Higher Education Sector Conference 2018

UCU Congress 2018: Thursday 31 May 2018, 09:00:-18:30

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.

Motions HE1 - HE13 to be taken in private session

HE1 - HE pay
HE2 - HE pay campaign and industrial action
HE3 - Campaign to restore pay levels
HE4 - Fair rates for external examiners
HE5 - USS
HE6 - Demand to UCU negotiators: restore USS status quo and re-evaluation
HE7 - No deficit, no capitulation and democratic reform inside UCU
HE8 - Ending further attacks on USS
HE9 - Demand government protection for USS
HE10 - Removing the chair of the USS JNC
HE11 - Electoral reform and removal of the USS board of trustees
HE12 - Ensuring our union has access to relevant pension expertise
HE13 - Composite: USS dispute: national dispute committee
B24 - USS dispute

Motions HE14 - HE47 to be taken in open session

HE14 - Campaigning on vice chancellors (VC) and senior managements (SMT) pay
HE15 - Gender and equal pay
HE16 - Precarious contracts
HE17 - Holiday pay in higher education
HE18 - Paid time on for casualised staff in HE
HE19 - Fixed term contracts
HE20 - HEC workload campaign
HE21 - Evidence gathering: investigating the effect of hubs and 'service' centralisation
HE22 - Rescind HE7 barring two-hour strikes as an option
HE23 - National support for local industrial action
HE24 - Redundancies at London South Bank University
L3 - Threats to jobs and university access in London
HE25 - Lecture capture and strike action
HE26 - REF 2020/21 and defence of contracts
HE27 - Defending the role of research in post-92 institutions
HE28 - Foundation courses
HE29 - Scrap the Office for Students (OfS)
HE30 - Office for Students and the lack of student and staff representation
HE31 - The university is ours
HE32 - Harmful management practices
HE33 - HE staff satisfaction league table
HE34 - Compulsory lecture capture and management abuse of lecture capture technology
HE35 - Governance
HE36 - Equal access to higher education for asylum seekers
HE37 - Institutional racism in our universities
HE38 - Recruitment, retention and promotion of black staff in HE
HE39 - Curricula and working practices in relation to Afro-/Afri-phobia
HE40 - Eugenics and the London Conference on Intelligence Black members standing committee
HE41 - Neurodiversity and higher education
HE42 - LGBT+ promotions and funding equalities data
HE43 - LGBT+ inclusive sex and relationship education
HE44 - Universal credit and its impact on women in higher education
HE45 - Challenging cultures of exclusion and advancing the equality agenda

Motions HE46 - HE47 to be taken in private session

HE46 - HESC to monitor Joint Expert Panel progress
HE47 - Transparency and confidentiality of Joint Expert Panel (JEP)

Motion B26 to be taken in open session

B26 - Defence of the post-92 contract


Motions HE1 - HE13 to be taken in private session


HE pay 2017-18, paragraphs 2.1-2.6 (private session)


HE1  HE pay - Higher Education Committee

HE sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the national negotiators contained in UCUBANHE/32.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE1A.1  London regional HE committee

Add at end:

Conference further notes that the Retail Price Index (RPI, all-items) has returned to 2012 levels of 3.3-3.6% per annum. The recent UCEA pay offer of 1.7% could amount to a 2% cut in salary and benefits for all staff.

Conference resolves to ballot members for industrial action, to work jointly with the other trade unions and to call a Higher Education Sector Conference in the autumn on HE pay.

CARRIED

HE1A.2  City, University of London

Add at end: ', with the deletion of recommendation 6, and adding:

  1. at end of recommendation 1: 'Ballot material will consistently state 'pay and equality', not 'pay' claim.'
  2. at end of recommendation 5, 'UCU will indicate its priorities are:
    a. increased pay for the lower paid (e.g. lump sums or sliding-scale percentages)
    b. the equality and workload elements.
  3. at end of recommendation 9, 'UCU will develop concrete national gender, casualisation and workload demands to further the dispute.'

taken in parts; all CARRIED

Substantive motion

HE sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the national negotiators contained in UCUBANHE/32, with the deletion of recommendation 6, and adding:

  1. at end of recommendation 1: 'Ballot material will consistently state 'pay and equality', not 'pay' claim.'
  2. at end of recommendation 5, 'UCU will indicate its priorities are:
    a. increased pay for the lower paid (e.g. lump sums or sliding-scale percentages)
    b. the equality and workload elements.
  3. at end of recommendation 9, 'UCU will develop concrete national gender, casualisation and workload demands to further the dispute.'

