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Business of the strategy and finance committee 2015 (closed session)

UCU Congress 2015: Sunday 24 May 2015, 09:50-11:50 (private session)

Motions have been allocated to a section of the NEC's report to Congress (UCU635). Paragraph headings refer to paragraphs within this report. CBC has added some new paragraph headings to facilitate the ordering of motions.

Section 1 of the NEC's report to Congress

Motions:

22 - Appointment of auditors
23 - Audited financial statements to 31 August 2014
24 - Budget 2015-16
25 - Subscription rates
26 - Model local rules
27 - Regional committee standing orders
28 - Regional equality strand representation
29 - Election of general secretary
30 - Increasing democratic participation
31 - Review of special congress and sector conferences
32 - More democratic congress and special conferences
33 - Openness, transparency and democracy within UCU
34 - Equality of access of NEC meetings and sub-committees
35 - Representation of staff on casualised contracts
36 - Report by chair of annual meeting of RMBs to NEC
37 - End to racism and to marginalisation of black members
38 - Restore the committee timetables/day of action
39 - UCU legal services

(EP) advisory marking
denoting UCU existing policy

Finance and property, paragraph 2.2

22  Appointment of auditors - National Executive Committee

Congress approves the appointment of Knox Cropper as the union's auditors for the year ending 31 August 2015.

CARRIED


23  Audited financial statements to 31 August 2014 - National Executive Committee

Congress receives the union's audited financial statements for the 12-month period ending 31 August 2014 as set out in UCU/639.

CARRIED


24  Budget 2015-16 - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the budget for September 2015 - August 2016 as set out in UCU/640.

CARRIED


25  Subscription rates - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the subscription rates from 1 September 2015 set out in UCU/640.

CARRIED

Rules and standing orders, paragraphs 5.1-5.3

26  Model local rules - National Executive Committee

Congress approves the model local rules set out in UCU/645.

REMITTED


27  Regional committee standing orders - National Executive Committee

Congress approves the regional committee standing orders set out in UCU/646.

CARRIED


28  Regional equality strand representation - West Midlands Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. that equality is at the heart of this union in the work we do and what we stand for
  2. the necessary work in continuing to include and engage members at a regional as well as a national level
  3. the proposed removal of regional equality strand representation and reduction to a single equality officer in the regional rule changes
  4. increasing levels of implicit and explicit attacks on marginalised groups and the detrimental effect this is having on cohesion within society.

Congress resolves

  1. to retain regional equality representation in the form of separate equality officers for the different strands on regional executive committee
  2. to actively promote these officer's roles in regions where representation is not currently in place
  3. to continue campaigning to defend marginalised groups from increasing levels of attacks from reactionary forces in society.

CARRIED


29  Election of general secretary - South East Regional Committee

This congress believes that:

  1. a vibrant democracy within our union is essential for the success of UCU; and
  2. meaningful elections at appropriate time intervals for the most prominent elected positions will contribute to reinvigorating and maintaining our democracy.

Congress agrees to establish a working group to bring forward proposals for consideration at the meeting of Congress in 2016 to:

  1. reduce the term of office of the general secretary from five years; and
  2. create circumstances in which it is more likely than at present that potential candidates for general secretary will be able to achieve visibility to the UCU electorate in the period between elections.

LOST

Congress participation, paragraph 6

30  Increasing democratic participation - North West Regional Committee

Congress notes the attendance at recent congresses and in particular the number of institutions/branches, which although entitled to send a delegate to congress, do not exercise this right.

congress believes that increasing attendance at congress allows more members to participate in the work of the union and, in particular, the shaping of union policy. This can only strengthen the union.

Congress therefore instructs the NEC to investigate ways of increasing congress attendance and report back to Congress 2016. This investigation should include a consideration of a reduction in the number of members which triggers additional delegates from an institution/branch.

CARRIED


31  Review of special congress and sector conferences - University of the West of England

Congress notes:

  1. problems arising from persistent calls for special congresses or sector conferences
  2. our current rules on this differ significantly from those of other unions
  3. sector conferences, like national elections and membership ballots, are just one part of UCU's range of democratic structures.

Additionally, special congresses or conferences called at short notice effectively disenfranchise sections of our union, including:

  1. branches whose delegates need to arrange long unexpected journeys
  2. delegates with caring responsibilities
  3. delegates whose work commitments cannot be rearranged.

