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Business of the equality committee

UCU Congress 2013: Friday 31 May 2013, 14:20-16:45

Chapter 6 of the NEC's report to Congress 2013:
UCU491.html | UCU491.rtf

Motions:

64 - Equality and collective bargaining
65 - Public Sector Equality Duty
66 - Visibility in UCU structures
67 - Immigration
68 - Stop the BNP and EDL
L4 - Late motion: Don't let fascists and racists divide us

69 - Racism and anti-Semitism
70 - Mental health toolkit
71 - Reasonable adjustments
72 - Coming out
73 - International working
74 - Maternity provision
75 - Childcare including change in ratios of staff and children
76 - Violence against women
77 - Black members within UCU structures
78 - Race equality and collective bargaining
79 - Defence of pensioners' rights, universal benefits, the state pension and social care
B12 - Insurance discrimination against older people Eastern & Home counties retired members


Equality and employment rights, paragraph 2.1

64 Equality and collective bargaining - National Executive Committee

Congress affirms the importance of equality as a collective bargaining issue for UCU.  It welcomes the inclusion of equality issues in national and local claims.  It supports the equality proofing of all collective agreements to ensure that equality is at the heart of our work as a union. Congress condemns the failure of some employers and employers' associations to engage constructively with unions in negotiating around equality.

Congress notes the failure by employers in some institutions to involve unions in local equality committees.  It believes that equality policies should be developed in partnership with trade unions and any relevant implications for pay or conditions of service fully negotiated.

Congress calls on the NEC to keep equality on local and national agendas through

  1. providing model agreements and disseminating  success stories  for local bargaining
  2. inclusion of equality demands in national bargaining
  3. monitoring progress across institutions to hold employers to account.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

64A.1 National Executive Committee

Add after first paragraph

'Congress further notes the attacks on workers' rights in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill including erosion of whistleblowers rights, repeal of Equality Act provisions on third party harassment and removal of employers statutory breach of duty on workplace injuries.

Add at end  

To campaign with the TUC and others to oppose the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and urges Labour to commit to its repeal and to restore and strengthen workers' rights if they win in 2015.

CARRIED

64A.2 LGBT members standing committee

Add new paragraph at the end

'To facilitate and enable progress, institutions (including UCU) should be encouraged to promote and undertake data collection on all protected characteristics.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress affirms the importance of equality as a collective bargaining issue for UCU. It welcomes the inclusion of equality issues in national and local claims. It supports the equality proofing of all collective agreements to ensure that equality is at the heart of our work as a union. Congress condemns the failure of some employers and employers' associations to engage constructively with unions in negotiating around equality.

Congress further notes the attacks on workers' rights in the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill including erosion of whistleblowers rights, repeal of Equality Act provisions on third party harassment and removal of employers statutory breach of duty on workplace injuries.

Congress notes the failure by employers in some institutions to involve unions in local equality committees.  It believes that equality policies should be developed in partnership with trade unions and any relevant implications for pay or conditions of service fully negotiated.

Congress calls on the NEC to keep equality on local and national agendas through

  1. providing model agreements and disseminating  success stories  for local bargaining
  2. inclusion of equality demands in national bargaining
  3. monitoring progress across institutions to hold employers to account.

To campaign with the TUC and others to oppose the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill and urges Labour to commit to its repeal and to restore and strengthen workers' rights if they win in 2015.

To facilitate and enable progress, institutions (including UCU) should be encouraged to promote and undertake data collection on all protected characteristics.


Public sector duties, paragraph 3.1

65 Public Sector Equality Duty - UCU Scotland

Congress notes that the equality duty in the Equality Act 2010 (s.149) obliges public authorities to have 'due regard' to equality. The coalition government is currently undertaking a review of the public sector equality duty as part of its response to the Red Tape Challenge to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and consider alternatives to legislation.

Congress believes this review is premature as the equality duty only came into effect two years ago and the specific duties a year ago.

Congress is concerned about the degree of objectivity and rigour of the review as it is being overseen by a steering group that lacks any public service user or worker voice with no representation from the devolved administrations over a very short timeframe.

Congress calls on UCU to campaign for the retention of the public sector equality duty in the Equality Act 2010 in conjunction with the TUC.

