Business of the Strategy and Finance Committee 2017 (open session)

UCU Congress 2017: Saturday 27 May 2017, 10:15-12:45.

Motions have been allocated to a section of the NEC's report to Congress (UCU785). Paragraph headings refer to paragraphs within this report. CBC has added some new paragraph headings to facilitate the ordering of motions.

Section 1 of the NEC's report to Congress

Motions:

L1 - Manchester
1 - UCU's international campaigns and solidarity work
2 - Oppose Trump's UK visit
3 - Syria
4 - Defend academic freedom and campaign against repression in Turkey
5 - Professor Kamel Hawwash
6 - Violence against gay men in Chechnya
7 - French elections
8 - Central European University
9 - Hard, clean and red, white and blue Brexits
10 - Incorporating legal protections into collective agreements post-Brexit
11 - Permanent residence rights for EU nationals
12 - Impact of post-Brexit dispensation and higher education in Northern Ireland
L2 - Fraud in EU referendum
13 - Free movement of labour
14 - Free movement of labour
15 - Free movement of labour and impact on women
16 - Just Transition
17 - Climate change, jobs and airport expansion
18 - Air quality
19 - Supporting the work of the National Pensioners Convention
20 - Job sharing of elected positions
L6 - Emergency motion

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy


International solidarity, paragraph 5.2 - 5.6


L1  Manchester - National Executive Committee

Congress sends our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the Manchester bomb.

The vistims include students  froms schools and colleges across the North West and beyond and we know that staff will be doing everything possible to help with the grief and trauma caused.

UCU as a union of educators believes it is only through unity and understanding that society can move forward from such a devastating attack.

UCU condemns any organisation or individual that creates disunity or a climate of fear.

We etend our solidarity to the people of Manchestr who, in the aftermath, have demonstrated the city's values of community, openness and warmth.

CARRIED


1 (EP) UCU's international campaigns and solidarity work - National Executive Committee

Congress recognises the value of international solidarity work, eg. the role played by UCU and others in securing the release of Miguel Beltrán and Huber Ballesteros in Colombia.   

Congress, however, recognises the ongoing nature of many of these campaigns, including a continuing need:

  1. to defend academic freedom and thousands of dismissed educators in Turkey
  2. to demand 'Truth for Giulio Regeni' and Justice for Egypt's Disappeared
  3. to strengthen UCU's links with sister unions in countries such as Colombia, Turkey, Palestine and Zimbabwe
  4. to fight for the rights of refugees, including access to further and higher education
  5. to challenge the UK government's role in promoting the privatisation of education in the global south. 

Congress calls on UCU to build on existing work in these core areas and to continue to engage regions, branches and members in relevant international activities. Congress invites regions and branches to consider how they can contribute.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

1A.1 Disabled Members Standing Committee

Insert new sentence at the end of point 4.

'5. To provide guidance to branches on the education rights of refugees and asylum seekers to enable branches to challenge poor and discriminatory practice. This to include the particular rights given to disabled refugees and asylum seekers;'

Renumber existing point 5 as 6.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress recognises the value of international solidarity work, eg. the role played by UCU and others in securing the release of Miguel Beltrán and Huber Ballesteros in Colombia.   

Congress, however, recognises the ongoing nature of many of these campaigns, including a continuing need:

  1. to defend academic freedom and thousands of dismissed educators in Turkey
  2. to demand 'Truth for Giulio Regeni' and Justice for Egypt's Disappeared
  3. to strengthen UCU's links with sister unions in countries such as Colombia, Turkey, Palestine and Zimbabwe
  4. to fight for the rights of refugees, including access to further and higher education
  5. to provide guidance to branches on the education rights of refugees and asylum seekers to enable branches to challenge poor and discriminatory practice. This to include the particular rights given to disabled refugees and asylum seekers
  6. to challenge the UK government's role in promoting the privatisation of education in the global south. 

Congress calls on UCU to build on existing work in these core areas and to continue to engage regions, branches and members in relevant international activities. Congress invites regions and branches to consider how they can contribute.


