HE ballots: request a replacement

Support colleagues fighting back in FE!

Further Education Sector Conference 2017

UCU Congress 2017: Sunday 27 May 2017, 09:00-18:00

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.

Motions:

FE1 - FE England pay
FE2 - Close the pay gap
FE3 - Pay is a professional issue
FE4 - Equality data collection in further education
FE5 - Gazelle, Collab and AoC
FE6 - Precarious employment
FE7 - Improving contracts for FE HPLs in light of AoC negotiations
FE8 - Equal opportunity and equal pay for Continuing Professional Development
FE9 - Safe space for FE students and staff
FE10 - Gender identity inclusivity within the FE environment
FE11 - Gendered hate crime, ESOL and community activism
FE12 - Women learners and a national education service
FE13 - Creating anti-racist colleges
FE14 - Migrants & refugees support, funding increase for ESOL provision
FE15 - An agency workers' branch
FE16 - Subsidiary organisations - an attack on terms and conditions
FE17 - Subsidiary companies in FE
FE18 - Area reviews and disabled workers
FE19 - Recognition/facilities
FE20 - Membership/recruitment offers
FE21 - Strengthening ACE participation in UCU
FE22 - ACE and the HOLEX Adult and Community Learning area reviews
FE23 - Governance and accountability
FE24 - Transparency and accountability
FE25 - Funding and proposed 'insolvency' legislation
FE26 - Mobilising support for prison educators and the fight for prison safety
FE27 - Workload and health and well-being
FE28 - Sickness policy
FE29 - Industrial strategy
FE30 - Colleges as a community resource
FE31 - For genuinely equal and developmental observation policies
FE32 - Use of cameras to monitor performance
FE33 - UCU members in prisons are teachers not prison officers
FE34 - Defending general FE
FE35 - No to compulsion in further education
FE36 - Themed based learning
FE37 - UTCs and government education
FE38 - Save our trade union studies departments
L8 - Redundancies at Activate Learning

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy


FE1  FE England pay - Further Education Committee

Conference approves the report on the FE England 2016/17 pay round and progress in the 2017/18 round as circulated in FE branch circular UCUBANFE/9.

CARRIED


FE2  Close the Pay Gap - London Regional FE Sector Committee

Conference believes that:

  1. pay is a key issue for members.  A union that can't defend its members' pay will not have a long term future
  2. our employers have implemented the pay freeze with no challenge to government policy. They have been insulated from cuts with record salaries. This cannot continue
  3. the decline of lecturers' pay since the crisis is now 20% in real terms
  4. the average principal is paid 3.5 times that of the best paid lecturers. In many cases this rises to 5 times that of a main grade lecturer.  This is an historic differential
  5. a campaign rooted in exposing and overcoming the injustice of the pay gap between the employers will be popular with members.

Conference resolves to:

Call on negotiators to develop a claim that seeks to close the gap between principals' and lecturers' pay.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE2A.1  Anti-Casualisation Committee

To Believes 3: add 'and support staff's' after 'lecturers''

To Believes 4: add at end: 'with staff on casual contracts facing an even starker differential'

CARRIED

FE2A.2  Women Members Standing Committee

Add new point 5.:

'5.    This situation is further exacerbated by the gap in terms of grades.'

Renumber existing point 5. Point 6. and amend: after 'employers' insert 'and between genders'.

CARRIED

FE2A.3  Blackburn College

After point 5 insert:

'Conference notes:

The catch up element with the employers in the 2017/18 claim.'

Insert after 'Conference resolves to':

'Organise a pay campaign that highlights the gross inequality between principal's and staff pay.'

CARRIED

FE2A.4  London Regional FE Sector Committee

After point 5., insert:

'Conference notes the Labour Party commitment to campaign on controlling pay differentials in the general election.'

Add new paragraph at end of motion:

'Call a national day of action in support of the 17/18 claim and closing the pay gap between principals/CEOs and main grade lecturers at the beginning of the autumn term. Activities to include: lunchtime protests, stalls and selfies.'

CARRIED

FE2A.5  London Regional FE Sector Committee, Chesterfield College

Add at end of motion:

'Conference notes:

1.   the 50% turnout threshold for industrial ballots.

2.   UCU's GTVO campaign tool kit.

Add Believes:

1.   reaching 50% turnout threshold is achievable with a well organised and dynamic campaign.

Add Resolves:

1.   to organise a national ballot for industrial action if the AoC don't agree to UCU's 2017/18 claim.

2.   To set out a GTVO action plan for every branch by organising regional briefings to ensure turnout reaches at least 50%.

CARRIED

FE2A.6  East Midlands Regional Committee

Add new bullet point:

'6. Motion FE1, covering similar ground to this motion, was passed at last year's sector conference and not implemented in full by the FEC.' 

Add at end of motion:

'Conference demands that all motions passed at this meeting are put into effect by the FEC.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference believes that:

  1. pay is a key issue for members.  A union that can't defend its members' pay will not have a long term future
  2. our employers have implemented the pay freeze with no challenge to government policy. They have been insulated from cuts with record salaries. This cannot continue
  3. the decline of lecturers' and support staff's pay since the crisis is now 20% in real terms
  4. the average principal is paid 3.5 times that of the best paid lecturers. In many cases this rises to 5 times that of a main grade lecturer.  This is an historic differential with staff on casual contracts facing an even starker differential
  5. this situation is further exacerbated by the gap in terms of grades
  6. a campaign rooted in exposing and overcoming the injustice of the pay gap between the employers and between genders will be popular with members
  7. conference notes the Labour Party commitment to campaign on controlling pay differentials in the general election
  8. motion FE1, covering similar ground to this motion, was passed at last year's sector conference and not implemented in full by the FEC.

Conference notes:

The catch up element with the employers in the 2017/18 claim.

Conference resolves to:

Organise a pay campaign that highlights the gross inequality between principal's and staff pay.

Call on negotiators to develop a claim that seeks to close the gap between principals' and lecturers' pay.

Call a national day of action in support of the 17/18 claim and closing the pay gap between principals/CEOs and main grade lecturers at the beginning of the autumn term. Activities to include: lunchtime protests, stalls and selfies.

Conference notes:

  1. the 50% turnout threshold for industrial ballots
  2. UCU's GTVO campaign tool kit.

Believes:

reaching 50% turnout threshold is achievable with a well organised and dynamic campaign.

Resolves:

  1. to organise a national ballot for industrial action if the AoC don't agree to UCU's 2017/18 claim.
  2. to set out a GTVO action plan for every branch by organising regional briefings to ensure turnout reaches at least 50%.

