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Business of the recruitment, organising and campaigning committee 2015

UCU Congress 2015: Sunday 24 May 2015, 15:10-15:30

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 7 of the NEC's report to Congress

Motions:

62 - Composite: Prevent duty and anti-terrorism
63 - Education and immigration
64 - Anti-casualisation
65 - Women and casualisation
66 - Fighting casualisation in education is a central issue for our union
67 - Anti-casualisation and zero hours contracts
68 - Agency workers
69 - Paid facilities time for hourly-paid workers
70 - Building the union
71 - Fighting trade union victimisation
L5 - Reinstate PCS rep Candy Udwin, support the National Gallery strike
L12 - Trade union victimisation

72 - Lack of grass roots communication in UCU
73 - Developing regional organisation
74 - UCU activity beyond the workplace
75 - Arbitrary and unnecessary job losses at the University of Warwick
L13 - Solidarity with London Metropolitan UCU
76 - Right to organise
77 - UCU campaigns after the election
L6 - General election result - Defence of further and adult education

L7 - Resisting the Tories' second wave of austerity
L8 - The general election result: trade unions
L9 - The general election result: working class representation
L10 - Defend the Human Rights Act
L11 - Defending equality under the new Tory government
78 - Housing crisis
79 - Political representation
80 - Care and the NHS
81 - Keep all libraries open, public and properly staffed
82 - Trident replacement

(EP) advisory marking
denoting UCU existing policy

Campaigning against the counter-terrorism and security bill (paragraphs 3.1-3.3)

62  Composite: Prevent duty and anti-terrorism - Black Members' Standing Committee, Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee, Birkbeck University of London, Southern Regional Committee, Birmingham City University, East Midlands Regional Committee

The Prevent Agenda, formulated by the Labour government to tackle 'extremism', became part of the counter terrorism and security bill under the coalition government. Congress notes with concern the Home Secretary's announcement that the Bill will include a statutory duty upon universities, colleges and other providers of education to have regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Congress deplores that the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 has been passed, despite opposition from our union, the NUS and fellow unions. We applaud UCU's campaign against the bill and in defence of academic freedom. But the campaign must not stop here. We are concerned that the new legislation will lead to more visits by Prevent and police officers to HE/FE campuses, creating a climate of fear, interfering with education and damaging good relations between staff and students. Our branches need advice and support in handling such visits in future.

Congress notes the counter-terrorism and security bill will:

  1. require education providers to implement measures preventing radicalisation leading to terrorist acts
  2. require educational institutions to 'partner' with local authorities in referring at-risk individuals
  3. employ vague, broad definitions of terrorism, including 'non-violent extremism', potentially applying to many forms of activism
  4. require Ofsted to police these measures.

Congress further notes:

  1. the push towards the promotion of 'British Values' in the curriculum which has now become an OFSTED target coupled with a requirement for lecturers to 'protect learners against radicalisation and extremism'
  2. the dangerous misuse of much needed safeguarding initiatives in our institutions to push a racist and Islamophobic narrative
  3. concerns raised by the UCU; student societies; a letter signed by over 500 academics.

Congress condemns this attack on academic freedom and confirms that staff must and will not be forced to police student opinion on behalf of the state, nor to act as informers for the state in matters of student belief.

Congress believes that:

  1. this seriously threatens academic freedom and freedom of speech
  2. the broad definition of terrorism will stifle campus activism
  3. the intention to force our members to be involved in the racist labelling of students is unacceptable
  4. the Prevent Agenda will force our members to spy on our learners, is discriminatory towards Muslims, and legitimises Islamophobia and xenophobia, encouraging racist views to be publicised and normalised within society
  5. the monitoring of Muslim students will destroy the trust needed for a safe and supportive learning environment and encourage discrimination against BME and Muslim staff and students
  6. the Prevent agenda will help racist parties such as UKIP to flourish.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. actively campaign against the use of the Agenda in FE and HE institutions and register with government in the strongest terms UCU's absolute opposition to any staff involvement in state surveillance
  2. campaign with civil liberties and human rights organisations, the NUS and other education unions to oppose these measures and campaign for the abolition of the Prevent Agenda
  3. lobby MPs to repeal the Prevent Agenda
  4. survey all branches to monitor how the Agenda is being used and whether our members are being forced to implement it
  5. Provide detailed guidance to branches on how to respond to visits from Prevent and police officers and on the rights of staff to decline to cooperate with them
  6. issue guidance to branches on resisting these measures and raising questions about the implications for race equality, academic freedom and freedom of speech
  7. reaffirm our opposition to Islamophobia and racism in all its forms.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