Since such meetings, costing £20,000 or more, may not be the best use of limited resources, we call for a review of procedures for calling special sector conferences, to include

  1. the proportion of branches or members appropriate to trigger special congresses or conferences
  2. the appropriate calling period
  3. appropriate rationale[s] for calling such conferences
  4. use of facilitating IT.

LOST


32  More democratic congress and special conferences - University of Cambridge

Congress notes:

  1. that Special Conferences, especially when called at short notice, can exclude those with disabilities affecting their ability to travel, those with caring responsibilities, and others
  2. that attendance has financial and environmental costs
  3. that many branches do not send their full complement of delegates to congress or sector conferences.

Therefore, congress agrees to conduct a survey to determine how delegates find the time to attend: by taking holiday or unpaid leave, by using facilities time or re-arranging work or some other way?

Congress also calls on the NEC to consider methods, and to propose changes to standing orders at the next congress, in order to make conferences more representative of the whole membership, less discriminatory to potential delegates who would have difficulty in attending, and less financially and environmentally costly. Methods considered should include remote participation using video or web-conferencing technology.

LOST


33  Openness, transparency and democracy within UCU - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Congress notes that when branches passed motions requisitioning special sector conferences in 2014/15, HQ refused to respond to member and branch requests to be informed of how many branches had passed such requisition motions.

Congress agrees that members and branches are the union and this factual, non-confidential information must not be withheld from them in future.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

33A.1 Southern Regional Committee

Add at end:

Congress instructs the NEC to publish on the UCU website a running total of the number of branches requesting a special sector conference once an initial requisition has been made.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress notes that when branches passed motions requisitioning special sector conferences in 2014/15, HQ refused to respond to member and branch requests to be informed of how many branches had passed such requisition motions.

Congress agrees that members and branches are the union and this factual, non-confidential information must not be withheld from them in future.

Congress instructs the NEC to publish on the UCU website a running total of the number of branches requesting a special sector conference once an initial requisition has been made.

New heading: UCU internal organisation

34  Equality of access of NEC meetings and sub-committees - Northumbria University

Congress recognises:

  1. the need to be fiscally prudent in the current economic times.
  2. that equality is at the heart of the Union
  3. that disability should not be a limitation to members partaking in union democracy
  4. that the union represents members across the UK at a range of institutions.

Congress calls upon the NEC to examine ways of increasing equality of access to delegates, including the feasibility of holding meetings of the NEC, and its subcommittees, at locations distributed across the country in order to increase equality of access to delegates.

CARRIED

34A.1 Northern Retired Members' Branch

Point 3, after 'disability' and before 'should' insert, 'age, gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality or religion,'

LOST


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

Congress notes the central importance and increasing profile of anti-casualisation work to UCU's recruitment, organising and campaigning agendas, and believes it vital to engage with our most vulnerably employed members and potential members from the grassroots.

Congress believes UCU must be properly equipped to advise and guide lay officers and members and that our lay structures must enable the greatest possible participation and representation of staff on casualised contracts (SOCCs).

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. restore the Anti-Casualisation Committee (ACC) to its former size of 12
  2. change ACC's standing orders to ensure that a proportion of delegates to the SOCC annual meeting are self-registered in addition to those delegated by branches
  3. explore how an official could be designated to provide specialist support to lay officers and members in dealing with casualisation issues
  4. develop specialist training / information for anti-casualisation representatives.

CARRIED


36  Report by chair of annual meeting of RMBs to NEC - South East Retired Members' Branch

Congress calls on the president to act under Rule 18.3 and NEC Standing Order 3.3, and following consultation with the general secretary, to agree an agenda item for an early meeting of the NEC to facilitate the chair or substitute of the immediately preceding annual national meeting of retired members' branches to present and speak to a report of the proceedings of that meeting.

CARRIED


37  End to racism and to marginalisation of black members - University of Manchester

Congress deplores the continuing inattention of UCU to racism within the sector and to concerns raised by black members. Despite years of representation to, and negotiation within union structures:

  1. conference motions from the Black Members' Standing Committee passed at Congress are not being acted on
  2. agreements reached with the general secretary in 2012 following meetings with a delegation of black members have not been respected
  3. black members continue to have little or no access to black caseworkers
  4. black representatives are treated with disrespect at some national meetings.

