Business of the Strategy and Finance Committee

UCU Congress 2018: Thursday 30 May 2018, 11:15-12:00 | 12:00-12:30 | 14:15-15:00 | 16:30-18:00

Motions have been allocated to a section of the NEC's report to Congress (UCU857). 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: private session

2 - Appointment of auditors
3 - Financial statements
4 - Budget
5 - Subscriptions
6 - Review of subscription rates and bands
7 - Rulebook to include procedures for the conduct of non-statutory ballots
8 - UCU structures and decision-making: democracy, transparency and 'plain English'
9 - Union transparency and accountability during disputes
L1 - The role of elected representatives in decision-making
B19 - Democracy review
L8 - The right of members to hold elected officers to account
L9  - Democracy Commission
L10 - Recall conference
10 - No confidence in UCU general secretary Sally Hunt
11 - Censure of UCU general secretary

Section 2 of the NEC's report to Congress: rule changes

12 - Rule change: resignations
13 - Rule change updating terminology: use of LGBT+ and trans
14 - Congress standing orders: speaking times
15 - Congress standing orders: rights of observers
16 - Congress standing orders: motions which re-state existing policy
17 - Congress standing orders: significant spending implications
18 - Congress standing order change: order of business

Section 4 of the NEC's report to Congress: open session

33 - Support the Picturehouse strike
34 - Unfair treatment of international students taking strike action
35 - No to union busting at Coventry University!
36 - International solidarity
37 - Free speech Israel
38 - Gaza Protest and the Israeli Response
39 - Support the Catalan people's democratic right to self-determination
40 - Trump's visit to the UK
41 - Syria
42 - UCU condemns abduction of unionists and students by Pakistani state
43 - Education, UN sustainable development goals and aid
44 - International solidarity with LGBT+ and disability organisations
45 - Eligibility to participate
46 - Enabling retired members to contribute at local, regional and national levels
47 - Addressing under-representation of Black members at Congress
48 - Non-resolutionary business at Congress

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy
Motions 10-48 taken at a one day special congress.

SECTION 1:  to be taken in private session


Finance and property, paragraphs 3.1 - 3.2


2  Appointment of auditors - National Executive Committee

Congress approves the appointment of Knox Cropper as the union's auditors for the year ending 31 August 2018.

CARRIED


3  Financial statements - National Executive Committee

Congress receives the union's audited financial statements for the 12-month period ending 31 August 2017 as set out in UCU/862.

CARRIED


4  Budget - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the budget for September 2018 - August 2019 as set out in UCU/874.

CARRIED


5  Subscriptions - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the subscription rates from September 2018 as set out in UCU/874.

CARRIED


6  Review of subscription rates and bands - National Executive Committee

Congress mandates the treasurer and NEC, to review UCU's subscription band structure and subscription rates using the following principles:

  1. subscription rates should be generally proportional to income, with the exception of rates for retired members, joint members, and members covered by special initiatives such as the current four year free membership scheme
  2. subscription bands should avoid members experiencing large increases in subscriptions due to small changes in income
  3. changes should be made incrementally each year, over five years or less, to avoid significant risk to the union's income resulting from membership loss. The timeframe should be kept under review.

and to:

  1. consult with members and employment special interest group committees
  2. bring subscription rate and band changes to Congress 2019 which implement the next step resulting from the review, and similarly in subsequent years
  3. present a report on the review to Congress 2019.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

6A.1    City, University of London

Add a new 4:

4. The review should include consideration of moving towards rates that are progressive, whereby those on lower incomes pay a lower percentage of total income. It should also consider fair rates and payment methods for members whose income varies.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress mandates the treasurer and NEC, to review UCU's subscription band structure and subscription rates using the following principles:

  1. subscription rates should be generally proportional to income, with the exception of rates for retired members, joint members, and members covered by special initiatives such as the current four year free membership scheme
  2. subscription bands should avoid members experiencing large increases in subscriptions due to small changes in income
  3. changes should be made incrementally each year, over five years or less, to avoid significant risk to the union's income resulting from membership loss. The timeframe should be kept under review
  4. the review should include consideration of moving towards rates that are progressive, whereby those on lower incomes pay a lower percentage of total income. It should also consider fair rates and payment methods for members whose income varies.

and to:

  1. consult with members and employment special interest group committees
  2. bring subscription rate and band changes to Congress 2019 which implement the next step resulting from the review, and similarly in subsequent years
  3. present a report on the review to Congress 2019.