Conference further notes that the Retail Price Index (RPI, all-items) has returned to 2012 levels of 3.3-3.6% per annum. The recent UCEA pay offer of 1.7% could amount to a 2% cut in salary and benefits for all staff.

Conference resolves to ballot members for industrial action, to work jointly with the other trade unions and to call a Higher Education Sector Conference in the autumn on HE pay.


HE2  HE pay campaign and industrial action - University of Brighton (Grand Parade)

Conference notes:

  1. the 27.5 RPI rise since 2009, against the 9% total salary increase
  2. that members' acceptance of a sub-inflation offer in 2017 followed years of ineffective pay campaigns without a commitment to serious industrial action
  3. the popularity of the USS campaign's escalation strategy, and members' refusal to squander that industrial strength, or to tolerate a damaging compromise.

Conference reaffirms its 2016 policy of escalating industrial pay action, and the recuperation aim for lost real income and instructs HEC to:

  1. prepare a claim, with other unions if possible, to restore 2009 real pay values within five years
  2. build a pay campaign around the use of escalating strike action
  3. develop a strategy for the reduction of salary differentials in HE, including excessive executive pay
  4. resolves to seek a retiming of the annual pay talks so that industrial action can commence in early autumn.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE2A.1  University of Sheffield

  1. Delete all references to 'escalation' and 'escalating' and replace with 'sustained and disruptive'
  2. Add point 4: 'Pay has fallen significantly in real terms for all workers in Britain'
  3. Add point D: 'Work and campaign with all other willing trade unions and groups of workers on the issue of pay and pro-actively campaign and organise for co-ordinated strike action with other unions on pay across all sectors'

Taken in parts; point a. WITHDRAWN; points b. & c. CARRIED

HE2A.2  Women Members' Standing Committee

Add to bullet point b. after 'escalating strike action', 'which emphasises the gender pay gap, and particularly highlights the often unjust and considerable low or unequal pay and lack of progression suffered by casualised workers'.

Add to bullet point c. after 'executive pay', 'and the real time pay of casualised staff'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. the 27.5 RPI rise since 2009, against the 9% total salary increase
  2. that members' acceptance of a sub-inflation offer in 2017 followed years of ineffective pay campaigns without a commitment to serious industrial action
  3. the popularity of the USS campaign's escalation strategy, and members' refusal to squander that industrial strength, or to tolerate a damaging compromise
  4. pay has fallen significantly in real terms for all workers in Britain

Conference reaffirms its 2016 policy of escalating industrial pay action, and the recuperation aim for lost real income and instructs HEC to:

  1. prepare a claim, with other unions if possible, to restore 2009 real pay values within five years
  2. build a pay campaign around the use of escalating strike action which emphasises the gender pay gap, and particularly highlights the often unjust and considerable low or unequal pay and lack of progression suffered by casualised workers
  3. develop a strategy for the reduction of salary differentials in HE, including excessive executive pay and the real time pay of casualised staff
  4. resolves to seek a retiming of the annual pay talks so that industrial action can commence in early autumn
  5. work and campaign with all other willing trade unions and groups of workers on the issue of pay and pro-actively campaign and organise for co-ordinated strike action with other unions on pay across all sectors.

HE3  Campaign to restore pay levels - University of Birmingham

Sector conference notes:

  1. the transformative effects of the strikes in the pre-92 universities, and more broadly across the union, in defence of decent pensions for members
  2. the strikes have raised the profile of associated issues such as governance, workload, management bullying, casualisation, pay and so on.

Conference also believes that stagnating and real-terms declining pay in the sector for teaching and other staff in comparison with the exorbitant remuneration packages served up for vice-chancellors and other senior staff is unjust and unsustainable, and that UCU members in HE, including the thousands of new members in the sector, are right to demand that the union urgently addresses the need to restore pay at least to inflation-adjusted levels achieved in the 2006 pay campaign.

