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Business of the Strategy and Finance Committee

UCU Congress 2014: Thursday 29 May 2014, 11:20-12:30 (open session) | Friday 30 May 2014, 10:05-12:45 (closed session)

Motions (open session):

20 - Affiliation to NPC
21 - Affiliation to the International Brigades Memorial
22 - Commemoration of the Miners' Strike
23 - Commemorating the First World War
24 - People's Assembly Against Austerity
25 - Campaign to free Francisco Toloza in Colombia
26 - Women in Gaza
27 - Egypt - struggle for democracy and justice
28 - Solidarity with Kodaikanal
29 - Russia: civil society threatened, scapegoating and persecution of LGBT People
30 - The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)
L1 - UKIP successes

31 - Pensions policy
32 - Collective action on pensions
B4 - Age Friendly Cities

33 - Fighting national disputes together
L6 - Emergency motion on redundancies at Dundee University

L7 - Redundancies at KCL King's College London
34 - Improving relationship with student unions

Motions (closed session):

43 - Appointment of auditors
44 - Audited financial statements to 31 August 2013
45 - Budget 2014-2015
46 - Subscription rates
47 - Subscription rates - investigating the possibility of Introductory Membership
48 - Retired members' subscriptions
49 - Union democracy
50 - Conference Structure
51 - Constitutional change
52 - Enhancing the role of Retired Members' Branches (RMBs)
53 - Representation by branch reps at employment tribunals
54 - Model branch/local association rules
55 - No to imposition of local rules
56 - Quoracy rules for branch meetings
57 - Model local rules and members on casualised contracts
58 - Congressional authority over rules and constituent parts of the union
59 - New regional standing orders
60 - Changes to the standing orders of regional committees
61 - Representatives of members on casualised contracts on regional committees

(EP) advisory marking
denoting UCU existing policy

New paragraph, affiliations and work with other unions, after paragraph 2.4

20 Affiliation to NPC - Yorkshire and Humberside Retired Members' Branch

Congress:

  1. believes that all matters affecting the lives of retired people - pensions, health and social care, fuel costs, transport, etc - are matters of proper concern for working members.
  2. reiterates its support for the campaigning work of the National Pensioners Convention on behalf of existing and future pensioners
  3. notes that the NPC increasingly depends on affiliation fees, in particular from trade unions, to continue its work
  4. therefore instructs the NEC to reverse the decision of the NEC in 2013 to pay a reduced affiliation fee and to pay the full fee in 2014.

CARRIED


21 Affiliation to the International Brigades Memorial - University of Central Lancashire

Congress notes the invaluable work of the International Brigades Memorial Trust (IBMT) in commemorating the veterans of the International Brigades from Britain and Ireland to the fight against Fascism in Europe during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and in educating others, especially young people, about the fight against Fascism in Spain as well as the importance and relevance of anti-fascist struggle in the present day. Congress endorses the aims of the IBMT in producing lectures, events, education packs and publications designed to ensure that the memory and spirit of the international 'volunteers for liberty' lives on in the context of the resurgent threat of neo-fascism in Europe.

Congress instructs the national union to affiliate UCU to the IBMT.

CARRIED


22 Commemoration of the Miners' Strike - Chesterfield College

Congress notes:

  • the 30th anniversary of the Great Miners strike of 1984/85
  • the role played by many trade unionists including members of our predecessor unions NATFHE and AUT in delivering solidarity and support to striking miners
  • the many commemoration events which have and will continue to be planned across the country to commemorate the strike
  • the recent release of cabinet papers from 1984 which shows that the then government sought to influence police tactics to escalate the dispute, and actively considered declaring a state of emergency and deploying the Army to defeat the miners and unions.

Congress believes:

  • that many miners and their families were subject to police violence and a cover up of the truth of key events such as those at Orgreave in the summer of 1984.

Congress resolves:

  • to support the activities of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

22 A.1 Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

After 'Congress resolves to support the activities of' add 'and donate £100 to'

Add at end: 'Congress supports calls for a public enquiry into the Orgreave events.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  • the 30th anniversary of the Great Miners strike of 1984/85
  • the role played by many trade unionists including members of our predecessor unions NATFHE and AUT in delivering solidarity and support to striking miners
  • the many commemoration events which have and will continue to be planned across the country to commemorate the strike
  • the recent release of cabinet papers from 1984 which shows that the then government sought to influence police tactics to escalate the dispute, and actively considered declaring a state of emergency and deploying the Army to defeat the miners and unions.

Congress believes:

  • that many miners and their families were subject to police violence and a cover up of the truth of key events such as those at Orgreave in the summer of 1984.

Congress resolves:

  • to support the activities of and donate £100 to the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign.

Congress supports calls for a public enquiry into the Orgreave events.


23 Composite: Commemorating the First World War - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee, East Midlands Regional Committee

Congress notes the variety of interpretations among historians of World War 1. It defends the academic freedom to offer a range of interpretations of the war. It believes that students should have the right to learn about a variety of perspectives on World War 1. It condemns any attempts by Government ministers or others to impose a single view of the events of World War 1.