7  Rulebook to include procedures for the conduct of non-statutory ballots - University of Oxford

Amended by the fourth report of the Congress Business Committee

Congress notes the dearth of procedural information available to members re: conducting non-statutory ballots and the need for complete clarity and transparency in the procedures for such ballots.

Congress seeks to:

  1. reduce confusion and improve transparency of ballot procedures
  2. encourage members' faith in the democratic process
  3. support UCU ballot staff.

Congress resolves:

  1. to amend the national rules to include provision for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on the conduct of non-statutory ballots;
  2. that these SOPs will be
  • comparable in detail to those rules in place for elections (i.e. Schedules A,B);
  • made available to members on the national website and upon request;
  • reviewed annually by NEC consulting with branch members.

CARRIED


8  UCU structures and decision-making: democracy, transparency and 'plain English' - University of Leeds

Congress notes:

  1. membership and engagement in UCU increased during recent industrial action in both sectors
  2. UCU's strength lies in functioning as a participatory, lay member-led union
  3. recent disputes highlight:
  1. current union processes make it difficult for members to engage with decision-making when the available information changes quickly
  2. a need for clarity and transparency where union structures must produce decisions in complex disputes (particularly where external parties may affect dispute outcomes or increase uncertainty)

Congress resolves to:

  1. publicise plain English explanations of UCU's decision-making structures including special FE and HE conferences
  2. formalise mechanisms to achieve maximal participatory democratic input from members in circumstances where a special conference is required but 30 days' notice is impossible, e.g. branch delegates meetings where:
  • branches receive clear guidance on matters for consultation
  • delegates vote on key issues or outputs, including when meetings are 'indicative' in rule.

CARRIED


9  Union transparency and accountability during disputes - City, University of London

The USS dispute, branch delegate and HEC meetings and ballot have produced member anger around issues of transparency and accountability within UCU.

Congress resolves that:

  1. the role and purpose of branch delegate meetings during a dispute should be clarified, including voting rights (per branch or weighted by membership and when and how votes can be called)
  2. during a dispute, any five HEC/FEC members may call for a reconvened meeting of HEC/FEC, within two weeks, to progress the dispute
  3. HEC/FEC must agree contextual information accompanying national ballots of members. Ballot text will be circulated to branch officers at least 1 working day in advance of the ballot going live
  4. a means for members/branches to contact HEC/FEC members is publicised
  5. information about upcoming HEC/FEC/NEC meetings and agenda items is publicised
  6. mechanisms for HEC/FEC to consider relevant branch motions is determined.

Taken in parts; part 2 LOST, 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 CARRIED

Substantive motion

The USS dispute, branch delegate and HEC meetings and ballot have produced member anger around issues of transparency and accountability within UCU.

Congress resolves that:

  1. the role and purpose of branch delegate meetings during a dispute should be clarified, including voting rights (per branch or weighted by membership and when and how votes can be called)
  2. HEC/FEC must agree contextual information accompanying national ballots of members. Ballot text will be circulated to branch officers at least 1 working day in advance of the ballot going live
  3. a means for members/branches to contact HEC/FEC members is publicised
  4. information about upcoming HEC/FEC/NEC meetings and agenda items is publicised
  5. mechanisms for HEC/FEC to consider relevant branch motions is determined.

L1  The role of elected representatives in decision-making - City, University of London

Congress notes that:

  1. at the April HEC meeting, elected representatives were asked to vote on long complex sets of recommendations contained in papers from officials of the union
  2. HEC members sought to amend these recommendations before they were voted on but were barred from doing so by the Chair who claimed that amendments to official recommendations were not permitted, despite precedent that they are permitted
  3. this issue was raised at the May NEC meeting, but not resolved.

Congress believes the ability of elected representatives to clarify or revise recommendations before voting to implement these is essential for democratic decision-making.

Congress resolves to clarify standing orders for all representative bodies of the union to confirm that any items for decision - that will affect union policy or action - are always subject to amendment, clarification and specification by elected representatives.

CARRIED


B19  (Late motion) Democracy review - University of Sheffield, University of Bath

As amended by the fourth report of the Congress Business Committee

Congress notes:

  1. concerns from many branches and members about the processes behind the consultative ballot on the USS offer of 23rd March
  2. the lack of  inter-election mechanisms by which to recall or hold elected union representatives  to account.