Conference demands that all motions passed at this meeting are put into effect by the FEC.


FE3  Pay is a Professional issue - City of Liverpool College, Arts Branch

Conference notes that:

  1. some colleges are choosing to ignore the recommendation made by the AoC on pay
  2. many have local practices significantly at variance from UCU's 2016-17 pay and conditions claim. 

Conference resolves:

To produce a Pay Strategy that will include:

  1. lobbying for equal pay audits in all FECs to address any gender pay gap
  2. establishing permanent posts for hourly paid, temporary, fixed-term or casual staff working in FECs commensurate with hours worked
  3. pressing FECs to become Living Wage Foundation accredited
  4. greylisting of colleges that do not pay the AOC recommendation
  5. establishing a 'Disinvestors in People' badge for FECs with poor practice on pay and to use social media and local/national press to name and shame them.

CARRIED


FE4  Equality data collection in Further Education - Black Members Standing Committee

Conference notes that there is no data collection agency currently operating within the Further Education sector. In HE the Higher Education Statistics Agency collect and publish detailed information about the UK higher education sector enabling analysis of issues relating to recruitment and progression of black staff.

Conference believes that a similar agency in FE would assist in highlighting and challenging institutional discrimination. Occasionally, institutions offer mentoring and training for black staff to address perceived equality failings. Conference rejects this deficit model of progression with its onus on the victim having some inherent failing and seeks to reassert that lack of progression is due to institutional failings and systemic racism.

Conference resolves to work with key stakeholders in the FE sector to compile and publish recruitment and progression data to include all protected characteristics.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE4A.1  LGBT Members Standing Committee

Insert after second paragraph:

'Conference believes that a robust and supportive collection of data is important across all protected characteristics. Conferences notes that collection of data is often limited to disability, race and sex. Conference calls for collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity to be promoted, routinely undertaken and recommended in all sector work on monitoring as a key part of advancing work in these equality areas.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that there is no data collection agency currently operating within the Further Education sector. In HE the Higher Education Statistics Agency collect and publish detailed information about the UK higher education sector enabling analysis of issues relating to recruitment and progression of black staff.

Conference believes that a similar agency in FE would assist in highlighting and challenging institutional discrimination. Occasionally, institutions offer mentoring and training for black staff to address perceived equality failings. Conference rejects this deficit model of progression with its onus on the victim having some inherent failing and seeks to reassert that lack of progression is due to institutional failings and systemic racism.

Conference believes that a robust and supportive collection of data is important across all protected characteristics. Conferences notes that collection of data is often limited to disability, race and sex. Conference calls for collection of data on sexual orientation and gender identity to be promoted, routinely undertaken and recommended in all sector work on monitoring as a key part of advancing work in these equality areas.

Conference resolves to work with key stakeholders in the FE sector to compile and publish recruitment and progression data to include all protected characteristics.


FE5  Gazelle, Collab and AoC - Activate Learning (City of Oxford College)

  1. Conference welcomes the apparent demise of the Gazelle group of FE Colleges which now has only 6 remaining members out of the total of 23.
  2. Collab has replaced the 157 group of colleges and now has 35 members but no membership fees published.
  3. Chief executive of Collab Ian Pretty has revealed that the Collab group of 35 colleges will now concentrate on joint commercial activity on seven key sectors, and aims to be at the vanguard of developing the Institutes of Technology proposals outlined by the government.
  4. Meanwhile the AoC, which is in financial trouble, is consulting with its members on withdrawing from national pay bargaining.

Conference lacks confidence in these national bodies to promote and defend the interests of the further education sector as a whole and demands that national pay bargaining is maintained.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE5A.1  Further Education Committee

Replace point 4. with:

'4. The AoC is restructuring due to falling income and consulted its members on continuing with national bargaining. It has decided to keep the existing arrangements of a non-binding recommendation on pay.'

Replace last paragraph with:

'Conference demands meaningful and binding national bargaining in further education and lacks confidence in the existing national structures to deliver this. Conference calls on UCU to continue to seek structures that can deliver for members and defend the sector as a whole.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

  1. Conference welcomes the apparent demise of the Gazelle group of FE Colleges which now has only 6 remaining members out of the total of 23.
  2. Collab has replaced the 157 group of colleges and now has 35 members but no membership fees published.
  3. Chief executive of Collab Ian Pretty has revealed that the Collab group of 35 colleges will now concentrate on joint commercial activity on seven key sectors, and aims to be at the vanguard of developing the Institutes of Technology proposals outlined by the government.
  4. The AoC is restructuring due to falling income and consulted its members on continuing with national bargaining. It has decided to keep the existing arrangements of a non-binding recommendation on pay.

Conference demands meaningful and binding national bargaining in further education and lacks confidence in the existing national structures to deliver this. Conference calls on UCU to continue to seek structures that can deliver for members and defend the sector as a whole.


New paragraph, Casualisation and workforce composition


FE6  (EP)  Precarious employment - Further Education Committee

Conference notes that precarious work remains endemic in further, adult and prison education, with more than a third of teaching staff employed on insecure contracts and some colleges experimenting with new forms of insecure work through internal agencies and subsidiary companies.

Conference also notes the work done nationally to pressure more colleges to negotiate with UCU and welcomes those examples where branches have secured better contracts and improved pay for casualised staff.

Conference resolves to:   

  1. continue building national campaigning pressure
  2. provide support for branches to help them organise and campaign on precarious employment
  3. provide bargaining and negotiation support for branches to win better contracts and more security for precariously employed staff in FE and adult education
  4. encourage branches to demand management implement the AoC's 2016/17 agreement.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE6A.1  Anti-Casualisation Committee

Add at end of point 2 before semi-colon:

', with better communication networks for HPL Reps, including the use of social media, in order to combat the isolation that many workers on casual contracts feel.'

CARRIED

Subtantive motion

Conference notes that precarious work remains endemic in further, adult and prison education, with more than a third of teaching staff employed on insecure contracts and some colleges experimenting with new forms of insecure work through internal agencies and subsidiary companies.

Conference also notes the work done nationally to pressure more colleges to negotiate with UCU and welcomes those examples where branches have secured better contracts and improved pay for casualised staff.

Conference resolves to:   

  1. continue building national campaigning pressure
  2. provide support for branches to help them organise and campaign on precarious employment, with better communication networks for HPL Reps, including the use of social media, in order to combat the isolation that many workers on casual contracts feel
  3. provide bargaining and negotiation support for branches to win better contracts and more security for precariously employed staff in FE and adult education
  4. encourage branches to demand management implement the AoC's 2016/17 agreement.