Congress deplores the attempt by Michael Gove to shape the commemoration of the First World War into a narrow nationalist and pro-war agenda and his attacks on respected academic historians. This follows on from Gove's attempt to re-draft the history curriculum to fit his own particular viewpoint.

Congress supports the positive initiatives being organised around the country by educationalists and a range of community groups to commemorate World War 1 from an anti-war perspective.

Congress condemns attempts to use the deaths and sufferings of millions of people in World War 1 as the basis for nationalistic propaganda or to mobilise support for further wars. It supports the 'No Glory in War' campaign launched by the Stop the War Coalition and urges the branches and regions to involve themselves in its activities.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

23A.1 London South Bank University

Add at end:

'Congress urges UCU regions to work with other education trade unions and organisations such as Defend School History and the Stop the War Coalition to initiate teaching and learning events on WWI in Autumn 2014.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes the variety of interpretations among historians of World War 1. It defends the academic freedom to offer a range of interpretations of the war. It believes that students should have the right to learn about a variety of perspectives on World War 1. It condemns any attempts by Government ministers or others to impose a single view of the events of World War 1.

Congress deplores the attempt by Michael Gove to shape the commemoration of the First World War into a narrow nationalist and pro-war agenda and his attacks on respected academic historians. This follows on from Gove's attempt to re-draft the history curriculum to fit his own particular viewpoint.

Congress supports the positive initiatives being organised around the country by educationalists and a range of community groups to commemorate World War 1 from an anti-war perspective.

Congress condemns attempts to use the deaths and sufferings of millions of people in World War 1 as the basis for nationalistic propaganda or to mobilise support for further wars. It supports the 'No Glory in War' campaign launched by the Stop the War Coalition and urges the branches and regions to involve themselves in its activities.

Congress urges UCU regions to work with other education trade unions and organisations such as Defend School History and the Stop the War Coalition to initiate teaching and learning events on WWI in Autumn 2014.


24 (EP) Composite: People's Assembly Against Austerity - University of Brighton (Grand Parade), Goldsmiths, University of London

Congress notes

  • the decision of the Labour Party further to distance itself from the trade union movement, and that many affiliated unions have reduced or cancelled their subscription
  • that the UCU is not affiliated to any political party but that appropriate political affiliation is valuable for the ability of trade unions to appeal beyond the immediate ranks of the movement, and have an influence on political debates and ultimately on legislation
  • that the People's Assembly is not a party but a combination of many in parties, and those in none, bringing together campaigns against cuts and privatisation, working with trade unions in a movement for social justice, and is supported by the general secretaries of over 10 of Britain's major trade unions.

Congress further notes:

  • David Cameron's Guildhall speech in November 2013 in which he said that austerity should be 'permanent'
  • that the majority of public sector cuts have yet to be put in place
  • the success of the People's Assembly in uniting people in action against austerity from across the trade union, labour, progressive and anti-cuts movement.

Conference believes:

  • that an effective anti-austerity movement can facilitate the revival of workplace confidence and increase the possibility of coordinated action by trade unionists against austerity
  • that a weak recovery that does not raise working class living standards or stop the cuts is likely to increase anger at the government.

Conference agrees:

  • to confirm its support for the People's Assembly Against Austerity
  • to support and actively encourage members to attend the national anti-cuts demonstration called by the People's Assembly and the NUT on 21 June 2014.

Congress resolves to:

  • affiliate to the People's Assembly, and notify members of national events and mobilisations;
  • urge branches to affiliate to local People's Assemblies.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

24A.1 London Regional Committee

Add new bullet point at end:

'affiliate to Unite the Resistance, which exists to develop networks of solidarity and stronger links between rank and file workers and those trades union leaders willing to organise action against austerity.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes

  • the decision of the Labour Party further to distance itself from the trade union movement, and that many affiliated unions have reduced or cancelled their subscription
  • that the UCU is not affiliated to any political party but that appropriate political affiliation is valuable for the ability of trade unions to appeal beyond the immediate ranks of the movement, and have an influence on political debates and ultimately on legislation
  • that the People's Assembly is not a party but a combination of many in parties, and those in none, bringing together campaigns against cuts and privatisation, working with trade unions in a movement for social justice, and is supported by the general secretaries of over 10 of Britain's major trade unions.

Congress further notes:

  • David Cameron's Guildhall speech in November 2013 in which he said that austerity should be 'permanent'
  • that the majority of public sector cuts have yet to be put in place
  • the success of the People's Assembly in uniting people in action against austerity from across the trade union, labour, progressive and anti-cuts movement.

Conference believes:

  • that an effective anti-austerity movement can facilitate the revival of workplace confidence and increase the possibility of coordinated action by trade unionists against austerity
  • that a weak recovery that does not raise working class living standards or stop the cuts is likely to increase anger at the government.

Conference agrees:

  • to confirm its support for the People's Assembly Against Austerity
  • to support and actively encourage members to attend the national anti-cuts demonstration called by the People's Assembly and the NUT on 21 June 2014.

Congress resolves to:

  • affiliate to the People's Assembly, and notify members of national events and mobilisations;
  • urge branches to affiliate to local People's Assemblies
  • affiliate to Unite the Resistance, which exists to develop networks of solidarity and stronger links between rank and file workers and those trades union leaders willing to organise action against austerity.