CARRIED


Support for regions and branches, paragraph 5.1

66 Visibility in UCU structures - National Executive Committee

Congress notes that progressing equality in branches and regions is important. Increasing the participation of members from all equality groups is critical. In regions and branches we may not be doing all we can to utilise this expertise and ensuring that lay structures reflect our membership. Congress supports this cultural shift happening through guidance and support but should consider if necessary, a rule change at future Congress.

Congress calls upon the NEC to

  1. ensure training, development and mentoring opportunities are targeted at under-represented groups
  2. encourage through guidance and support branches to take into account proportionality and fair representation within their structures.
  3. explore and report back on having equality seats on regional committees for black members, disabled members, LGBT members and women members. These may not necessarily be branch delegates. The report will also detail branch and regional positions held by the four groups above.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

66A.1 West Midlands retired members

Point 3, before 'women' delete 'and' and insert ','; after 'women members' add 'and Retired Members.'

In the last sentence change 'four' to 'five'

CARRIED

66A.2 Anti casualisation committee

Point 3, first sentence delete 'and' before 'Women' and add ',' ; after 'women members' add 'and members on casualised contracts'.

Last sentence replace 'four' with 'five'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes that progressing equality in branches and regions is important. Increasing the participation of members from all equality groups is critical. In regions and branches we may not be doing all we can to utilise this expertise and ensuring that lay structures reflect our membership. Congress supports this cultural shift happening through guidance and support but should consider if necessary, a rule change at future Congress.

Congress calls upon the NEC to

  1. ensure training, development and mentoring opportunities are targeted at under-represented groups
  2. encourage through guidance and support branches to take into account proportionality and fair representation within their structures.
  3. explore and report back on having equality seats on regional committees for black members, disabled members, LGBT members, women members, retired Members and members on casualised contracts. These may not necessarily be branch delegates. The report will also detail branch and regional positions held by the six groups above.

Campaigning for equality, paragraphs 6.1-6.2

67 Immigration - University of Hertfordshire

Congress notes:

  1. the anti-immigration hysteria focused on Romanian and Bulgarian workers that has appeared in some sections of the press
  2. the role of politicians, including the Labour Party, in perpetuating this hostility
  3. that all academic research shows that workers from New Member States make disproportionately fewer demands on housing and welfare and contribute more in taxes.

Congress believes:

  1. that this tide of anti-immigration rhetoric is divisive and plays into the hands of xenophobic and racist parties, causes social divisions in communities and marginalises students and staff from these countries on our campuses
  2. the UCU has an important role to play as a trade union and in its representation of researchers in defending labour mobility and speaking out against xenophobia.

Congress instructs the NEC in general and the General Secretary in particular, to condemn such statements, strongly and urgently when and from whoever they arise.

CARRIED


68 Composite: Stop the BNP and EDL - Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee, Newcastle University, National Executive Committee

Congress recognises that while the BNP has been in disarray for much of the last year and the EDL has suffered significant reversals through mass resistance at Walthamstow, Cambridge and Manchester recently, there can be no room for complacency. Growing inequality, escalating benefit cuts, mass unemployment and media scapegoating provide fertile ground for racist and fascist ideas to flourish. UKIP's second place at Eastleigh on 28th February is a warning of the potential for far-right solutions to gain an audience.

The coalition government's refusal to implement respectful, effective, inclusive, economic and social regeneration measures in areas hit by industrial decline and to invest in education more broadly to address skills shortages and re-training constitutes a major systemic class-based failure of governance and denial of education rights which plays into the hands of the fascists.

Congress also recognises the dangerous growth of fascist organisations in parts of Europe, such as France, Greece and Hungary, linked to economic crisis, widespread disenchantment with mainstream political organisations, and the impact of austerity measures across the continent.

Congress notes that Nick Griffin, BNP, and Andrew Brons are standing for re-election as MEPs in 2014. The fascist platform on which Griffin and Brons stand is one which is hostile to trade unionism and equal rights for disadvantaged groups. They support reactionary educational policies and promote a curriculum which seeks to re-write history in the interests of imperialism, nationalism, racism and Islamaphobia.

Congress supports campaigning organisations like UAF in opposing Griffin's and Brons's attempts to retain their foothold in European politics and encourages members to actively support the campaign through seeking affiliations, financial contributions, distributing leaflets in the relevant constituencies, and branch endorsements.