CARRIED


HE4  (EP) Fair rates for external examiners - University of Central Lancashire

Conference notes the refusal of the employers to discuss external examiner remuneration as part of the pay negotiations in 2017. It therefore calls upon the HEC to redouble its efforts in this regard, to campaign for and negotiate towards nationally standardised remuneration for external examination of courses and the external examiners of research degrees, at levels that accurately reflect the time and effort required to carry out these duties.

CARRIED


Pensions - USS, paragraphs 3.1-3.16 (private session)


HE5  USS - Higher Education Committee

HE sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the superannuation working group contained in UCUBANHE/33.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE5A.1  London regional HE committee

Add at end:

In light of the decision to set up a Joint Expert Panel, conference directs HEC to call a Special Higher Education Sector Conference for USS branches in September or October 2018 to review the work of the Panel and progress to reducing the deficit estimate in the current USS valuation round.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HE sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the superannuation working group contained in UCUBANHE/33.

In light of the decision to set up a Joint Expert Panel, conference directs HEC to call a Special Higher Education Sector Conference for USS branches in September or October 2018 to review the work of the Panel and progress to reducing the deficit estimate in the current USS valuation round.


HE6  Demand to UCU negotiators: restore USS status quo and re-evaluation - Cardiff University

Conference notes the overwhelming rejection of pension change proposals by members in Wales and across UK, 13/3/18.

Conference commends the solidarity and resolve of UCU members to continue with strike and other industrial action until an acceptable resolution.

Conference believes this dispute can be resolved with a UCU and UUK agreement on the status quo for contributions and benefits, maintained until a re-evaluation, based on transparent, academically robust methodology, in which we have confidence. Any proposal falling short of this is unacceptable.

Conference resolves to call on HEC and negotiators to publicly and officially adopt a negotiating position demanding the status quo be maintained with respect to USS contributions and benefits. When a transparent, academically robust re-evaluation in which we have confidence is concluded, negotiations must begin to secure a long-term future for our defined benefits scheme.

Paragraph 4 taken separately: CARRIED; substantive motion CARRIED


HE7  No deficit, no capitulation and democratic reform inside UCU - University of Kent

Conference congratulates members in the strike action in the USS pensions dispute. Conference authorises negotiators to adhere to the following principles:

  1. no deterioration to the pension that members will receive
  2. not to accept that the USS is in deficit
  3. demand an extension to the June 2018 deadline
  4. no rescheduling of work for which pay has been deducted.

UCU is a member driven organisation and this dispute has shown how powerful the membership of UCU are. In light of this conference demands that:

  1. any resolution to the current dispute must have the full consultation and endorsement of the UCU membership
  2. members must have the ability to debate executive proposals in a timely manner with due diligence.

Conference calls for a review of democratic UCU governance to expand democratic processes within UCU and strengthen members' participation in national policy decision-making.

Motion to remove point 2: LOST; substantive motion: CARRIED


HE8  Ending further attacks on USS - University of Glasgow

HESC reaffirms previously stated policy on the artificial creation of the USS deficit. It recognises the relationship of the attacks on pensions to the wider attacks on free education and academic freedom and the threats of marketisation, privatisation and austerity.

HESC recognises that the current valuation approach based on 'self-sufficiency' and the use of test 1 are likely to create a deficit at subsequent valuations and will therefore be used as a pretext for further attacks on our pensions. Their replacement is necessary to remove the threat to future pensions.

HESC calls on the USS negotiators to either negotiate with UUK or obtain the support of the chair of the joint negotiating committee to:

  1. get rid of test 1 and the gilts based self-sufficiency approach to valuation;
  2. replace them by best estimate/internal rate of return, as proposed by First Actuarial who advise UCU and cash flow.

Motion to remove point 2: LOST; substantive motion: CARRIED


HE9  Demand government protection for USS - University College London

HESC notes:

  1. both valuations of the USS pension in 2017 estimated by modelling the long-term impact of 'de-risking' investments
  2. the behaviour of Cambridge and Oxford universities in calling for the fragmentation of the scheme
  3. the fact that the 'deficit' disappears when USS is valued as an ongoing scheme.

HESC believes:

  1. fragmentation would be a disaster for members
  2. the behaviour of the 'hawk' employers was driven in part by both increasing competition between universities and increased speculative borrowing for capital projects.

