Fund the future - site banner : This link opens in a new window

Covid-19 (coronavirus):
UCU has produced advice for members. Read the latest UCU operational note here.  Find more information and updates here.

Protect staff and students: sign the petition calling for fair funding and online learning in higher education!

Further Education Sector Conference 2015

UCU Congress 2015: Saturday 23 May 2015, 09:00-15:30

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 2 of the NEC's report to Congress

Motions:

FE1 - National claim/negotiations with AoC
FE2 - Pay
FE3 - FE pay strategy
FE4 - Performance related pay/incremental progression in adult and further education
FE5 - LGBT visibility in FE
FE6 - Black workers and activism within FE
FE7 - Casualisation/zero-hours
FE8 - Data on casualisation in further, adult and prison education
FE9 - De-professionalisation of lecturers' role
FE10 - Campaign for associate teachers
FE11 - Prisons
FE12 - Lesson observations
FE13 - Ungraded lesson observations
FE14 - Democratic professionalism
FE15 - Contact hours
FE16 - Unacceptable number of contact hours with students
FE17 - Status of FE: impact on women's work life balance
FE18 - Disclosure and workload campaign
FE19 - The question of class sizes
FE20 - Defending FE contracts
FE21 - Drugs and alcohol policies
FE22 - On accountability in further education
FE23 - 24% adult skills funding cuts in England
FE24 - Adult education cuts
FE25 - Austerity and the curriculum: English and maths
FE26 - Impact of austerity cuts to access particularly for BME members
FE27 - Austerity cuts and LGBT in FE
FE28 - Women and the economy: campaign for free, fully funded adult education
FE29 - Access to further education and adult education for disabled students
FE30 - Misuse of apprenticeships

(EP) advisory marking
denoting UCU existing policy

Note: motions FE1 - FE4 form timed business to take place from 14:00. The first session of debate will begin with motion FE5.

Pay, paragraphs 2.1 - 2.7

FE1 National claim/negotiations with AoC - Further Education Committee

FESC approves the national negotiators' report as circulated in the FE branch circular number UCUFE002, dated 15 May 2015.

CARRIED


FE2 Pay - Croydon College

This conference fully supports the joint union claim for 2015-16 for an extra £1 an hour for all. This Conference believes that a national campaign can unite all members from all parts of the country in the fight against austerity wages and that the union should prepare for national days of action including strike action to achieve this claim.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE2A.1 Sunderland College

Delete all of last sentence from 'and that the union should...' and add a new sentence 'UCU should therefore prepare for national days of action including the possibility of strike action after consultation with members.'

LOST

FE2A.2 East Midlands Regional FE Committee, Croydon College

Add at end:

Conference also notes:

  1. London Region's campaign around a London-wide claim.
  2. the Adult Education funding cut of 24% and the campaign against this.

Conference believes that:

  1. government priorities determine funding, not lack of funds.
  2. a national pay campaign is far more effective than a series of local campaigns.
  3. our pay claim must feature in our campaign for more funding for F&AE

CARRIED

FE2A.3 Composite: East Midlands Regional FE Committee, College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (Tottenham branch), Croydon College, City and Islington College

Add at end:

Conference therefore resolves to:

  1. ballot all members over the 15/16 claim if the AoC refuse our demands.
  2. this ballot should take place as soon as possible.
  3. build solidarity and coordination with all branches that put in 'national plus' claims.
  4. ensure the JNC claim of '£1 extra per hour for all' is part of our wider campaign to defend the sector.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

This conference fully supports the joint union claim for 2015-16 for an extra £1 an hour for all. This Conference believes that a national campaign can unite all members from all parts of the country in the fight against austerity wages and that the union should prepare for national days of action including strike action to achieve this claim.

Conference also notes:

  1. London Region's campaign around a London-wide claim
  2. the Adult Education funding cut of 24% and the campaign against this.

Conference believes that:

  1. government priorities determine funding, not lack of funds
  2. a national pay campaign is far more effective than a series of local campaigns
  3. our pay claim must feature in our campaign for more funding for F&AE.

Conference therefore resolves to:

  1. ballot all members over the 15/16 claim if the AoC refuse our demands
  2. this ballot should take place as soon as possible
  3. build solidarity and coordination with all branches that put in 'national plus' claims
  4. ensure the JNC claim of '£1 extra per hour for all' is part of our wider campaign to defend the sector.

FE3 FE Pay strategy - South East Regional FE Committee

This FE sector conference is concerned about the divisive nature of the 'local additional matters' element of the 2015/16 pay claim being put forward by some regions and calls for an urgent review of this policy by the FEC.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

CBC advice: if the first two elements of FE3A.1 are lost, the (identical) first two elements of FE3A.2 will as a consequence be lost.

