplores the hasty imposition of a UK research publishing regime which is short-sighted and biased against the research traditions in the Arts & Humanities.

Conference resolves to:

  1. call upon government to suspend the imposition of the Finch Report's recommendations and set up a proper enquiry into academic research publishing, open access and future dissemination of research findings
  2. demand an immediate moratorium from RCUK and HEFCE on 'gold' open access and oppose proposed restrictions on REF2020;
  3. initiate a campaign and open debate on 'Open Access' and the future of research dissemination in the UK and more widely
  4. campaign alongside scholarly and other bodies to oppose models of open access publishing that restrict the ability of researchers to publish their work without funding support from their institution or a research funding body sponsor;
  5. demand clear policies from Universities around open access funds, defence of academic freedom and addressing equalities issues, and ensure institutional resources are not unnecessarily spent on APCs;
  6. defend the integrity of scholarly journals by rejecting the pressure for 'pay-to-say' publishing.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE20A.1 Compositing amendment Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee

Point iii, add at end, 'promoting the 'green' version;'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HESC notes:

  1. 2012 Congress policy on 'Open Access'.
  2. Unilateral imposition by RCUK and HEFCE of the Finch report's 'gold' open access.
  3. Staff engaged in publicly funded research are expected to publish only in journals levying 'APC' charges to author institutions; which
    1. threatens academic freedom and control of research;
    2. diverts funds to already wealthy publishers;
    3. increases academic inequality across and within institutions; impacting especially on women, under-represented groups and minority subjects;
    4. threatens academic control of research.

Conference deplores the hasty imposition of a UK research publishing regime which is short-sighted and biased against the research traditions in the Arts & Humanities.

Conference resolves to:

  1. call upon government to suspend the imposition of the Finch Report's recommendations and set up a proper enquiry into academic research publishing, open access and future dissemination of research findings
  2. demand an immediate moratorium from RCUK and HEFCE on 'gold' open access and oppose proposed restrictions on REF2020;
  3. initiate a campaign and open debate on 'Open Access' and the future of research dissemination in the UK and more widely promoting the 'green' version
  4. campaign alongside scholarly and other bodies to oppose models of open access publishing that restrict the ability of researchers to publish their work without funding support from their institution or a research funding body sponsor;
  5. demand clear policies from Universities around open access funds, defence of academic freedom and addressing equalities issues, and ensure institutional resources are not unnecessarily spent on APCs;
  6. defend the integrity of scholarly journals by rejecting the pressure for 'pay-to-say' publishing.

HE21 Composite: Open access publishing - University of Liverpool, University of Warwick

Conference notes with concern that the report of the Finch Committee recommends the so-called 'gold model' for open-access publishing, with Article Processing Charges (APCs) in lieu of traditional journal subscription fees, and RCUK now makes provision for the APC funding model in its funding regime. Conference also notes the negative implications for academic freedom.

Conference recognises that 'open access' carries, in principle, with it many attractive benefits. Nevertheless, the ever-changing approach of RCUK which failed to consult adequately with academics and institutions presents potential threats to academic debate. In particular, the current RCUK approach, and the discretion it gives to institutions about how to spend their 'block grants', presents threats to academic freedom and is of particular concern to junior staff. Similarly, discussion of the requirement for open-access publications to be included only in post-2013 REFs is concerning.

Conference declares its opposition to any changes to academic publishing which would:

  1. make the publication of individual research outputs subject to the availability of funding from the institution, funding body or block grant; and
  2. further increase the level of control by institutions on where research outputs are published.

Conference instructs the HEC to:

  1. Initiate a wide ranging discussion throughout institutions about the merits and pitfalls of open access
  2. Develop guidance to branches to engage with management about the use of open access block grants, including highlighting bad practice and good practice
  3. Campaign to ensure than any moves to open-access protect academic freedom and do not discriminate against staff

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE21A.1 Anti casualisation committee

In 2nd paragraph, 3rd sentence, after 'to' and before 'junior' add 'fixed-term researchers and'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes with concern that the report of the Finch Committee recommends the so-called 'gold model' for open-access publishing, with Article Processing Charges (APCs) in lieu of traditional journal subscription fees, and RCUK now makes provision for the APC funding model in its funding regime. Conference also notes the negative implications for academic freedom.