FE7  Improving contracts for FE HPLs in light of AoC negotiations - Anti-Casualisation Committee

Conference notes the AoC response on the issue of casual contracts in recent pay negotiations. The AoC stated, 'It is recommended the colleges continue to regularly review their establishment..., in line with the regulations and any existing agreements, colleges should identify any staff who have been employed on fixed term contracts of four years or more and take any appropriate action needed.'

Considering this, conference calls for all FE branches to identify members who have been employed for 4 years or more on casual contracts and to pursue their cases for fractionalisation.

To support this call, conference requests:

  1. regional officers are instructed to support FE branches to identify members and pursuing fractionalisation
  2. the National Anti-casualisation pledge includes a section about this for FE branches.

CARRIED


FE8  (EP)  Equal Opportunity and Equal Pay for Continuing Professional Development - Anti-Casualisation Committee

Conference notes all staff must:

  1. have equal opportunity to receive training that supports and enhances the remit of their work
  2. be paid an equivalent rate for training time
  3. not be discriminated against, whether they are permanent or casualised, as well as taking into account all protected characteristics
  4. receive appropriate training, which benefits students and colleges.

In CPD, casualised staff do not have equal opportunities.  Training days are often voluntary, and sometimes, HPLs are required to take part and even to lead sessions.

Conference believes that training and CPD should be equally available to casualised staff and - especially when training is mandatory - it must be paid properly.

Conference calls on UCU to campaign for:

  1. casualised staff to have equal opportunity for CPD
  2. existing legislation on payment for training is followed
  3. staff to be paid no less than their normal teaching rate on training days.

CARRIED


New paragraph, Education and equality


FE9  (EP)  Safe space for FE students and staff - LGBT Members Standing Committee

Conference notes the findings in the Pride and Prejudice in Education report:

60% of students in further education reported witnessing bullying based on sexual orientation. One in 10 said they witness it every day.

75% of non-binary FE learners stated that their place of learning was not supportive.

17% of staff reported experiencing bi, homo and/or trans phobic bullying.

Conference calls on UCU to:

  1. continue and extend its work to campaign to create a supportive environment and inclusive curriculum for LGBT+ people
  2. work with other organisations in the FE sector to explore what is being done to support LGBT+ staff and students and follow up recommendations from the Pride and Prejudice report
  3. continue to support LGBT History month including encouragement of regional FE based history month festivals to be organised in February 2018 and celebrate the work of LGBT+ educators.

CARRIED


FE10  (EP)  Gender identity inclusivity within the FE environment - LGBT Members Standing Committee

The FE environment can be one where UCU members support learners who are beginning to express and explore their identity. This can mean some LGBT+ learners come out and some may start transitioning. 

Conference calls on branches to:

  1. read and use the UCU guide to Gender Identity
  2. encourage their institutions to give training to staff to help understand and support their trans students better
  3. look at monitoring forms to make sure, and where appropriate call for, options that enable staff and students to identify as more than just a binary gender when they complete these forms.

Conference also calls on UCU nationally to:

  1. continue to promote the sexual orientation and gender identity training for reps and regions to encourage more reps to enrol on this course
  2. support colleges and departments in celebrating and promoting gender identity diversity at every opportunity possible including in the curriculum.

CARRIED


FE11  Gendered hate crime, ESOL and community activism - Women Members Standing Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the 35% reduction to the Adult Skills budget which funds ESOL since 2009 and the 22% drop in ESOL participation; the disproportionate impact this has for women
  2. the feed of government misinformation on learner refusal to engage in ESOL and harm this does in endangering migrants and masking the desperate state of provision
  3. the rising level of community hate crime following Brexit and the specific vulnerability of women to gendered race hate crime as seen in recent incidents in Milton Keynes and Worcester.

Conference resolves to:

  1. work with Action for ESOL and other relevant groups to amplify ESOL cuts and challenge misinformation
  2. build community campaign work to highlight and fight hate crime
  3. establish resources to support branches in developing work such as the 'We are all immigrants' themed learning weeks to promote solidarity against hate crime on a classroom and campus-wide basis.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE11A.1  Further Education Committee

Add to notes: 

'4. The publication of the Casey Review and the consequent all-party recommendations, some of which seek to blame migrants and especially women for not learning English.'

Add to resolves a.: 'and to publicly challenge the myths within the Casey Review and subsequent all-party reports.'

CARRIED

FE11A.2  Women Members Standing Committee

Under Conference notes add point 4.:

4.   The racist, sexist 'weaponising' of women in UKIP election calls to ban the burka and screen 'at risk' girls for FGM, which promotes surveillance and control of women under the guise of freedom.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. the 35% reduction to the Adult Skills budget which funds ESOL since 2009 and the 22% drop in ESOL participation; the disproportionate impact this has for women
  2. the feed of government misinformation on learner refusal to engage in ESOL and harm this does in endangering migrants and masking the desperate state of provision
  3. the rising level of community hate crime following Brexit and the specific vulnerability of women to gendered race hate crime as seen in recent incidents in Milton Keynes and Worcester
  4. the publication of the Casey Review and the consequent all-party recommendations, some of which seek to blame migrants and especially women for not learning English
  5. the racist, sexist 'weaponising' of women in UKIP election calls to ban the burka and screen 'at risk' girls for FGM, which promotes surveillance and control of women under the guise of freedom.

Conference resolves to:

  1. work with Action for ESOL and other relevant groups to amplify ESOL cuts and challenge misinformation and to publicly challenge the myths within the Casey Review and subsequent all-party reports
  2. build community campaign work to highlight and fight hate crime
  3. establish resources to support branches in developing work such as the 'We are all immigrants' themed learning weeks to promote solidarity against hate crime on a classroom and campus-wide basis.

FE12 (EP)   Women learners and a national education service - Women Members Standing Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the climate of cuts and area reviews in FE which acts to shut down free access to education for all; the specific impact of this on women and other marginalised groups
  2. the barriers created in social participation by lack of educational opportunity and affordable childcare
  3. the culture of corporate values within and around FE which promotes business need at the expense of social and learner needs; the actual and potential role for FE as an agent for democracy, emancipation and empowerment
  4. the national education service proposed by Jeremy Corbyn which recognises the social value of FE beyond business need and commits to universal free childcare and lifelong access to education.

Conference resolves:

  1. to work with students, communities, colleges and all relevant political parties to promote the national education service and campaign for this to be established.

CARRIED


FE13  Creating anti-racist colleges - Black Members Standing Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the failure of the sector to tackle the under representation of black staff in FE.  11% of staff are black as opposed to 22% of 16-18 year olds and 29% of adult learners
  2. that evidence shows that black staff, on average, are better qualified than their white counterparts.

