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Business of the strategy and finance committee

UCU Congress 2013: Thursday 30 May 2013, 14:00-18:00 in private session, & Open session, Friday 31 May 2013, 10:15-12:00

14:00-14:30 UCU's membership and finances: update, and Q&A session

Chapter 1 of the NEC's report to UCU Congress 2013
UCU491.html | UCU491.rtf

MOTIONS:

21 - Appointment of auditors
22 - Audited financial statements to 31 August 2012
23 - Budget 2013-2014 and 2014-2015
24 - Subscription rates
25 - Subscription rate - investigating the viability of additional contribution bands
26 - Finance and strategy
27 - Organising highly casualised staff
28 - Regional support for North and Mid Wales
29 - Support for regional committees
30 - Managing Congress and sector conference business
L5 - Late motion

31 - Electronic voting
32 - To withdraw full membership from senior managers
33 - Union democracy: size and structure of NEC
34 - UCU democracy and representation
35 - Representation of members on casualised contracts
36 - Cuts to the Anti-Casualisation Committee and other specialist committees
L6 - Late motion Safeguarding structures for self-organised groups
37 - A greener and more accessible approach to UCU committee structures
38 - For a Hastings UCU Branch at University of Brighton
39 - Stop the War affiliation

OPEN SESSION:

45 - Defending our pensions
46 - UCU and constitutional change
47 - Cuts and tax avoidance
48 - Promoting the debate on public ownership of banking and finance
49 - Equality and Europe
50 - Free imprisoned Bahraini teachers
51 - Stop the execution of Professor Bhullar
52 - Campaigning for women and girls' education
53 - Conditions of workers and education rights for children in Bangladesh
54 - Colombian academics and peace in Colombia
L3 - Late motion University of Brighton Grand Parade, Queen Margaret University

55 - Global youth unemployment and vocational education
56 - Greece
57 - Defend the Right of Public Education for All: Greek HE  


Finance and property, paragraphs 1.1-1.2

21 Appointment of auditors - National Executive Committee

Congress approves the appointment of Knox Cropper as the union's auditors for the year ending 31 August 2013.

CARRIED


22 Audited financial statements to 31 August 2012 - National Executive Committee

Congress receives the union's audited financial statements for the 12-month period ending 31 August 2012 as set out in UCU501.

CARRIED


23 Budget 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the budget for September 2013 - August 2014 and the indicative budget for 2014-2015 as set out in UCU500.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

23A.1 East Midlands regional committee

Delete 'and the indicative budget for 2014-2015'

LOST

23A.2 South East regional committee

Delete 'endorses the' and insert 'notes the proposed'

Add at the end 'Congress instructs the Treasurer to revise the budget in the light of decisions made by Congress 2013 and bring that revision back to a subsequent NEC for discussion and approval'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes the proposed the budget for September 2013 - August 2014 and the indicative budget for 2014-2015 as set out in UCU500. Congress instructs the Treasurer to revise the budget in the light of decisions made by Congress 2013 and bring that revision back to a subsequent NEC for discussion and approval.


CBC advice: if motion is 24 passed (amended or unamended), amendment 26A.1 clause v will fall.

24 Subscription rates - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the subscription rates from 1 September 2013 set out in UCU500.

LOST

24A.1 East Midlands regional committee

add new sentence:

There should be a real terms increase in subscriptions that is banded

WITHDRAWN


CBC advice: if motion 25 is passed (amended or unamended), amendment 26A.1 clause vi will fall.

25 Subscription rate - investigating the viability of additional contribution bands - LSHTM

Congress recognises that recent year-on-year above-inflation increases in membership subscription rates are unsustainable and are increasingly a barrier to recruitment. However, in the context of the financial difficulties UCU faces, it is necessary that all avenues for raising additional revenue are investigated.

Additional contribution bands above the existing top band for those earning over £40000 per annum should be considered as part of this, but only if additional income will be raised and the effect on membership numbers is not significantly adverse. Congress instructs NEC to conduct a survey of members in the top subscription band, in order to ascertain views on additional contribution bands for higher earners. Congress further instructs NEC to report back on its findings within six months of Congress.

LOST

25A.1 South West regional committee

Start para 2 'One option would be Associate Membership for a period of a year at a cost of £1 per month with members choosing to opt out at the end of the year or automatically converting to full membership. Another option of' (continue with ..additional contribution bands...)

and

After 'Congress instructs NEC to' and before 'conduct a survey of members' add 'explore the potential for Associate Membership and'.