FE3A.1 Lambeth College

Taken in parts

Add 'potentially' before 'divisive'.

CARRIED

Delete all after 'pay claim'.

LOST

Add at end:

'Conference notes the serious impact on jobs etc. caused by the 24% cut in SFA Adult Education funding announced in February.

Conference resolves to:

  1. continue where possible to work with employers and others to lobby for rescinding these cuts and implementing better funding for Further and Adult Education
  2. approach student unions and other campus unions to support the campaign for better funding.'

CARRIED

FE3A.2 Lambeth College

Taken in parts

Add 'potentially' before 'divisive'.

CARRIED

Delete all after 'pay claim'.

LOST

Add at end: 'Conference notes some colleges are implementing cost-saving, job-cutting measures in response to the 24% Adult Education cut, eg restructuring, projected course closures and VR trawls, with widespread CRs already happening.

Conference resolves to encourage branches to focus on the defence of jobs when formulating the local element of the 'national plus' pay claim and to coordinate submission dates, deadlines and trigger points of these claims for further action, including coordinated strike action.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

This FE sector conference is concerned about the potentially divisive nature of the 'local additional matters' element of the 2015/16 pay claim being put forward by some regions and calls for an urgent review of this policy by the FEC.

Conference notes the serious impact on jobs etc. caused by the 24% cut in SFA Adult Education funding announced in February.

Conference resolves to:

  1. continue where possible to work with employers and others to lobby for rescinding these cuts and implementing better funding for Further and Adult Education
  2. approach student unions and other campus unions to support the campaign for better funding.

Conference notes some colleges are implementing cost-saving, job-cutting measures in response to the 24% Adult Education cut, eg restructuring, projected course closures and VR trawls, with widespread CRs already happening.

Conference resolves to encourage branches to focus on the defence of jobs when formulating the local element of the 'national plus' pay claim and to coordinate submission dates, deadlines and trigger points of these claims for further action, including coordinated strike action.

Pay progression, paragraph 3.1

FE4 Performance related pay/incremental progression in adult and further education - Hull College

Conference believes that any form of PRP has no place in FE in that:

  1. it is not effective, undermines professionalism, does not increase efficiency and is divisive;
  2. it is subjective, a form of pay rationing and can be/is used as a mechanism of control;
  3. it is vulnerable to equality challenges;
  4. the removal of automatic incremental progression specifically undermines national pay bargaining/agreements.

Conference resolves that UCU should:

  1. continue to publicise (locally and nationally) the pernicious nonsense of PRP being applied to teaching and learning;
  2. encourage branches to incorporate PRP incursions into their 'National Plus' bargaining agenda and disputes;
  3. provide bargaining guidance and support - ie a toolkit which includes such as customisable publicity materials, letters and bargaining demands.

CARRIED

Equality, paragraph 5

FE5 LGBT visibility in FE - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes that not all FE institutions routinely monitor for sexual orientation and gender identity. For many LGBT people a consequence of discrimination has been to keep identities hidden. Not monitoring entrenches this situation and sets up a hierarchy of visibility amongst protected characteristics. Conference believes that FE organisations should create sustainable environments suitable for people to be out. Conference welcomes the Voices and Visibility LGBT wallchart and digital resources and the continued development of LGBT history month.

Conference calls for

  1. a training day on how to raise visibility, challenge LGBT discrimination and use the Voices and Visibility LGBT history resources
  2. a record of LGBT voices in FE that can be used to encourage raising visibility in FE
  3. a guide on how LGBT history month can be celebrated across the FE sector
  4. ongoing involvement in and with the LGBT History Month organisation

CARRIED


FE6 Black workers and activism within FE - Black Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes that black workers have been disproportionately affected by cuts and austerity measures in FE, resulting in redundancies, zero hour contracts, part-time and casualised working and reductions in pay and conditions.

Conference calls on the UCU to:

  1. work with black activists to set up black members' groups within FE branches, regions and devolved nations
  2. take positive measures to ensure race equality is on the agenda of branches, regions and devolved nations
  3. include race equality training for all UCU staff and negotiators
  4. prepare a list of trained black caseworkers and make the list available to any black members who wish to seek support from someone on the list
  5. research and share statistics ethnicity with the BMSC on national changes in employment, grades and pay within FE
  6. produce annual ethnic monitoring breakdown of all UCU staff in terms of ethnicity, gender, disability, grades and location

TAKEN IN PARTS - CARRIED AS AMENDED with point 4 rejected

FE6A.1 Black Members' Standing Committee

Under point 5 after 'share' add 'with the BMSC'. Insert the word 'on' between 'statistics' and 'ethnicity' in the same sentence. Add a comma after the word 'ethnicity' and delete 'with the BMSC on'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes that black workers have been disproportionately affected by cuts and austerity measures in FE, resulting in redundancies, zero hour contracts, part-time and casualised working and reductions in pay and conditions.