62A.1 Compositing amendment Black Members' Standing Committee

Under 'calls on NEC to,' add new point viii: 'Organise a boycott of the implementation of the Prevent Agenda in colleges and universities'

CARRIED

62A.2 Composite: Kingston University, Open University

Add at end:

Congress:

  1. supports the 13 June 2015 conference, 'Preventing Violent Extremism?', being co-organised by civil liberties groups: Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), ihrc.org.uk, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), www.campacc.org.uk and the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, www.haldane.org
  2. asks UCU to co-sponsor the conference and to offer its national HQ as a possible venue
  3. asks UCU to circulate an announcement encouraging all branches to send delegates.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

The Prevent Agenda, formulated by the Labour government to tackle 'extremism', became part of the counter terrorism and security bill under the coalition government. Congress notes with concern the Home Secretary's announcement that the Bill will include a statutory duty upon universities, colleges and other providers of education to have regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism.

Congress deplores that the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act 2015 has been passed, despite opposition from our union, the NUS and fellow unions. We applaud UCU's campaign against the bill and in defence of academic freedom. But the campaign must not stop here. We are concerned that the new legislation will lead to more visits by Prevent and police officers to HE/FE campuses, creating a climate of fear, interfering with education and damaging good relations between staff and students. Our branches need advice and support in handling such visits in future.

Congress notes the counter-terrorism and security bill will:

  1. require education providers to implement measures preventing radicalisation leading to terrorist acts
  2. require educational institutions to 'partner' with local authorities in referring at-risk individuals
  3. employ vague, broad definitions of terrorism, including 'non-violent extremism', potentially applying to many forms of activism
  4. require Ofsted to police these measures.

Congress further notes:

  1. the push towards the promotion of 'British Values' in the curriculum which has now become an OFSTED target coupled with a requirement for lecturers to 'protect learners against radicalisation and extremism'
  2. the dangerous misuse of much needed safeguarding initiatives in our institutions to push a racist and Islamophobic narrative
  3. concerns raised by the UCU; student societies; a letter signed by over 500 academics.

Congress condemns this attack on academic freedom and confirms that staff must and will not be forced to police student opinion on behalf of the state, nor to act as informers for the state in matters of student belief.

Congress believes that:

  1. this seriously threatens academic freedom and freedom of speech
  2. the broad definition of terrorism will stifle campus activism
  3. the intention to force our members to be involved in the racist labelling of students is unacceptable
  4. the Prevent Agenda will force our members to spy on our learners, is discriminatory towards Muslims, and legitimises Islamophobia and xenophobia, encouraging racist views to be publicised and normalised within society
  5. the monitoring of Muslim students will destroy the trust needed for a safe and supportive learning environment and encourage discrimination against BME and Muslim staff and students
  6. the Prevent agenda will help racist parties such as UKIP to flourish.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. actively campaign against the use of the Agenda in FE and HE institutions and register with government in the strongest terms UCU's absolute opposition to any staff involvement in state surveillance
  2. campaign with civil liberties and human rights organisations, the NUS and other education unions to oppose these measures and campaign for the abolition of the Prevent Agenda
  3. lobby MPs to repeal the Prevent Agenda
  4. survey all branches to monitor how the Agenda is being used and whether our members are being forced to implement it
  5. Provide detailed guidance to branches on how to respond to visits from Prevent and police officers and on the rights of staff to decline to cooperate with them
  6. issue guidance to branches on resisting these measures and raising questions about the implications for race equality, academic freedom and freedom of speech
  7. reaffirm our opposition to Islamophobia and racism in all its forms
  8. organise a boycott of the implementation of the Prevent Agenda in colleges and universities.

Congress:

  1. supports the 13 June 2015 conference, 'Preventing Violent Extremism?', being co-organised by civil liberties groups: Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), ihrc.org.uk, Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC), www.campacc.org.uk and the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, www.haldane.org
  2. asks UCU to co-sponsor the conference and to offer its national HQ as a possible venue
  3. asks UCU to circulate an announcement encouraging all branches to send delegates.

63  Education and immigration - National Executive Committee

Congress notes the success of the joint UCU/Class pamphlet 'Why immigration is good for all of us' launched by ROCC in October 2014. The pamphlet has been downloaded many times by members, hard copies are being used as teaching aids and a series of public meetings have been held by UCU regions to discuss its findings. Congress calls upon ROCC to develop further campaign and teaching materials on the contribution made by immigrants.

CARRIED

Campaigning against casualisation, paragraphs 5.1-5.2

64  (EP) Anti-Casualisation - Queen Mary University of London

Congress believes that the increasing casualisation of labour across all post-16 education institutions needs to be robustly tackled at local and national levels.