REMITTED

25A.2 University of Aberdeen

Fourth sentence, delete: 'members in the top subscription band' and replace with 'all members'.

LOST


26 Composite: Finance and strategy - London regional committee, Southern regional committee, South East regional committee

Congress notes:

  1. the 2011-12 membership decline of 5,500, and its financial consequences; 
  2. the cost of all regional meetings, committees and conferences was 5% of the annual budget.

Congress recognises that the financial issues facing the union are potentially serious and that the union must develop a coherent strategy to deal with this. Congress in considering the implications of a deficit budget, faced with difficult choices, agrees that:

  1. rebuilding membership and subscription income depends on having a campaigning union and success in struggles;
  2. a campaigning union requires adequate, committed and accountable staff nationally and regionally, and a democratic structure to ensure members' control of union policy, which it is vital to protect;
  3. staffing costs should not be counter-posed to union democracy; reorganizations must minimise damage to democratic representation
  4. measures which might undermine the union's ability to campaign in defence of members' interests, or undermine our Equality agenda, or robustly address the austerity measures which we face, or risk undermining member services or member representation and democracy, must be avoided.

Congress instructs the NEC to:

  1. reaffirm UCU's opposition to compulsory redundancies both as an employer and in negotiating with employers
  2. safeguard democratic structures
  3. review subscription levels and raise them across the board as necessary but on a progressive scale
  4. review the UCU property portfolio
  5. pursue an on-going recruitment campaign, targeting recruitment at institutions and departments with below average density and raising the union's profile among post-16 staff.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

26A.1 University of Brighton Grand Parade

Add new point 3. to 'notes':

3. current UCU subscriptions are amongst the lowest nationally and internationally.

Replace iii to v of 'instructs' with the following, and renumber:

iii seek cost reductions and income generation via rescheduling meetings, moderate reduction in NEC, reorganisation, and letting one floor of HQ;

iv mount recruitment campaigns focusing below average density institutions;

v raise subscriptions up to 5% above inflation, as necessary, in two annual increases (2013 & 2014), graduated by income, to eliminate any remaining deficit, and meet the 'coffee test';

vi create a new subscription band for £60k+ incomes.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. the 2011-12 membership decline of 5,500, and its financial consequences; 
  2. the cost of all regional meetings, committees and conferences was 5% of the annual budget
  3. current UCU subscriptions are amongst the lowest nationally and internationally.

Congress recognises that the financial issues facing the union are potentially serious and that the union must develop a coherent strategy to deal with this. Congress in considering the implications of a deficit budget, faced with difficult choices, agrees that:

  1. rebuilding membership and subscription income depends on having a campaigning union and success in struggles;
  2. a campaigning union requires adequate, committed and accountable staff nationally and regionally, and a democratic structure to ensure members' control of union policy, which it is vital to protect;
  3. staffing costs should not be counter-posed to union democracy; reorganizations must minimise damage to democratic representation
  4. measures which might undermine the union's ability to campaign in defence of members' interests, or undermine our Equality agenda, or robustly address the austerity measures which we face, or risk undermining member services or member representation and democracy, must be avoided.

Congress instructs the NEC to:

  1. reaffirm UCU's opposition to compulsory redundancies both as an employer and in negotiating with employers
  2. safeguard democratic structures
  3. seek cost reductions and income generation via rescheduling meetings, moderate reduction in NEC, reorganisation, and letting one floor of HQ
  4. mount recruitment campaigns focusing below average density institutions
  5. raise subscriptions up to 5% above inflation, as necessary, in two annual increases (2013 & 2014), graduated by income, to eliminate any remaining deficit, and meet the 'coffee test'
  6. create a new subscription band for £60k+ incomes.

27 Organising highly casualised staff - University of Warwick

Congress notes:

  1. the particular challenges faced in organising a highly casualised workforce.
  2. the NUS's recent campaigning on postgraduates who teach.
  3. that current subscription rates are linked to income, which for casualised staff is volatile.

Congress recognises:

  1. a postgraduate student doing a limited teaching for a few weeks of a year could currently lose much of their teaching income to be a member of UCU for that whole year.
  2. if we can instil a tradition of UCU membership at the earliest possible career stage we will recruit and grow in the long term.