Conference calls on the UCU to:

  1. work with black activists to set up black members' groups within FE branches, regions and devolved nations
  2. take positive measures to ensure race equality is on the agenda of branches, regions and devolved nations
  3. include race equality training for all UCU staff and negotiators
  4. research and share with the BMSC statistics on ethnicity, national changes in employment, grades and pay within FE
  5. produce annual ethnic monitoring breakdown of all UCU staff in terms of ethnicity, gender, disability, grades and location

Casualisation, paragraphs 6.1 - 6.3

FE7 (EP) Casualisation/zero-hours - Further Education Committee

Conference welcomes the continuing high profile of UCU's 'Stamp Out Casual Contracts' campaign and the new resources being provided for branches to assist in negotiating on zero-hours contracts.

Conference reiterates its determination to press employers in further education, adult and continuing education and prison education to create better jobs and transfer casualised and agency staff onto more secure contracts that provide decent pay and greater continuity of employment.

Conference resolves to continue building organising, campaigning and negotiating pressure on employers in all these sectors to end the use of zero hours contracts and transfer casualised staff onto more secure contracts.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE7A.1 Anti-casualisation Committee

Insert at end:

'Conference resolves to ask all branches to monitor the impact of cuts on casualised staff and to seek assurance from management that casualised staff will not be disproportionately affected by austerity measures.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference welcomes the continuing high profile of UCU's 'Stamp Out Casual Contracts' campaign and the new resources being provided for branches to assist in negotiating on zero-hours contracts.

Conference reiterates its determination to press employers in further education, adult and continuing education and prison education to create better jobs and transfer casualised and agency staff onto more secure contracts that provide decent pay and greater continuity of employment.

Conference resolves to continue building organising, campaigning and negotiating pressure on employers in all these sectors to end the use of zero hours contracts and transfer casualised staff onto more secure contracts.

Conference resolves to ask all branches to monitor the impact of cuts on casualised staff and to seek assurance from management that casualised staff will not be disproportionately affected by austerity measures.


FE8 (EP) Data on casualisation in further, adult and prison education - Anti-casualisation committee

Conference notes the success of UCU's FOI on the use of zero hours contracts in further and adult education in highlighting the extent of casualisation in the sector.

Conference calls on UCU to carry out further research to secure further information from colleges, prisons and adult education services on the extent of casualised employment in these sectors. Specifically, to scope:

  1. numbers and percentage of casualised staff in FE, adult and prison education institutions
  2. breakdown of contract types - zero hours, hourly paid, sessional, bank and any other terms to describe staff on precarious contracts, permanent
  3. any differences in terms of holiday entitlement, pay and pension membership between those on casualised contracts and staff on secure open ended contracts
  4. any other data required to highlight the extent of precarious contracts across the sector.

CARRIED

Staff delivering and assessing teaching and learning on support staff contracts, paragraph 6.5

FE9 De-professionalisation of lecturers' role - Southern Regional FE Committee

FE sector conference  notes with concern the increase in non-academic contracts being used for what is effectively a teacher's job. This attacks our professionalism and increases the workload of lecturers who prepare and mark lessons delivered by such staff, but are still accountable themselves for student outcomes.

This is a creeping degradation of the academic role by employing staff on lower pay and worse conditions and who also are denied membership of the Teachers' Pension Scheme.

We call upon the FEC to:

  1. negotiate with the AoC to set agreed limits on the number of student contact hours with non-teaching staff
  2. return to a policy of no support staff being used as a cheap alternative to lecturers.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE9A.1 South East Regional FE Committee

Delete all after AOC in point 1 and replace with 'to agree no student contact hours for non-teaching staff'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

FE sector conference notes with concern the increase in non-academic contracts being used for what is effectively a teacher's job. This attacks our professionalism and increases the workload of lecturers who prepare and mark lessons delivered by such staff, but are still accountable themselves for student outcomes.

This is a creeping degradation of the academic role by employing staff on lower pay and worse conditions and who also are denied membership of the Teachers' Pension Scheme.

We call upon the FEC to:

  1. negotiate with the AoC to agree no student contact hours for non-teaching staff
  2. return to a policy of no support staff being used as a cheap alternative to lecturers.