The policy of having at least one anti-casualisation representative on all UCU branch committees needs to be properly enforced in order to boost local campaigns, and make full use of facilities time.

Increasing communication on local union campaigns and victories needs to be implemented more effectively, in order to increase solidarity and information sharing across the HE, FE and ACE sectors. UCU should also support and encourage collaboration with grassroots campaigns wherever they emerge.

With the increasing prevalence of casualised contracts within the sector it is essential that this issue becomes a focus of UCU campaigning. Casualisation is negatively impacting on the diversity, sustainability, and quality of post-16 education as a whole and should be regarded as a matter of urgency for all members.

CARRIED


65  Women and casualisation - Women Members' Standing Committee

Congress notes that casualisation presents particular problems for women in an increasingly casualised and fractionalised labour market. Particular barriers include managing pregnancy, childcare and caring responsibilities, work patterns, tax credits and other benefits whilst working in more precarious and casualised work, with all the physical and mental health issues created in such roles.

Congress demands:

  1. widespread circulation of the TUC's 'Women and casualisation' report and UCU's 2014 report 'Ending zero hours'
  2. work with sister unions and TUC to bust the myths around precarious work and the detrimental lifelong effects upon workers trapped in zero hours and other such casualised work
  3. organisation of a national conference across unions on casualisation
  4. national lobby of parliament

CARRIED


66  Fighting casualisation in education is a central issue for our union - London Metropolitan University (City branch)

Congress notes:

  1. post-secondary education is being fundamentally reorganised around the use of casual contracts. Up to one third of staff in HE and FE are on non-permanent contracts
  2. casual workers are paid significantly less, have no job security, and limited career development opportunities
  3. recent campaigns have won secure status or improved pay and conditions for casual workers. Examples include campaigns against ZHC at Edinburgh, and for better conditions for cleaners and fractional staff at SOAS.

Congress believes:

  1. casualisation is an attack on our basic employment rights
  2. casualisation is a central issue and needs to be addressed by every UCU branch
  3. it is possible to reverse this trend towards casualisation.

Congress calls for:

  1. a joint-union national conference to discuss how we address casualisation in education; and joint-union lobby of parliament
  2. the UCU to fund test cases to establish where casual work is used to undermine employment rights and anti-discrimination legislation.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

66A.1 Composite: University College London, University of Brighton Grand Parade

Add new notes 4:

'4. However, the University of Warwick has established TeachHigher which will make teaching staff sign 'Temporary Worker Agreements' that can be terminated immediately and without reason. It will sell this service to other universities, using their 'Unitemps' franchise model.'

Add new congress believes c and re-letter:

'c. If outsourcing teaching to agencies is entrenched, it will institutionalise a two-tier academic workforce and permit further outsourcing of academic staff, irreparably devaluing teaching.'

Add new calls for iii:

'iii. UCU to campaign against TeachHigher, Unitemps and other outsourcing services/agencies that treat casual staff less favourably than those directly-employed, including supporting Warwick UCU's campaign against Teach Higher.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress notes:

  1. post-secondary education is being fundamentally reorganised around the use of casual contracts. Up to one third of staff in HE and FE are on non-permanent contracts
  2. casual workers are paid significantly less, have no job security, and limited career development opportunities
  3. recent campaigns have won secure status or improved pay and conditions for casual workers. Examples include campaigns against ZHC at Edinburgh, and for better conditions for cleaners and fractional staff at SOAS
  4. however, the University of Warwick has established TeachHigher which will make teaching staff sign 'Temporary Worker Agreements' that can be terminated immediately and without reason. It will sell this service to other universities, using their 'Unitemps' franchise model.

Congress believes:

  1. casualisation is an attack on our basic employment rights
  2. casualisation is a central issue and needs to be addressed by every UCU branch
  3. if outsourcing teaching to agencies is entrenched, it will institutionalise a two-tier academic workforce and permit further outsourcing of academic staff, irreparably devaluing teaching
  4. it is possible to reverse this trend towards casualisation.

Congress calls for:

  1. a joint-union national conference to discuss how we address casualisation in education; and joint-union lobby of parliament
  2. the UCU to fund test cases to establish where casual work is used to undermine employment rights and anti-discrimination legislation
  3. UCU to campaign against TeachHigher, Unitemps and other outsourcing services/agencies that treat casual staff less favourably than those directly-employed, including supporting Warwick UCU's campaign against Teach Higher.