Congress resolves:

  1. to undertake a review before Congress 2019 of UCU's democratic structures via a democracy commission
  2. that the commission should be elected by and from branches, regional committees, devolved nations and advisory committees of the union
  3. to empower the commission to recommend changes to UCU's democratic structures at  a one day special Congress, for discussion and voting on by branch delegates.

CARRIED


L8  The right of members to hold elected officers to account

Congress notes:

  1. Unite staff walkouts that shut down Congress in both sessions on first day of Congress
  2. that issues with other motions have been resolved and this dispute now relates solely to motions 10 and 11, on the role and behaviour of the GS in representing members
  3. that the GS is the most senior elected representative of UCU members
  4. that NEC and Congress are made up of UCU members
  5. that neither NEC members nor Congress exercise day-to-day aspects of the employer role in the relationship with the GS
  6. that the GS and executive team sit on the 'employer' side of the UCU JNC meetings.

Congress believes:

  1. all elected officers of UCU can be subjected to criticism by members in relation to their representation of members
  2. this disruption undermines UCU democratic structures and reputation
  3. we cannot allow motions voicing dissent with the GS not to be debated.

CARRIED


L9  Democracy Commission

Congress notes Congress 2018 has resolved to set up a Democracy Commission to review our democratic structures.

Congress resolves:

  1. that candidates for election to the commission must be nominated by their respective branches, regions or advisory committees
  2. that the commission must be elected and have held their first meeting by 31 October 2018
  3. that the commission will consist of 20 members, 10 from HE (5 from pre-1992 and 5 from post-1992 branches) and 10 from FE with a chair elected by and from the commission
  4. regional committees, devolved nations, branches and advisory committees must be strongly encouraged to organise specific meetings to discuss the issues that are to be discussed by the commission
  5. the Commission shall draw up recommendations to put to a one-day special Congress to discuss how our democratic structures should function and what they should look like.

taken in parts, part 3 LOST; remaining motion CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes Congress 2018 has resolved to set up a Democracy Commission to review our democratic structures.

Congress resolves:

  1. that candidates for election to the commission must be nominated by their respective branches, regions or advisory committees
  2. that the commission must be elected and have held their first meeting by 31 October 2018
  3. regional committees, devolved nations, branches and advisory committees must be strongly encouraged to organise specific meetings to discuss the issues that are to be discussed by the commission
  4. the Commission shall draw up recommendations to put to a one-day special Congress to discuss how our democratic structures should function and what they should look like.

L10  Recall conference

Due to the disruption of our Congress which was unforeseen, we resolve to hold a one day Congress to discuss any outstanding business of this Congress (not to discuss new business), preferably in London and within one month of this Congress being adjourned.

Taken in parts; last clause LOST; remaining motion CARRIED

Substantive motion

Due to the disruption of our Congress which was unforeseen, we resolve to hold a one day Congress to discuss any outstanding business of this Congress (not to discuss new business).


10  No confidence in UCU general secretary Sally Hunt - Exeter University

Congress notes that:

  1. the conduct of the USS dispute raises serious issues of accountability and process on the part of the national leadership
  2. the General Secretary claims a majority of branches supported taking the unamended proposal to a membership ballot despite refusing to allow a vote on such a measure
  3. UUK statements were presented as victories and recommended to members
  4. repeated requests for documentary evidence of a tally of branches have been refused.

Congress believes that:

  1. this is representative of a democratic deficit in the union affecting members across sectors, manifested through a continuous pattern of unilateral, undemocratic action by the national leadership
  2. our leadership should pressurise employers to accept the will of members, not the other way around.

Congress resolves to call for the resignation of Sally Hunt as General Secretary with immediate effect.

WITHDRAWN


11  Censure of UCU general secretary - King's College London

Congress notes:

  1. the decision by the Higher Education Committee chair not to give branch representatives a vote on the UUK proposal at the 28 March USS meeting held at Carlow Street
  2. the subsequent claim made by the general secretary (GS) that the majority of branch representatives wanted an immediate ballot of members
  3. the failure of the GS to provide any verifiable evidence to support this claim.

Congress believes:

  1. a member-led union requires clarity, transparency and accountability of its decision-making processes
  2. the GS failed to meet these requirements in reporting the 28 March meeting.