2  Oppose Trump's UK visit - North West Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. Trump's election has given confidence to the Right globally
  2. his administration's 'Muslim ban' and plan to 'Build a wall' to exclude Mexican migrants demonstrate the reactionary nature of his presidency
  3. other measures will seriously impact on women, LGBT+ people and other vulnerable groups and on tackling climate change
  4. a Trump-led USA will want post-Brexit trade deals with the UK which will further marketise, monetise and privatise UK educational provision.

Congress further notes:

  1. that resistance to Trump is growing, with waves of protests across the world.

Congress congratulates the Women's March, Owen Jones, Stand Up To Racism, Stop the War and other organisations that have organised opposition to Trump on the streets.

Congress therefore resolves:

  1. that following Theresa May's invitation we oppose any visit by Trump to the UK
  2. to support calls for a united mass protest to oppose such a visit.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

2A.1 National Executive Committee

Add to 'Congress further notes':

b. Congress recognises that there are real tensions between some protestors

c. welcomes the TUC offer to coordinate protest to ensure one demonstration

d. the importance for UCU members to mobilise fully for this event.

CARRIED

2A.2  Blackburn College

Add to (end of) resolves:

'iii.     To work with Stand Up to Trump and Stop Trump campaigns, Stop the War, Stand up to Racism, the TUC and TUC-affiliated unions, the NUS and other campaigning organisations to build the largest possible united protests - if Trump's planned visit goes ahead.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. Trump's election has given confidence to the Right globally
  2. his administration's 'Muslim ban' and plan to 'Build a wall' to exclude Mexican migrants demonstrate the reactionary nature of his presidency
  3. other measures will seriously impact on women, LGBT+ people and other vulnerable groups and on tackling climate change
  4. a Trump-led USA will want post-Brexit trade deals with the UK which will further marketise, monetise and privatise UK educational provision.

Congress further notes:

  1. that resistance to Trump is growing, with waves of protests across the world
  2. congress recognises that there are real tensions between some protestors
  3. welcomes the TUC offer to coordinate protest to ensure one demonstration
  4. the importance for UCU members to mobilise fully for this event.

Congress congratulates the Women's March, Owen Jones, Stand Up To Racism, Stop the War and other organisations that have organised opposition to Trump on the streets.

Congress therefore resolves:

  1. that following Theresa May's invitation we oppose any visit by Trump to the UK
  2. to support calls for a united mass protest to oppose such a visit
  3. to work with Stand Up to Trump and Stop Trump campaigns, Stop the War, Stand up to Racism, the TUC and TUC-affiliated unions, the NUS and other campaigning organisations to build the largest possible united protests - if Trump's planned visit goes ahead.

3 Syria - Lambeth College

Congress believes that:

  1. the US's self-appointed role as moral agent is not justified
  2. Trump's bombing of Syria and the dropping of a MOAB on ISIS militants will ultimately risk sharpening existing conflicts
  3. military intervention, whether by the West or Russia, has added to the pain and suffering experienced by civilians and has forced millions to become refugees
  4. if Trump and May wish to help Syrian and Afghan people, they should facilitate a serious programme of refugee settlement in the US and UK.

Congress resolves to continue to publicise the plight of refugees and to encourage practical support for measures to defend and support migrant workers and refugees.

CARRIED


4  Composite: Defend academic freedom and campaign against repression in Turkey - Birkbeck, University of London, University of Greenwich, Maritime Branch

Congress notes and condemns:

  1. attacks on Turkish academics who signed the Academics for Peace petition, together with associated journalists and politicians
  2. suppression of free press in Turkey
  3. violence against Kurdish people.

Congress instructs the NEC and the general secretary to:

  1. campaign for the immediate release of arrested university teachers, journalists, and politicians
  2. call on the Turkish government to stop the persecution of 'Academics for Peace', to re-instate all academics (with compensation), and ensure signatories are protected against public threats
  3. call on UK universities, colleges and other institutions to support persecuted academics and to freeze collaboration with Turkish universities taking action against academics
  4. initiate a campaign of protest letters and emails to Turkish universities which have taken action against signatories of the 'Academics for Peace' petition
  5. call on the British government to demand reinstatement of democratic freedoms in Turkey and an end to violence against Kurds
  6. call for a ban on arms sales to the Erdogan regime until these are achieved.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

4A.1 National Executive Committee

After point 3., insert new point 4.:

'4. Congress also notes the result of the 16 April referendum to give additional new executive powers to the president of Turkey and expresses its deepest concerns, given the alleged irregularities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms during the referendum campaign.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes and condemns:

  1. attacks on Turkish academics who signed the Academics for Peace petition, together with associated journalists and politicians
  2. suppression of free press in Turkey
  3. violence against Kurdish people
  4. Congress also notes the result of the 16 April referendum to give additional new executive powers to the president of Turkey and expresses its deepest concerns, given the alleged irregularities, one-sided media coverage and limitations on fundamental freedoms during the referendum campaign.