Congress resolves to design and implement a low, flat-rate subscription regime for PhD students and others in a comparable situation that would not be linked to the members' highly volatile teaching income, with an aim of securing and developing the next generation of UCU activists.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

27A.1 Anti-casualisation committee

Last paragraph,

delete ', flat-rate'

delete 'others in a comparable situation' and replace with 'other low earners'

delete 'teaching' between 'volatile' and 'income'

CARRIED

Substantive notion

Congress notes:

  1. the particular challenges faced in organising a highly casualised workforce.
  2. the NUS's recent campaigning on postgraduates who teach.
  3. that current subscription rates are linked to income, which for casualised staff is volatile.

Congress recognises:

  1. a postgraduate student doing a limited teaching for a few weeks of a year could currently lose much of their teaching income to be a member of UCU for that whole year.
  2. if we can instil a tradition of UCU membership at the earliest possible career stage we will recruit and grow in the long term.

Congress resolves to design and implement a low subscription regime for PhD students and other low earners that would not be linked to the members' highly volatile income, with an aim of securing and developing the next generation of UCU activists.


New paragraph, Staffing, after paragraph 1.4

28 Regional support for North and Mid Wales - Aberystwyth University

All UCU branches within Wales are currently served by one regional office in South Wales with three fulltime officials and no video conference facilities. Due to the Wales' geography and poorly-developed transport system it is impossible for this office to support branches in Mid and North Wales adequately.

Congress acknowledges that Tondu regional office should handle Wales-wide issues and campaigns. However, for local issues and personal cases, Congress believes that branches in North and Mid Wales would be better served by paid officials based nearer to their locations.

Congress calls upon the NEC to investigate the creation of an additional UCU regional office in Mid or North Wales.

CARRIED


29 Support for regional committees - South West regional committee

Congress recognises the vital work of regional committees, supported by fully staffed and properly resourced regional offices.

Congress therefore calls for all regional offices to be headed by a local Official and not to be managed remotely from the centre.

CARRIED


Internal matters, paragraph 11

30 Managing Congress and sector conference business - National Executive Committee

Congress notes the increasing number of motions and amendments submitted to each annual meeting of Congress and the Sector Conferences, and the difficulties involved in taking all motions under the current arrangements.

Congress reluctantly agrees that it is not sustainable to expect that every motion submitted will be moved and debated on the conference floor. Congress also notes that many motions are unopposed.

Congress instructs the NEC to consider how a process for the prioritisation of motions for debate could operate, to consult branches on this issue, and to bring relevant rule and standing order changes to Congress 2014.

The aim of a prioritisation process would be to ensure that Congress and the sector conferences thoroughly debate and reach decisions on the motions most important to branches and members.

CARRIED


L5 Late motion

Congress recognises the importance of democratic accountability of Congress delegates and their relationship to the wider membership. However Congress is aware that some delegates for reasons of personal security may need to retain anonymity to the wider membership. Congress resolves to give delegates the right to opt out of delegate lists to the wider membership. In the case of prison educators, there should be an automatic exemption to the requirement for inclusion on delegate lists to go to any member.

CARRIED


31 Electronic voting - University of Glasgow

Congress notes that democratic function of union meetings can be better served by adoption of voting mechanisms which take advantage of readily available technology. Despite best efforts of CBC and successive chairs of Congress, it is frequently the case that debate is seriously curtailed due to time lost in processing individual votes, particularly where a count is required. This meeting instructs NEC to consider options and formulate a mechanism whereby electronic voting is used for some or all of Congress 2014.

LOST


32 To withdraw full membership from senior managers - Kingston University

Congress notes that:

  1. members of the Senior Management Team at Kingston University have authored and advocated a policy that would demote and downgrade hundreds of academic staff at grade 10, add management responsibilities to staff at grade 9 and introduce a promotion rather than progression from grade 8 to 9.
  2. some of the members of the Senior Management Team are members of UCU and have requested to be included in all branch communications.
  3. that branches have adopted protocols to deal with such situations.

Congress believes that local solutions are unsatisfactory as there is an inherent conflict of interests between being senior manager and full UCU membership.

Congress resolves that the NEC set up a working party to examine the legal and constitutional issues concerned in changing the Rule Book to exclude senior managers from full membership and bring a detailed proposal to the 2014 Congress.

LOST


New paragraph, Structure, after paragraph 11.1

CBC advice: if motion 33 is passed, motion 34 clause i) falls.

33 Union democracy: size and structure of NEC - National Executive Committee

Congress receives the report of the Commission on Union Democracy, elected by Congress 2012, which includes five different models for an NEC, ranging from 30 to 72 members, including the status quo.