Congress resolves:

  1. to censure the GS for relaying branch positions at the 28 March meeting whose accuracy, in the absence of a vote, or provision of a detailed written list of positions, could not be verified
  2. to ensure that in future branch representatives' positions are recorded in a clear and verifiable manner.

AMENDED to delete 'by the Higher Education Committee chair' in point 1.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. the decision not to give branch representatives a vote on the UUK proposal at the 28 March USS meeting held at Carlow Street
  2. the subsequent claim made by the general secretary (GS) that the majority of branch representatives wanted an immediate ballot of members
  3. the failure of the GS to provide any verifiable evidence to support this claim.

Congress believes:

  1. a member-led union requires clarity, transparency and accountability of its decision-making processes
  2. the GS failed to meet these requirements in reporting the 28 March meeting.

Congress resolves:

  1. to censure the GS for relaying branch positions at the 28 March meeting whose accuracy, in the absence of a vote, or provision of a detailed written list of positions, could not be verified
  2. to ensure that in future branch representatives' positions are recorded in a clear and verifiable manner.

SECTION 2:  to be taken in private session


12  Rule change: resignations - National Executive Committee

Rule 10.1, second sentence, delete 'after the month'

The amended rule will read:

10 Resignations

10.1 A member may resign membership of the union by submitting notice of intention to resign. The resignation shall take effect at the end of the calendar month in which the notice was received by the union.

Purpose: to allow resignations to take effect with the least practical delay.

CARRIED


13  Rule change - updating terminology: use of LGBT+ and trans - National Executive Committee

Rule 18.11.2, first sentence, delete 'transgender'; replace with 'trans'. Immediately following, add '(LGBT+)'. Final sentence, delete 'lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender', replace with 'LGBT+'.

Rule 19.6, second clause, 'lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender'; replace with 'LGBT+'.

Rule 20.5, clause viii, delete 'transgender (LGBT)'; replace with 'trans (LGBT+)'

Rule 23.1, in clause iii, delete 'LGBT' and 'LGBTMSC'; replace with 'LGBT+' and 'LGBT+MSC'

Add new rule 38.2, Interpretation of rules

38.2 In these rules, 'LGBT+' means lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, or any other non-heterosexual or non-binary identity.

Purpose: to update UCU's terminology throughout the rulebook to use the inclusive term 'LGBT+', and to replace 'transgender' with 'trans'.

CARRIED


14  Congress standing orders: speaking times - National Executive Committee and South West Regional Committee

Congress standing order 19, delete 'five', replace with 'four'; delete 'three', replace with 'two'.

Purpose: to reduce the speaking time for movers of motions from five to four minutes, and for other speakers from three to two minutes.

LOST


15  Congress standing orders: rights of observers - National Executive Committee

After standing order 21, add new standing order (re-number as necessary):

Only delegates to Conference may speak in debate, including moving, seconding and speaking to motions, and moving and responding to procedural motions. Observers shall have no right to speak in debate.

Purpose: to be clear in standing orders that observers do not have the right to speak in Congress or sector conference debate.

LOST


16  Congress standing orders: motions which re-state existing policy - National Executive Committee

After standing order 26, add new standing order (re-number as necessary):

Motions which re-state existing policy, and which do not create any new policy, will normally be moved formally and taken without debate.

Purpose: To put into standing orders that there will not normally be any speakers to motions which only re-state existing policy.

LOST


17  Congress standing orders: significant spending implications - National Executive Committee

After standing order 32, insert new standing order (re-number as necessary):

When a motion is passed by Congress or a sector conference which on the advice of the honorary treasurer has significant implications for union-wide spending as agreed in the union's budget, the aspects of that motion requiring significant expenditure will be remitted back to the NEC (or sector committee, as appropriate) for further consideration.

Purpose: to be clear in standing orders how motions with significant financial implications will be dealt with.

NOT TAKEN


18  Congress standing order change: order of business - South West Regional Committee

Standing Order 65: in section C, move points 2, 3, and 4 to follow point 5, and renumber accordingly.

Purpose: In the normal order of business indicated in the Congress standing orders, to move the financial business of Congress, and rules change business, from before any other motions and amendments which fall under the private business of Congress, to after this business.