HESC calls for a high-profile campaign, including lobbying ministers and MPs, to demand the government underwriting of the pension scheme in order to protect USS for the future.

CARRIED


HE10  Removing the chair of the USS JNC - University of Sussex

The JNC of USS has taken two votes with major consequences for the USS pension scheme.

In 2010 the ongoing pension scheme was changed from a final salary scheme to a scheme based career average earnings.

On this occasion the JNC vote was split evenly for and against, the vote was carried in favour of closing the final salary scheme, by the 'independent' chairman siding with the employers.

In 2018 the JNC took a vote on the current proposals to change the ongoing USS from a defined benefit to defined contribution scheme. Again the JNC vote was split evenly for and against, and again the vote was carried in favour of moving from defined benefit to defined contribution by the 'independent' chairman siding with the employers.

Conference therefore demands the resignation of Sir Andrew Cubie from the post of chair of the joint negotiating committee of the Universities Superannuation Scheme.

CARRIED


HE11  Electoral reform and removal of the USS board of trustees - University of Sussex

The USS board of trustees has been responsible for expediting a highly inaccurate actuarial evaluation of the USS pension fund and they have provided a spurious prediction to the pension's regulator who now requires increased contributions to the pension fund. This has resulted in UUK deciding to discontinue the defined benefits pension scheme and replace it with an inferior defined contribution scheme. This has caused the largest industrial dispute that the university sector has known. Due to this multi-layered failure by the USS Board of Trustees we therefore express no confidence in the board of trustees. Conference calls for a thorough review of the electoral and/or appointment processes of the chair of the JNC and the board of directors of USS, following which a process of election is implemented that ensures transparency and accountability in voting and appointments in the interests of the members of USS as a whole.

REMITTED


HE12  Ensuring our union has access to relevant pension expertise - University of Sheffield

HESC notes that the valuation of the USS is complex and that its understanding requires the assimilation of significant amounts of background material.

HESC also notes that our membership contains significant expertise in areas related to pension valuations which could prove invaluable to the superannuation working group.

HESC resolves that the superannuation working group should be authorised to co-opt onto their committee such expertise as is necessary to ensure that our union best uses the full potential of its membership.

CARRIED


HE13  Composite: USS dispute: national dispute committee - University College London, Goldsmiths University of London

HESC notes:

  1. the reaction of USS branches to the March 12 'agreement' demonstrated that members want a resolution which protects Defined Benefit pensions now and in the future
  2. concerns from many branches and members about the processes concerning the consultative ballot on the USS offer of 23rd March
  3. the lack of transparency about the role of UCU negotiators in the USS negotiations and the lack of opportunities to hold union representatives to account
  4. members feel disempowered nationally, compared to the high level of ownership they feel in relation to the dispute locally
  5. while some aspects of negotiations are confidential, to maintain a sense of ownership of the dispute among the membership and to maintain members' resolve to take industrial action, members must know how negotiations are progressing.

HESC resolves to establish a national USS dispute committee composed of HESC delegates (or substitutes) from USS branches, to which national negotiators and UCU Independent Expert Panel members will report. This committee will meet at regular intervals until the dispute is officially terminated and will give a representative steer to the dispute for the current valuation round, including during any suspension or re-ballot.

Motion to remove final paragraph: LOST; substantive motion CARRIED


B24  USS dispute - University of St Andrews

HE sector conference notes:

  1. the acceptance by members of proposals relating to the USS industrial dispute in the ballot that closed on 13.4.18. Those proposals contain commitments to retain the existing benefits until at least April 2019 and thereafter to maintain 'a guaranteed pension comparable with current provision/arrangements'
  2. the rejection by HEC on 13.3.18 of £42,000, the accrual rate reduced to 1/85, and an inflation cap of 2.5% imposed
  3. that therefore any benefit structure must be considerably better than the proposals of 13.3.18 in order to be considered comparable with current provision.

HE sector conference therefore resolves to call for a return to industrial action if any future proposals resulting from the ongoing process of negotiation are not substantially better than the proposal rejected on 13.3.18.

CARRIED


Motions HE14-HE45 to be taken in open session


HE14  Composite: Campaigning on vice chancellors (VC) and senior managements (SMT) pay - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee, Southern regional HE committee

Conference notes that at a time where academic staff have suffered pay cuts, and are asked to do more and more by their institutions, VC and SMT are enjoying bonanza pay rises which far exceed those of the majority of academic staff. This is divisive and should be reversed.