These matters are of urgent concern for the whole union and disadvantage a significant group of members.

Congress:

  1. draws the attention of all sections of UCU to the concerns of black members
  2. calls for immediate actions on these concerns
  3. calls on UCU to mount a publicity campaign to expose racism in the sector and the detrimental impact on many black members' careers.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

37A.1 Black members' standing committee

After point c add,

Congress further calls on UCU to:

d. implement Congress motions submitted by the BMSC since 2012

e. ensure that black members are represented in all UCU NEC committees

f. work with black activists to train and support black caseworkers

g. provide training courses to encourage black activism across UCU structures

h. collect and share data with the self-organised equality groups on grievances, disciplinaries and redundancies

i. oppose all forms of racism within HE & FE

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress deplores the continuing inattention of UCU to racism within the sector and to concerns raised by black members. Despite years of representation to, and negotiation within union structures:

  1. conference motions from the Black Members' Standing Committee passed at Congress are not being acted on
  2. agreements reached with the general secretary in 2012 following meetings with a delegation of black members have not been respected
  3. black members continue to have little or no access to black caseworkers
  4. black representatives are treated with disrespect at some national meetings.

These matters are of urgent concern for the whole union and disadvantage a significant group of members.

Congress:

  1. draws the attention of all sections of UCU to the concerns of black members
  2. calls for immediate actions on these concerns
  3. calls on UCU to mount a publicity campaign to expose racism in the sector and the detrimental impact on many Black members' careers
  4. implement Congress motions submitted by the BMSC since 2012
  5. ensure that black members are represented in all UCU NEC committees
  6. work with black activists to train and support black caseworkers
  7. provide training courses to encourage black activism across UCU structures
  8. collect and share data with the self-organised equality groups on grievances, disciplinaries and redundancies
  9. oppose all forms of racism within HE & FE.


38  Restore the Committee timetables/day of action - Black Members' Standing Committee

Congress affirms the importance and benefits to the union of challenging racism in the workplace. This cannot take place without the active participation of black members in the life of the union.

Congress notes the stabilisation of the financial position since the budgetary cutbacks in 2013.

Congress agrees:

  1. to reinstate the meetings of the equality standing committees that were removed in response to earlier financial concerns, so that there will be four full day face to face meetings of each equality standing committee a year from 2015-16.
  2. to organise an annual 'Day of Action against Workplace Racism' and to work with BMSC to develop materials and campaigning objectives for this initiative.
  3. to produce anti-racist posters and leaflets.

    CARRIED AS AMENDED

38A.1 National Executive Committee

In point 1., after 'so that' insert 'if requested by an equality standing committee'; after 'will be' insert 'up to'; delete 'each equality standing' and replace with 'that'.

(The amended clause would read: '...so that if requested by an equality standing committee there will be up to four full day face to face meetings of that committee a year from 2015-16.')

CARRIED

38A.2 Black members' standing committee

Add a new point 2 and renumber:

'To reinstate the number of the Equality Standing Committee members to 10 elected from the annual equality conferences plus 2 NEC members from the relevant equality strands.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress affirms the importance and benefits to the union of challenging racism in the workplace. This cannot take place without the active participation of black members in the life of the union.

Congress notes the stabilisation of the financial position since the budgetary cutbacks in 2013.

Congress agrees:

  1. to reinstate the meetings of the equality standing committees that were removed in response to earlier financial concerns, so that if requested by an equality standing committee there will be up to four full day face to face meetings of that committee a year from 2015-16
  2. to reinstate the number of the Equality Standing Committee members to 10 elected from the annual equality conferences plus 2 NEC members from the relevant equality strands
  3. to organise an annual 'Day of Action against Workplace Racism' and to work with BMSC to develop materials and campaigning objectives for this initiative
  4. to produce anti-racist posters and leaflets.

New heading: Legal services

39  UCU legal services - University of Hull

Congress calls for a review of legal services, policies and processes in order to maximise assistance given to branches and members. The review should include the speed of response to requests for assistance and the involvement of members and branches/LAs in case management.

CARRIED

Last updated: 8 June 2015