NOT TAKEN


SECTION 4:  to be taken in open session


New paragraph, Union solidarity, after paragraph 4.4


33  Support the Picturehouse strike - Hackney ACE

Congress notes that:

  1. BECTU members at six Picture House cinemas are in dispute for the London Living Wage and fair terms and conditions
  2. in 2014 Ritzy workers struck for 13 days, succeeding in raising their wage to £9.10ph (26% rise)
  3. Picturehouse is owned by Cineworld, which made £83.8 million profit in 2015
  4. the strikers are seeking to extend the dispute to other Picturehouse cinemas and have called a boycott of both Picturehouse and Cineworld cinemas as part of the campaign
  5. Picturehouse strikers have spoken at UCU anti-casualisation meetings and their struggle against precarious contracts is an inspiration for those fighting casual contracts in all workforces.

Congress resolves to:

  1. send a message of solidarity to striking BECTU Picturehouse members
  2. send a £250 donation to the strike fund
  3. mobilise support throughout UCU by advertising future picket lines and protests
  4. advertise the boycott of Cineworld among members and promote it publicly.

CARRIED


34  Unfair treatment of international students taking strike action - University of Leeds

Congress notes:

  1. recent strikes have brought to the fore the differential treatment for staff requiring visas to work
  2. the right to strike is protected under article 28 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
  3. that reporting unauthorised absences before they reach 10 consecutive days is discretionary.

Congress believes:

  1. that none should fear reprisals for engaging in lawful industrial action
  2. that UCU has a duty to protect the right to strike for all members.

Congress resolves:

  1. to establish a new position for international staff representatives
  2. to demand that universities and colleges protect international staff from any implications arising from participation in strike action
  3. to lobby political parties for changes in Home office regulations and demand the recognition of an 'equal right to strike' for any worker on visas
  4. to bring the issues to the European Court of Justice if necessary.

CARRIED


35  No to union busting at Coventry University! - West Midlands Regional Committee

Congress notes:

  1. the shameful history of Coventry University (CU) Group in blocking union representation for members across their subsidiary companies.
  2. the good faith lost by CU Group in breaching agreements to allow union representation for these members.
  3. the sham union organised by CU Group in their most recent attempt to block the democratic rights of our members.
  4. the successful demonstrations organised by Coventry University UCU to fight this.
  5. that the actions of CU Group are an attack on our union as a whole.

Congress resolves:

  1. to give full national support to Coventry University UCU in all future resistance including demonstrations and any other actions.
  2. to urge members to lobby MPs to support EDM 1178 backing union recognition across CU Group.
  3. that this issue must be championed by our union leadership.

CARRIED


European and international work, paragraphs 5.1 - 5.7


36  (EP) International solidarity - National Executive Committee

Congress recognises the importance of an international dimension to UCU's work and the value of working alongside EI, TUC, Amnesty and other affiliated solidarity organisations.

Congress welcomes union initiatives to:

  1. defend academic freedom and educators at risk in countries such as Turkey
  2. defend freedom of association and the rights of education workers in countries such as Iran
  3. support rights to education, notably for women and refugees, and the importance of the equality dimension in international work (e.g. LGBT+ rights in Chechnya)
  4. support a global response to the privatisation and marketisation of public education, including the threats posed by global education providers such as Bridge International Academies
  5. encourage the sharing of international experience and mutual solidarity between trade unions (e.g. Zimbabwe, Palestine and Colombia).

Congress calls on UCU to build on current work in these areas and to continue to engage regions, branches and members in our key international campaigns.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

36A.1   London Regional Committee

Add at end:

Congress resolves to publicise and urge branches to organise regular solidarity events and collections in support of refugees, and to join in with building solidarity delegations to bring support to refugees, working with groups including Care4Calais and Stand Up to Racism. And to work with refugee organisations supporting refugees and asylum-seekers who are being excluded from education.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress recognises the importance of an international dimension to UCU's work and the value of working alongside EI, TUC, Amnesty and other affiliated solidarity organisations.

Congress welcomes union initiatives to:

  1. defend academic freedom and educators at risk in countries such as Turkey
  2. defend freedom of association and the rights of education workers in countries such as Iran
  3. support rights to education, notably for women and refugees, and the importance of the equality dimension in international work (e.g. LGBT+ rights in Chechnya)
  4. support a global response to the privatisation and marketisation of public education, including the threats posed by global education providers such as Bridge International Academies
  5. encourage the sharing of international experience and mutual solidarity between trade unions (e.g. Zimbabwe, Palestine and Colombia).