Congress resolves to support the campaign to unseat Andrew Brons and Nick Griffin as Euro MPs in 2014.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

68A.1 London regional committee

Add after 'at Eastleigh on 28th February': and the breakthrough by UKIP in May's local elections winning 139 seats, 25% of the vote, can push British politics to the right and

Add after 'Nick Griffin as Euro MPs in 2014.':

And resolves to work with other unions and anti-racist campaigns such as UAF to organise a major national conference on anti-racist education in October. This event should launch a pack of teaching materials to help teachers combat racism and xenophobia.

CARRIED

68A.2 King's College London

Add, after 'Congress resolves to support the campaign to unseat Andrew Brons and Nick Griffin as Euro MPs in 2014': 'and to donate £500 to this campaign'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress recognises that while the BNP has been in disarray for much of the last year and the EDL has suffered significant reversals through mass resistance at Walthamstow, Cambridge and Manchester recently, there can be no room for complacency. Growing inequality, escalating benefit cuts, mass unemployment and media scapegoating provide fertile ground for racist and fascist ideas to flourish. UKIP's second place at Eastleigh on 28th February and the breakthrough by UKIP in May's local elections winning 139 seats, 25% of the vote, can push British politics to the right and is a warning of the potential for far-right solutions to gain an audience.

The coalition government's refusal to implement respectful, effective, inclusive, economic and social regeneration measures in areas hit by industrial decline and to invest in education more broadly to address skills shortages and re-training constitutes a major systemic class-based failure of governance and denial of education rights which plays into the hands of the fascists.

Congress also recognises the dangerous growth of fascist organisations in parts of Europe, such as France, Greece and Hungary, linked to economic crisis, widespread disenchantment with mainstream political organisations, and the impact of austerity measures across the continent.

Congress notes that Nick Griffin, BNP, and Andrew Brons are standing for re-election as MEPs in 2014. The fascist platform on which Griffin and Brons stand is one which is hostile to trade unionism and equal rights for disadvantaged groups. They support reactionary educational policies and promote a curriculum which seeks to re-write history in the interests of imperialism, nationalism, racism and Islamaphobia.

Congress supports campaigning organisations like UAF in opposing Griffin's and Brons's attempts to retain their foothold in European politics and encourages members to actively support the campaign through seeking affiliations, financial contributions, distributing leaflets in the relevant constituencies, and branch endorsements.

Congress resolves to support the campaign to unseat Andrew Brons and Nick Griffin as Euro MPs in 2014 and to donate £500 to this campaign. And resolves to work with other unions and anti-racist campaigns such as UAF to organise a major national conference on anti-racist education in October. This event should launch a pack of teaching materials to help teachers combat racism and xenophobia.


L4 Late motion: Don't let fascists and racists divide us

UCU sends its condolences to the friends and family of Drummer Lee Rigby, the soldier murdered in Woolwich.

A backlash, fuelled by the media and politicians, against Muslims, has led to attacks on mosques around the country including firebombings.

The EDL and BNP are attempting to exploit the situation, and have called protests around the country. The BNP has announced plans to demonstrate in Woolwich this Saturday (01/06/13).

Congress resolves to:

  1. send condolences to the family
  2. put a statement on the website opposing Islamaphobia and racism, and in support of unity
  3. support the 'Unity in the Community' demonstration (initiated by Unite against Fascism).

CARRIED


69 Racism and anti-Semitism - University of Brighton Falmer

Congress notes the

  1. trend to overt expressions of racism in recent political debate
  2. documented anti-Muslim rhetoric of the UKIP candidate in Rotherham, Caven Vines
  3. attack by all three main party leaders on migrant workers and their families in March
  4. unanimously adopted emergency motion at NUT conference opposing any attempt to use teachers to identify children of 'illegal' migrants.

Congress resolves to:

  1. organise a UAF official fringe meeting for Congress 2014 particularly addressing Islamophobia and antisemitism
  2. publish the delayed pamphlet on antisemitism
  3. reissue members' advice not to engage in discriminatory monitoring of overseas students, or expose themselves to legal risk from passport or visa checks
  4. instruct the General Secretary publicly to communicate UCU policy to all party leaders, and issue a press statement.

CARRIED


Equality for disabled members, paragraph 8.3

70 Mental health toolkit - Disabled members standing committee

UCU has made good progress in developing resources for members with mental health impairments. This includes the one in four guide to mental health and a casework briefing. This year UCU launches the mental health toolkit.

Caseworkers and negotiators often struggle to support members with mental health impairments as we all can lack understanding of how it may impact on a members' ability to participate in decisions and actions in their own case.