Congress also notes the report of the NEC's sub-committee on union structure and democracy, which contains a further two NEC models. 

Congress agrees that, following debate, a decision in principle should be made by Congress between these seven models, allowing rule changes to be brought to Congress 2014. 

Congress agrees that arrangements will be made to conduct a ballot of Congress delegates.

Congress instructs the NEC to bring rule changes to Congress 2014 to implement whichever NEC structure Congress members vote in favour of in this ballot.  

CARRIED AS AMENDED

CBC advice: if amendment 33A.1 is passed, amendment 33A.2 falls.

33A.1 Teesside University

In the sentence: 'Congress agrees that arrangements will be made to conduct a ballot of Congress delegates', delete: 'Congress delegates', replace with 'all members'.

LOST

33A.2 University of Cambridge

Add at the end of the fourth paragraph:

The ballot shall take place by the single transferable vote before the close of this Congress.

CARRIED

33A.3 North West Regional Committee

Delete paragraph two ['Congress also notes the report of the NEC's sub-committee on union structure and democracy, which contains a further two NEC models']

In paragraph three delete 'seven' and insert 'five'.

LOST

33A.4 Women members standing committee

Add at the end:

Congress notes that there has not been time to consult with the Equality Committee on the models as drafts (as envisaged by the 2012 Congress motion).

As such Congress instructs NEC in bringing forth necessary rule changes to incorporate strengthening of the equality aspects of the preferred model if these are not equal to current arrangements.  This should be subject to thorough consultation with the equality committee.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress receives the report of the Commission on Union Democracy, elected by Congress 2012, which includes five different models for an NEC, ranging from 30 to 72 members, including the status quo.

Congress also notes the report of the NEC's sub-committee on union structure and democracy, which contains a further two NEC models. 

Congress agrees that, following debate, a decision in principle should be made by Congress between these seven models, allowing rule changes to be brought to Congress 2014. 

Congress agrees that arrangements will be made to conduct a ballot of Congress delegates. The ballot shall take place by the single transferable vote before the close of this Congress.

Congress instructs the NEC to bring rule changes to Congress 2014 to implement whichever NEC structure Congress members vote in favour of in this ballot. 

Congress notes that there has not been time to consult with the Equality Committee on the models as drafts (as envisaged by the 2012 Congress motion).

As such Congress instructs NEC in bringing forth necessary rule changes to incorporate strengthening of the equality aspects of the preferred model if these are not equal to current arrangements.  This should be subject to thorough consultation with the equality committee.


34 UCU democracy and representation - University of Brighton Grand Parade

Congress notes:

  1. financial difficulties may require alteration to the democratic structures of the UCU
  2. rebuilding the subscription-paying membership base depends on democratic representation that ensures members' control of the union, and that it remains a campaigning organisation
  3. proposals for the size of the NEC from the Congress Commission established in 2012.

Congress believes that:

  1. committee reorganisation must minimise adverse effects on democratic accountability, and ensure viable sectoral representation if the union is to grow
  2. reduction in NEC size is preferable to reduction in frequency of meetings that must implement policy between Congresses
  3. there must be national and constituency representation
  4. all equality strands must be properly represented on the NEC.

Congress resolves that:

  1. only option C from the Commission, reducing NEC size to 63, fully satisfies these requirements, and should be framed as a rules revision for Congress 2014
    FELL
  2. NEC and sub-committees should, where possible, be scheduled for the same day.

CARRIED


35 Representation of members on casualised contracts - Anti-casualisation committee

Congress notes the critical, effective role of the anti-casualisation committee in representing members on a wide range of casualised contracts and in raising the profile of UCU's most vulnerably employed members, especially given the increase in casualised employment.

Congress believes that experiences of casualisation particular to FE and HE must be represented on the NEC and within HEC and FEC to ensure proper representation where UCU's industrial strategies, sector policies and membership development policies are developed.

Congress resolves to maintain separate elections for both a representative of casualised members in FE and one in HE to sit on the NEC and in FEC/HEC.

CARRIED


36 Cuts to the Anti-Casualisation Committee and other specialist committees - Anti-casualisation committee

While Congress notes the serious financial situation facing UCU and the need for savings, Congress calls on NEC to resist cuts in UCU representation of casualised staff. In the climate of austerity this group needs the strongest possible representation.  