International solidarity, paragraph 3.1.3 - 3.1.4

25 Campaign to free Francisco Toloza in Colombia - National Executive Committee

Congress condemns the persecution of Colombian trade unionists, particularly the imprisonment of academics. In January 2014, Francisco Toloza, a lecturer at Colombia's National University, was imprisoned and has been charged with 'rebellion'.

Mr. Toloza is a leading member of the Patriotic March, the mass opposition movement which has been hit particularly hard with detentions and killings. In August, the Patriotic March's National Organiser, Huber Ballesteros, was imprisoned and in 2013, 26 of its members were killed.

Congress congratulates JfC's successful work to support the peace process and calls on the Colombian state to stop persecuting critical academics and other opponents in order to achieve a lasting peace with social justice.

Congress resolves to:

  • continue to campaign to free Mr. Toloza and fight for justice for Dr. Beltr├ín
  • continue to support JfC, particularly its Peace and Political Prisoner campaigns
  • write to branches encouraging them to affiliate to JfC.

CARRIED


26 Women in Gaza - Women Members' Standing Committee

Congress notes:

  • that four mature students from Gaza who commenced MAs in Women's Studies at BirZeit University have been prevented from completing their studies
  • that a student from Gaza has not been permitted to take up her place for a BA in law at BZU.

Congress:

  • condemns the Israeli government's ongoing siege of Gaza and its blanket ban on students from Gaza going to the West Bank to study
  • condemns the Egyptian authorities' assaults on, and deportations of, the International Women's Day delegation to Gaza in March 2014
  • calls on the general secretary to make the strongest possible representations to the Israeli Embassy, the Egyptian Embassy and the FCO in support of the right of women from Gaza to study at the institution of their choice and the right of women to travel to Gaza to show solidarity with their sisters under siege.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

26A.1 Women members' Standing Committee

Under 'Congress notes' insert two new bullet points at the beginning, as follows:

'that Gaza is still occupied by Israel and has been subject to a land, sea and air blockade since 2007

that the blockade has had a devastating effect on education, in particular preventing students from Gaza leaving to study elsewhere'

Under 'Congress:' add final bullet point at the end:

'instructs the NEC to send a delegation of UCU members, at least half of whom will be women, to Gaza as soon as possible in liaison with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  • that Gaza is still occupied by Israel and has been subject to a land, sea and air blockade since 2007
  • that the blockade has had a devastating effect on education, in particular preventing students from Gaza leaving to study elsewhere
  • that four mature students from Gaza who commenced MAs in Women's Studies at BirZeit University have been prevented from completing their studies
  • that a student from Gaza has not been permitted to take up her place for a BA in law at BZU.

Congress:

  • condemns the Israeli government's ongoing siege of Gaza and its blanket ban on students from Gaza going to the West Bank to study
  • condemns the Egyptian authorities' assaults on, and deportations of, the International Women's Day delegation to Gaza in March 2014
  • calls on the general secretary to make the strongest possible representations to the Israeli Embassy, the Egyptian Embassy and the FCO in support of the right of women from Gaza to study at the institution of their choice and the right of women to travel to Gaza  to show solidarity with their sisters under siege
  • instructs the NEC to send a delegation of UCU members, at least half of whom will be women, to Gaza as soon as possible in liaison with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

After paragraph 3.1.7

27 Egypt - struggle for democracy and justice - University of Brighton, Moulscoomb

Congress expresses grave concern at the far-reaching assault on human rights in Egypt, three years after the toppling of Mubarak.

Congress calls for the:

  • unconditional release of those imprisoned in Egypt for exercising rights to free expression and assembly
  • repeal of Law 107, restricting rights to public assembly
  • end to trials of civilians in military and State Security courts.

Congress resolves to:

  • endorse and circulate to all members the MENA Solidarity Network Egypt Solidarity statement, signed by union General Secretaries, including UCU
  • write to the Egyptian authorities (Ambassador and appropriate Ministries) condemning military repression
  • write an open letter to the UK government calling for suspension of all financial, military or other support to the Egyptian authorities which may be used to violate the rights of Egyptian citizens
  • offer to organise with MENASN, and jointly to host with other unions, the NUS and Trades Councils, regional meetings on the Egyptian struggle.

CARRIED


28 Solidarity with Kodaikanal - Queen Margaret University

Congress notes that the Leverhulme Trust, a significant funder of work undertaken by academics in the UK, is financed and controlled by Unilever.

Unilever's Indian subsidiary, Hindustan Unilever Ltd, is accused of poisoning workers and contaminating the environment with toxic mercury in Kodaikanal, Tamil Nadu, where it operated a mercury thermometer plant.

Congress therefore mandates the general secretary to write to Unilever UK and the Leverhulme Trust urging both to use their good offices to ensure that workers are compensated and rehabilitated, and that the environment is remediated.

CARRIED


29 Russia: Civil Society Threatened, Scapegoating and Persecution of LGBT People - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

After the 1917 Russian Revolution homosexuality was decriminalised. Over time these rights were reversed, until after the collapse of the USSR Russia liberalised some anti-LGBT laws.