Congress calls on UCU to build on current work in these areas and to continue to engage regions, branches and members in our key international campaigns.

Congress resolves to publicise and urge branches to organise regular solidarity events and collections in support of refugees, and to join in with building solidarity delegations to bring support to refugees, working with groups including Care4Calais and Stand Up to Racism. And to work with refugee organisations supporting refugees and asylum-seekers who are being excluded from education.


37  (EP) Free speech Israel - University of Brighton (Grand Parade)

Congress notes the:

  1. continuing attempts to conflate antisemitism and anti-Zionism
  2. government's attempted use of the discredited IHRA definition of antisemitism to deter campus criticism of Israel
  3. bans on activities in Israeli apartheid week
  4. use of security costs to prevent meetings
  5. imposition of so-called 'neutral' chairs on Middle East meetings, offending the integrity and professional competence of academic staff
  6. successful defiance of censorship at some universities, and successful challenge to the imposition of chairs at LSE.

Congress believes this campaign:

  1. is a form of censorship, and infringes academic freedom, and freedom of speech
  2. violates universities' legal obligations (Education Reform Act 1988, Education Act (no.2) 1986, and Equality Act 2010).

Congress resolves to:

  1. urge branches to host meetings and debates on Palestine which might otherwise be subject to censorship
  2. inform members about UCU policy on Israeli discrimination and illegal occupation, and on opposition to all forms of racism, including antisemitism.

CARRIED


38  Gaza Protest and the Israeli Response - National Executive Committee

Congress registers

  1. the continuing weekly murder through March and April of Gaza civilians by IDF snipers (c.40 deaths and c.3,000 injuries by beginning of May)
  2. reported use of dum-dum bullets to maximise trauma
  3. renewed Israeli bombing, damaging infrastructure and killing more civilians.

Congress believes:

  1. Israeli policy seems designed to render life unliveable for Palestinians, enabling further colonisation by Israeli settlers
  2. the use of military might, forced expulsion, systematic constitutional discrimination inside Israel, fully attested use of torture against prisoners, abrogation of Palestinian human rights, and illegal settlement of Palestinian land, are central moral and political issues of today.

Congress instructs the General Secretary to:

  1. write urging the British Government to reconsider arms trading and military/intelligence cooperation with Israel
  2. write to the Israeli Ambassador to protest at these murders
  3. issue a press release.

CARRIED


39  Support the Catalan people's democratic right to self-determination - University of Glasgow

Congress notes:

  1. the 92 percent 'yes' vote for Catalan independence in October 2017 on a 43 percent turnout, and the Catalan parliamentary elections in December 2017 returned a majority for pro-independence parties
  2. calls from Catalonian trade unionists - eg education workers and firefighters-for solidarity from the international trade union movement
  3. the imprisonment of members of the Catalan government and leaders of civic society under charges of rebellion and sedition.

Congress believes:

  1. the Catalan people have a right to self-determination
  2. the Spanish state has the right to disagree with independence, but the Catalan people must be able to determine their future.

Congress resolves to:

  1. message the Intersindical Alternativa De Catalunya expressing solidarity with the Catalan people's right to self-determination
  2. call for the release and acquittal of all political prisoners
  3. support actions and initiatives defending democracy and condemning the Spanish state's crackdown in Catalonia.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

39A.1   - National Executive Committee

In Congress notes, add:

4. the arrest under a European warrant of former Catalan Education minister Professor Clara Ponsati, currently working at St Andrews University.

In Congress resolves, add:

iv. contact the Scottish government urging non-compliance with any order to extradite her to Spain, as her arrest is politically motivated

v. encourage members to participate in broad-based campaigns for her release

vi. develop links and provide solidarity to Catalan education TUs.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. the 92 percent 'yes' vote for Catalan independence in October 2017 on a 43 percent turnout, and the Catalan parliamentary elections in December 2017 returned a majority for pro-independence parties
  2. calls from Catalonian trade unionists - eg education workers and firefighters-for solidarity from the international trade union movement
  3. the imprisonment of members of the Catalan government and leaders of civic society under charges of rebellion and sedition
  4. the arrest under a European warrant of former Catalan Education minister Professor Clara Ponsati, currently working at St Andrews University.