Conference commends Bath University UCU, and the other recognised trade unions at the university, for their long and exemplary campaign for greater transparency over senior pay at the University of Bath. Subsequent to the publication of the Higher Education Funding Council of England (Hefce) report into governance at Bath, the University Court demanded (requested) the 'immediate resignation and departure of the Vice Chancellor, Chair of Council and the Remuneration Committee', in whom Court expressed no confidence.

Conference believes:

  1. VCs should not be on remuneration committees
  2. UCU and other recognised staff unions and NUS student representatives should be on the remuneration committees to promote transparency.

Conference calls on HEC to:

  1. commend the Bath University UCU campaign strategy to branches
  2. reject CUC proposals for a framework that ensures fair, appropriate and 'justifiable' pay for senior managers as insufficient
  3. extend the FoI requests to publish all Senior Managers pay, not just that of VCs
  4. campaign nationally for greater transparency around remuneration decisions
  5. campaign for a public register of vice-chancellors' pay and perks
  6. campaign for all VC and SMT pay to be pegged to the average wage in the institution, and for it to be, at a maximum, 10 times the lowest paid contracts within the institution.

Conference demands fair pay and a pay cut to all VCs and SMTs.

motion to remove point f: LOST; unamended motion: CARRIED

HE14A.1  Compositing amendment - Southern regional HE committee

Delete bullet point f, replace with:

f. campaign for the imposition of a cap on senior pay of 4.5 of median pay of the overall workforce.

LOST


Gender pay, paragraphs 4.1-4.3


HE15  Gender and equal pay - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes that all HEIs, except those in Northern Ireland, are required to declare their gender pay gaps by 30 March 2018.

Conference welcomes the work of New JNCHES to produce the equal pay reviews and gender pay gap reporting guidance for HEIs.

Conference also welcomes the work of branches to negotiate with employers on tackling the gender pay gap.

Conference therefore calls on HEC to:

  1. continue work to secure more agreements and timelined action plans to close the gender pay gap and publicise good practice throughout UCU
  2. encourage branches to work with employers conducting pay audits to consider other equality strands and to close any identified pay gaps
  3. identify discernible patterns to the causes of gender pay inequality, and review branch guidance on tackling them.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE15A.1  Women Members' Standing Committee

Add to bullet point 2 after 'equality strands', 'and casualised workers'.

Add bullet point, '4. Ensure the matter of gender and equal pay is resourced at local and regional level, as well as nationally in the negotiations and bargaining team'.

CARRIED

HE15A.2  LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Add a new point 3:

3. raise awareness about the challenges posed to identifying pay gaps due to lack of data. To review and campaign for data to be made available on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation taking data protection issues into full consideration.

Existing point 3, renumber and delete all after 'pay inequality'; replace with 'and other identified pay gaps.'

Add new bullet point 5:

5. review branch guidance on tackling gender pay inequality and include information about conducting pay audits covering other equality strands together with any related data issues.

CARRIED

HE15A.3  Anti-casualisation Committee

Point 2, after 'equality strands', add 'and casualised workers'.

In point 3. after inequality put 'one of which is to recognise the contributory barrier to progression caused by the high numbers of casualised workers in the lower quartile of university and college pay, who have broken careers and who are stuck on teaching-only or zero-hours contracts with little hope of advancement.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that all HEIs, except those in Northern Ireland, are required to declare their gender pay gaps by 30 March 2018.

Conference welcomes the work of New JNCHES to produce the equal pay reviews and gender pay gap reporting guidance for HEIs.

Conference also welcomes the work of branches to negotiate with employers on tackling the gender pay gap.

Conference therefore calls on HEC to:

  1. continue work to secure more agreements and timelined action plans to close the gender pay gap and publicise good practice throughout UCU
  2. encourage branches to work with employers conducting pay audits to consider other equality strands and casualised workers and to close any identified pay gaps
  3. aise awareness about the challenges posed to identifying pay gaps due to lack of data. To review and campaign for data to be made available on the grounds of gender identity and sexual orientation taking data protection issues into full consideration
  4. identify discernible patterns to the causes of gender pay inequality and other identified pay gaps one of which is to recognise the contributory barrier to progression caused by the high numbers of casualised workers in the lower quartile of university and college pay, who have broken careers and who are stuck on teaching-only or zero-hours contracts with little hope of advancement
  5. ensure the matter of gender and equal pay is resourced at local and regional level, as well as nationally in the negotiations and bargaining team
  6. review branch guidance on tackling gender pay inequality and include information about conducting pay audits covering other equality strands together with any related data issues.