In an era of crisis and growing inequality in Russia there is a new backlash such as the recent ban by the Russian parliament on 'homosexual propaganda'. This has encouraged violent attacks on LGBT individuals and events. Other vulnerable groups are also being scapegoated.

Russia is at the bottom of ILGA Europe's index of human rights abuses of LGBT people. There is concern for LGBT education staff in Russia and our members working in Russia.

Congress calls on UCU to:

  • express solidarity with Russian Prides and Russian ILGA Europe affiliate organisations
  • to share experiences of working for LGBT rights with Russian advocacy groups
  • to condemn homophobia and transphobia in Russia and carefully assess the situation for LGBT members working there.

CARRIED

Campaigning for education, paragraph 3.2.1

30 Composite: The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - National Executive Committee, Northumbria University, London Retired Members' Branch, University of Glasgow

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade deal between the USA and the EU.

Congress welcomes the NEC resolution on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the consequent briefing paper, with the campaigning points therein.

Congress believes that TTIP poses profound threats to public services, including education, workers' rights and environmental standards. Congress is also concerned that the talks are being pursued without any transparency or democratic oversight.

It will make disputes between companies and governments the preserve of 'investor-state dispute settlement' (ISDS) tribunals, dominated by corporate lawyers. Such mechanisms have been used in many parts of the world to kill regulations protecting people and the environment, and would prevent future governments from renationalising privatised services.

While the European Commission has agreed to consult about the ISDS proposals, it has also stated that the mechanism is necessary because national courts 'might be biased or lack independence.'

Congress is unconvinced by the grandiose claims of job creation by the TTIP, and considers that the dangers posed by this proposed treaty vastly outweigh any potential benefits.

The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) envisaged within the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as well as EU-level trade agreements under negotiation with Singapore, Canada and India, would give dangerous, unfettered rights to private investors to threaten public services and sue governments or public authorities were they to block company profit-making by legislating in the public interest. This threatens the scope of governments to choose to restore areas of service currently run by the private sector back into public ownership. The secretive, bureaucratic, and costly nature of ISDS processes inevitably favours multinational corporations.

Congress resolves to:

  • oppose the TTIP as an attack on democracy on behalf of multi-national corporations
  • call for all public services, including education, to be clearly excluded from the scope of the agreement
  • continue to inform UCU members of the threat that TTIP poses to them and their industry
  • campaign with MPs, peers and MEPs as far as possible, to oppose all detrimental aspects of TTIP
  • press TUC and EI to widen their campaign of opposition to TTIP, seeking allies amongst other union federations in Europe and the United States
  • requests all branches to raise the issue in local trades councils and other bodies to which they are affiliated

Congress instructs the NEC to:

  • campaign vigorously against all aspects of the TTIP, particularly in defence of public health and education provision and protection of the environment
  • continue to raise awareness of TTIP and ISDS
  • lobby MPs and MEPs in opposition to all detrimental aspects of such trade agreements
  • take a motion to the 2014 TUC Congress on TTIP/ISDS
  • continue to call for the exclusion of public services, including tertiary education, from trade negotiations.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

30 A.1 University of Liverpool

Insert at end of third paragraph:

'Congress believes that TTIP threatens public services and jobs from the north to the south in all EU countries.'

Add two bullet points at end of 'Congress resolves to' section:

'Campaign with all unions fighting for re-nationalisation, such as the RMT.

Campaign with other unions for a European wide movement and build direct links at a national and local level with all union and social movements across Europe and the US that are fighting TTIP.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a proposed trade deal between the USA and the EU.

Congress welcomes the NEC resolution on the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the consequent briefing paper, with the campaigning points therein.

Congress believes that TTIP poses profound threats to public services, including education, workers' rights and environmental standards. Congress is also concerned that the talks are being pursued without any transparency or democratic oversight. Congress believes that TTIP threatens public services and jobs from the north to the south in all EU countries.

It will make disputes between companies and governments the preserve of 'investor-state dispute settlement' (ISDS) tribunals, dominated by corporate lawyers. Such mechanisms have been used in many parts of the world to kill regulations protecting people and the environment, and would prevent future governments from renationalising privatised services.

While the European Commission has agreed to consult about the ISDS proposals, it has also stated that the mechanism is necessary because national courts 'might be biased or lack independence.'

Congress is unconvinced by the grandiose claims of job creation by the TTIP, and considers that the dangers posed by this proposed treaty vastly outweigh any potential benefits.

The Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) envisaged within the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) as well as EU-level trade agreements under negotiation with Singapore, Canada and India, would give dangerous, unfettered rights to private investors to threaten public services and sue governments or public authorities were they to block company profit-making by legislating in the public interest. This threatens the scope of governments to choose to restore areas of service currently run by the private sector back into public ownership. The secretive, bureaucratic, and costly nature of ISDS processes inevitably favours multinational corporations.