Believes:

  1. that institutional racism is the main barrier to the recruitment and progression of black staff
  2. mentoring and training, whilst useful, falsely implies there is a skills deficit amongst black staff
  3. colleges need to be transformed into anti-racist institutions if they are to reflect the communities that they serve.

Resolves:

  1. to collect data on the racial profile of colleges
  2. to provide guidance for branches to help remove the barriers to appointment and progression of black staff and promote racial equality
  3. to make available and promote reports and resources from the 'we are all  immigrants' themed learning weeks to branches.

CARRIED


FE14  (EP)  Migrants & refugees support, funding increase for ESOL provision - South and City College Birmingham

Conference notes the increase of 'hate crime' directed to migrants and refugees and the growth of racism.

Conference also notes the reduction of ESOL funding despite the increasing number of people in need of ESOL classes.

Conference believes education is a key for community cohesion and integration and is far more effective than any prevent strategy.

We are committed to stand up against racism in solidarity with migrants and refugees and wish to continue to campaign for more funding, increase of bursaries and places for migrants and refugees in colleges and universities.

Conference  reaffirms continuous support for these strategies.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE14A.1  LGBT Members Standing Committee

Insert new second paragraph:

'UCU notes that many existing and potential ESOL learners are LGBT+ people who have fled persecution and a lack of LGBT+ rights and protection in countries of origin.'

Add new final paragraph:

'UCU resolves to work with sector and community organisations to promote LGBT+ visibility within ESOL in sustainable and structured ways and to provide resources to help support LGBT+ ESOL learners within their places of study and in the community.'

CARRIED

FE14A.2  Further Education Committee

Insert after third paragraph: 'Conference condemns the use of unaccompanied child refugees as bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations.

Conference believes the UK can and should take in far more children than the tiny numbers that it has, and that the Dubs amendment should be enacted now.'

Insert before final paragraph: 'Conference resolves to encourage branches to continue to work with organisations such as Care for Calais to build solidarity and support for refugees.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes the increase of 'hate crime' directed to migrants and refugees and the growth of racism.

UCU notes that many existing and potential ESOL learners are LGBT+ people who have fled persecution and a lack of LGBT+ rights and protection in countries of origin.

Conference also notes the reduction of ESOL funding despite the increasing number of people in need of ESOL classes.

Conference believes education is a key for community cohesion and integration and is far more effective than any prevent strategy.

Conference condemns the use of unaccompanied child refugees as bargaining chips in Brexit negotiations.

Conference believes the UK can and should take in far more children than the tiny numbers that it has, and that the Dubs amendment should be enacted now.

We are committed to stand up against racism in solidarity with migrants and refugees and wish to continue to campaign for more funding, increase of bursaries and places for migrants and refugees in colleges and universities.

Conference resolves to encourage branches to continue to work with organisations such as Care for Calais to build solidarity and support for refugees.

Conference  reaffirms continuous support for these strategies.

UCU resolves to work with sector and community organisations to promote LGBT+ visibility within ESOL in sustainable and structured ways and to provide resources to help support LGBT+ ESOL learners within their places of study and in the community.


New paragraph, Recognition and organisation


FE15  An Agency Workers' Branch - Chesterfield College

FESC notes the provision for an agency workers' branch (UCU Rules 12.6.1).

It allows NEC to establish such a branch 'at its own volition or in response to a written request to the general secretary by not less than 20 members working through an agency contract'.

They don't all have to work through the same agency or at the same workplace.

They can be members of both the agency workers' branch and a workplace branch if they wish (one would be their main branch).

An agency workers' branch could send motions and delegates to Congress and raise the issue of agency work.

We call on the NEC, in consultation with the ACC, to:

  1. find ways to contact and recruit more agency workers
  2. invite them to request the establishment of an agency workers' branch.

CARRIED


FE16  Subsidiary organisations - an attack on terms and conditions - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional FE Sector Committee

Conference notes with concern the increasing practice of institutions setting up subsidiary organisations to manage delivery of short-term funded contracts.

Institutions use these to transfer staff from the main institution, often under redundancy threats, and generally on inferior terms and conditions and short- or fixed-term contracts. Many involve staff travelling out of their home areas.

This is an attack on terms and conditions that UCU has fought to achieve, and leaves members in precarious jobs with no guarantee of continued employment.

Conference calls on UCU to take urgent steps to halt these practices, including:

  1. an urgent review of institutions to establish how widespread the practice is
  2. a research project to establish how terms and conditions in subsidiary organisations compare with those in the main institution, to inform a national campaign
  3. putting pressure on employers who raise such proposals to protect jobs, terms and conditions of members.

CARRIED


FE17  Subsidiary Companies in FE - Wales FE Sector Conference

FESC notes that an increasing number of colleges have now or are intending to set up subsidiary companies.

FESC is concerned that a number of these companies have no recognition agreements with UCU and lecturers can be possibly employed by them on inferior terms and conditions.

It's requested that the full extent of this issue is to be investigated and the findings brought to FESC.

CARRIED


FE18  (EP)  Area reviews and disabled workers - Disabled Members Standing Committee

Area reviews are being implemented at a time of sustained and significant budget cuts resulting in the loss of learners and staff. Colleges are looking for further efficiencies which will lead to course and campus closures, job losses and consequently the loss of access to education for disabled students, some of whom would benefit from learning which is not vocationally-focussed. Disabled staff are concerned that not only are their jobs at threat but accessing new workplaces may put them at a disadvantage. Employers are keen to make efficiencies which will include reasonable adjustments and access to work budgets. This Conference calls for:

  1. UCU to demand the publication of equality impact assessments
  2. branches to raise equality impact assessments with their employers and demand information about the impact on disabled workers work and access to work
  3. branches to feed information to national UCU to gain a picture of the impact.

CARRIED


FE19  Recognition/facilities - South East Regional FE Sector Committee

Sector conference agrees that facilities time is crucial because:

  1. it allows branches to represent members on conditions of service which is vital to help them run effectively
  2. it allows branch members to be represented in disciplinary hearings, a right that all employees deserve
  3. it creates a route to the employer, crucial for tackling problems early on and making sure they don't escalate
  4. it allows union representatives to carry out a number of specialist roles in relation to health and safety at work, improving access to learning and skills, and improving equality and diversity in the workplace.

Sector conference therefore calls for UCU to create an updated negotiation pack for branches in the light of all the mergers in FE and other changes being proposed to win good recognition/facilities agreements and for regions/regional officials to share good practices.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE19A.1  Petroc

In point 2, replace the word 'deserve' with 'have'.