The toolkit will enable caseworkers and negotiators to support members effectively as well as ensuring that there is a collective approach to tackling mental health in the workplace. UCU is also developing a training module to accompany the toolkit.

Congress calls upon UCU to:

  1. disseminate the toolkit to all branches and request feedback on its effectiveness
  2. provide updates on case law and changes to legislation
  3. provide training for branch officers on mental health issues.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

70A.1 LGBT members standing committee

Add new bullet point (bullet point 4) at end

'ensure that documents and training include specific reference to mental health issues including around LGBT people and issues'

CARRIED

70A.2 LSE

Add at end

Congress further notes that training for HE staff in managing relationships with colleagues and students suffering mental health problems is generally inadequate or absent.

While stress related health issues receive some, if inadequate, attention; difficulties faced by those with pre-existing mental health issues are almost totally neglected.

Congress urges branches to press managements to introduce training for all staff in recognising and appropriately responding to issues caused by mental health conditions and in combating stigmatisation.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

UCU has made good progress in developing resources for members with mental health impairments. This includes the one in four guide to mental health and a casework briefing. This year UCU launches the mental health toolkit.

Caseworkers and negotiators often struggle to support members with mental health impairments as we all can lack understanding of how it may impact on a members' ability to participate in decisions and actions in their own case.

The toolkit will enable caseworkers and negotiators to support members effectively as well as ensuring that there is a collective approach to tackling mental health in the workplace. UCU is also developing a training module to accompany the toolkit.

Congress calls upon UCU to:

  1. disseminate the toolkit to all branches and request feedback on its effectiveness
  2. provide updates on case law and changes to legislation
  3. provide training for branch officers on mental health issues
  4. ensure that documents and training include specific reference to mental health issues including around LGBT people and issues.

Congress further notes that training for HE staff in managing relationships with colleagues and students suffering mental health problems is generally inadequate or absent.

While stress related health issues receive some, if inadequate, attention; difficulties faced by those with pre-existing mental health issues are almost totally neglected.

Congress urges branches to press managements to introduce training for all staff in recognising and appropriately responding to issues caused by mental health conditions and in combating stigmatisation.


Equality for disabled members, paragraph 8.6

71 Reasonable adjustments - Disabled members standing committee

Employers have a legal duty to make reasonable adjustments for disabled workers.  Adjustments include altering working hours, modifying computer equipment or providing a reader or interpreter. Disability Leave is also an example keeping leave relating to a disability separate from sick leave. Additional funding is often available through Access to Work and guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

UCU is committed to the 'social model' of disability and this is often not recognised by employers. There is evidence that disabled members right to reasonable adjustments is being eroded as cuts to services, funding and jobs hit hard.

Reasonable adjustments are a collective issue and UCU needs to help create work places that enable a disabled member to safely disclose and get the adjustments they need.

Congress calls upon UCU to provide guidance to branches to ensure we safeguard disabled workers' right to adjustments in the workplace.

CARRIED


Equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT members), paragraph 9.1

72 Coming out - LGBT members standing committee

Many advances in sexual orientation equality have been made since the implementation of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. Social attitudes at work and beyond are more accepting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people despite the continuation of homophobia and transphobia in workplaces, classrooms and elsewhere. Congress believes that, whilst needing supportive environments, monitoring should always include options for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals to state their presence through boxes for sexual orientation. Congress also believes that in monitoring, organisations should review the range of boxes for sex, as gender identities are beyond the traditional binary of male and female. Congress calls on NEC to:

  1. promote the UCU LGBT training for reps
  2. survey the prevalence of homophobia and transphobia in the sector and publish results
  3. campaign against homophobia and transphobia
  4. campaign for monitoring processes that enable people to come out and encourage completion.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

72A.1 Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee

Insert new paragraph before 'Conference calls on NEC to':

Conference notes that coming out can result in significant adverse publicity and harassment for trans people as in the recent case of Lucy Meadows, a trans teacher who apparently committed suicide following transphobic media attacks, despite support from her school.

After '1, Promote the UCU LGBT training for reps' add:

To ensure college managements understand the needs of LGB and trans staff and students, including pastoral support.

Add to 3:

, including encouraging branches to support events commemorating Lucy Meadows and to mark Transgender Remembrance Day in November.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Many advances in sexual orientation equality have been made since the implementation of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. Social attitudes at work and beyond are more accepting for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people despite the continuation of homophobia and transphobia in workplaces, classrooms and elsewhere. Congress believes that, whilst needing supportive environments, monitoring should always include options for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals to state their presence through boxes for sexual orientation. Congress also believes that in monitoring, organisations should review the range of boxes for sex, as gender identities are beyond the traditional binary of male and female.