Congress resolves to:

  • oppose the TTIP as an attack on democracy on behalf of multi-national corporations
  • call for all public services, including education, to be clearly excluded from the scope of the agreement
  • continue to inform UCU members of the threat that TTIP poses to them and their industry
  • campaign with MPs, peers and MEPs as far as possible, to oppose all detrimental aspects of TTIP
  • press TUC and EI to widen their campaign of opposition to TTIP, seeking allies amongst other union federations in Europe and the United States
  • requests all branches to raise the issue in local trades councils and other bodies to which they are affiliated
  • campaign with all unions fighting for re-nationalisation, such as the RMT
  • campaign with other unions for a European wide movement and build direct links at a national and local level with all union and social movements across Europe and the US that are fighting TTIP.

Congress instructs the NEC to:

  • campaign vigorously against all aspects of the TTIP, particularly in defence of public health and education provision and protection of the environment
  • continue to raise awareness of TTIP and ISDS
  • lobby MPs and MEPs in opposition to all detrimental aspects of such trade agreements
  • take a motion to the 2014 TUC Congress on TTIP/ISDS
  • continue to call for the exclusion of public services, including tertiary education, from trade negotiations.

New paragraph, UKIP

L1 UKIP successes - National Executive Committee

Congress 

Notes:

  1. UKIP's Euro-election winning 27.5 percent vote, and 160 council seats
  2. all the main political parties have responded by pandering to UKIP's anti-immigrant propaganda
  3. other European far-right successes: the French Front National win and Greek Golden Dawn Nazis winning 9.5 percent.

Believes:

  1. UKIP is a racist party
  2. anti-immigrant racism must have no place in colleges and universities
  3. UCU must campaign against any of the main political parties' attempts to bend to UKIP's racist populism
  4. government, bankers and big business are responsible for low pay, privatisation, unemployment and lack of workers' rights, not immigrants.

Supports:

  1. UAF's 14 June conference
  2. the lobby of UKIP's 27 September conference, and aday of action on June 1st
  3. initiatives called by the broadly-based Stand Up to UKIP organisation
  4. production of a UCU poster on immigration celebrating multiculturalism and diversity and briefings systematically rebutting UKIP policies.

CARRIED

New paragraph, pensions, after 3.2.3

31 (EP) Pensions policy - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Conference notes that:

  1. many of today's pensioners, including some former lecturers, are living in officially defined poverty
  2. the new state pension will bring no change to their or any other existing pensioner's income other than a cumulative loss of value from the use of CPI as the inflation measure
  3. the vast majority of future pensioners will receive little or no benefit from the new state pension system, which is designed to reduce the pensions bill
  4. occupational pensions of UCU members and other workers are under sustained attack. Many members will be worse off in retirement than they had planned, and may face years of extreme hardship if they are unable to work to the ever-rising pension age.

Congress therefore commits UCU to campaign with other trade unions for a thorough review of pensions policy by a future government, not limited by an artificial austerity agenda.

CARRIED


B4 Age Friendly Cities - South East Retired Members' Branch

Congress restates its commitment to enhancing the quality of life of its retired members. To this end it welcomes the decision of the City of Brighton & Hove to seek 'Age Friendly City' status with the World Health Organisation. Congress calls on the NEC. to endorse this initiative and encourage appropriate branches to campaign locally for their city to commit itself to achieving 'Age Friendly City' status.

CARRIED


32 Collective action on pensions - Eastern and Home Counties Retired Members' branch

Congress notes that:

  • the number of people with an occupational pension is decreasing and these pensions are falling in value. Both the present and the new government proposed state pensions are insufficient to support an adequate standard of living.

In view of the uncertainty facing all workers, Congress calls on UCU to urge the TUC to treat pensions with the same importance as wages and to make fundamental changes to its committee structure to this end.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

32 A.1 London Retired Members' branch

Insert at end of first paragraph:

'In the light of this, universal benefits such as free travel and the winter fuel allowance assume increased importance. UCU will therefore give full support to the NPC 'Hands off universal pensioner benefits' campaign both to defend the rights of existing pensioners and to safeguard these and similar rights for future generations. No means testing.'

CARRIED

New paragraph, pay

33 Fighting national disputes together - Manchester Metropolitan University

This congress:

notes:

  • the 100% pay deduction at MMU for a 2-hour strike
  • that in response the MMU Branch voted for escalation
  • that MMU management is threatening to deduct 100% in any marking boycott
  • that only branches suffering punitive pay-docking had the option of escalation.

believes:

  • that during national action any attack by one employer is the direct concern of every branch
  • that during national action every branch attacked individually must be supported by the whole union.

demands:

  • that during national action, branches which suffer individualised attacks from management must have the option of escalation
  • that during national action, when there are individualised attacks all branches involved in the action must have the opportunity of escalation
  • that the UCU nationally should provide information and support to this effect.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

CBC advice: if amendment 33A.1 is passed, the last two sentences of amendment 33A.2 fall.

33A.1 National Executive Committee

Delete the last three bullet points and replace with:

'that national support and advice should be provided to branches under attack during a dispute, enabling the consideration of possible forms of escalation during that dispute'

LOST

33A.2 South East Regional Committee

Delete 'This congress notes the 100% pay deduction at MMU for a 2-hour strike' at beginning and insert:

'This congress:

condemns the 100% pay deduction at MMU, the University of Surrey and other HE institutions for a 2-hour strike'

Insert 'notes' at the beginning of the 3 remaining bullet points.