In the last paragraph, after 'Sector conference therefore calls for UCU to', start a new line and insert the letter a.

At the end, replace the full stop with a semi-colon and add the following:

'b. ensure there are mechanisms to fully include and support staff on casualised contracts;

c. avoid any discriminatory practice by allowing those representatives who are casualised to make full use of facilities time in order to train for and carry out their union duties;

d. provide tangible, practical help for staff on casualised contracts to obtain the facilities time (or a payment in lieu) to which they must be entitled.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Sector conference agrees that facilities time is crucial because:

  1. it allows branches to represent members on conditions of service which is vital to help them run effectively
  2. it allows branch members to be represented in disciplinary hearings, a right that all employees have
  3. it creates a route to the employer, crucial for tackling problems early on and making sure they don't escalate
  4. it allows union representatives to carry out a number of specialist roles in relation to health and safety at work, improving access to learning and skills, and improving equality and diversity in the workplace.

Sector conference therefore calls for UCU to

  1. create an updated negotiation pack for branches in the light of all the mergers in FE and other changes being proposed to win good recognition/facilities agreements and for regions/regional officials to share good practices
  2. ensure there are mechanisms to fully include and support staff on casualised contracts
  3. avoid any discriminatory practice by allowing those representatives who are casualised to make full use of facilities time in order to train for and carry out their union duties
  4. provide tangible, practical help for staff on casualised contracts to obtain the facilities time (or a payment in lieu) to which they must be entitled.

FE20  Membership/recruitment offers - Eastern and Home Counties Regional FE Sector Committee

Conference recognises the challenge to membership recruitment that all unions including UCU are facing. With that in mind conference orders UCU to put in place the following action:

  1. where there is in existence a competing union to UCU for membership at a college, UCU gives permission for that branch only to match any existing recruitment offers that the other union is offering so that recruitment efforts can take place from an equal footing.

An example for clarity would be; if a competing active branch of another union is offering 50% off membership fees for a limited time to join, then that particular UCU Branch should be given permission to match that offer.

CARRIED


FE21  Strengthening ACE participation in UCU - Hackney ACE

Conference recognises the important work done in the Adult and Community Education sector and notes that those employed to deliver Adult and Community education are often under-represented in UCU. Moreover it notes that ACE needs additional resources and support to counter the continuing lack of participation in the union.

Conference reaffirms its commitment to strengthening ACE participation and to motions passed at previous conferences to improve work with this sector.

Conference instructs officers and NEC to:

  1. prioritise developing a clearer picture of ACE membership and explore ways to enable these members to organise collectively
  2. support regional officers in developing current ACE branches and trying to build new ones where we have members
  3. create an online platform for ACE to organise, whether as part of UCU's website, on Facebook or other software eg. Loomio
  4. make a recruitment video similar to the one made for prison education.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE21A.1  Manchester Adult Education Service

After first sentence insert new paragraph:

'Conference notes that ACE members  are often in the position of being the largest union in an ACE organisation but the smallest within the Local Authority.  This can create negotiation/recognition difficulties which are not fully recognised or supported by UCU.'

Add new point 5:

'5. Give greater recognition of the unique position of some ACE members who continue to work within a Local Authority and provide tailored support for those members negotiating in these circumstances.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference recognises the important work done in the Adult and Community Education sector and notes that those employed to deliver Adult and Community education are often under-represented in UCU.

Conference notes that ACE members  are often in the position of being the largest union in an ACE organisation but the smallest within the Local Authority.  This can create negotiation/recognition difficulties which are not fully recognised or supported by UCU.

Moreover it notes that ACE needs additional resources and support to counter the continuing lack of participation in the union.

Conference reaffirms its commitment to strengthening ACE participation and to motions passed at previous conferences to improve work with this sector.

Conference instructs officers and NEC to:

  1. prioritise developing a clearer picture of ACE membership and explore ways to enable these members to organise collectively
  2. support regional officers in developing current ACE branches and trying to build new ones where we have members
  3. create an online platform for ACE to organise, whether as part of UCU's website, on Facebook or other software eg. Loomio
  4. make a recruitment video similar to the one made for prison education
  5. give greater recognition of the unique position of some ACE members who continue to work within a Local Authority and provide tailored support for those members negotiating in these circumstances.

FE22  ACE and the HOLEX Adult and Community Learning area reviews - Hackney ACE

Conference notes the HOLEX report into Adult and Community Learning. Conference notes two recommendations for future infrastructure in this document - 'Merge all the services to form four/five new services, one for each sub-regional partnership area' or create 'Community Education Hubs. 4/5 of the larger FE colleges or SDIs become the education hub and the LA services are merged into the colleges' structure with a remit to keep local centres of delivery.'

Conference commits to following the future development of these plans with caution and affirms its belief that ACE providers offer an important service which is not available elsewhere.

Conference instructs the NEC and organisers to:

  1. liaise with other unions representing workers that will be affected by these plans, i.e. Unison
  2. ensure that HOLEX and other bodies that are involved liaise with UCU
  3. fight to defend jobs and conditions across the sector if these plans progress.

CARRIED


New paragraph, Governance


FE23  (EP)  Governance and accountability - East Midlands Regional FE Sector Committee

Conference notes:

There have been examples in several FE colleges of principals being involved in businesses outside of their own colleges. This is reminiscent of the corruption we saw in the 1990s.

Conference believes:

  1. this is a clear conflict of interest
  2. governing bodies should be able to identify such conflict but they seem to be unwilling or unable to do so
  3. this is partly as a result of the lack of representation on governing bodies
  4. that governing bodies should hold senior managers to public account for their actions.

Conference instructs the FEC to:

Publicise any corrupt practices and highlight instances where governing bodies have failed to act and to campaign for:

  1. greater staff representation on governing bodies
  2. their composition to be more reflective of the local community
  3. an end the practice of requiring staff governors to withdraw when important decisions are made.

CARRIED


FE24  Transparency and accountability - Hackney Community College

Conference notes that all FE colleges have a duty to be transparent, and employ democratic procedures and due process in their treatment of college matters concerning all stakeholders; unions, staff and the public, and to publish all relevant documents according to the‚Äč ICO's Freedom of Information Act, Definition Document for Colleges of Further Education.

Conference notes that FE colleges are obliged to share any major policy changes, conflicts of interest, financial details and reports with staff, include a democratically elected representative on the board of governors, and regularly update this information on the college website for the public to view.