Congress believes:

  1. the Catalan people have a right to self-determination
  2. the Spanish state has the right to disagree with independence, but the Catalan people must be able to determine their future.

Congress resolves to:

  1. message the Intersindical Alternativa De Catalunya expressing solidarity with the Catalan people's right to self-determination
  2. call for the release and acquittal of all political prisoners
  3. support actions and initiatives defending democracy and condemning the Spanish state's crackdown in Catalonia
  4. contact the Scottish government urging non-compliance with any order to extradite her to Spain, as her arrest is politically motivated
  5. encourage members to participate in broad-based campaigns for her release
  6. develop links and provide solidarity to Catalan education TUs.

40  (EP) Trump's visit to the UK - University of Brighton (Falmer)

Congress notes that Trump has implemented cuts to women's reproductive rights organisations, undermined LGBT+ rights, introduced travel restrictions on people travelling from some Muslim majority countries, tweeted videos from a British fascist organisation and refused to condemn fascists and white supremacists after the murder of Heather Heyer at Charlottesville. In February Trump suggested arming teachers in response to the deaths of seventeen staff and students in the Parklands mass school shooting.

Congress believes Donald Trump is not a fit person for an official or state visit to Britain.

Congress resolves to encourage members to support opposition and protests to any proposed visit by him.


41  Syria - London Regional Committee

The assault on Syria by the US, Britain and France does nothing to deal with the horrors of the ongoing civil war. Western powers, Russia, Israel and Iran are fighting a proxy, and sometimes direct war on Syrian soil.

There is a massive risk that the brinkmanship being played out by these powers will spill over into a wider, even more destructive war.

Western and Russian direct or proxy intervention has been a disaster throughout the region from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the conflicts in Yemen.

Congress opposes all military intervention in the region. Whatever the horrendous nature of the Assad regime the situation for the people of Syria will not be improved by military intervention. UCU will continue to work with Stop the War, CND and other peace organisations to oppose the escalation of the conflict.


42  UCU condemns abduction of unionists and students by Pakistani state - King's College London

UCU Congress notes:

  1. seven students and trade unionists were abducted on Sunday 22 April 2018 by the Pakistani army. They had recently attended a solidarity event in Karachi to show their support for oppressed Pashtuns
  2. the individuals are Attaullah Afridi; Umer Riaz; Zain ul Abideen; Karim Parhar; Aftab Ashraf; Muhammad Gulbaz and Bilawal Baloch.

UCU Congress believes:

  1. the people of Pakistan, and the Pashtun people, have the right to hold rallies and express their grievances in a peaceful manner
  2. illegal abduction of students by the state authorities should be stopped immediately.

UCU Congress demands:

  1. Prime Minister Shahid K. Abbasi and Minister of Interior Ahsan Iqbal immediately release the abductees from custody
  2. the Pakistani government stop brutalising workers and trade unionists.

UCU Congress resolves to offer complete solidarity with the struggling workers and trade unionists in Pakistan.


43  Education, UN sustainable development goals and aid - Activate Learning City of Oxford College

Congress is reminded of the UN sustainable development goal from 2015 for education which is to 'ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning for all'. This goal is far from being fulfilled when, at the end of 2017, 263 million children world-wide - including some 66 million primary school children -were not in education.

In this context, Congress condemns the attack launched by the right wing press on the state aid budget and the attempt by politicians to discredit aid agencies such as Oxfam when they produce reports documenting the extent of world poverty and inequality (Rob Wilson former Charities Minister described Oxfam as 'a front for extreme left wing Corbynistas', Guardian 12/2/17).


44  International solidarity with LGBT+ and disability organisations - UCU Scotland

Congress deplores

  1. the lack of human rights of LGBT+ people and continued persecution and criminalisation for sexual orientation and/or gender identity in many countries e.g. Chechnya
  2. the continued exclusion, including from education and employment, lack of human and technological support, othering and marginalisation of disabled people in many countries worldwide.

Congress recognises the importance of international solidarity and the valuable lessons we can learn from it.

Congress encourages solidarity with LGBT+ and disability organisations worldwide and asks UCU to:

  1. use the website to highlight abuses, campaigns for change and solidarity actions, including letters, signing petitions, demonstrations, political pressure and fund raising
  2. encourage members to submit information for the website
  3. circulate to members and branches at least one call for solidarity action with LGBT+ and/or disabled people internationally regularly
  4. develop links with LGBT+ and disabled trade unionists and LGBT+ and disability organisations internationally.