Conference recognises that 'open access' carries, in principle, with it many attractive benefits. Nevertheless, the ever-changing approach of RCUK which failed to consult adequately with academics and institutions presents potential threats to academic debate. In particular, the current RCUK approach, and the discretion it gives to institutions about how to spend their 'block grants', presents threats to academic freedom and is of particular concern to fixed-term researchers and junior staff. Similarly, discussion of the requirement for open-access publications to be included only in post-2013 REFs is concerning.

Conference declares its opposition to any changes to academic publishing which would:

  1. make the publication of individual research outputs subject to the availability of funding from the institution, funding body or block grant; and
  2. further increase the level of control by institutions on where research outputs are published.

Conference instructs the HEC to:

  1. Initiate a wide ranging discussion throughout institutions about the merits and pitfalls of open access
  2. Develop guidance to branches to engage with management about the use of open access block grants, including highlighting bad practice and good practice
  3. Campaign to ensure than any moves to open-access protect academic freedom and do not discriminate against staff.

HE22 The Finch Report - LSE

Conference welcomes the apparent relaxation by David Willets on the author-pay gold open access recommendations of the Finch report.

We demand a clear statement by UUK that all its members will not discriminate between publications on the basis of gold or green OA in recruitment and promotion and that publication in overseas journals outside the Gold OA scheme will not be penalised. We urge all branches to seek similar declarations from their employers that they will not discriminate.

Conference believes that any move to author-pay must be conditional on:

  1. A transparent matching reduction in library subscription charges
  2. A mechanism to ensure that authors (such as those who are retired, on career breaks or undertaking PhDs) without institutional support can continue to publish without upfront fees

Conference instructs HEC to campaign against any moves that will inhibit researchers' ability to publish in appropriate journals or through monographs.

CARRIED


HE23 Open Access and impact on LGBT in the curriculum - LGBT members standing committee

Conference notes the forthcoming move toward open access publication. Rather than journals seeking and publishing articles academics will be required to send articles to journals for publication. Cost of the journals will fall to HEIs by way of paying for articles to be published and this is likely to lead, Conference believes, to management making decisions on financial rather than academic grounds and research boards seeking those articles that are most likely to perform best in the REF. This is potentially increased threat on studies within equality areas such as those engaging with LGBT issues. Conference believes that study and research around LGBT issues should be consistently supported and promoted.

Conference calls on the HEC to:

  1. investigate equality impact of open access proposals and campaign against any negative impact
  2. promote study on LGBT issues by supporting preparation for the triennial LGBT research conference to be held in 2015.

New paragraph, Supporting students, after paragraph 13.4.4

HE24 Defence of the university and universal access - University of Brighton Grand Parade and University of Brighton Eastbourne

HESC notes the

  1. May 'Convention for HE' organised by CDBU, CPU and local UCU branches;
  2. draft Charter for HE that emerged from the Convention;
  3. UCU manifesto for post-school education, 'Education for the Future'.

HESC believes that

  1. UCU is not simply about a defence of the terms and conditions but also defence of access to an education not shaped by the market, or rationed by price;
  2. UCU must play a central part publicly to explain the social role and value of higher education as a social good.

HESC instructs HESC to

  1. encourage all HE branches to work with the CDBU, CPU and local students' unions to organise campus-wide meetings in autumn and spring at every university to debate and refine the Charter for HE;
  2. distribute the Charter and the UCU manifesto to all members electronically;
  3. hold a joint conference with NUS on the defence of HE against neo-liberalism in 2014.

CARRIED (UNAMENDED)

HE24A.1 Higher education committee

Delete point 2

Delete points i and iii and replace with:

'hold discussions with the Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU), Campaign for Public University (CPU) and the National Union of Students (NUS) with a view to drawing up a Charter for higher education and holding a joint conference on the defence of HE against neo-liberalism.'