Conference instructs FEC to:

  1. circulate and promote the ICO Definition Document for Colleges of Further Education
  2. launch a campaign for all colleges to have democratically elected staff governors
  3. fight to ensure all colleges publish financial documents and relevant college reports in the public domain on an up-to-date and regular basis.

CARRIED


FE25  Funding and proposed 'insolvency' legislation - South and City College Birmingham

UCU calls upon the government to revise plans, detailed in the Technical and Further Education Bill, that describe what will happen when a college encounters financial difficulty.

The current proposals will allow colleges to be declared "insolvent", meaning banks will reassess risk for all colleges and increase lending charges or refuse essential loans altogether. After years of underfunding, colleges will feel forced to aim for bigger surpluses, to conserve cash, to control staff costs and cut capital spending.

The priority must be action to protect students, courses and assets for the benefit of local communities, with funding and support for post-16 education at the level required to meet local needs.

CARRIED


Work-life balance and safe, sustainable workplaces, paragraph 13


FE26 Composite: Mobilising support for prison educators and the fight for prison safety - Further Education Committee, West Midlands Regional FE Sector Committee, Yorkshire and Humberside Regional FE Sector Committee, Milton Keynes College Prison Education Branch

Conference notes:

  1. the chaotic privatisation of our prison service and resulting failure to staff and run prisons safely
  2. the systematic dismantling of prison education including reduction of staffing to levels which routinely compromise safety and the short-sighted vandalism of the prison curriculum through privatisation and cuts
  3. the dangers prison educators work with, including pressure to work with large groups and individuals known to be intimidating or violent, failure to listen to staff concerns around safety, and regular failure to risk assess learners
  4. the December riot at HMP Birmingham, and the failure of G4S and the government in managing this or resolving the conditions which created it.

Conference further notes with dismay and frustration:

  1. the lack of progress by the Union following a national survey of members in November 2016
  2. the UCU/Institute for Education 2014 survey which highlighted health and safety as a key concern, yet little changed as a result.

The survey results identified many areas of concern impacting upon our prison members in dangerous working conditions.  Members are exposed to dangerous practices e.g. escorting prisoners alone, physical and verbal assault and are expected to engage in unpaid working time.

Conference calls on the NEC:

  1. to prioritise the launch of a high profile national prison education campaign and accompanying industrial strategy to address these issues with  the employer and for a full prison curriculum that leads to long term safety within prisons
  2. to work with the POA and any other relevant groups to fight for the safety of all prison workers.

It is time to make a significant difference to prison educators who work in difficult circumstances and for less pay than our FE colleagues. Survey results on their own do not change the working lives of our members.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE26A.1  Further Education Committee

In 'Conference calls', point i., delete 'full' and replace with 'broad and balanced'.

CARRIED

FE26A.2  Yorkshire and Humberside Regional FE Sector Committee

Under 'Conference notes:'

Insert new point 2. after point  1. and re-number the other items accordingly

New point 2.:

'2.  The numerous drug-related incidents as evidenced in the recent Panorama programme;'

Under 'Conference calls on the NEC:' add a new point iii. after points i.-ii.

New point iii.:

'iii.  to develop clear H&S guidance specifically tailored for Prison Educators and seek to negotiate its incorporation within the Commissioning Contract.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. the chaotic privatisation of our prison service and resulting failure to staff and run prisons safely
  2. the numerous drug-related incidents as evidenced in the recent Panorama programme
  3. the systematic dismantling of prison education including reduction of staffing to levels which routinely compromise safety and the short-sighted vandalism of the prison curriculum through privatisation and cuts
  4. the dangers prison educators work with, including pressure to work with large groups and individuals known to be intimidating or violent, failure to listen to staff concerns around safety, and regular failure to risk assess learners
  5. the December riot at HMP Birmingham, and the failure of G4S and the government in managing this or resolving the conditions which created it.

Conference further notes with dismay and frustration:

  1. the lack of progress by the Union following a national survey of members in November 2016
  2. the UCU/Institute for Education 2014 survey which highlighted health and safety as a key concern, yet little changed as a result.

The survey results identified many areas of concern impacting upon our prison members in dangerous working conditions.  Members are exposed to dangerous practices e.g. escorting prisoners alone, physical and verbal assault and are expected to engage in unpaid working time.

Conference calls on the NEC:

  1. to prioritise the launch of a high profile national prison education campaign and accompanying industrial strategy to address these issues with  the employer and for a broad and balanced prison curriculum that leads to long term safety within prisons
  2. to work with the POA and any other relevant groups to fight for the safety of all prison workers
  3. to develop clear H&S guidance specifically tailored for prison educators and seek to negotiate its incorporation within the commissioning contract.

It is time to make a significant difference to prison educators who work in difficult circumstances and for less pay than our FE colleagues. Survey results on their own do not change the working lives of our members.


FE27  Composite: Workload and health and well-being - Further Education Committee, Wales Further Education Sector Conference

Amended by insertion of text omitted from composite motion FE27 as submitted by Wales FE Sector Conference

Conference notes that stress and mental health related illnesses often lead to sickness absences from work, often for long periods of time.  This is no doubt impacted by an increase in job insecurity, growing workloads, dealing with students' welfare and in some cases a lack of support from workplaces.

Conference also notes the 2016 UCU workload survey.

Conference welcomes the updated branch bargaining guidance in UCUBAN/FE6 as the basis for practical support to branches campaigning and negotiating on workloads.

Conference believes that UCU needs to develop effective workplace organisation to reduce workload intensification across the devolved nations. Excessive workload is a significant cause of work-related stress for our members and a barrier to quality educational provision.

Conference recognises that the statutory rights and functions for trade union safety representatives are a key element of local and national workload collective bargaining.

Conference resolves to:

  1. to gather information on a breakdown of sickness absences in FE colleges over the last few years
  2. support branches/sites to secure agreements with the employers to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments, to identify and control risks associated with unreasonable working hours and workload intensification
  3. to support local campaigns and negotiations for improved workload agreements
  4. to support an increase in the number of trade union safety representatives throughout the sector.

Sector conference also calls upon UCU to sign the Time to Change organisational pledge and encourage all academic institutions to follow this good example.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE27A.1  South East Regional FE Sector Committee

Insert new third paragraph after second paragraph ending 'workload survey':

'Conference also notes statements made regarding workload. Such statements include "26% of further and higher education staff work in excess of 50 hours a week during term time; 75% describe their job as stressful; and 46% say their work involves unrealistic time pressures".'