67  Anti-casualisation and zero hours contracts - London Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. recent ONS statistics show that since April 2014, the proportion of 'education businesses' using zero hours contracts has dramatically increased from 15% to 28%
  2. that motion 12 (EP), passed at Congress 2014, instructing the NEC to organise a parliamentary lobby demanding the outlawing of zero-hours contracts, was not implemented
  3. UCU members want to fight casualization, as evidenced by the support for November's national day of action and the successful FACE conference in February.

Congress believes that growing anger over casualisation requires a national campaign in the post general election period

Congress calls on the NEC:

  1. to name the date for a parliamentary lobby and invite other TUs
  2. to initiate and build networks of anti-casualisation activists in every region
  3. to amend our rules to make representation of casual staff on every branch and regional committee mandatory

CARRIED


68  Agency workers - Anti-casualisation committee

Congress notes that agency workers remain among the most precariously and vulnerably employed in our sectors and reiterates UCU's existing policy of defending the jobs of all members with equal vigour and of working for the transfer of agency workers into direct employment. Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. conduct research into the numbers of agency workers in all sectors of post-secondary education;
  2. issue guidance to branches on finding and recruiting agency workers, and on negotiating their transfer into direct employment;
  3. monitor the progress of agreements, liaising with ACC.

Congress further notes members employed on agency contracts often do not have access to an occupational pension. Therefore Congress also calls on the NEC to press for access to an occupational pension for all members.

CARRIED


69  Paid facilities time for hourly-paid workers - University of Bath

Congress notes:

  1. there is currently no provision made in the law for hourly paid workers to have access to paid facilities time where a recognition agreement exists.
  2. employers can avoid granting access to and payment for facilities time on the basis that hourly paid workers are not employees and have no substantive posts or hours against which to apply backfill or other remuneration.

Congress believes:

  1. this deprives casualised and precarious workers of the means to defend themselves against employers. Those on zero-hours contracts, for instance, are effectively excluded from being able to take part in union work.
  2. this skews union representative structures and activity towards one part of the workforce, at the specific expense of young, casualised and early career members.

Congress instructs NEC to raise this issue through the TUC to lobby for a change in the relevant legislation and codes of practice.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

69A.1 Anti-Casualisation Committee

In point 1, delete 'no', insert 'inadequate'

Under 'Congress instructs NEC to', add points i, ii, iii; renumber existing as point iv; add new point v:

  1. incorporate provision for paid 'time on' into UCU guidance to provide for part-time and hourly-paid staff being paid for all union duties and activities
  2. encourage branches to seek corresponding modifications to local agreements, and ask ROs to follow this up
  3. support appropriate cases under the PTW Regulations

(Renumber existing as iv)

v. encourage branches to include representation of casual staff on branch committees.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress notes:

  1. there is currently inadequate provision made in the law for hourly paid workers to have access to paid facilities time where a recognition agreement exists.
  2. employers can avoid granting access to and payment for facilities time on the basis that hourly paid workers are not employees and have no substantive posts or hours against which to apply backfill or other remuneration.

Congress believes:

  1. this deprives casualised and precarious workers of the means to defend themselves against employers. Those on zero-hours contracts, for instance, are effectively excluded from being able to take part in union work.
  2. this skews union representative structures and activity towards one part of the workforce, at the specific expense of young, casualised and early career members.

Congress instructs NEC to:

  1. incorporate provision for paid 'time on' into UCU guidance to provide for part-time and hourly-paid staff being paid for all union duties and activities
  2. encourage branches to seek corresponding modifications to local agreements, and ask ROs to follow this up
  3. support appropriate cases under the PTW regulations
  4. raise this issue through the TUC to lobby for a change in the relevant legislation and codes of practice
  5. encourage branches to include representation of casual staff on branch committees.

Build the union, paragraphs 6.1 - 6.5

70  Building the union - National Executive Committee

Congress notes the continuing work undertaken by ROCC in supporting members in local and national disputes; campaigning for public education from cradle to the grave; and seeking to support improved branch organisation and recruitment. Arising from the general election Congress calls upon ROCC to step up still further its focus on campaigning and organising, and to continue to work closely with the Education Committee and with the devolved nations to raise the profile of post-16 education and the professional status of our members across the UK.

CARRIED


71  Fighting trade union victimisation - North West Regional Committee

This congress notes the indispensable role played by UCU's branch officers, union and safety representatives, on behalf of their members and our union. History acknowledges the central and fundamental part they play in maintaining the labour movement.

Congress also notes that in the current circumstances of unprecedented restructuring/casualisation and a government policy of union-busting, a growing number of our reps are likely to be targeted for victimisation.