FE10 Campaign for associate teachers - Eastern and Home Counties Regional FE Committee

Conference recognises the increased use of support contracted staff such as instructors, tutorial coaches and assessor trainers etc. in FE. It also recognises the abuse of these contracts and individuals to undermine the lecturing contract where they are put under pressure to work outside job description being asked to deliver what can only be described as teaching/lecturing on inferior terms and conditions. 'Cheap Lecturers'.

Conference asks for the following actions:

  1. review and updating of the UCU Associate Teacher briefing paper
  2. give clear and detailed advice to branches on negotiating and organising on the issue of associate teachers
  3. national negotiation with the AoC for formal agreement and recommendation to colleges on the issue
  4. national campaign to recruit and support delivery support staff into UCU to assist them and at the same time protect the lecturing contract within FE.

CARRIED with point 4 deleted

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference recognises the increased use of support contracted staff such as instructors, tutorial coaches and assessor trainers etc. in FE. It also recognises the abuse of these contracts and individuals to undermine the lecturing contract where they are put under pressure to work outside job description being asked to deliver what can only be described as teaching/lecturing on inferior terms and conditions. 'Cheap Lecturers'.

Conference asks for the following actions:

  1. review and updating of the UCU Associate Teacher briefing paper
  2. give clear and detailed advice to branches on negotiating and organising on the issue of associate teachers
  3. national negotiation with the AoC for formal agreement and recommendation to colleges on the issue.

Prisons, paragraphs 7.1 - 7.5

FE11 Prisons - Further Education Committee

FESC notes the withdrawal of A4e from the London OLASS region, meaning members faced another TUPE transfer less than 3 years after the previous one, with bidding for OLASS 5 due to start in autumn 2015.

FESC notes that Manchester College are the largest provider of offender learning in England running five OLASS 4 regions and winning three young offender institution contracts, as well as other justice work.

FESC therefore welcomes the start of contract talks at Manchester College following the claims submitted by both UCU branches.

FESC asks FEC to:

  1. continue to seek contractual improvements for members in the prison education, using the OLASS 5 bidding process to help with this.
  2. support the work to build organising in prison education branches.
  3. continue to seek and defend recognition agreements with all providers operating in the sector.

CARRIED

Lesson observation, paragraphs 10.1 - 10.2

FE12 (EP) Lesson observations - East Midlands Regional FE Committee

Sector conference notes:

  1. the solid campaigning work carried out by UCU at all levels within the sector against intrusive lesson observations.
  2. the strong case that we have put against the notion of graded lesson observations and the limited but significant progress made towards the ending of formal graded observations.

Conference believes that there is a danger that formal graded lesson observations in some cases might be replaced by a 'multi polar' performance management regime. This may result in lecturers performance being monitored across a range of criteria, creating a wide range of 'hurdles' against which a lecturer's performance could be measured.

Conference resolves that the FEC continues to develop strategies to oppose intrusive and counterproductive performance monitoring regimes.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE12A.1 South East Regional FE Committee

In point 1 add 'including learning walks' after 'intrusive lesson observations'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Sector conference notes:

  1. the solid campaigning work carried out by UCU at all levels within the sector against intrusive lesson observations including learning walks.
  2. the strong case that we have put against the notion of graded lesson observations and the limited but significant progress made towards the ending of formal graded observations.

Conference believes that there is a danger that formal graded lesson observations in some cases might be replaced by a 'multi polar' performance management regime. This may result in lecturers performance being monitored across a range of criteria, creating a wide range of 'hurdles' against which a lecturer's performance could be measured.

Conference resolves that the FEC continues to develop strategies to oppose intrusive and counterproductive performance monitoring regimes.


FE13 Ungraded lesson observations - South Gloucestershire and Stroud College Filton

Conference resolves that Ofsted follow the same procedure regarding ungraded individual lesson observations as is the case in the secondary school sector. No individual teacher should be given a grade by an Ofsted inspector. All future Ofsted observations of lessons must be ungraded.

CARRIED

Continuing professional development, paragraph 11

FE14 (EP) Democratic professionalism - City of Liverpool College, Arts

Attempts to professionalise the FE sector often adopt a deficit analysis: assume we are not professional; lack a democratic ethos; and promote managerialist, neoliberal policies. Criticisms of IfL were a consistent feature of UCU Conference motions until the revocation of compulsory membership and the associated mandatory tax on lecturers. This was a clear victory for the member-led grass roots boycott.

Both the ETF and the College of Teaching are now seeking a role in FE professionalism. If there is to be a professional association for lecturers it must be democratic, representative, egalitarian, campaigning, and non-mandatory. Further it must be independent of government, employers and bodies representing colleges; and capable of challenging them all.