Insert new paragraph before final paragraph commencing 'Conference resolves to':

'Conference agrees that it is now time for a concerted effort to reduce workload pressure and calls on UCU to bring a national campaign on workload to a head.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that stress and mental health related illnesses often lead to sickness absences from work, often for long periods of time.  This is no doubt impacted by an increase in job insecurity, growing workloads, dealing with students' welfare and in some cases a lack of support from workplaces.

Conference also notes the 2016 UCU workload survey.

Conference also notes statements made regarding workload. Such statements include '26% of further and higher education staff work in excess of 50 hours a week during term time; 75% describe their job as stressful; and 46% say their work involves unrealistic time pressures'.

Conference welcomes the updated branch bargaining guidance in UCUBAN/FE6 as the basis for practical support to branches campaigning and negotiating on workloads.

Conference believes that UCU needs to develop effective workplace organisation to reduce workload intensification across the devolved nations. Excessive workload is a significant cause of work-related stress for our members and a barrier to quality educational provision.

Conference recognises that the statutory rights and functions for trade union safety representatives are a key element of local and national workload collective bargaining.

Conference agrees that it is now time for a concerted effort to reduce workload pressure and calls on UCU to bring a national campaign on workload to a head.

Conference resolves to:

  1. to gather information on a breakdown of sickness absences in FE colleges over the last few years
  2. support branches/sites to secure agreements with the employers to carry out suitable and sufficient risk assessments, to identify and control risks associated with unreasonable working hours and workload intensification
  3. to support local campaigns and negotiations for improved workload agreements
  4. to support an increase in the number of trade union safety representatives throughout the sector.

Sector conference also calls upon UCU to sign the Time to Change organisational pledge and encourage all academic institutions to follow this good example.


FE28  Sickness policy - Lambeth College

Conference notes:

  1. the increase in workloads across further, Adult and offender educators as a result of cuts and redundancies
  2. the increase in punitive implementation methods of colleges' sickness absence policies
  3. that members are often now placed on a disciplinary process for being off sick
  4. that colleges are insisting an Occupational Health reference is the only acceptable medical evidence for sickness absence.

Conference believes:

A. that staff wellbeing and workload assessments should be central to every stress and sickness policy.

Conference resolves:

  1. to draw up a set of national guidelines for sickness absence policies for use as a negotiation and bargaining tool
  2. to look into: 
    a. the right of members to not disclose their medical records to others and 
    b. the primary authority of a GP sick note

and mount a legal challenge where these rights are being broken.

CARRIED


FE29  Industrial strategy - Croydon College

Sector conference notes the urgency of responding to both the economic and environment crises in the UK. Dealing with one without the other is not an option if we are to comply with our legal and moral obligations. We recognise the devastating cuts to funding in the FE and adult learning sectors. We note successive government failures to integrate sustainable development into education, skills, and industrial policy.

We call upon UCU to campaign for an industrial strategy centred on the just transition to a low carbon economy. To work with the TUC, other unions, and union-focused campaigns to ensure apprenticeships:

  1. are adequately funded and delivered primarily within the FHE sector
  2. provide quality training, decent pay, and lead to real jobs
  3. address the skills needs of a low carbon economy.

UCU must ensure that sustainability issues are mainstreamed into all policy and campaign work.

CARRIED


FE30  Colleges as a community resource - Hull College

Conference celebrates the vital role FE Colleges play in their local community, providing life chances that allow people to achieve their full potential through non-traditional routes.

Conference notes that:

  1. colleges are increasingly diversifying into national and international projects, which often take precedence over their duty to provide services to the local community
  2. UTCs, schools and other training providers are competing with established FE colleges for students
  3. experience and expertise in providing for specific local needs is being lost in this competitive environment.

We therefore call on the union to:

  1. launch a national campaign which highlights the value of colleges as community resources that should be protected from 'marketisation'
  2. put pressure on college principals/CEOs to work with their LEPs in reducing competition in local further education provision
  3. work with the AoC to lobby parliament to end the fragmentation in FE.

CARRIED


New paragraph, Quality, effectiveness and professional standards


FE31  For Genuinely Equal and Developmental Observation Policies - Disabled Members Standing Committee

Conference is concerned about the impact of learning walks on disabled staff, and those living with a physical or mental health condition which is exacerbated by stress.  The livelihood of teachers and learning support staff should not be threatened by a few minutes' observation of a class outside of all context in a disruptive walk-through. Constant fear of experiencing such assessment can have a seriously detrimental impact on the well-being of disabled staff.

Conference calls upon the NEC to: 

  1. prepare advice and information for branches in relation to disability and learning walks and lesson observation
  2. highlight good practice guides to support robust negotiations on observations
  3. support branches which are campaigning against the imposition of learning walks which target individual performance and are not genuinely developmental and/or which take no account of disability. This support is to include positive responses to branches seeking to ballot for action.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE31A.1  Manchester Adult Education Service

After 'disabled staff' at the end of the first paragraph add 'and staff with learning disabilities and difficulties'

In point 1., after 'disablity' add 'and  learning disablity or difficulty'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference is concerned about the impact of learning walks on disabled staff, and those living with a physical or mental health condition which is exacerbated by stress.  The livelihood of teachers and learning support staff should not be threatened by a few minutes' observation of a class outside of all context in a disruptive walk-through. Constant fear of experiencing such assessment can have a seriously detrimental impact on the well-being of disabled staff and staff with learning disabilities and difficulties.

Conference calls upon the NEC to: 

  1. prepare advice and information for branches in relation to disability and learning disablity or difficulty and learning walks and lesson observation
  2. highlight good practice guides to support robust negotiations on observations
  3. support branches which are campaigning against the imposition of learning walks which target individual performance and are not genuinely developmental and/or which take no account of disability. This support is to include positive responses to branches seeking to ballot for action.

FE32  Use of cameras to monitor performance - Sunderland College

Conference opposes the use of classroom-based cameras for quality assurance purposes on the grounds that it:

  1. can be used for capability
  2. poses potential safeguarding issues
  3. lends itself to 'modelling' of the 'perfect lesson'
  4. can be used to view classroom activity remotely
  5. can be used to quantify data without the observed lecturer's knowledge.

The disadvantages of using cameras outweigh the argument that standards could be improved. The practice of remote viewing, and the recording and storing of teaching sessions creates a management-led orthodoxy when it comes to teaching-learning content and methods. Quantifying data, relating to specific techniques used in teaching, could be used to decide competence.

Conference calls on UCU to make it official policy to oppose the introduction of cameras for quality assurance in teaching.