Conference notes that coming out can result in significant adverse publicity and harassment for trans people as in the recent case of Lucy Meadows, a trans teacher who apparently committed suicide following transphobic media attacks, despite support from her school.

Congress calls on NEC to:

  1. promote the UCU LGBT training for reps
  2. to ensure college managements understand the needs of LGB and trans staff and students, including pastoral support
  3. survey the prevalence of homophobia and transphobia in the sector and publish results
  4. campaign against homophobia and transphobia, including encouraging branches to support events commemorating Lucy Meadows and to mark Transgender Remembrance Day in November
  5. campaign for monitoring processes that enable people to come out and encourage completion.

73 International working - LGBT members standing committee

The increasing portfolio of international work in HE and FE comes with concerns around hard fought-for equality gains. For example staff have expressed concerns about being placed in countries where there is little regard, or worse, for LGBT rights. A perception that people in other countries have negative views of sexual orientation diversity was found to have negative impact on doing LGBT equality work (Forum 2010 'Managing the Interface'). Little evidence has been found of good equality practice when organisations establish franchises or campuses internationally. Recognising work already undertaken in this area within UCU Congress calls upon NEC to:

  1. support higher profile international working advice to reps, particularly LGBT equality issues in staff placements, student recruitment, and employment of international staff within the UK
  2. provide encouragement and support for those organisations, such as the TUC and the Forum, that engage with work in this area.

CARRIED


Equality for women members, paragraph 10.1

74 Maternity provision - National Executive Committee

Congress welcomes the move to encourage more men and partners to become more involved in family life through the new arrangements on flexible parental leave and flexible working.

Congress is concerned:

  1. that paternity provision will not be in addition to existing maternity leave and the level of funding is inadequate to encourage uptake
  2. changes in workplace culture already put pressures on family life
  3. women may give up maternity leave, or feel pressurised to take the minimum. This will have an adverse impact on women's health.
  4. it will erode maternity provision
  5. and is a further attack on a woman's right to work.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. monitor maternity and paternity provision in both sectors
  2. campaign to improve provision at local levels to the best of the public sector
  3. work with the NUS as a joint campaign
  4. affiliate to Maternity Action.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

74A.1 University of Manchester

Append 5. to 4. Add new 5:

5. That individuals employed on casualised (fixed-term, hourly-paid and agency) contracts often miss out on, or lose, maternity benefits, with some even feeling compelled to conceal pregnancy in an attempt to protect their employment.

Expand b.: 'and for improved provision (underwritten by employers, not funding bodies) for staff employed on casualised contracts.'

CARRIED

74A.2 National Executive Committee

Add at end of motion

Congress also notes that employers can respond differently to miscarriage, still birth and neo natal death. This not only relates to leave and pay but an empathetic response about returning to work. Congress supports the research being undertaken by Maternity Action and calls upon the NEC to use the findings to develop policy.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress welcomes the move to encourage more men and partners to become more involved in family life through the new arrangements on flexible parental leave and flexible working.

Congress is concerned:

  1. that paternity provision will not be in addition to existing maternity leave and the level of funding is inadequate to encourage uptake
  2. changes in workplace culture already put pressures on family life
  3. women may give up maternity leave, or feel pressurised to take the minimum. This will have an adverse impact on women's health.
  4. it will erode maternity provision and is a further attack on a woman's right to work
  5. that individuals employed on casualised (fixed-term, hourly-paid and agency) contracts often miss out on, or lose, maternity benefits, with some even feeling compelled to conceal pregnancy in an attempt to protect their employment

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. monitor maternity and paternity provision in both sectors
  2. campaign to improve provision at local levels to the best of the public sector and for improved provision (underwritten by employers, not funding bodies) for staff employed on casualised contracts.
  3. work with the NUS as a joint campaign
  4. affiliate to Maternity Action.

Congress also notes that employers can respond differently to miscarriage, still birth and neo natal death. This not only relates to leave and pay but an empathetic response about returning to work. Congress supports the research being undertaken by Maternity Action and calls upon the NEC to use the findings to develop policy.


75 Childcare including change in ratios of staff and children - National Executive Committee

Congress notes with alarm government proposals to address the high cost of childcare in the UK with a 'pile 'em high - sell 'em cheap' alternative.