Replace 'must' with 'should' in 7th and 8th bullet points.

CARRIED (but taken in parts)

33A.3 North West Regional Committee

Add to end:

'Punitive pay docking during a national dispute must be treated as 'an injury to one is an injury to all'. No institution(s) should be left to fight alone. It demands a national response. UCU must call on all branches in a sector to support individual institutions, including by industrial action and escalating national action, until the selective punitive deductions cease.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

This congress condemns:

  • the 100% pay deduction at MMU, the University of Surrey and other HE institutions for a 2-hour strike

notes:

  • that in response the MMU Branch voted for escalation
  • that MMU management is threatening to deduct 100% in any marking boycott
  • that only branches suffering punitive pay-docking had the option of escalation.

believes:

  • that during national action any attack by one employer is the direct concern of every branch
  • that during national action every branch attacked individually must be supported by the whole union.

demands:

  • that during national action, branches which suffer individualised attacks from management should have the option of escalation
  • that during national action, when there are individualised attacks all branches involved in the action should have the opportunity of escalation
  • that the UCU nationally should provide information and support to this effect.

Punitive pay docking during a national dispute must be treated as 'an injury to one is an injury to all'. No institution(s) should be left to fight alone. It demands a national response. UCU must call on all branches in a sector to support individual institutions, including by industrial action and escalating national action, until the selective punitive deductions cease.


L6  Emergency motion on redundancies at Dundee University

Conference notes yesterday's decision to announce an additional 25 redundancies at Dundee University. 

These 25 are in the college of Art, Science and Engineering.  They are on top of the 13 compulsory redundancies taking place in Medicine and Life Sciences and in total the university is seeking 120 job cuts.

Conference resolves:

  • to support Dundee UCU in its ballot for industrial action against compulsory redundancies
  • to call on the Scottish Government to commit to no compulsory redundancies
  • to explore greylisting of Dundee University if it establishes its redundancy committee.

CARRIED


L7 Redundancies at KCL - King's College London

Congress notes

  1. proposed 10% cuts to KCL academic staff costs (including 120 redundancies in Health Schools)to fund capital investment programmes
  2. the use of Performance Indicators (ie. research grant income and total teaching hours)to select staff for redundancy.

Congress believes

  1. teaching and research should not be downgraded to subsidise investment in infrastructure
  2. Key Performance Indicators and Performance Development should not be deployed in a punitive or coercive way
  3. consultation processes should fully involve staff and students.

Congress resolves

  1. to monitor nationally the coercive and punitive use of KPIs/PDRs.
  2. to assess shift in university expenditure from teaching and research towards infrastructure, marketing and management.
  3. to give consideration to the greylisting [academic boycott] of King's College London in line with UCU policy.
  4. to support any industrial action called by KCL UCU and publicise staff/student campaign initiatives against redundancies.

CARRIED

New paragraph, relations with NUS

34 Improving relationship with student unions - Teesside University

Recent industrial action by our union has demonstrated the central importance of student understanding and support for our union's goals. Despite some outstanding examples the UCU relationship with student unions in HE & FE remains uneven with many local student leaders being indifferent or even hostile to our union's necessary industrial action in the face of management intransigence. We call for a working party to be set up to examine with NUS leadership how a joint program of information sharing and advocacy could improve relationships and mutual understanding and to report to Congress 2015 with the goal to increase the effectiveness of staff and student joint action in future disputes.

Finance and property, after paragraph 1.2

43 Appointment of auditors - National Executive Committee

Congress approves the appointment of Knox Cropper as the union's auditors for the year ending 31 August 2014.

CARRIED


44 Audited financial statements to 31 August 2013 - National Executive Committee

Congress receives the union's audited financial statements for the 12-month period ending 31 August 2013 as set out in UCU/576.

CARRIED


45 Budget 2014-2015 - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the budget for September 2014 - August 2015 as set out in UCU/575.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

45A.1  Emergency motion arising from experience of conference

The experience of a two-day congress has proved to be detrimental to debate and to the ability of delegates to more than nod through motions. We have discovered through the experience of this congress that it is impossible to test and develop strategies proposed in motions through reflective discussions incorporating experiences from across the union.

It also impacts on some disabled members to have such long days.

We therefore call for congress to go back to a three day process and we instruct the NEC to immediately extend the booking for next year's Congress.

CARRIED


46 Subscription rates - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the subscription rates from 1 September 2014 as set out in UCU/575.

CARRIED


47 Subscription rates - investigating the possibility of Introductory Membership - South West Regional Committee

Congress recognises that increasing membership is essential for UCU. One option would be to offer Introductory Membership for a period of a year at a cost of £1 per month. This membership will have limited rights to services and will not be open to returning members. Members can choose to opt out at the end of the year or automatically convert to full membership.

Congress instructs NEC to explore the potential for adopting an Introductory Membership scheme and instructs NEC to report back on its findings with recommendations within six months of Congress.