CARRIED


FE33  UCU Members in Prisons are Teachers not Prison Officers - NOVUS Prison Education

Conference notes the UCU report from 2014: Prison Education - Professionalism against the odds found that despite 97.1% of prison educators possessing level 4 or above qualification, there were a number of factors that hindered a fully professional approach to prison education including insufficient:

  1. teaching resources for educators to carry out their job effectively
  2. access to adequate past education records
  3. staff to deliver a continuous quality education.

Conference notes Prison Branches reporting these factors are now significantly more acute. Branches also report that members are increasingly being asked to carry out non-teaching roles- including escorting and searching prisoners.

Conference believes that as well as a breach of OLASS 4 - carrying out these non-teaching duties can change the nature of the learner/teacher relationship.

Conference instructs FE Committee to commission research into teacher/learner relationship in prisons and the potential impact on staff and prisoners of this mission creep.

CARRIED


New paragraph, Curriculum and education policy


FE34  Defending general FE - Further Education Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the government's aim to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020
  2. that the majority of those taking up the government's apprenticeships are over twenty-four
  3. there are 800,000 16-24 year olds not in education, training and work.

Conference believes:

  1. that the government's apprenticeship programme is not working. The vast majority of these 'apprenticeships' are little more than short term training schemes that do not lead to stable employment
  2. that FE must be more than a sector simply providing skills training for employers
  3. that FE plays a unique role in educating those who did not achieve what they were capable of at school through a wide range of subjects.

Conference resolves:

  1. UCU to put forward its own charter for jobs and apprenticeships
  2. any campaign around apprenticeships must be framed in a wider defence of the general FE.

CARRIED


FE35  (EP)  No to compulsion in Further Education - City and Islington College, Camden Road, Further Education Committee

Conference notes: 

  1. that in 2013 law was passed making it illegal for those between the ages of 16-18 not to be in work, education or training
  2. 800,000 16-24 year olds are without work, education and training.

Conference believes:

  1. that young people need to be inspired to learn and not forced
  2. that compulsion leads to young people becoming even more alienated from the liberating influence of education
  3. that compulsion is having a dramatic impact on workload. The increase in systems to monitor and track student attendance is consuming lecturers' time
  4. that these systems are increasingly being used to discipline lecturers who are unable to keep up with these demands.

Conference resolves:

  1. UCU to campaign for the repealing of the 2013 Act making it compulsory for 16- 18 year olds to be in work education and training
  2. to campaign for the reintroduction of EMA.

CARRIED


FE36  Themed based learning - City and Islington College, Camden Road, Further Education Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the successful #weareallimmigrants themed learning week involving six colleges across London
  2. that by 2020 subject based learning in Finland's schools will be replaced with a themed based curriculum.

Conference believes:

  1. that British education has not fundamentally changed since the 19-century based, as it is, on exams and the compartmentalisation of disciplines
  2. that the curriculum must reflect the needs of an era of globalisation. An era that breaks down the barriers between events, peoples, and societies
  3. that the new citizen growing up in this world will need an education that mirrors this development. One that is based on themed learning rather than a narrow skills/training approach.

Conference resolves:

  1. UCU to send a fact-finding team to Finland to gain knowledge and understanding of the themed based learning changes.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

B10 Further Education Committee (reinstated amendment to motion FE36)

Add notes 3:

'3. The government's apparent U-turn on compulsory GCSE English and maths resits in FE.'

Add believes d.:

'd. That a new English and maths qualification structured around project based learning would be a far more inspiring and fulfilling model for students than the current GCSE/FS models.'

Add resolves ii:

'ii. UCU to campaign towards 100% project based English and maths curriculum to replace the exam based models.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. the successful #weareallimmigrants themed learning week involving six colleges across London
  2. that by 2020 subject based learning in Finland's schools will be replaced with a themed based curriculum
  3. the government's apparent U-turn on compulsory GCSE English and maths resits in FE.

Conference believes:

  1. that British education has not fundamentally changed since the 19-century based, as it is, on exams and the compartmentalisation of disciplines
  2. that the curriculum must reflect the needs of an era of globalisation. An era that breaks down the barriers between events, peoples, and societies
  3. that the new citizen growing up in this world will need an education that mirrors this development. One that is based on themed learning rather than a narrow skills/training approach
  4. that a new English and maths qualification structured around project based learning would be a far more inspiring and fulfilling model for students than the current GCSE/FS models.

Conference resolves:

  1. UCU to send a fact-finding team to Finland to gain knowledge and understanding of the themed based learning changes
  2. UCU to campaign towards 100% project based English and maths curriculum to replace the exam based models.

FE37  (EP)  UTCs and Government education - Activate Learning (City of Oxford College)

Conference agrees with Michael Gove (writing in the Times) that University Technical Colleges are an 'experiment that has failed'. Gove stated that twice as many UTCs are inadequate as outstanding according to OFSTED. UTCs have lower GCSE scores, make less progress academically and acquire fewer qualifications than their counterparts in comprehensive schools.

  1. 15 of the UTCs opened between 2010 and 2013 were running at less than 50% capacity and 7 have closed since 2010 because of low student numbers and financial difficulties
  2. the Conservative manifesto in 2015 aimed to put a 'UTC within reach of every city' as part of the marketisation of education
  3. financial resources that could have been used for further education colleges have been wasted with buildings now closed and young people's futures affected.

Conference calls for the re-integration of UTCs into mainstream education and an end to this experiment.

CARRIED


FE38  (EP)  Save our Trade Union Studies Departments - Further Education Committee

Conference notes Trade Union Studies Departments:

  1. have supported, developed and built the confidence of over half a million union representatives in the last ten years
  2. are vital to the movements' ability to equip volunteer reps with the skills and knowledge they need to build our unions and deliver for members.

Conference believes that face to face trade union education that brings people together and where experiences are shared creates a unique and potent environment for developing reps and building unions.

Conference celebrates the amazing work done by our trade union educators and their contribution to the union movement and endorses the work UCU is doing to fight for trade union studies in colleges.

Conference resolves that UCU will continue to:

  1. as a primary resource, use and support trade union studies departments
  2. encourage sister unions to use trade union studies departments
  3. campaign and fight for funding for trade union education.

CARRIED


L8  Redundancies at Activate Learning - Activate Learning Branch

Conference notes the decision of Activate Learning (Reading, Oxford and Banbury FE colleges) to announce on the 23rd May - 71 possible redundancies with 128 in the redundancy pool. This is a further sign of the devastating cuts in further education that have been taking place over many years.

Conference supports the UCU Branches at Activate Learning in opposing compulsory redundancies; if redundancies take place they should be on a voluntary basis.

CARRIED

Last updated: 28 May 2017