Conference calls on UCU's branches and FEC to:

  1. reaffirm our commitment to democratic professionalism
  2. resist any future attempt to compel lecturers into a mandatory professional body
  3. and support the promotion of tutors' voices in the professionalism agenda.

LOST

Workload, paragraphs 13.1 - 13.3

FE15 Contact hours - South East Regional FE Sector Committee

This FE sector conference asks its officers and officials to produce a clear and comprehensive definition of contact hours to assist and advise branches.

CARRIED


FE16 Unacceptable number of contact hours with students - Southern Regional FE Committee

FE sector conference  condemns the unworkable number of contact hours imposed on an increasing proportion of lecturing staff in colleges, with some members in front of students for 37 hours per week. This, combined with a decrease in funding for courses, presents an unsustainable and intolerable burden on teaching staff and impacts negatively on quality of provision.

In the light of this, FESC instructs FEC to:

  1. seek agreement with the AoC on maximum contact hours to be applied across the sector
  2. put pressure on the AoC to urge colleges to abide by this agreement
  3. collect data as part of an ongoing campaign to monitor and publicise this issue amongst members
  4. contact NUS to inform and urge them to publicise the issue to prospective employees.

CARRIED


FE17 (EP) Status of FE: impact on women's work life balance - Women Members' Standing Committee

Conference is alarmed by the long hours culture which has entered the FE sector. Meetings at 8am and classes scheduled between 4 and 6pm are part of a normal working day. This has a proportionately negative impact on women who have caring responsibilities for children, partners and elderly relatives. The increasing workload within the FE sector has negative consequences on family and personal life and on women in particular.

Conference resolves to:

  1. call upon the government to reduce the workload in FE by cutting bureaucracy and excessive accountability measures
  2. call on employers to have genuine flexible working opportunities in place
  3. call on employers to move away from restrictive timetabling and mandatory meetings set at such a time that they cause a detrimental effect on staff trying to achieve a positive work life balance.

CARRIED


FE18 (EP) Disclosure and workload campaign - Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes with concern the intense pressure on workloads being experienced by all workers in further education. This impacts severely on some disabled workers' impairments. It is the responsibility of the employer to ensure reasonable adjustments mitigate a disadvantage and are regularly reviewed.

Lack of support can lead to absence relating to a disability which creates more stress to workloads. Disabled members need to be able to disclose their disability and for it to be taken into account, if necessary, within their workload. Disclosing a disability means securing rights at work but also gives disabled members a presence within the workplace and union which cannot be ignored.

This conference calls upon the further education committee to:

  1. include disabled members' issues within the workload campaign
  2. disseminate the UCU disclosure guidelines
  3. advise branches on the importance of implementing the FE guidance on equality which supports disability leave and challenges disability discrimination

CARRIED


FE19 The question of class sizes - UCU Wales FE Sector Committee

FESC notes increasing class sizes can have a detrimental effect on the quality of the teaching and increase the workload of the lecturer.

FESC believes budgetary cuts have meant that colleges are encouraged to increase class sizes as a way of increasing revenues. The lack of extra funding will mean a struggle between extra resources for increased numbers and the conditions of our members. Stress is one of the biggest issues that we face; increasing class sizes will only exacerbate this issue.

FEC resolves to call on all FE institutions to include class sizes in their risk assessments for all courses delivered.

CARRIED

Local disputes, paragraph 15

FE20 Composite: Defending FE contracts - Chesterfield College, Barnsley College

Conference congratulates Lambeth and Barnsley branches on their resistance to attacks on contracts and notes the successful outcome of the Lambeth dispute after 42 days of strike action. Conference also recognises the importance of the high levels of solidarity given to the disputes by other UCU members and by workers in other unions.

Conference recognises the significance of these disputes for contracts in other FE institutions and that the attacks at Lambeth and Barnsley represent critical tests for the union. At Chesterfield College the examples of Lambeth and Barnsley were instrumental in assisting in discussions with management over the imposition of a new contract.

Conference resolves that the FEC must:

  1. recognise the importance of rapidly responding in individual cases with escalating industrial action where proposed by the branch;
  2. collect and analyse data on job roles and pay structures used in FE colleges to support the development of a coordinated campaign strategy;
  3. develop a coordinated campaign strategy to defend and restore contracts to a national standard across all colleges.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE20A.1 further education committee

First sentence, insert after congratulates, 'branches such as Greenwich, Coventry, Stockton, Richmond Upon Thames,'. Second paragraph, first sentence, remove 'Lambeth and Barnsley' and insert 'these colleges'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference congratulates branches such as Greenwich, Coventry, Stockton, Richmond Upon Thames, Lambeth and Barnsley branches on their resistance to attacks on contracts and notes the successful outcome of the Lambeth dispute after 42 days of strike action. Conference also recognises the importance of the high levels of solidarity given to the disputes by other UCU members and by workers in other unions.