CARRIED

47A.1 University of Bath

Add the following at the end of motion:

'Congress also believes that it is vital that we attract new members, particularly those at the start of the careers in HE, so as to increase and re-normalise union membership. The subscription rates applicable to most employed post-graduate students raise only small amounts of revenue for the UCU but represent a significant barrier to membership.

Conference therefore resolves to remove subscription rates for post-graduate students employed in HE earning less than £10,000 per annum.'

REMITTED


48 Retired members' subscriptions - Northern Retired Members' Branch

Congress instructs the General Secretary and the NEC to rescind immediately the dishonourable and anti-trade union decision to withdraw membership from life paid members unless they pay and pay again.

This is an attack on retired members and their branches.

CARRIED

New paragraph, internal UCU matters

49 Union democracy - North West Regional Committee

Congress is extremely concerned about the impact of internal UCU organisational restructuring and finances on democracy and accountability of members, reps and officers of the union. This Congress reaffirms our commitment to full open and transparent consultation at all levels of the Union on all issues impacting on representation services and wider participation in the labour and trade union movement. We therefore call on the NEC to ensure that adequate consultation is enabled prior to any such decisions being taken.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

49A.1 Black Members' Standing Committee

Add at end:

'We also call on the NEC to ensure that any further organisational restructuring is undertaken with a full Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) prior to any proposed change. Any EIA must also include a full and thorough consultation process incorporating all affected groups and committees as appropriate.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress is extremely concerned about the impact of internal UCU organisational restructuring and finances on democracy and accountability of members, reps and officers of the union. This Congress reaffirms our commitment to full open and transparent consultation at all levels of the Union on all issues impacting on representation services and wider participation in the labour and trade union movement. We therefore call on the NEC to ensure that adequate consultation is enabled prior to any such decisions being taken.

We also call on the NEC to ensure that any further organisational restructuring is undertaken with a full Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) prior to any proposed change. Any EIA must also include a full and thorough consultation process incorporating all affected groups and committees as appropriate.


50 Conference Structure - Lancaster Adult College

Congress calls on UCU to recognise the special difficulties for the adult education sector. There should be an Adult Education Sector Conference, separate from the FE Sector Conference, as part of Congress planning.

REMITTED


51 (EP) Constitutional change - UCU Scotland Executive Committee

Congress welcomes the internal dialogue, involving UCU representatives from the devolved nations, that has begun over the past year. It is vital that the union is organised to enable it to be effective in the devolved nations, and regardless of the outcome of the forthcoming referendum on Scottish independence.

The union needs to ensure that its policy, campaigning and organising framework enables our representatives to operate consistently and effectively in the devolved political and policy contexts.

Congress, calls for the continued dialogue involving devolved nations representatives, to take forward this strategy to ensure UCU remains an effective bargaining force.

CARRIED


52 Enhancing the role of Retired Members' Branches (RMBs) - East Midlands Retired Members' branch

This congress reaffirms that RMBs have a valuable auxiliary role in supporting the campaigns of the UCU. They should be informed similarly to workplace branches of the campaigning activities and rallies of the UCU and be consulted on issues particularly relevant to retired members. In accordance with 12.6.2 iii they should have the right to make representation to the NEC and 'receive a timely reply'.

Two initial steps should be taken:

  1. the Equality Conference should include a component that relates to the needs of older and retired members
  2. the meeting of RMBs held during congress shall be empowered to send two resolutions to the NEC which shall be discussed and voted on, and the result of those deliberations presented in the annual report to the following Congress.

Modest proposals that have little or no financial cost.

CARRIED

New paragraph, legal assistance

53 Representation by branch reps at employment tribunals - College of North West London

The branch recognises the successes of the branch in a number of cases, both internally and at ET, without any assistance received from UCU legal services. The branch considers that it is unjust to expect branch reps to forego a day's pay to fight these cases at an ET. The branch therefore urges UCU to make up for the loss of wages of reps, with a track record of success and who take up cases on behalf of members and also to pay the tribunal fees for affected members represented by these reps.

REMITTED

New paragraph, branch and regional committee standing orders

54  Composite: Model branch/local association rules - Leeds Metropolitan University, South East Regional Committee

Congress notes the proposed changes to model local branch/local association rules agreed by the NEC majority in November 2013 and subsequently passed to branches for adoption.

In the interests of union democracy, and to ensure the fullest and most open discussion, congress instructs the new NEC to withdraw these proposed changes and inform branches/local associations that the status quo ante (ie the model local branch rules prior to November 2013) will prevail until such time as a future annual congress rules session might adopt any relevant rule changes.

CARRIED


55 No to imposition of local rules - University of Liverpool

The imposition of new model rules for UCU branches and regions is unacceptable in a democratic member-led union.

The setting of a quorum of 5% (with a maximum of 50) means that in larger branches decisions regarding matters of local and national importance will be far more difficult to make.

With respect to decisions on taking industrial action quorums of 20% for the larger branches will extremely difficult to achieve and in reality will make it impossible to decide on taking action at branch meetings.

The use of e-polls following member meetings will slow down branch responses to offensives by local employers. This will play entirely into the hands of aggressive employers.

We call upon congress to suspend the recently imposed rules and to initiate a review of procedures with a view to strengthening branch democracy and member participation.