44A.1   Petroc

From the title, delete 'LGBT+ and disability', then add to the end, 'representing people with protected characteristics'.

To 'Congress deplores', add a further two points:

3. how women in many countries do not have access to education and are not allowed freedom to control their own lives

4. the persecution, victimisation and expulsion of people of many races and religions worldwide.

In paragraph beginning, 'Congress encourages solidarity with', delete 'LGBT+ and disability', then after organisations, add 'representing LGBT+, disability, women, races and religions'

Delete part d, then add a new d and e:

d. develop links with the equality committees of trade unions internationally;

e. develop links with other organisations representing people with protected characteristics internationally.


New paragraph, Union participation, after paragraph 6.3


45  Eligibility to participate - West Midlands Retired Members

Congress recognises that inequality is a lifelong scourge, affecting people from the cradle to the grave, appearing in many forms and affirms that fighting against inequality calls for inclusion of all members of UCU.

Congress therefore calls for the incoming NEC 2018 to amend the standing orders for the equality standing committees by deleting sentence 2 of paragraph 1.4 'At the time of nomination, candidates must be in qualifying employment under rule 3.1.1 or have been in qualifying employment within the preceding 12 months.'

This requirement arbitrarily excludes participation on these standing committees by most retired members of UCU, including members for whom issues of equality discrimination may well be a life-long concern both in employment and in retirement. It equally disenfranchises members made redundant who face a significant time finding another job.

45A.1   West Midlands Regional Committee

After first sentence in paragraph 1, insert the following before paragraph 2:

It is of concern that despite the rules of UCU allowing for the participation of retired members on the Equality Standing Committees, a barrier to this has been implemented by our NEC by changing one sentence in the Standing Orders that apply to these advisory Committees. The supreme policy making body, Congress, has been bypassed by the actions of the NEC without clear reasons why advisory bodies of this type exclude retired members.


46  (EP) Enabling retired members to contribute at local, regional and national levels - Southern Regional Committee

Congress recognises the importance of encouraging all UCU members to continue in membership on retirement, their rights to participate in the work of the union and the valuable contribution that they make to UCU (motion 56: Congress 2016). UCU also recognises and values the experience and expertise of its retired members and is committed to ensuring that their input is available throughout the union. To that end:

  1. the NEC should implement mechanisms to ensure that retired members are able to contribute at local, regional and national levels, and
  2. that regionally based retired members branches will continue to receive full support from regional and national officials.

47  Addressing under-representation of Black members at Congress - Black Members' Standing Committee

Congress notes the under-representation of Black staff from both the further and higher education sectors. Congress also notes the positive work being undertaken to increase engagement and develop Black activists and the increase in numbers attending the annual Black members conference.

Congress believes it is vital to ensure participation of Black members at all levels of the union and is keen to address the issue in a systematic way.

Congress resolves to:

  1. task the NEC with establishing a sub-group to develop proposals for the NEC to agree and return to Congress 2019. The aim of the proposals being to increase the numbers of Black members at subsequent national meetings including but not exclusively Congress
  2. allow regions and branches to send Black members who are not part of their delegation as observers to Congress 2019 as a means of mentoring future activists.

47A.1  National Executive Committee

Amendment: Point 2, delete 'allow', replace with 'encourage'; delete 'who are not part of their delegation as', replace with 'as delegates or observers' (Point 2 to read: 'encourage regions and branches to send Black members as delegates or observers to Congress 2019...')


48  Non-resolutionary business at Congress - National Executive Committee

Congress notes the practice of some unions of including non-resolutionary business in their annual delegate conference.

Non-resolutionary business is time put aside for sharing experiences and information, or having general discussion, without motions attached, on a specified topic of particular relevance to members. It may start with a short presentation, but includes the opportunity for speakers from the floor.

Congress believes that such sessions could be productive and positive, helping to re-energise delegates as active members of a campaigning, fighting union, sharing experiences and allowing for reflection on how our achievements and successes can be further spread.

Congress asks the NEC to ensure that a non-resolutionary session is scheduled within the timetable for Congress 2019, and for each sector conference, and to review delegate feedback on these sessions, with a view to making them a regular part of Congress.


Last updated: 18 October 2018