Conference recognises the significance of these disputes for contracts in other FE institutions and that the attacks at these colleges represent critical tests for the union. At Chesterfield College the examples of Lambeth and Barnsley were instrumental in assisting in discussions with management over the imposition of a new contract.

Conference resolves that the FEC must:

  1. recognise the importance of rapidly responding in individual cases with escalating industrial action where proposed by the branch;
  2. collect and analyse data on job roles and pay structures used in FE colleges to support the development of a coordinated campaign strategy;
  3. develop a coordinated campaign strategy to defend and restore contracts to a national standard across all colleges.

New heading, other workplace policies

FE21 Drugs and alcohol policies - City of Oxford College

Conference notes the move by some colleges to introduce drugs and alcohol policies which significantly affect the rights of members of staff. Such policies include enabling management to:

  1. search an employee's person and their property, including clothes, desk, bag, car
  2. demand that an employee take a test for alcohol or drugs
  3. regard a refusal to take such a test or medical examination as constituting gross misconduct.

Conference opposes such policies as draconian and unwarranted interference into the private lives of staff. While health and safety considerations mean that drugs and alcohol should not figure on college premises, any drugs and alcohol dependency should be treated as a medical and social problem not a disciplinary issue. Conference resolves to ask UCU officials to investigate how widespread these new proposals are and to assist branches, facing these policies, to oppose them.

New heading, Accountability in FE

FE22 On accountability in further education - New College Nottingham

Conference notes:

  1. the large number of disputes taking place at branch level
  2. the very poor financial shape of many FE institutions
  3. that much of the above is a direct result of incompetent management
  4. that principals and other senior managers who have demonstrably failed in their responsibilities seem to have no difficulty in securing similar jobs at other institutions
  5. the obscenely high levels of remuneration enjoyed by senior staff regardless of their ability
  6. that governing bodies lack the strength (and often inclination) to challenge them, proving their unsuitability as a mechanism for ensuring accountability.

Conference calls on the FEC to:

  1. lobby central government on the issue of lack of accountability in FE
  2. expose the worst examples in the press
  3. use our regional structures to help branches launch campaigns aimed at blocking the appointment of managers with poor track records.

New heading, Funding cuts in adult and further education

FE23 (EP) Composite: 24% adult skills funding cuts in England - Further Education Committee, City of Oxford College

Conference condemns the wilful vandalism of further education in England by the government's decision to make cuts of 24% to non-apprenticeship adult skills funding for 2015/16.

Conference opposes these cuts which will inevitably mean a reduction in educational opportunities for adults, the closure of courses in adult education, and a loss of teaching jobs in the sector. A 'second chance' in education for adults is rapidly diminishing to the point where it barely exists.

Conference congratulates and supports the quick action taken by UCU to build an effective broad based campaign with other FE unions, AoC, HOLEX, NIACE, NUS, TUC and other sector stakeholder groups to jointly oppose the cuts to adult skills funding and co-sponsor a petition against the cuts. 

Conference resolves to continue to campaign against all cuts to adult and further education funding and work closely with other sector organisations concerned for the future of adult education to oppose and defeat cuts in funding and to publicise the educational vandalism involved in such cuts.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE23A.1 Disabled members' standing committee

Insert new paragraph after second paragraph:

These cuts disproportionately and directly affect disabled staff and students in FE in terms of the availability of courses and in their work as skilled educators. This is particularly evident in the cuts taking place in TUC education in colleges. These savage cuts affect jobs and the representation and organisation for and by disabled members in the work place.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference condemns the wilful vandalism of further education in England by the government's decision to make cuts of 24% to non-apprenticeship adult skills funding for 2015/16.

Conference opposes these cuts which will inevitably mean a reduction in educational opportunities for adults, the closure of courses in adult education, and a loss of teaching jobs in the sector. A 'second chance' in education for adults is rapidly diminishing to the point where it barely exists.

These cuts disproportionately and directly affect disabled staff and students in FE in terms of the availability of courses and in their work as skilled educators. This is particularly evident in the cuts taking place in TUC education in colleges. These savage cuts affect jobs and the representation and organisation for and by disabled members in the work place.