WITHDRAWN

55A.1 Southern Regional Committee

Add at end:

'Congress instructs the NEC to enter a period of consultation with branches and Regional Committees. This period shall be no shorter than six months, and the responses to the consultation shall be published at least one month before the deadline for Congress motions in 2015.'


56 Quoracy rules for branch meetings - University of Hull

The new UCU model branch rules stipulate the quoracy rules of general meetings (paragraphs 4.6 and 4.7). However, these rules present potential problems for branches.

In practice, reaching 1/20th of the membership as required in 4.6 is not a trivial challenge. Of more concern from a democratic perspective, if the quorum is not met, 4.7 allows for a quorum of only three members.

We ask NEC to review the model rules, and to consider determining the quorum by:

  1. amending rule 4.6 to require a number at least n more than the size of the local committee,
  2. amending rule 4.7, allowing for a size of m (of whom at least half should be non-committee members)
  3. where n and m are determined by each branch, but with minimum va|ues specified in the rules, eg n = committee size, and m = number of committee officers (which reflects branch size).

REMITTED


57 Model local rules and members on casualised contracts - Anti Casualisation Committee

Congress notes:

  1. vast numbers of staff on casualised contracts, and the necessity of bringing more into active membership and strengthening industrial action
  2. in the new model local rules:
    • branch committee representation of the casualised is an option in an appendix
    • motions to the Annual Meeting of Members on Casualised Contracts can only come from a general meeting; previous rules also allowed a properly convened meeting of members on casualised contracts, or the committee, to agree them
  3. when local meetings of the casualised choose motions on casualisation it gives new activists confidence in their voice and the union

Congress calls for changes to model local rules:

  1. an Anti-Casualisation Officer, whose main employment is casualised, or has been in the past two years
  2. the representation of other significant vulnerably employed groups on the committee
  3. reinstatement of the previous rule on motions to the annual meeting

CARRIED


58 Congressional authority over rules and constituent parts of the union - London Regional Committee

Congress re-asserts its unique overall authority to determine the rules of the union and any constitutional changes that affect the constituent parts of the union. As such congress here clarifies the position regarding changes to rules and to the powers and status of UCU's other constituent elected bodies including regions, local associations and branches.

Specifically congress asserts that any current 'Model Rules' for branches and local associations remain 'model' and are not prescriptive.

Specifically Regional Standing Orders and any variations to Regional Standing Orders shall be determined by the individual regions themselves in line with Union rules and policies as ultimately determined by and at Congress.

CARRIED


59 New regional standing orders - West Midlands Regional Council

Congress notes the model regional standing orders and rejects their attempted imposition on regional committees without the democratic participation of regional committees or congress in the formulation of the standing orders.

UCU Congress instructs the NEC to open a consultation with regional committees to develop an agreed set of Regional Standing Orders and once regions and the NEC have come to an agreement on these standing orders that they should be incorporated into national rules by appropriate amendment to UCU rules at the first available opportunity.

CARRIED


60 Changes to the standing orders of regional committees - Eastern & Home Counties Regional Committee

Congress regrets the lack of consultation on the new proposed standing orders for regions and the short time scale in which they are expected to be adopted.

Congress requests that there is a period of consultation in which to fully consider the proposals and make amendments.

Congress resolves that proposals for standing orders for regions are debated at Congress 2015.

CARRIED


61 Representatives of members on casualised contracts on regional committees - Anti Casualisation Committee

Congress notes:

  • the motion passed at Congress 2013 that reserved regional seats for members on casualised contracts (MCC), and equality groups, be considered.
  • there are no such seats in the Standing Orders for Regional Committees Congress believes members with direct experience of vulnerable employment are needed on Regional Committees, to:
  • ensure the issues are incorporated into the work of the Regional Committee
  • co-ordinate the anti-casualisation efforts of reps, branches and members across the region, e.g. for the Day of Action
  • encourage recruitment and organisation of MCC across the region.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. draw up plans for an HE and an FE place for MCC on each Regional Committee, in consultation with the Anti-Casualisation Committee
  2. include a method for MCC in the region to elect the reps
  3. include in any revision of SOs (if earlier) or bring the plans to Congress 2015.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

61A.1 National Executive Committee

In para c) delete '(if earlier) or bring the plans' and replace by

'and bring the necessary amendment to Rule 29.1'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  • the motion passed at Congress 2013 that reserved regional seats for members on casualised contracts (MCC), and equality groups, be considered.
  • there are no such seats in the Standing Orders for Regional Committees Congress believes members with direct experience of vulnerable employment are needed on Regional Committees, to:
  • ensure the issues are incorporated into the work of the Regional Committee
  • co-ordinate the anti-casualisation efforts of reps, branches and members across the region, e.g. for the Day of Action
  • encourage recruitment and organisation of MCC across the region.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. draw up plans for an HE and an FE place for MCC on each Regional Committee, in consultation with the Anti-Casualisation Committee
  2. include a method for MCC in the region to elect the reps
  3. include in any revision of SOs and bring the necessary amendment to Rule 29.1 to Congress 2015.
Last updated: 29 October 2015