Congress resolves that the union will:

  1. have as a top priority the establishment and maintenance of extensive networks of lay officers, union and safety reps in branches and regions
  2. mobilise the maximum possible human and financial resources in the defence of victimised UCU representatives
  3. pursue full reinstatement for victimised reps rather than financial compromise settlements that are ineffective in protecting our broader trade union organisation. Employers need to recognise our determination to defend our reps and eradicate victimisation/union busting.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

71A.1 Anti-Casualisation Committee

In second paragraph, add at end: 'and that casually employed members are particularly vulnerable to victimisation'

Add new point 4:

4. provide guidance to branches on how to oppose victimisation, and include guidance on dealing with the victimisation of casually employed reps and members

Add new point 5:

5. seek legal advice on the routine annual dismissal of some fixed term staff and HPLs at the end of the academic year, which allows selective non-reemployment in September as a form of victimisation which can be difficult to challenge.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

This congress notes the indispensable role played by UCU's branch officers, union and safety representatives, on behalf of their members and our union. History acknowledges the central and fundamental part they play in maintaining the labour movement.

Congress also notes that in the current circumstances of unprecedented restructuring/casualisation and a government policy of union-busting, a growing number of our reps are likely to be targeted for victimisation.

Congress resolves that the union will:

  1. have as a top priority the establishment and maintenance of extensive networks of lay officers, union and safety reps in branches and regions
  2. mobilise the maximum possible human and financial resources in the defence of victimised UCU representatives
  3. pursue full reinstatement for victimised reps rather than financial compromise settlements that are ineffective in protecting our broader trade union organisation. Employers need to recognise our determination to defend our reps and eradicate victimisation/union busting
  4. provide guidance to branches on how to oppose victimisation, and include guidance on dealing with the victimisation of casually employed reps and members
  5. seek legal advice on the routine annual dismissal of some fixed term staff and HPLs at the end of the academic year, which allows selective non-reemployment in September as a form of victimisation which can be difficult to challenge.

L5  Reinstate PCS rep Candy Udwin, support the National Gallery strike - National Executive Committee

Congress notes that National Gallery bosses have summarily dismissed PCS rep and socialist Candy Udwin for carrying out her union duties and campaigning against privatisation at the gallery. Candy is accused of 'breaching commercial confidentiality' by drafting questions for the union's negotiations officer about the cost of using CIS, a private company employed in response to the dispute.

Candy is the first prominent trade unionist sacked under the Tories. With Cameron & Co. planning vicious new anti-union laws it's crucial that the labour movement rallies around Candy and wins her reinstatement. PCS members plan further strikes on 20 May and ten more days from 26th May.

Congress expresses its solidarity with Candy Udwin and the National Gallery strikers and calls on members to actively support the strikes and attend the demonstration called by PCS in Trafalgar Square on 30th May.

CARRIED


L12  Trade union victimisation

Congress notes

  1. the latest case of trade union victimisation of another UCU rep, Sean Vernell at City and Islington, the sacking of Michael Starrs from CNWL, the blatant victimisation of the Markeys and sackings at Salford University
  2. the sacking of Candy Udwin at the National Gallery, and the campaign to re-instate her.

Congress believes

  1. we are facing a second wave of austerity. Attacks on workers' rights and trade unions are likely to intensify
  2. trade union organisation is the main defence between bullying employers and working people.

Congress resolves

  1. to send a message of solidarity to Sean Vernell, and send a message of support to all those fighting
  2. to call upon the union to throw all its weight behind those fighting victimisation.

CARRIED


72  Lack of grass roots communication in UCU - Preston College

Congress notes:

  1. the importance of building the union profile with members and potential members
  2. the importance of accessible communication between branches, regions, interest groups and sectors
  3. the use other unions make of their membership journals/newspapers for the above purposes and priority issues/campaigns
  4. the worryingly long-term absence of any membership journal/newspaper in our own union, the UCU.

Congress believes this constitutes a serious weakness in our union.

Congress therefore calls on the NEC to:

  1. authorise and supervise the re-introduction of a regular UCU journal/magazine or newspaper at the earliest possible opportunity
  2. encourage branches and regions to use the publication in building the union's profile and membership.

REMITTED


73  (EP) Developing regional organisation - London Regional Committee

Congress notes the important role regions play in the union. They are a resource for branches to share experiences, networks of solidarity and a key democratic unit of accountability in the union.

Congress believes regions have launched important initiatives and campaigns on pay and jobs, Action for ESOL, launching the exposing the myths of immigration pamphlet and solidarity tours.

If we are going to defend education, jobs, pay and conditions, in the age of austerity, the role of regions is crucial.