Congress firmly believes that childcare needs to be made more affordable so that all parents and carers of young children, but especially mothers, can afford to maintain a foothold in the workplace when their children are young. However Congress also believes that this must rest on investment in high quality training and in proper subsidy of places.

Congress rejects the notion that the increases proposed for child:staff ratios can be introduced without detriment to the quality of childcare.

Congress instructs NEC and the Equality committee to:-

  1. participate fully in any consultations on this proposal
  2. support any campaigns opposing these proposals
  3. campaign for the increased professionalisation of the childcare workforce
  4. continue to fight to protect the rights of those with childcare responsibilities.

CARRIED


Equality for women members, after paragraph 10.4

76 Violence against women - Women members standing committee

Congress notes:

  1. the continued existence of violence against women both in UK and in every country of the world
  2. the UK government's economic policy has cut funding to women's refuges, rape-centres and services for trafficked women
  3. UN figures for women aged between 15 and 44, list acts of violence causing more death and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined
  4. the role of education in promoting equality and justice.

Congress resolves to:

  1. work with individual unions, women's organisations and the TUC to mount a sustained campaign to reverse cuts to services that support women who have experienced violence, and promote education
  2. work with international organisations and sister unions to build networks and campaign against violence to women
  3. work with UN organisations to campaign against femicide and harmful practices such as genital mutilation, and to promote the rights of girls and women to Education without fear of violence.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

76A.1 North West regional committee, National Executive Committee

In 'Congress notes' add:

5. the recent NUS report: 'That's What She said: Women students' experiences of 'Lad culture' in Higher Education'

Add to 'Congress resolves to':

d. Work with the NUS in developing joint campus strategies and campaigns for identifying and addressing the serious problems that 'Lad Culture' has on many female students' educational experiences and its continuing effects throughout their lives.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes

  1. the continued existence of violence against women both in UK and in every country of the world
  2. the UK government's economic policy has cut funding to women's refuges, rape-centres and services for trafficked women
  3. UN figures for women aged between 15 and 44, list acts of violence causing more death and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined
  4. the role of education in promoting equality and justice
  5. the recent NUS report: 'That's What She said: Women students' experiences of 'Lad culture' in Higher Education'.

Congress resolves to:

  1. work with individual unions, women's organisations and the TUC to mount a sustained campaign to reverse cuts to services that support women who have experienced violence, and promote education
  2. work with international organisations and sister unions to build networks and campaign against violence to women
  3. work with UN organisations to campaign against femicide and harmful practices such as genital mutilation, and to promote the rights of girls and women to Education without fear of violence
  4. work with the NUS in developing joint campus strategies and campaigns for identifying and addressing the serious problems that 'Lad Culture' has on many female students' educational experiences and its continuing effects throughout their lives.

Equality for black members, paragraph 11.5

77 Black members within UCU structures - Black members standing committee

Congress notes that progressing race equality within the entire UCU structures is vital for winning the trust, support and confidence of current and potential Black members. There are over 9,000 Black members within the UCU and whilst membership has doubled in recent years, Black activism has substantially reduced.

Congress recognises the marginalisation, under-representation and discrimination faced by Black members at work, and the whitening of the workforce in education.

Congress calls upon the NEC to:

  1. increase participation of Black members
  2. utilise the expertise of Black members and ensuring that the UCU structure reflect its membership
  3. encourage involvement through renewed guidance and support and production of an annual report to Congress indicating changes
  4. ensure training, development and mentoring opportunities for all under-represented groups
  5. encourage workplaces, branches, regions and the NEC to take into account proportionality and fair representation within their structures.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

77A.1 Black members standing committee

Add after 5 at the end:

6. work with the BMSC to train and support more black caseworkers and enable black members facing race discrimination to have access to black caseworkers

7. provide more specific training courses within the regions and devolved nations designed to encourage and empower black activism across the UCU structures

8. monitor and report all grievances and complaints from Black members to the BMSC

9. positively work with students, local communities and anti-racist organisations to oppose all discrimination in education.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes that progressing race equality within the entire UCU structures is vital for winning the trust, support and confidence of current and potential Black members. There are over 9,000 Black members within the UCU and whilst membership has doubled in recent years, Black activism has substantially reduced.

Congress recognises the marginalisation, under-representation and discrimination faced by Black members at work, and the whitening of the workforce in education.