Conference congratulates and supports the quick action taken by UCU to build an effective broad based campaign with other FE unions, AoC, HOLEX, NIACE, NUS, TUC and other sector stakeholder groups to jointly oppose the cuts to adult skills funding and co-sponsor a petition against the cuts. 

Conference resolves to continue to campaign against all cuts to adult and further education funding and work closely with other sector organisations concerned for the future of adult education to oppose and defeat cuts in funding and to publicise the educational vandalism involved in such cuts.


FE24 Adult education cuts - Barnsley College

Conference is appalled at the devastating scale of the 24% cuts to the SFA non-apprenticeship budget announced in late February.

Conference believes the cuts will decimate what is left of adult education and severely impact college budgets, course provision, and jobs.

The conference congratulates the general secretary for moving swiftly to condemn the government's announcement as 'an act of wilful vandalism'.

Conference recognises the further potential for joint opposition and campaigning with other unions and the employers' organisations after the parliamentary lobby and demonstration in March but also recognises that the union must robustly resist all redundancy threats where these cuts are implemented, which must include coordinated industrial action involving all affected institutions.

Conference calls on the FEC to explore and consider the potential for a joint national campaign that may include joint industrial action to support all branches, particularly those hardest hit by the cuts, to resist redundancies.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE24A.1 Composite: City and Islington College, Further Education Committee

At the end of the third sentence add:

'and notes:

  1. 34,000+ have signed the petition.
  2. thousands have lobbied and demonstrated against these cuts, including the successful demonstration on Saturday 25th
  3. the unity achieved between employers and unions.'

At the end of the fourth paragraph add:

'Conference believes:

  1. the sector is stronger when united.
  2. employers passing on these cuts through redundancies will break this unity.'

Add at the end:

'Conference further resolves:

  1. to support the London Region national Adult Education Conference by publicising it throughout the union.
  2. where possible to coordinate strike action in defence of jobs.'

    CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference is appalled at the devastating scale of the 24% cuts to the SFA non-apprenticeship budget announced in late February.

Conference believes the cuts will decimate what is left of adult education and severely impact college budgets, course provision, and jobs.

The conference congratulates the general secretary for moving swiftly to condemn the government's announcement as 'an act of wilful vandalism' and notes:

  1. 34,000+ have signed the petition.
  2. thousands have lobbied and demonstrated against these cuts, including the successful demonstration on Saturday 25th
  3. the unity achieved between employers and unions.

Conference recognises the further potential for joint opposition and campaigning with other unions and the employers' organisations after the parliamentary lobby and demonstration in March but also recognises that the union must robustly resist all redundancy threats where these cuts are implemented, which must include coordinated industrial action involving all affected institutions. Conference believes:

  1. the sector is stronger when united.
  2. employers passing on these cuts through redundancies will break this unity.

Conference calls on the FEC to explore and consider the potential for a joint national campaign that may include joint industrial action to support all branches, particularly those hardest hit by the cuts, to resist redundancies.

Conference further resolves:

  1. to support the London Region national Adult Education Conference by publicising it throughout the union.
  2. where possible to coordinate strike action in defence of jobs.

FE25 Austerity and the curriculum: English and maths - London Regional FE Committee

FESC notes:

  1. the massive cuts in further and adult education, with 105 jobs lost per college through redundancies
  2. that this attack on provision is also an attack on the curriculum
  3. the introduction of study programmes, which has replaced funding by qualification with funding by student.

FESC believes that to be effective we must organise on the curriculum in addition to fighting for funding, jobs, pay and conditions, as the issues are linked.

FESC resolves:

  1. to revisit the FE manifesto and re-engage branches in a vision of FE and adult education
  2. to call a symposium of FE literacy and numeracy teachers including GCSE, to discuss students' needs and produce a set of demands on government on the best approaches to developing literacy and numeracy
  3. for UCU to research different local models of implementing study programmes.

CARRIED


FE26 (EP) Impact of austerity cuts to access particularly for BME members - Black Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes that the impact of cuts due to austerity in further education funding, is having a profound effect on funding of access courses for students over 19yrs in age. Conference further notes that BME students are particularly affected as many are required to gain ESOL qualifications before starting to study for qualifications to enable them to participate in employment and higher education opportunities. Conference calls upon UCU to:

  1. ask all branches to actively monitor and highlight to their management the impact of cuts on their BME students
  2. raise awareness with local BME organisations about the impact of these cuts, and increase political awareness on how to oppose the cuts
  3. work with national BME organisations to highlight the impact of cuts
  4. work with other unions to actively promote the restoration of funding for adult education.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE26A.1 Black members' standing committee

Throughout, delete 'BME' and replace with the word 'black'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes that the impact of cuts due to austerity in further education funding, is having a profound effect on funding of access courses for students over 19yrs in age. Conference further notes that black students are particularly affected as many are required to gain ESOL qualifications before starting to study for qualifications to enable them to participate in employment and higher education opportunities. Conference calls upon UCU to:

  1. ask all branches to actively monitor and highlight to their management the impact of cuts on their black students
  2. raise awareness with local black organisations about the impact of these cuts, and increase political awareness on how to oppose the cuts
  3. work with national black organisations to highlight the impact of cuts
  4. work with other unions to actively promote the restoration of funding for adult education.