Congress instructs the NEC and the general secretary to:

  1. campaign for the immediate release of arrested university teachers, journalists, and politicians
  2. call on the Turkish government to stop the persecution of 'Academics for Peace', to re-instate all academics (with compensation), and ensure signatories are protected against public threats
  3. call on UK universities, colleges and other institutions to support persecuted academics and to freeze collaboration with Turkish universities taking action against academics
  4. initiate a campaign of protest letters and emails to Turkish universities which have taken action against signatories of the 'Academics for Peace' petition
  5. call on the British government to demand reinstatement of democratic freedoms in Turkey and an end to violence against Kurds
  6. call for a ban on arms sales to the Erdogan regime until these are achieved.

Professor Kamel Hawwash - Sheffield Hallam University

Congress notes with dismay that Professor Kamel Hawwash, a UCU member at the University of Birmingham, was prevented from entering Israel on 7th April on a trip with his wife and young son to visit relatives in occupied East Jerusalem.

Congress notes that Prof. Hawwash was banned under the new Israeli boycott law, which prevents activists accused of supporting BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) from entering Israel.

Congress notes that BDS is a non-violent human rights movement and believes that Israel's action is an attack on basic freedom of speech as well as on the right to family life.

Congress instructs the general secretary to write to the Israeli embassy and the FCO to urge that the ban on Prof. Hawwash and all non-violent human rights campaigners be lifted.

CARRIED


6   Violence against gay men in Chechnya - National Executive Committee

Congress condemns the violence against gay men in Chechnya. More than 100 men have been rounded up, beaten, tortured and some killed on suspicion of being gay. Congress applauds the work of the Russian NGO helping gay men to escape but believes that LGBT people are entitled to safety wherever they are.

Congress calls on UCU to:

  1. with the TUC, issue a public statement and write to the Russian and Chechen authorities urging them to cease their denials of the existence of gay people, stop the violence and any men rounded up are released immediately
  2. make representations to the UK government and devolved nations to put pressure on the Russian and Chechen authorities to stop the violence
  3. ensure the UCU LGBT Conference includes this issue at its autumn conference
  4. continue working with organisations like LGSMigrants, Amnesty and ILGA  to ensure Chechen gay men can achieve a place of safety.

CARRIED


7  French elections  - National Executive Committee

Congress believes that:

  1. Marine Le Pen's entry into the second round of the French Presidential elections should be seen as a warning to us all of the potential for fascist organisations to become mainstream
  2. campaigning by Unite Against Fascism and other organisations has helped to marginalise the fascist BNP and EDL in the UK but we cannot be complacent
  3. the Tories' attacks on migrants and refugees backed up by UKIP and the right wing press could lay the basis for the resurgence of the far right here.

Congress resolves to continue supporting anti-racist and anti-fascist organisations to defend the rights of migrant workers and refugees in campaigning on campuses and in communities to oppose the growth of racism and islamophobia.

CARRIED


8  Central European University  - National Executive Committee

Congress notes with dismay the attack on the Central European University [CEU] from legislation recently passed by the Hungarian government. This legislation poses a direct threat to the autonomy and perhaps the existence of CEU by establishing requirements about the courses they provide and the staff who they may employ, challenging basic principles of academic freedom.

Congress urges all UCU members to add their names to the petition supporting CEU and ask the incoming NEC to ensure that UCU works with its European and international union colleagues to campaign on CEU's behalf.

CARRIED


New paragraph, Brexit


9  Hard, clean and red, white and blue Brexits - East Midlands Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. the recent EU referendum was won by the 'Leave' campaign.
  2. the British government seem to be planning for a 'hard Brexit', accompanied by provocative, xenophobic and sometimes racist language by government ministers.