Congress notes the NEC decision to cut costs, but believes that this could be achieved without reductions in meetings or in membership of the Anti Casualisation Committee and that no cut should be proposed without first establishing that this is essential to the financial stability of UCU as a whole.

Congress calls on NEC to consult the ACC (Anti-casualisation Committee) and all other special employment interest and equality standing committees who wish to be consulted, and to provide them with their costs over the last year, and with any operational budget that may have been in place, so that they can propose ways of saving money with minimal effects on their work.

CARRIED


L6 Late motion - Safeguarding structures for self-organised groups

Congress believes that the proposals to cut back meetings of the equality structures and numbers of lay members on committees will impede the ability of the union to engage all existing and potential members, and to campaign effectively against inequality in the sector.

The NEC at its meeting on 03/05/2013 agreed these proposals at very short notice and before any formal discussion with equality groups. This decision was also taken after the deadline for motions to Congress.

Congress instructs the NEC to put a hold on all proposals to cut back meeting of equality groups until:

  1. a consultation including full analysis of the potential costs and benefits to the union of these proposals has been circulated to all equality strands and discussed at the annual meetings of the equality groups;
  2. proposals including potential costs and benefits can be considered by Congress for decision.

Not taken: out of time - remitted to NEC for consideration


37 A greener and more accessible approach to UCU committee structures -Teesside University

Congress calls upon the NEC to implement a trial of the use of electronic conferencing to replace expensive and carbon intensive physical travel in a sample of meetings of all UCU committees, and to ensure that regional offices and relevant HQ departments are able to use packages such as Skype for selected meetings. In all international travel cases where electronic conferencing is available this should be used to reduce expense and the union's carbon footprint. Such an approach may also increase participation by members with disabilities and child care needs.

Report on the experience of such electronic conferencing to be made available to Congress in 2014.

Not taken: out of time - remitted to NEC for consideration


38 For a Hastings UCU Branch at University of Brighton - University of Brighton Eastbourne

Congress notes:

  1. That University of Brighton UCU members based at the Hasting campus are subsumed within the Eastbourne branch.
  2. That the Hastings campus is 45min to 1 hour travelling time from the Eastbourne campus.
  3. The request from University of Brighton UCU, supported by members at the Hasting campus, for a new UCU branch at the Hasting Campus.
  4. The decision taken by UCU's NEC to decline the request to approve a new branch at Hasting campus.

Congress believes that this is an unreasonable decision taken by the NEC, and deprives UCU members at the Hastings campus access to effective representation by the UCU.

Congress instructs the NEC to accept the request of UCU members based at the Hasting campus of the University of Brighton to form a new UCU branch.

Not taken: out of time - remitted to NEC for consideration


New paragraph, Affiliations, after Structure

39 Stop the War affiliation - University of Brighton Eastbourne

Congress notes

  1. Stop the War Coalition remains most effective mobilizing in history, 1.5 million demonstrating opposition to Iraq war;
  2. though invasion wasn't prevented, the career of a Prime Minister was ended, disgust of millions was voiced, and the Coalition still constitutes an obstacle to further military adventures;
  3. 100k troops in Afghanistan, £4b annual cost to UK in midst of austerity, Western interventions in Africa and Middle East, and strategic tension and competitive military spending between USA and China.

Congress believes:

  1. the geo-political global situation is unstable, and threats of inter-imperialist war and Western interventions remain;
  2. an anti-war coalition is as much needed now as a decade ago

Congress:

  1. is dismayed at the majority NEC decision to disaffiliate from the Coalition on its tenth anniversary to save an annual subscription of £200 (0.00001% of annual expenditure, and 0.01% of targeted savings);
  2. resolves to re-affiliate immediately for £200pa.

Not taken: out of time - remitted to NEC for consideration


Pensions, paragaph 4.1

45 Defending our pensions - East Midlands retired members

Congress recognises that the attacks upon our pensions have not ceased and there is a need for a continuing and active defence of our rights. Congress is not persuaded that the government intends a settlement that will 'last for 25 years'.

The current Public Sector Pensions Bill invites this caution. Clause three allows the Treasury to amend any legislation, including primary legislation and to make retrospective changes. Clause twenty allows the government to change CARE arrangements, members' contributions and accrual rates merely if there has been a consultation. The Lords' amendments have improved the Bill but not resolved all the problems.