Congress resolves to encourage every branch to send delegates to regions.

CARRIED

73A.1 South East Regional Committee

In line 1 replace 'important' with 'fundamental' and in final sentence replace 'to encourage every Branch to send delegates to Regions' with '1. to remind all Branches that they have a right and responsibility to send delegates to Regions; 2. to mount a campaign to increase Regional attendance and monitor the campaign'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress notes the fundamental role regions play in the union. They are a resource for branches to share experiences, networks of solidarity and a key democratic unit of accountability in the union.

Congress believes regions have launched important initiatives and campaigns on pay and jobs, Action for ESOL, launching the exposing the myths of immigration pamphlet and solidarity tours.

If we are going to defend education, jobs, pay and conditions, in the age of austerity, the role of regions is crucial.

Congress resolves to:

  1. to remind all branches that they have a right and responsibility to send delegates to regions
  2. to mount a campaign to increase Regional attendance and monitor the campaign.

74  UCU activity beyond the workplace - East Midlands Retired Members' Branch

Congress supports the campaigning work of the union and welcomes the information that is regularly sent to branches and members through the Campaigns Update. Much of this is rightly aimed at influencing employers, their organisations and government policy and, in the process recruiting members.

However, particularly at this time of attacks on employment rights, trade union power, working conditions and income levels, Congress recognises that the union at all levels must reach out and seek active alliances with the broader union movement, campaigning groups and social movements. This will raise our profile and magnify our effects.

Congress therefore calls on our communications to provide more information to members on relevant broader campaigns and to encourage them to actively participate. Branches should be urged to affiliate to, and engage with, local trade union councils and consideration given to supporting regional committees in disseminating information from regional TUCs.

CARRIED

New heading, Local disputes

75  Arbitrary and unnecessary job losses at the University of Warwick - University of Warwick

Congress notes that:

  1. Warwick University senior management is imposing substantial job losses including compulsory redundancies, despite assets worth £327 million and a surplus of £12.4 million in 2013/14.
  2. the financial deficits that have triggered these job losses are largely the result of departmental and/or university-level mis-management.
  3. a single redundancy selection criterion (research grant income over the previous four years) is being applied retrospectively.

Congress believes that:

  1. this management strategy threatens the job security and wellbeing of all Warwick employees since they could be subjected to similar arbitrary and retrospective redundancy criteria at any future point.
  2. it sets an unacceptable precedent for the sector.

Congress resolves to:

  1. publicly condemn the retrospective use of a single financial metric as the sole criterion for compulsory redundancy;
  2. send a message of solidarity to Warwick UCU and support branch actions that challenge these draconian and destructive measures.

CARRIED


L13  Solidarity with London Metropolitan UCU

Congress wishes to express its full support and solidarity with colleagues resisting job and service cuts at London Metropolitan University. We congratulate them on a successful day of strike action on Thursday 21 May, and pledge to stand with them in any future action they deem necessary to win their dispute.

Congress believes this is not simply a fight to defend jobs - as important as that is - but rather a fight to defend an essential university whose mission and practice of widening participation and access to BME students, women returners, and working class students from its local communities is second to none.

CARRIED

New heading, other political campaigns

76  Right to organise - Cardiff University

Congress believes that employees in HE and FE should have the right to organise, and to be represented in collective bargaining by a union of their choice, not by a union of their employer's choice.

Congress notes that under UK law, unions cannot force employer recognition if an employer already recognises another union voluntarily, no matter how few employees are members of the other union.

Congress regrets that an HE or FE employer can conspire with an unscrupulous union to perpetuate self-serving collective bargaining arrangements whether or not those arrangements have support from employees.

Congress resolves that UCU should campaign for the right of unions to apply for statutory recognition, whether or not another union is already recognised for a particular bargaining unit.

REMITTED


77  Composite: UCU campaigns after the election - City and Islington College, London South Bank University

Congress notes:

  1. all mainstream parties' commitment to austerity and their determination to make workers' pay for the crisis;
  2. the failure by the TUC and most TU leaderships to mount any sustained, effective resistance to austerity in the last parliament;
  3. the continued attacks on second chance education;
  4. UCU can and must play a leading part defending education and fighting austerity.

Congress instructs the NEC to campaign for any new government elected on 7 May to:

  1. end tuition fees, and restore funding levels in FE, adult education and HE.
  2. end zero-hours contracts
  3. campaign for a minimum wage of £10 per hour throughout education
  4. demand implementation of John McDonnell's trade union freedom bill
  5. support a massive programme of council house building
  6. stop NHS cuts and privatization
  7. demand tax rises for the rich and collection of the £120 billion of evaded, avoided and uncollected tax
  8. stop the scapegoating of people on benefits, disabled people and immigrants.