Congress calls upon the NEC to:

  1. increase participation of Black members
  2. utilise the expertise of Black members and ensuring that the UCU structure reflect its membership
  3. encourage involvement through renewed guidance and support and production of an annual report to Congress indicating changes
  4. ensure training, development and mentoring opportunities for all under-represented groups
  5. encourage workplaces, branches, regions and the NEC to take into account proportionality and fair representation within their structures
  6. work with the BMSC to train and support more black caseworkers and enable black members facing race discrimination to have access to black caseworkers
  7. provide more specific training courses within the regions and devolved nations designed to encourage and empower black activism across the UCU structures
  8. monitor and report all grievances and complaints from Black members to the BMSC
  9. positively work with students, local communities and anti-racist organisations to oppose all discrimination in education.

Equality for black members, after paragraph 11.5

78 Race equality and collective bargaining - Black members standing committee

Congress affirms the importance of anti-racism strategies as a collective bargaining issue.

Congress recognises the difficulties Black members are facing due to individual and institutional racism.

Congress notes and condemns the failure by employers to involve unions in local equality committees. It believes that both the employer and trade unions should be involved in developing and monitoring policies and practices to ensure race equality in pay and conditions. Also to redress the imbalance on Black representation within senior and management levels in HE and FE.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. strengthen race equality on local and national agendas
  2. include race equality demands in all local and national bargaining
  3. monitor and report equality progress across institutions to hold employers to account
  4. ensure that all UCU negotiators at local and national levels reflect the diversity of the UCU membership.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

78A.1 Black members standing committee

Add after 4 at the end:

5. work with the BMSC to recruit, train and support more black caseworkers and enable black members facing race discrimination to have access to black caseworkers

6. provide more specific training courses within the regions and devolved nations designed to encourage and empower black activism across the UCU structures

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress affirms the importance of anti-racism strategies as a collective bargaining issue.

Congress recognises the difficulties Black members are facing due to individual and institutional racism.

Congress notes and condemns the failure by employers to involve unions in local equality committees. It believes that both the employer and trade unions should be involved in developing and monitoring policies and practices to ensure race equality in pay and conditions. Also to redress the imbalance on Black representation within senior and management levels in HE and FE.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. strengthen race equality on local and national agendas
  2. include race equality demands in all local and national bargaining
  3. monitor and report equality progress across institutions to hold employers to account
  4. ensure that all UCU negotiators at local and national levels reflect the diversity of the UCU membership
  5. work with the BMSC to recruit, train and support more black caseworkers and enable black members facing race discrimination to have access to black caseworkers
  6. provide more specific training courses within the regions and devolved nations designed to encourage and empower black activism across the UCU structure.

Age equality, paragraph 12.179

79 Composite: Defence of pensioners' rights, universal benefits, the state pension and social care  - South East retired members, Northern retired members, Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee, Yorkshire & Humberside retired members

Congress continues to be concerned at the attacks on retired members' standard of living and quality of life, and notes recent attacks from politicians of the three main parties: Nick Clegg, Paul Burstow and many Tories, calling for withdrawal or means testing of pensioners' universal benefits - winter fuel allowance; free bus pass; free prescriptions and free TV licences for over 75's. Meanwhile UK state pensions are among the poorest in Europe, with over 2.5 million pensioners living in poverty, 1.6 million of whom are women.

As means testing of low-cost benefits is not cost effective Congress believes that these proposals are part of a softening up process, leading to more attacks on all pensioners' rights and the welfare state.

Congress also notes that this government is forcing our members and other workers to work longer and pay more in contributions to get less on retirement.

The recent Pensions Bill proposes a flat-rate state pension of £144 pw from 2017. This will lead to an increased pension for some, particularly for women, but all current and future pensioners with no other income will continue to live in poverty.

Congress believes:

  1. it is time to campaign against means testing of all pensioners benefits
  2. the state pension should be no less than the official level of poverty, which currently stands at £178 per week.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. work with the National Pensioners Convention and the TUC in organising a national demonstration as part of a campaign to defend and advance pensioners' rights
  2. oppose any attempts to restrict pensioners universal benefits - winter fuel payment, free bus travel and TV licences
  3. campaign alongside the National Pensioners Convention, and within the TUC for the state pension to be set at or above the poverty level in the UK and up-rated annually.

The support of transport trade unions is of particular importance, as reductions in pensioners' travel concessions would mean less income for public transport services, resulting in job losses.