Congress believes:

  1. that members and students are suffering from uncertainty about their futures following the promised 'clean' break
  2. there may be a sharp movement away from workers' rights won over the last decades, many of which only exist as a result of our relationship with the EU
  3. that the interests of post-16 education are best served by following a less strident policy and attempting to maintain a reasonable working relationship with Europe.

Congress instructs the NEC to work with other organisations to help fight government policies that will have a deleterious effect on the rights of our members or the future of our students.

CARRIED AS AMENDED BY 9A.1 parts 1&2

9A.1  National Executive Committee

In final sentence, after 'work with other' add 'trade union, equality, community and other'.

Add at end of motion after 'students':

'and specifically to campaign for:

1. all existing equality, human rights and environmental legislation to be maintained and strengthened

2.  the continuing entitlement of UK organisations and individuals to participate in Horizon 2020, Erasmus and other EU funding and exchange programs to be maintained

3. for a further referendum on EU exit once the conditions are known.'

Taken in parts - numbers 1 & 2 CARRIED; 3 LOST

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. the recent EU referendum was won by the 'Leave' campaign.
  2. the British government seem to be planning for a 'hard Brexit', accompanied by provocative, xenophobic and sometimes racist language by government ministers.

Congress believes:

  1. that members and students are suffering from uncertainty about their futures following the promised 'clean' break
  2. there may be a sharp movement away from workers' rights won over the last decades, many of which only exist as a result of our relationship with the EU
  3. that the interests of post-16 education are best served by following a less strident policy and attempting to maintain a reasonable working relationship with Europe.

Congress instructs the NEC to work with other organisations to help fight government policies that will have a deleterious effect on the rights of our members or the future of our students and specifically to campaign for:

  1. all existing equality, human rights and environmental legislation to be maintained and strengthened
  2. the continuing entitlement of UK organisations and individuals to participate in Horizon 2020, Erasmus and other EU funding and exchange programs to be maintained.

10  Composite: Incorporating legal protections into collective agreements post Brexit - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee, Liverpool John Moores University

Congress notes that European Union law addresses important areas of legal protection in respect of equality, employment rights, health and safety and the environment.  Depending upon the final form in which the UK exits the European Union, these legal protections may be significantly modified or wholly repealed.

Congress therefore calls on the NEC to:

  1. campaign for the continuation of these legal protections post-Brexit
  2. develop a programme of work to ensure that these legal protections are embedded in collective agreements and institutional policies as far as possible, in order to minimise any negative impact of Brexit on these rights.

This programme of work should consist of:

  1. an audit of existing national and local collective agreements to check for areas where aspects of EU law could helpfully be incorporated in these agreements
  2. a programme of negotiating work to extend collective agreements to maintain employment protection, legal rights and other fundamental rights.

CARRIED


11  Permanent residence rights for EU nationals  - Glasgow Caledonian University

Congress condemns the UK government's use of EU nationals currently living in the UK as 'bargaining chips' in the upcoming Brexit negotiations and calls on the government to provide them with a unilateral guarantee of residence rights.

Congress condemns the Home Office's labyrinthine permanent residence procedures and supports Sophie in 't Veld MEP's stated intention to set up a European parliament cross-party taskforce in order to investigate EU nationals' experiences in this respect.

Regarding the permanent residence qualifying criteria, congress calls for the removal of the requirement that EU nationals must have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance in order to qualify as exercising their treaty rights as self-sufficient residents.

Congress notes the immense contribution EU and non-EU immigrants make to our society, economy and culture and calls on members to write to MPs and MSPs from all parties to demand that they give voice to the positive case for immigration.

CARRIED


12  Impact of post-Brexit dispensation and higher education in Northern Ireland - Queen's University Belfast

This congress notes with concern how future cross-border higher education research and teaching collaborations between institutions, north and south, will be jeopardised by the introduction of a 'hard' border in post-Brexit Ireland. Significant academic collaborations - many of which are and have been EU-funded - have made an invaluable contribution to peace-building and cross-community dialogue on the island.

UCU calls on MLAs and MPs to commit to ensuring that:

  1. peace and political stability in Northern Ireland is not a casualty of Brexit
  2. HE institutions across the island can continue to collaborate on major research projects
  3. the right to remain is guaranteed to all existing EU staff and their families by granting permanent residence and waiving the five year residency requirement
  4. the current levels of protection given to EU workers are defended and extended to all UK workers.