Both the Tories and Labour are committed to more austerity. UCU should continue to work with groups like the People's Assembly and Unite the Resistance after the election to oppose austerity and should mobilise for the People's Assembly protest against austerity on 20 June.

CARRIED


L6  General election result: Defence of further and adult education  - London Regional Committee, Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Congress believes the general election result is a catastrophe for Labour and for working people. Millions voted for anti-austerity parties who now face the Tories continuing their vicious austerity programme due to Labour's uninspiring, 'austerity-lite' policies and failure to offer a real alternative or challenge immigration myths.

Further, adult and higher education now face mass job losses, hundreds of course closures and threats to the viability of many institutions unless we organise major resistance.

UCU must spearhead a national strategy of both political campaigning and industrial action which can unite staff, students, communities and education organisations.

Congress resolves to:

  1. organise a big education block on the 20th June Peoples' Assembly demonstration
  2. support the Autumn national conference to defend FE and Adult Education called by London region
  3. energetically coordinate community campaigning and industrial action by branches to fight for every job and every student place.

CARRIED


L7  Resisting the Tories' second wave of austerity - Leeds Beckett University

Congress notes the Tories' plans for a second wave of cuts and austerity including further cuts to post-16 education and the NHS, £12 billion welfare cuts, further restrictive anti-union legislation, a 50 percent 'threshold' on strike ballots, and on anyone who undermines 'democracy and British values'. Congress further notes Labour's electoral failure poses urgent questions about working class political representation which trade unions must address.

Congress resolves to:

  1. be part of the widest possible resistance to a second wave of austerity
  2. give maximum support for the parliamentary lobby on 16th June and the Peoples Assembly demonstration on 20th June in London and the STUC and Peoples Assembly Scotland in Glasgow
  3. call for and support the protest at the Tory Party conference.

Congress recognises that nationally coordinated industrial action will be needed to stop these attacks and calls on the TUC to coordinate a general strike against austerity.

CARRIED


L8  The general election result: trade unions - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Following the outcome of the 2015 General Election and the pledges made by the Conservatives, including the scrapping of the Human Rights Act, Congress believes that working people will need trade unions more than ever.

UCU Congress calls upon the NEC to produce an official response to the threats posed, and on all members to work in unity around the following tasks:

  1. defence of education, including widening participation
  2. defence of public services, including the NHS
  3. resistance to privatisation in all its forms
  4. defence of the poorest sections of society
  5. defence of the equality agenda and resistance to all forms of discrimination
  6. defence of trade union and employment rights.

CARRIED


L9  The general election result: working class representation - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Congress:

  1. shares the extreme disappointment of millions at the outcome of the general election. The Tories have returned to government promising to accelerate their disastrous austerity measures, further damaging post-16 education
  2. believes the election was not so much won by the Tories as catastrophically lost by Labour's failure to properly represent working class people's interests, eg by supporting austerity and failing to adequately oppose anti-migrant racism. Where parties challenged austerity they gained support, for example the SNP.

The situation is now both politically unstable and an historic crisis of failed political representation for working class people:

3. therefore instructs the NEC to call for and organise at the earliest opportunity and on as wide a basis as possible a conference of trade unionists, anti-cuts activists and others to discuss proposals for ensuring the proper political representation of working class people and the defence of education and public services.

CARRIED


L10 Defend the Human Rights Act - National Executive Committee

Congress notes the Human Rights Act 1988 affords protections inherent within the European Convention on Human Rights. All public bodies and others must comply with these rights.

Congress deplores the Government's pledge to abolish the Human Rights Act.

Every single person is protected by this Act. Any erosion of these protections threatens fundamental rights and freedoms with already disadvantaged groups being hit the hardest.

The Act has given access to justice, including to those experiencing domestic violence discrimination in the workplace, supported investigations into black deaths in custody and ensured equal treatment of LGBT people in service provision and older and disabled people. Abolition will severely diminish equal treatment and human dignity.

Congress calls on the NEC to:

  1. campaign with other organisations and trade unions to maintain and protect the Act
  2. determine the impact of the proposed abolition on equality and social justice
  3. develop campaigning and lobbying materials for branches.

CARRIED


L11 Defending equality under the new Tory government - National Executive Committee

Congress notes the last government's cuts to EHRC funding, access rights to tribunals, attacks on Health and Safety, attacks on disability funding; attacks on migrants and the consequent rise in racism and islamophobia. There is a threat of intensified institutional racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia under the new Tory government.