FE27 Austerity cuts and LGBT in FE - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Conference is concerned about savage cuts to FE funding. The Learning Age seems a distant memory and learners such as 14-16s, ESOL, and adults are far fewer than at the end of the last decade.

LGBT staff and learners within the FE sector still face discrimination. Recent NUS research shows that learners still feel vulnerable in FE. TUC research showed that there are fewer specialist LGBT support services including in mental and sexual health. Gender reassignment service waiting times have increased. In rural areas where travel funding and the closure of accessible LGBT services have shut there is experience of further isolation for LGBT people.

Conference resolves to

  1. work with sector partners in a mapping exercise to find out how cuts have affected FE provision in areas where LGBT services have been significantly reduced
  2. explore the experience of LGBT staff and learners in areas identified by the mapping exercise.

CARRIED


FE28 Women and the economy: campaign for free, fully funded adult education - Women Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the introduction of fees and loans for access courses
  2. the cuts to adult education services nationwide
  3. the predominance of working class women and also black and disabled learners in adult education
  4. the big drop in adult learners in their late 20s onwards on level three courses
  5. the intended further 24% cut to the adult FE budget, with devastating consequences for lifelong learning.

Conference resolves to:

  1. call on institutions using FOIs to release data on the impact of cuts, fees and loans on adult learners
  2. survey members working in adult education and build a partnership with NUS to gather in depth data on the impact of cuts, fees and loans in adult education
  3. use this data to launch a national campaign calling on the new government to commit to the necessary role of fully funded, free adult education in equality and the economy of the UK.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE28A.1 further education committee

Point a, delete 'Call on institutions using FOIs to release data on' and replace with 'Together with sector stakeholders including colleges, AoC, HOLEX, NIACE and others conduct research into'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes:

  1. the introduction of fees and loans for access courses
  2. the cuts to adult education services nationwide
  3. the predominance of working class women and also black and disabled learners in adult education
  4. the big drop in adult learners in their late 20s onwards on level three courses
  5. the intended further 24% cut to the adult FE budget, with devastating consequences for lifelong learning.

Conference resolves to:

  1. together with sector stakeholders including colleges, AoC, HOLEX, NIACE and others conduct research into the impact of cuts, fees and loans on adult learners
  2. survey members working in adult education and build a partnership with NUS to gather in depth data on the impact of cuts, fees and loans in adult education
  3. use this data to launch a national campaign calling on the new government to commit to the necessary role of fully funded, free adult education in equality and the economy of the UK.

FE29 Access to further education and adult education for disabled students - Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes the new duties on further education to co-operate with local authorities, commissioners and funders of disabled students for a successful transition to further education and adult life. This includes new funding to support study programme arrangements including supported internships, traineeships and apprenticeships, in partnership with employers.

This duty also includes workforce development to understand and implement the new code of practice. The Children and Families Act's intention is to promote the participation of disabled young people in decision-making and focuses on outcomes, including employment, independent living and community participation.

This conference supports the intention but is concerned about how the funding will support these measures. This conference calls upon the FEC to:

  1. brief branches on the implications of the Act
  2. raise with the Association of Colleges to see how colleges are being supported
  3. work with the NUS to monitor how these changes are impacting on access.

CARRIED


FE30 Misuse of apprenticeships - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional FE Committee

This sector conference notes:

  1. the continuing cuts in funding for further education and the consequent pressure on colleges to focus on a narrow, skills based curriculum
  2. the policy of all major parties to increase the number of apprentices
  3. the misuse of apprenticeships to subsidise college income by setting up college companies
  4. the reduction of taught hours for trainees which will make it difficult for them learn a full range of skills and knowledge
  5. the refusal of employers to join college unions to fight government cuts.

This sector conference resolves to:

  1. support all attempts to publicise this issue nationally
  2. encourage college UCU branches to raise this issue in local and regional TUC meetings
  3. raise the issue of properly funded and resourced broad based apprenticeships and further education with the other trade unions.

CARRIED

Last updated: 29 October 2019