CARRIED


L2  Fraud in EU Referendum - National Executive Committee 

Congress notes allegations published in the Guardian on 14 May of serious fraud by the Leave Campaign in the EU Referendum Campaign involving expenditure very significantly above the legal limits, involvement of the American billionaire who financed the Trump campaign and measures to cover this up.  In addition, despite evidence of this fraud the UK government has failed to investigate it.  

Congress notes the potentially very significant impacts of 'Brexit' on education, trade unions and equality and environmental legislation.

Congress agrees to support calls for the immediate launch of a full public inquiry into the Leave campaign funding and the cover-up and for the Metropolitan police to pursue a criminal investigation.

CARRIED


New paragraph, Freedom of movement


13  Free movement of labour - University of Oxford

Congress agrees that, while continuing to campaign against the Points-Based Immigration Scheme, we must defend existing free movement arrangements, both within and without the EEA.

Congress resolves urgently to campaign for the following: 

  1. the free movement of labour and opposition to the Points-Based Immigration Scheme
  2. an up-front guarantee for existing EU/EEA citizens in the UK to stay
  3. protection for EU research funding and EU students
  4. full recognition of workers' rights throughout EU withdrawal negotiations.

CARRIED


14  Composite: Freedom of movement of labour  - City and Islington College, Camden Road, University of Dundee, London Regional Committee, University of Newcastle, West Midlands Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. the threat to existing free movement of labour within the European Economic Area (EEA)
  2. the further threat to secure employment and residency of all migrant workers
  3. that at Congress 2016 UCU committed to campaigning 'for no change in the immigration status of EU residents if UK leaves EU'
  4. there is no reason why leaving the EU single market could not be combined with a unilateral decision to recognise the right of freedom of movement
  5. the lack of clear leadership from the trade union movement in the defence of the free movement of labour across Europe.

Congress condemns:

  1. the actions of those in trade union leadership positions calling for control of borders, which reinforces the power of bosses in dividing the working class. To lift workers up we must organise for all, not reinforce division.

Congress believes:

  1. that any restrictions on freedom of movement of labour, and our right to work without discrimination based on nationality, will put increasing competitive pressure on European Economic Area (EEA) staff, and thus affect staff as a whole and weaken our union
  2. the policy of austerity has been the cause of falling wages and rising workloads and that the current crises in vital services is the impact of continued under-investment in the country's infrastructure and public services by successive governments.

Given the current threats to freedom of movement within the European Economic Area, UCU resolves to campaign urgently with UNISON and other unions:

A. to defend existing free movement of labour both within and without the EEA  and against points-based immigration schemes

B. to publicise the benefits of immigration to this country

C. for an up-front guarantee for existing EU/EEA citizens in the UK to stay

D. for improved rights for all workers and for full recognition of workers' rights throughout EU withdrawal negotiations

E. for removal of international students from net migration targets

F. for protection for EU research funding and EU students.

UCU further resolves to:

  1. lobby principals and VCs publicly to guarantee that for the indefinite future there will be no change in the employment or student status (including fee conditions) of EU/EEA staff and students
  2. affiliate to the free movement of labour - campaign to defend freedom of movement across Europe post-Brexit
  3. to support any branch/LA that walks-out in defence of a member of staff or student threatened with deportation.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

14A.1 West Midlands Regional Committee

Add to congress notes:

'6.  the necessity to recognise migration beyond the dimension of labour and to value free movement for all.'

In UCU resolves to campaign urgently with UNISON and other unions bullet point A:

Delete 'both', 'and without' and 'against Point Based Immigration Schemes'

and add 'B. to extend the right of freedom of movement to migrants from across the globe and oppose Point Based Immigration Schemes'

(So that it reads:

'A. to defend existing free movement of labour within the EEA 

B. to extend the right of freedom of movement to migrants from across the globe and oppose Point Based Immigration Schemes')

Re-letter existing points.

CARRIED

14A.2 Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Add new clause B. under 'Given the current threats.....to campaign.....:

New clause B.:

'B. To guarantee full UK state pension rights to UK citizens living in the EU.'

Re-letter subsequent clauses.