Accordingly Congress instructs the NEC to campaign, not merely amongst our own members, but together with other unions to defend our pensions. This must involve full participation in campaigns such as '68 is too late' and against CPI indexation.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

45A.1 Eastern and Home Counties regional committee

Add at end:

Congress is also concerned that the TUC Pensions Committee still appears to be working on an ad-hoc basis, with an appointed Chair, at a time when public sector pensions are under attack as never before. Congress urges UCU to use its influence to ensure the Pensions Committee be reconstituted as a proper committee of the TUC with the right to pass on duly voted motions to the TUC General Council.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress recognises that the attacks upon our pensions have not ceased and there is a need for a continuing and active defence of our rights. Congress is not persuaded that the government intends a settlement that will 'last for 25 years'.

The current Public Sector Pensions Bill invites this caution. Clause three allows the Treasury to amend any legislation, including primary legislation and to make retrospective changes. Clause twenty allows the government to change CARE arrangements, members' contributions and accrual rates merely if there has been a consultation. The Lords' amendments have improved the Bill but not resolved all the problems.

Accordingly Congress instructs the NEC to campaign, not merely amongst our own members, but together with other unions to defend our pensions. This must involve full participation in campaigns such as '68 is too late' and against CPI indexation.

Congress is also concerned that the TUC Pensions Committee still appears to be working on an ad-hoc basis, with an appointed Chair, at a time when public sector pensions are under attack as never before. Congress urges UCU to use its influence to ensure the Pensions Committee be reconstituted as a proper committee of the TUC with the right to pass on duly voted motions to the TUC General Council.


Devolved administrations, paragraph 6.1

46 UCU and constitutional change - UCU Scotland

This Congress notes that Scotland has a significantly disparate Higher Education system compared to the rest of the UK in terms of curriculum, quality assurance and funding. Policy on higher education has historically been devolved but is now increasingly divergent from the other UK nations with the potential for additional rapid and dramatic change following any future referendum on independence or further devolution.

Congress notes that UK UCU policy and campaigning on UK matters are potentially either not relevant to Scotland or lack cognisance of the differing political circumstances.

Congress calls for a dialogue across UCU to ensure that UK policy reflects the devolved nations, that the UCU is organised to meet these changes and that the devolved nations have the capacity to respond to the increasingly divergent policy and political situations.

CARRIED


TUC, paragraph 7.4

47 Cuts and tax avoidance - Chesterfield College

Congress notes the widespread use of tax avoidance loopholes by major companies like Amazon and Starbucks which deprive the UK economy of billions annually and allow them to accumulate super-profits while paying their workers low wages.

Education workers cannot avoid paying taxes and companies should not be enabled to do so by the Tory coalition who insist that ordinary people should pay the cost of UK debt and deficit for example through education cuts and privatisation, and who have cut corporation tax yet again in the autumn budget.

Congress condemns such tax avoidance by companies and resolves to campaign against it through the TUC and to use the data available in our campaigning activity against cuts and privatisation.

Congress congratulates campaigners such as UK Uncut who have highlighted these abuses and resolves to support such campaigning by encouraging members to take part, including in peaceful direct action.

CARRIED


48 Promoting the debate on public ownership of banking and finance - West Midlands retired members

Congress applauds the decision of the 2012 TUC Congress for passing Motion 27 which calls for a TUC-organised enquiry into the banking crisis as well as stating that 'the economic chaos and devastation sparked by the major banks and financial institutions should be ended through full public ownership of the sector and the creation of a publicly owned banking service, democratically and accountably managed.'

Matt Wrack of the FBU moved the motion and subsequently, the FBU published its pamphlet 'It's Time to Take Over The Banks' as a contribution to the debate on public ownership.

Congress calls on the NEC to use the FBU pamphlet to promote a debate at all levels within UCU on the public ownership of banking and finance as a first but necessary step in the battle to put an end to capitalist austerity and to establish the basis for a real alternative.

CARRIED


New paragraph, EU membership, after paragraph 8.6

49 Equality and Europe - National Executive Committee

The coalition government has announced the desire to attempt to re-negotiate terms, or exit from the European Union within 5 years.  At present obligations in European Law form an effective safety net for the majority of our equality rights. These attacks are disguised within the rhetoric of 'austerity' and the 'national interest', but an exit from Europe would enable the government to 'slash and burn' the hard fought equality rights that have been gained.  The 'bonfire of regulations' and renegotiations are a direct attack on those with protected characteristics in the workplace. 