LOST


HE25 Student entitlements: beyond a consumer approach - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

HESC believes that university students should be entitled to opportunities for a genuine learning experience at university, which includes:

  1. academic freedom to study, learn and debate;
  2. wide range of available subjects and modules;
  3. equal opportunities and respect for diversity;
  4. properly resourced good quality teaching, including one-to-one tutorial support;
  5. good quality facilities in learning centres, laboratories and classrooms;
  6. fair and transparent procedures for assessment.

Universities should view students as partners in learning not as consumers. Education is a not a commodity and universities do not exist to sell degrees.

Universities have a duty of care to students and staff. They should manage the design and publication of service standards in order to reconcile rights of students to a good quality education with rights of staff to reasonable workloads, within their academic contracts.

HEC will work with NUS to:

  1. campaign for public education
  2. reject consumerist approaches which divide students and staff.

CARRIED


HE26 Disproportionate impact of fees on women staff and students - Women members standing committee

Sector conference instructs HEC to ensure that a gender analysis is included within any analysis of the impact of falling student numbers due to the introduction of £9 000 tuition fees.

This might include the impact on:-

  1. Jobs lost from the sector;
  2. Cuts in the provision of traditionally 'female' subjects
  3. Comparative breakdowns of student numbers by subject
  4. Widening participation measures
  5. Graduation rates

HEC will ensure that any significant disparate impacts are notified to WMSC and that they are highlighted in any reports/press releases and that they are included as an aspect of all campaigns involving fees.

CARRIED


HE27 Greater coordination with student unions - Teesside University

This conference calls upon HEC to support and implement a trial of institutional and regional joint training days for UCU institutional and regional executive members and student union leaderships in HE.

Whilst intransigent managements have shown in institution after institution a complete disregard for the wishes and professional views of their staff they remain obsessed with the scores which they are given in the national student survey and other student satisfaction instruments.

UCU has had little systematic shared training with student union officers and in many cases staff union and student union executives may have little regular contact or knowledge of each other's role and perspective. Such training would help both bodies consider how best to resist privatisation and put education before profit whilst promoting a more strategic understanding of the NSS and how to use it to support better staff / student ratios and fair working conditions for staff.

REMITTED


HE28 Student accommodation provision by universities - University of Aberdeen

Congress notes that the high cost of student accommodation impacts negatively on student experience and success. Congress notes many students with families prefer a community setting where they can benefit from the support of their peers.

Congress also notes that some UK universities have reduced their stock of student accommodation in favour of the private market and that this has contributed to the high cost of rented accommodation potentially affecting recruitment, widening access and retention.

Congress calls on HEC to work with NUS to investigate the relationship between the provision of accommodation by universities and local accommodation prices and if appropriate, campaign to promote the building of affordable student accommodation by universities.

CARRIED


Section 2, motions to be taken in private session

National negotiations, paragraph 2.4

HE29 National claim/negotiations with UCEA - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes the report and approves the recommendations from the national negotiators contained in UCUHE190. [UCUHE190 (rtf) | UCUHE190 (.pdf)]

CARRIED (with section D6c of the report)


HE30 Pay and conditions - Southern regional HE committee

HESC is gravely concerned that, despite a shocking reduction in real terms pay in recent years, combined with widespread deterioration in conditions of employment, no national industrial action has taken place to address these trends.

HESC believes that it is vital that this union actively protects the pay and conditions of members and hence the quality of educational provision, as the fundamental purpose of the union.

Therefore HESC instructs HEC to:

  1. actively campaign for a pay catch-up
  2. find more effective ways in which our industrial organisation can resist government policy on privatisation and marketisation of HE, which is driving down conditions of service.

CARRIED


HE31 Pay negotiations 2013, call for joint union action - Teesside University

Taken in parts

Part 1:

This Conference calls upon HEC to plan for joint political and industrial action where at all possible with other educational unions and with unions representing other workers on campus in HE in support of the current pay claim.

CARRIED

Part 2:

We believe that calls for solitary action in summer 2013 consisting of UCU alone engaging in ASOS and follow up strike action triggered by pay deductions will be unsuccessful and that joint and coordinated action with the other trade unions mentioned is necessary to ensure the success of any pay campaign.