CARRIED

14A.3 LGBT Members Standing Committee

Add a new point E under UCU resolves to:

'rights of LGBT+ people should be recognised across the world . For those from nations where this is not the case there should be much better support and protection.'

Re-letter subsequent points.

Add to point b. under further resolves:

'and increased work with and promotion of the work of organisations that support and protect LGBT+ migrants and LGBT+ rights globally.'

CARRIED

Compositing amendment:

14A.4  University of Dundee

Add further action point to 'UCU further resolves to:'

d.       propose this motion to TUC Congress.

CARRIED

Congress Business Committee note: The action called for under compositing amendment 14A.4 can be advisory only as it is the decision of the National Executive Committee to agree motions submitted to TUC Congress.

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. the threat to existing free movement of labour within the European Economic Area (EEA)
  2. the further threat to secure employment and residency of all migrant workers
  3. that at Congress 2016 UCU committed to campaigning 'for no change in the immigration status of EU residents if UK leaves EU'
  4. there is no reason why leaving the EU single market could not be combined with a unilateral decision to recognise the right of freedom of movement
  5. the lack of clear leadership from the trade union movement in the defence of the free movement of labour across Europe
  6. the necessity to recognise migration beyond the dimension of labour and to value free movement for all.

Congress condemns:

  1. the actions of those in trade union leadership positions calling for control of borders, which reinforces the power of bosses in dividing the working class. To lift workers up we must organise for all, not reinforce division.

Congress believes:

  1. that any restrictions on freedom of movement of labour, and our right to work without discrimination based on nationality, will put increasing competitive pressure on European Economic Area (EEA) staff, and thus affect staff as a whole and weaken our union
  2. the policy of austerity has been the cause of falling wages and rising workloads and that the current crises in vital services is the impact of continued under-investment in the country's infrastructure and public services by successive governments.

Given the current threats to freedom of movement within the European Economic Area, UCU resolves to campaign urgently with UNISON and other unions:

A. to defend existing free movement of labour within the EEA

B. To guarantee full UK state pension rights to UK citizens living in the EU

C. to extend the right of freedom of movement to migrants from across the globe and oppose Point Based Immigration Schemes

D. to publicise the benefits of immigration to this country

E. rights of LGBT+ people should be recognised across the world. For those from nations where this is not the case there should be much better support and protection

F. for an up-front guarantee for existing EU/EEA citizens in the UK to stay

G. for improved rights for all workers and for full recognition of workers' rights throughout EU withdrawal negotiations

H. for removal of international students from net migration targets

I. for protection for EU research funding and EU students.

UCU further resolves to:

  1. lobby principals and VCs publicly to guarantee that for the indefinite future there will be no change in the employment or student status (including fee conditions) of EU/EEA staff and students
  2. affiliate to the free movement of labour - campaign to defend freedom of movement across Europe post-Brexit and increased work with and promotion of the work of organisations that support and protect LGBT+ migrants and LGBT+ rights globally
  3. to support any branch/LA that walks-out in defence of a member of staff or student threatened with deportation
  4. propose this motion to TUC Congress.

15  Free movement of labour and impact on women - Women Members Standing Committee

Regardless of different positions on the referendum, we are united in defending the rights of our EU colleagues, as part of our commitment towards migrant workers and opposition to points based immigration system.

EU workers in Britain, many of them women workers, face an uncertain future and a government set on using them as a bargaining chip in Brexit negotiations. At the same time university and college workers from non EU countries face increasing difficulty in gaining and maintaining permission to work or bring family members, which especially affects women.

Conference demands that Theresa May confirm the rights of EU nationals working here to stay.

UCU pledges to defend migrant colleagues' rights.

Conference believes that every university and college should support staff with right to reside or leave to remain applications with advice and financial support where needed.

CARRIED


New paragraph, Environmental policy


16  Just Transition - UCU Scotland Executive Committee

Congress notes and welcomes the agreement of a joint statement between UCU Scotland, the STUC, UNITE, UNISON, PCS, CWU, WWF Scotland, and Friends of the Earth Scotland in support of a Just Transition towards a low-carbon economy which protects the livelihoods of workers in industries affected by the transition. Congress notes the work of UCU members in bringing the statement together; supports a Just Transition; and resolves to work with members affected by a move to a low carbon economy, other trade unions, and environmentalists to ensure that the change from a fossil fuel to low carbon economy is one which is fair and just to all workers employed in those sectors affected.