Congress calls on the NEC to join with other trade unions to campaign vigorously on the benefit of remaining in EU membership to safeguard our already diminishing equality and employment rights.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

49A.1 Eastern and Home Counties regional committee

Delete in the second paragraph 'on the benefit of remaining in EU membership'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

The coalition government has announced the desire to attempt to re-negotiate terms, or exit from the European Union within 5 years.  At present obligations in European Law form an effective safety net for the majority of our equality rights. These attacks are disguised within the rhetoric of 'austerity' and the 'national interest', but an exit from Europe would enable the government to 'slash and burn' the hard fought equality rights that have been gained.  The 'bonfire of regulations' and renegotiations are a direct attack on those with protected characteristics in the workplace. 

Congress calls on the NEC to join with other trade unions to campaign vigorously to safeguard our already diminishing equality and employment rights.


International solidarity, paragraphs 9.1-9.2

50 Free imprisoned Bahraini teachers - London retired members

Congress calls upon the NEC to:

  1. Contact Education International for discussion of practical steps that the union should take to advance the cause of colleagues imprisoned in Bahrain. These include individuals in the leadership of the Bahrain Teachers Association, the chair and deputy chair of which have been sentenced, by a military court, to imprisonment for involvement in the movement for democratic political reform.
  2. Address their plight in conjunction with Education International and MENA Solidarity;
  3. Publicise on our union's website the campaign against the detention of our fellow trade unionists in Bahrain and other countries;
  4. Commission an article on the subject for the next issue of UC;
  5. Write to the British government expressing our concerns and request that diplomatic pressure be applied towards securing the freedom of all Bahraini political prisoners;
  6. Raise the situation in Bahrain with the TUC.

CARRIED


51 Stop the execution of Professor Bhullar - University of Birmingham, LSE

Congress notes with dismay:

  1. the death sentence imposed on Professor Davinder Pal Singh Bhullar for his alleged involvement in a bomb attack in 1993
  2. the denial of access to a lawyer during his initial detention and trial
  3. the guilty verdict based on an unsubstantiated 'confession' which Prof. Bhullar later retracted
  4. the Indian Supreme Court's rejection on 12th April 2013 of his plea for commutation
  5. the 'urgent action' appeal for Prof. Bhullar by Amnesty International.

Congress believes that Prof. Bhullar did not receive a fair trial and may be innocent.

Congress resolves:

  1. to take up Prof. Bhullar's case with the FCO, the Indian High Commission and Education International
  2. to call upon the Indian government not to execute Professor Bhullar, to remove him from death row immediately, and retry his case in accordance with international fair trial standards.

CARRIED


52 Campaigning for women and girls' education - National Executive Committee

Congress condemns the assassination attempt in October 2012 on fourteen year old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai for campaigning for girls' right to education.

Congress notes:

  1. Millions of girls around the world are denied access to school because of poverty, cultural attitudes and the threat of sexual violence.
  2. Girls are still less likely to progress to secondary education and that women make up almost two-thirds of the 796 million adults without basic skills.
  3. Girls' restricted access to schooling makes it harder to progress to higher education and enhanced employment opportunities.

Congress calls on:

  1. governments around the world to take action to eliminate all barriers to girls accessing quality public education and to promote the teaching of equality in curricula.
  2. the NEC to affiliate to the Global Campaign for Education http://www.campaignforeducation.org/en/ and support its campaigns on girls' education and eliminating gender discrimination.

CARRIED


53 Composite: Conditions of workers and Education rights for children in Bangladesh - LSE, Tower Hamlets Poplar

Congress expresses its horror at the hundreds of deaths and injuries caused in the disastrous fire and collapse of a building that held clothes factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Many of the dead and injured are young women forced to work in such sweat shops due to lack of educational opportunities.

Congress believes that the prioritisation of cheapness over basic health and safety in the buying priorities of Primark and other retailers makes them and their customers complicit in killing workers in less developed countries who have few options.

Congress believes that compensation must be paid.

Congress supports the call by the International Labor Rights Forum for international corporations and brands to sign up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement.

Congress believes that support from Western countries is necessary but progress in Bangladesh and other LDCs will only be achieved by the self-organisation of workers through effective unions and urges the TUC to offer full support to the Bangladesh National Council of Trade Unions in campaigns to organise and represent clothing workers.

Congress urges all members to consider the implications of their clothing purchases and seek assurances from retailers of ethical supply chains.