Congress also notes that, despite the government's long awaited plans for the reform of the social care system, UCU members will continue to face a retirement overshadowed by the threat of having to pay £75,000 towards their care if they become unable to care for themselves.

This amount will in fact be far more as it excludes 'hotel' costs of care, and will only cover the local authority's rate for payment.

Family carers will continue to face increasing pressure to provide free care, with little or no support and/or pay for care, whether at home or in a care home.

Congress reiterates its support for the National Pensioners Convention policy for an integrated system of health and social care, free at point of use and funded through taxation, and commits NEC to work with the NPC and other unions to campaign for this policy.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

79A.1 University of Leeds

In para 4 Delete 'recent' and insert 'Draft'. Insert after the '2017' 'for those with a minimum of 35 years of National Insurance Contributions, anything less than that will give a pension on a pro rata basis. Those with less than around 10 years National Insurance contributions will not receive any pension'. Delete '. This will lead to an increased pension for some, particularly for women, but' and insert 'and'.

Insert at end a new paragraph

'Congress resolves to oppose the Draft Pensions Bill and in addition will campaign with others to achieve improvements in the pensions' regulatory environment.'

CARRIED

79A.2 North West retired members

Add at end:

Congress further recognises the important role that Retired Members Branches and retired members can play in any campaigns relating to pensions and retirement issues and requires the NEC to support these branches in this role according to the rules of UCU.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress continues to be concerned at the attacks on retired members' standard of living and quality of life, and notes recent attacks from politicians of the three main parties: Nick Clegg, Paul Burstow and many Tories, calling for withdrawal or means testing of pensioners' universal benefits - winter fuel allowance; free bus pass; free prescriptions and free TV licences for over 75's. Meanwhile UK state pensions are among the poorest in Europe, with over 2.5 million pensioners living in poverty, 1.6 million of whom are women.

As means testing of low-cost benefits is not cost effective Congress believes that these proposals are part of a softening up process, leading to more attacks on all pensioners' rights and the welfare state.

Congress also notes that this government is forcing our members and other workers to work longer and pay more in contributions to get less on retirement.

The Draft Pensions Bill proposes a flat-rate state pension of £144 pw from 2017 for those with a minimum of 35 years of National Insurance Contributions, anything less than that will give a pension on a pro rata basis. Those with less than around 10 years National Insurance contributions will not receive any pension and all current and future pensioners with no other income will continue to live in poverty.

Congress believes:

  1. it is time to campaign against means testing of all pensioners benefits
  2. the state pension should be no less than the official level of poverty, which currently stands at £178 per week.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. work with the National Pensioners Convention and the TUC in organising a national demonstration as part of a campaign to defend and advance pensioners' rights
  2. oppose any attempts to restrict pensioners universal benefits - winter fuel payment, free bus travel and TV licences
  3. campaign alongside the National Pensioners Convention, and within the TUC for the state pension to be set at or above the poverty level in the UK and up-rated annually.

The support of transport trade unions is of particular importance, as reductions in pensioners' travel concessions would mean less income for public transport services, resulting in job losses.

Congress also notes that, despite the government's long awaited plans for the reform of the social care system, UCU members will continue to face a retirement overshadowed by the threat of having to pay £75,000 towards their care if they become unable to care for themselves.

This amount will in fact be far more as it excludes 'hotel' costs of care, and will only cover the local authority's rate for payment.

Family carers will continue to face increasing pressure to provide free care, with little or no support and/or pay for care, whether at home or in a care home.

Congress reiterates its support for the National Pensioners Convention policy for an integrated system of health and social care, free at point of use and funded through taxation, and commits NEC to work with the NPC and other unions to campaign for this policy.

Congress resolves to oppose the Draft Pensions Bill and in addition will campaign with others to achieve improvements in the pensions' regulatory environment.

Congress further recognises the important role that Retired Members Branches and retired members can play in any campaigns relating to pensions and retirement issues and requires the NEC to support these branches in this role according to the rules of UCU.


B12 Insurance discrimination against older people Eastern & Home counties retired members

Congress recognises that retired people, like the general population, enjoy different conditions of health.

Congress deplores the presumption made by the majority of insurance companies that retired people automatically pose a greater risk than other members of the population and therefore charge significantly higher insurance fees to this section of the populace.

Congress urges UCU to campaign for fairer insurance rates for retired members as part of their equalities campaign for all sectors of society.

CARRIED

Last updated: 31 May 2013