CARRIED


17  Composite: Climate change, jobs and airport expansion - London Regional Committee, London Retired Members branch

We call upon UCU to move the following motion at TUC congress:

To halt climate change we need to leave most of the reserves of carbon fuels in the ground. We need workers to insulate homes and buildings to conserve energy. Workers to build enough renewable power to meet all our energy needs. Workers to maintain the new systems the future of humanity depends on. 

The conversion to a sustainable energy policy will provide millions of jobs world-wide as the pamphlet 'One Million Climate Jobs' demonstrates.

We campaign therefore for:

  1. energy democracy and a rapid transition from fossil fuels
  2. stop all airport expansion
  3. government funding for green jobs training
  4. no fracking
  5. promote alternatives to short-haul flights, including publicly owned rail services
  6. a genuine commitment to reducing lethal air pollutants
  7. a just transition employment strategy to climate jobs and well-paid, skilled, sustainable employment
  8. support for improved links between anti-war, refugee and climate campaign movements
  9. action against TTIP, CETA and other trade treaties threatening climate justice
  10. a Climate Justice Fund funded by wealthy nations and polluting companies.

CARRIED

*Note: The action called for in this motion can be advisory only as it is the decision of the National Executive Committee to agree motions submitted to TUC Congress.


18  Air quality - South Thames College

Air pollution in the UK is a public health emergency. Over 40,000 people die each year from the air that they breathe - more than obesity and alcohol combined. A significant cause is carbon pollution arising from work and travel to work. It is an occupational health issue that employers take little responsibility for.

In the FHE sector many workplaces are in high pollution areas. Recent research shows that 43% of colleges in London are in locations that breach legal standards. Congress calls on UCU to:

  1. campaign for a legal framework that addresses this health emergency
  2. promotes a programme of awareness raising for staff and students in the sector
  3. provide training and support for UCU environment and health and safety reps to tackle this issue in their workplace and communities
  4. work with the Greener Jobs Alliance, the Hazards campaign and other organisations promoting air quality action to deliver these objectives.

CARRIED


New paragraph, National Pensioners Convention


19  Supporting the work of the National Pensioners Convention - Yorkshire and Humberside Retired Members Branch

Congress recognises that:

  1. many UCU members will face retirement with an unsatisfactory occupational pension and a similarly unsatisfactory state pension
  2. they also face retirement in which they may need to rely on a chronically underfunded social care system and an underfunded and partly privatised NHS
  3. the National Pensioners Convention, to which UCU is affiliated, and which is the only national voice of organised pensioners, campaigns tirelessly for improved pensions, for free social and health care, and many other services used by older people
  4. the NPC relies predominantly on affiliation fees from trade unions as income from other sources diminishes.

Congress therefore agrees to ask the NEC to explore, together with the UCU representatives on the NPC Executive Committee, ways in which UCU members could contribute to the NPC, noting that a voluntary annual levy of £1 per head could raise over £100k.


New paragraph, Job sharing union officers


20  Job sharing of elected positions - National Executive Committee

Congress recognises that:

  1. all members have the right to participate in the union at all levels
  2. the dual occupancy of elected posts on a 'job-share' basis enables people to take up office who might not otherwise be able to do so
  3.  joint-officership (eg. branch secretary) already successfully functions at branch level
  4. job-share of NEC, national officer and other elected positions would require the consideration of appropriate rule changes and the development of appropriate procedures and protocols.

In the interests of inclusivity and encouraging wider participation, Congress instructs NEC:

to investigate the pros and cons and practicalities involved in introducing dual occupancy within UCU structures.  The investigation to include widespread consultation with members, branches, regional and national committees, including the equality committees. NEC to report back to Congress 2018 with any proposals for changes to the union's rules and procedures in the light of the outcome of the investigation/consultation.

CARRIED


L6  Emergency motion

Congress notes:

The Supreme Court judgement on 24 May 2017 that deductions of strike pay for teachers should be at 1/365 not 1/260 per strike day.

Congress instructs:

NEC to investigate the legality of reclaiming from employers all strike deductions over the preceding 6 years higher than the 1/365.

CARRIED

Last updated: 27 May 2017