Congress also notes that Cameron's new appointments to key government roles bode ill for Equality: eg Caroline Dinenage as Equality Minister and John Whittingdale as Culture Minister, who both opposed equal marriage.

Congress further notes Tory opposition to Equality in order to 'reduce red tape' and 'restrictions' on business and they claim Equality legislation and policies are no longer necessary as we now 'have equality'.

Congress therefore urges the NEC to continue to robustly promote Equality policies, support resistance to any erosion of The Human Rights Act, and work with others where possible to protect Equality provision against coming assaults.

CARRIED


78  Housing crisis - Goldsmiths University of London

Congress notes:

  1. the severity of the housing crisis in which each year 100,000 fewer homes are built than are needed while many of those that are built are increasingly unaffordable
  2. that in England, a quarter of adults under the age of 35 are living in their childhood bedroom
  3. the insecurity of the private rental sector
  4. the continuing sell off of council housing and the current threats to housing association tenants
  5. the impact of housing costs and shortages on the ability of students and education professionals (not counted as key workers) to find suitable accommodation
  6. the growing resistance to the housing scandal such as the inspiring Focus E15 campaign and occupations of council estates.

Congress calls on the NEC to work in conjunction with housing campaigners and the People's Assembly Against Austerity to organise regional protests and to call a national assembly to discuss the most effective responses to housing shortages.

CARRIED


79  Political representation - Croydon College

Congress notes the rise in support for the Green Party, the Scottish National Party, and the record number of candidates to the left of Labour at the forthcoming general election.

There are alternatives to Labour that have policies that are much closer to the policies of the UCU - and it would be wrong not to discuss how our union should develop the process of improving working class political representation.

Congress instructs the NEC to call for and organise with other unions a joint conference of trade union activists, People's Assembly activists, anti-cuts activists and others to debate and discuss proposals for ensuring the proper political representation of working class people.

CARRIED


80  (EP) Care and the NHS - Eastern and Home Counties Retired Members' Branch

Congress welcomes moves across the political spectrum to bring the provision of both residential and home care within the NHS.

With the General Election over, Congress instructs the NEC to work with other interested bodies to call on Parliament to put aside party political concerns and together establish such a national service and in particular to:-

  1. ensure a level of education and training of care staff comparable to that for other NHS staff
  2. recognise the need for adequate funding provided through taxation.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

80A.1 Yorkshire and Humberside Retired Members' Branch

At end of motion delete final full stop and add: 'to provide free, good quality, social and health care for all.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress welcomes moves across the political spectrum to bring the provision of both residential and home care within the NHS.

With the General Election over, Congress instructs the NEC to work with other interested bodies to call on Parliament to put aside party political concerns and together establish such a national service and in particular to:-

  1. ensure a level of education and training of care staff comparable to that for other NHS staff
  2. recognise the need for adequate funding provided through taxation to provide free, good quality, social and health care for all.

81  (EP) Keep all libraries open, public and properly staffed - University of Liverpool

Many libraries across the country have closed or are facing closure due to the austerity plans of governments and their implementation by local councils.

Libraries perform a central role in developing the learning experience of young children and are often an integral part of school plans to maintain and improve literacy. Without libraries many poor children will suffer disadvantages and their possibility of continuing in education will suffer. Public libraries are a road to further and higher education for all.

In 2014 a total 500 authors, musicians, actors, artists, illustrators and academics called on Liverpool council to perform a U-turn, and after massive support to the campaign the council made U-turn.

Congress therefore:

  1. supports community and union library campaigns to keep libraries public with full professional, paid library staffing and operational throughout the week
  2. supports the campaigns such as The Library Campaign and Campaign for the Book

CARRIED


82  Trident replacement - UCU Scotland

Congress notes that by our nature, educational unions should be intrinsically opposed to the production and use of nuclear weapons. Congress condemns the £100-130 billion (and increasing) costs of replacement of the trident system, with £4.2 billion to be spent before the decision for replacement is made, particularly at a time when funding cuts are being made in important public services, and education is underfunded. Congress deplores the risk to the population of nuclear weapons convoys moving warheads between Burghfield and Faslane.

Congress agrees that UCU should:

  1. affiliate to CND
  2. support anti-nuclear events organised by CND, SCND or coalitions such as Scrap Trident and the Scottish Peace Network
  3. encourage members to join CND and take part in its activities
  4. encourage campaigns of divestment in university research that leads to or encourages the production of weapons of mass destruction, or contributes in any way to the arms-trade.

CARRIED

Last updated: 24 May 2015