Precarious contracts - stamp out casual contracts, paragraphs 5.1-5.2


HE16  Precarious contracts - Higher Education Committee

Conference welcomes the progress made in building local campaigns and negotiations on casualisation in higher education in the last year. Conference notes that both the rise in recruitment among early careers academics and the USS dispute have had a galvanising effect in many higher education branches, reinforcing the need for casualisation to be a national priority for the union. Conference calls for more work to:

  1. table more claims around casualisation
  2. support the development of branch-based campaigning strategies
  3. support focused recruitment among casualised staff
  4. provide bespoke negotiating training for branches
  5. build the capacity of branches to be able to exercise industrial leverage in support of casualisation claims at local level.

CARRIED


HE17  Holiday pay in higher education - Anti-casualisation Committee

Conference notes that universities operate a variety of practices in relation to the payment of holiday pay to hourly paid staff. Some universities still roll up holiday pay unlawfully, while others pay it at the wrong rate.

Conference further notes the outstanding disagreements with UCEA over whether holiday pay should be counted in comprehensive hourly rates and congratulates those branches that have fought for hourly paid staff to be paid the correct holiday pay.

Conference calls on the HEC to

  1. encourage more branches to identify detrimental and unlawful practices in relation to holiday pay for hourly paid staff
  2. provide negotiating guidance, legal advice and campaigning support to branches to enable them to pursue claims for correct payment and back payment
  3. ensure that the issue of holiday pay forms part of UCU's national campaign to stamp out casual contracts.

CARRIED


HE18  Paid time on for casualised staff in HE - Anti-casualisation Committee

Conference notes the growth in the number of anti-casualisation reps in UCU HE branches and the vital role that these reps play in campaigning and negotiating in their institutions.

Conference also notes that casualised staff who perform representative roles in HE are rarely granted facilities time, either for trade union duties or activities and in many cases face the choice of losing teaching hours or not participating in their union.

Conference calls on UCU to:

  1. develop specific guidance on negotiating facilities time for staff on insecure contracts and 'paid time on' for hourly paid staff
  2. encourage branches to ensure the allocation of facilities time to casualised reps
  3. support casualised staff to perform democratic duties within the union, including NEC membership.

CARRIED


HE19  Fixed term contracts - University of Glasgow

Conference recognises that research funders encourage and facilitate the hiring of researchers on short-term, insecure contracts, and yet do not take responsibility for the challenging working environments this practice creates. Much more could be done by the research councils to support research staff and reward principal investigators who help develop rather than exploit their research staff. Conference urges HEC to campaign for UK research councils to:

  1. make career quality and destinations of post-doctoral researchers a performance indicator of grant success
  2. ensure reviews of funding applications include a reviewer (ideally a union representative) whose main responsibility is assessing the potential impact of future applications on the careers of funded researchers.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE19A.1  University of Manchester

At the end of motion add:

3. ensure grant applicants are required to provide information in proposals about the career support and development opportunities for staff to be employed on the project.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference recognises that research funders encourage and facilitate the hiring of researchers on short-term, insecure contracts, and yet do not take responsibility for the challenging working environments this practice creates. Much more could be done by the research councils to support research staff and reward principal investigators who help develop rather than exploit their research staff. Conference urges HEC to campaign for UK research councils to:

  1. make career quality and destinations of post-doctoral researchers a performance indicator of grant success
  2. ensure reviews of funding applications include a reviewer (ideally a union representative) whose main responsibility is assessing the potential impact of future applications on the careers of funded researchers
  3. ensure grant applicants are required to provide information in proposals about the career support and development opportunities for staff to be employed on the project.

Workload and safe, sustainable workplaces for UCU members, paragraphs 6.1-6.5


HE20  HEC workload campaign - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes that workload intensification is a significant issue for members and is linked to top-down management increased metrification and marketisation.