Congress calls for:

  1. NEC to communicate these things in a press release and to the appropriate authorities in Bangladesh
  2. NEC to urge the TUC to put pressure on UK retailers to sign up to the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement
  3. a collection for the victims of the disaster and their families
  4. Education International to press in whatever ways possible for the educational rights of Bangladeshi children.

CARRIED


54 Colombian academics and peace in Colombia - Liverpool Community College Arts & Mulberry

Last year 69 more trade unionists were assassinated. Academics remain in the firing line: recently Olga Cadena Corrales was assassinated, Carlo Andres Ospina imprisoned and Adolfo Atehortua received a death threat.

Although the issues that face trade unionists and teachers are known within this union the extent of the war remains unpublicised. Colombia is the most unequal country in South America - the root cause of the conflict.

There is an urgent need for an open peace process, supported by a bilateral ceasefire. Experience from other peace processes around the world, has shown that a ceasefire is crucial in creating the necessary conditions for successful negotiation.

Therefore we call on the NEC to:

  1. maintain a close monitoring of individual academics
  2. work with JFC to support the peace process
  3. encourage branch affiliation to JFC.

CARRIED


L3 Late motion University of Brighton Grand Parade, Queen Margaret University

Congress notes:

  1. previous overwhelming votes for BDS
  2. boycott decision by Teachers' Union of Ireland, US-Asia Studies Association and Stephen Hawkins
  3. ET harassment case against UCU by member citing criticisms of Israel
  4. dismissal of charges as baseless in law or fact; ET references to seeking political objectives through litigation and importance of free debate; inappropriate expense to public purse and UCU; rejection of Zionism as 'protected characteristic' of Jewishness.

Congress reaffirms:

  1. that while some antisemites are also anti-Zionist, criticisms of Israel and Zionism are not eo ipso antisemitic
  2. UCU policy supporting BDS and its lawful implementation
  3. opposition to all forms of racism, including antisemitism.

Congress resolves to:

  1. publicise the eventual ET outcome to branches, TUC unions, and sister unions internationally
  2. renew the invitation to members to consider the appropriateness of Israeli institutional relationships, accompanied by an update on conditions in Gaza and West Bank, and a statement of the BDS objectives.

CARRIED


Campaigning for education and against austerity, paragraphs 10.4-10.5

55 Global youth unemployment and vocational education - National Executive Committee

Congress notes:

  1. 75 million young people are without jobs across the world
  2. many millions more are trapped in informal or precarious work
  3. women, BME, LGBT and disabled youth are disproportionately affected by these trends
  4. the threats to quality vocational education and training (VET) as a result of spending cuts, privatisation and labour market deregulation.

Congress supports the international trade union movement's call for an alternative youth strategy based on decent jobs, workers' rights and access to quality education and training.

Congress also welcomes the new ETUCE policy paper on VET in Europe (.pdf) and the ongoing work of Education International's global VET taskforce and calls on the NEC to make sure that VET and FE issues remain part of the UCU's international agenda.

CARRIED


56 Greece - University of Derby

Congress notes:

  1. the continuing resistance by many trade unions in Greece to attempts by the government to implement further austerity measures amounting to £10.8 billion since November 2012 despite rapidly rising levels of poverty and unemployment. A number of measures being sought by the so-called 'Troika' - the European Central Bank, the IMF, and the European Union - have been halted by strike action such as one and two day general strikes, and which has included strikes by teachers in opposition to wage cuts, job losses and attacks on workers' rights.
  2. the growing threat posed by the fascist Golden Dawn party and recognises the crucial role being played by workers organisations in combating this.

Congress resolves:

  1. to encourage branches to twin with branches of Greek further and higher education unions.
  2. to call on the TUC to mobilise in support of Greek unions.

CARRIED


57 Defend the Right of Public Education for All: Greek HE - Liverpool Hope University

Congress notes that the savage austerity measures imposed on Greece have amounted to 45% of cuts in the higher education sector. The Greek government aims to decrease the student intake by 30%. A lot of departments are threatened with closure, students and staff determined to protect their right to public education have been attacked and demonised by the mainstream media. In April 2013, some students of TEI Patras engaged in a fight to stop the closure of the social work department were injured by opponents within their HEI.

Congress resolves to:

  1. support the struggles of the students and staff to protect and /or reclaim their right to public education in conjunction with the international higher education union and the student union
  2. publicise on our union's website the struggles of students and staff to protect their right to education both in Greece and other countries.

CARRIED

Last updated: 4 June 2013