LOST

HE31A.1 Higher Education Committee

Replace the word 'necessary' with 'desirable' in the last line

CARRIED

Substantive motion

This Conference calls upon HEC to plan for joint political and industrial action where at all possible with other educational unions and with unions representing other workers on campus in HE in support of the current pay claim.


HE32 2013 Pay claim - Northumbria University

Conference recognises that the increases in TPS contributions give added weight to the pay claim decided at February's Special Conference.

However, we are concerned that, with fewer than 60 branches/LAs registered, the Special Conference decided to seek and develop industrial action 'commencing in the summer term'. For such action to be effective, it has to win widespread support amongst our members, be clearly targeted, and coordinated as much as possible with action taken by other unions. In the summer term, such action would be premature.

Conference therefore resolves that, in the absence of either (a) punitive sanctions by the employers, or (b) strike dates before the end of June set by the other unions, UCU's current action, if any, will be limited to working to contract, and that the HEC should use the summer period to mobilise members for a major campaign of industrial action in the autumn.

REMITTED


HE33 Industrial action - University of Brighton Grand Parade and University of Brighton Moulsecoomb

HESC believes

  1. all forms of industrial action should be considered in the defence of jobs, pay, conditions and the quality and breadth of HE provision;
  2. in particular, details of a 'work to contract' should be elaborated for branches and members, and each branch encouraged to hold preparatory meetings.

HESC resolves that

  1. a sub-committee of the HEC will consider how all aspects of ASOS could be implemented in the current campaign, and devise a template of escalating action in response to aggressive responses from employers;
  2. a national meeting of branch representatives will consider detailed recommendations in the autumn;
  3. national one-day strikes are important in launching campaigns for symbolic and mobilising effects but are insufficient to secure agreement;
  4. rolling regional strikes, a judicious escalation to two-day and three-day strikes at appropriate times, and ASOS have all to be part of any programme of industrial action.

CARRIED (UNAMENDED)

HE33A.1 Higher education committee

delete b and replace with

'HEC will consult with branches in the autumn about how meaningful action can be developed'

LOST


USS, paragraph 6.1

HE34 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 UCUHE191. [UCUHE191 (rtf) | UCUHE191 (.pdf)]

CARRIED


New paragraph, USS investment, after paragraph 6.2

HE35 USS Investment in British American Tobacco - Cardiff University

Conference notes:

  1. currently USS has £200 million invested in British American Tobacco.
  2. tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. (World Health Organisation: The World Health Report 2003).
  3. that large tobacco companies have been, and continue to be, exposed to multi-billion pound lawsuits because of the proven damage to health caused by tobacco.
  4. USS considers itself to be a leader in ethical investment.

Conference therefore calls upon USS to review this investment to identify whether similar financial returns could be gained from investments that do not cause death and misery to millions around the world.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE35A.1 University of Birmingham

In paragraph 4, replace 'ethical investment' with 'responsible investment'.

Add new paragraph 5 under 'Conference notes':

5. UCU existing policy is to work with ShareAction (formerly FairPensions) to attempt to improve the practices of companies in which USS invests, but not to restrict itself to 'responsible investment' and to press for policies of ethical investment, including divestment from companies whose practices cannot be reformed because of the intrinsic nature of the companies' activities.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. currently USS has £200 million invested in British American Tobacco.
  2. tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the world. (World Health Organisation: The World Health Report 2003).
  3. that large tobacco companies have been, and continue to be, exposed to multi-billion pound lawsuits because of the proven damage to health caused by tobacco.
  4. USS considers itself to be a leader in responsible investment
  5. UCU existing policy is to work with ShareAction (formerly FairPensions) to attempt to improve the practices of companies in which USS invests, but not to restrict itself to 'responsible investment' and to press for policies of ethical investment, including divestment from companies whose practices cannot be reformed because of the intrinsic nature of the companies' activities.

Conference therefore calls upon USS to review this investment to identify whether similar financial returns could be gained from investments that do not cause death and misery to millions around the world.

Last updated: 29 May 2013