Conference welcomes the work undertaken by UCU branches and staff to launch a UK-wide workload campaign utilising the statutory rights and functions for trade union safety representatives.

Conference believes that UCU needs to further develop workplace organisation to reduce workload intensification and the impact for members.

Conference recognises a joined up approach - incorporating health and safety, campaigning, and organising elements - builds leverage with the employers and supports effective local and national workload collective bargaining against the use of workload management for increased managerial control.

Conference resolves:

  1. to continue and expand the workload campaign
  2. to support local campaigns and negotiations for improved workload agreements
  3. to support an increase in the number of safety representatives throughout the sector
  4. to uphold the standards of performance agreed in the framework agreement.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE20A.1  Higher Education Committee

After 'notes', add i;

After 'metrification and marketisation' add:

ii. the particular intersectional impacts of workload for part-time and casualised staff

Add after 'the impact for members':

Including the risk of disabled or other members unable to work excessive hours being capability managed out of their jobs.

After 'expand the workload campaign' add and renumber:

2. to include part-time and casualised workers and intersectional issues

3. to consider equality issues in the workload campaign.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. that workload intensification is a significant issue for members and is linked to top-down management increased metrification and marketisation
  2. the particular intersectional impacts of workload for part-time and casualised staff.

Conference welcomes the work undertaken by UCU branches and staff to launch a UK-wide workload campaign utilising the statutory rights and functions for trade union safety representatives.

Conference believes that UCU needs to further develop workplace organisation to reduce workload intensification and the impact for members. Including the risk of disabled or other members unable to work excessive hours being capability managed out of their jobs.

Conference recognises a joined up approach - incorporating health and safety, campaigning, and organising elements - builds leverage with the employers and supports effective local and national workload collective bargaining against the use of workload management for increased managerial control.

Conference resolves:

  1. to continue and expand the workload campaign
  2. to include part-time and casualised workers and intersectional issues
  3. to consider equality issues in the workload campaign.
  4. to support local campaigns and negotiations for improved workload agreements
  5. to support an increase in the number of safety representatives throughout the sector
  6. to uphold the standards of performance agreed in the framework agreement.

Academic related, professional staff, paragraph 7.1


HE21  Evidence gathering: investigating the effect of hubs and 'service' centralisation - University of Leeds

Conference notes the move to a hub or centralisation model for services (e.g. IT, health and safety) across many universities and the consequences of this, including downgrading and members being moved, against their will, to different roles in the university.

Conference requests that the national UCU team investigate the consequences of moving to a hub or centralisation model and produces a report to share with UCU branches.

CARRIED


Industrial action, paragraph 10.1


HE22  Rescind HE7 barring two-hour strikes as an option - Northumbria University

No industrial action by a trade union can succeed without its members' support. The campaign of industrial action in 2013-14 succeeded in securing a pay settlement for UCU members which was twice that of any other public sector workers. This was due in part to the programme of 2-hour strikes, which succeeded in getting members to come out on strike who would not normally do so, and caused more disruption to the employers' business than one-day strikes, as can be seen from the employers' reaction. At the 2014 UCU Congress, the union adopted motion HE7, which resolved that UCU abandon this strategy. All options for effective industrial action should be available to members, therefore HESC resolves to rescind that motion and leave open the opportunity for 2-hour strikes, given the past successes of this form of strike action.

LOST


HE23  (EP) National support for local industrial action - University of Leeds

HE sector conference agrees that:

  1. local officers and committees in branches who have won industrial action locally are in the best position to determine the timing and nature of their next steps, suited to their institution's academic calendar
  2. all interventions by HEC or its subcommittees should expedite UCU procedures to facilitate local branches in winning victories in their disputes and must avoid causing delays and loss of momentum
  3. HEC subcommittees should not create additional ad hoc procedures which replicate the impediments of the TU Act 2016.

CARRIED


HE24  Redundancies at London South Bank University - London South Bank University

HESC notes:

  1. LSBU management's announcement of a proposed cut to staffing costs of £5-8 million
  2. that the regional official was not invited to the meeting at which this was announced (2 May 2018)
  3. that, in breach of JNCHES procedures on disclosure of financial information to HE unions, no financial figures were presented to the unions.

HESC believes that:

  1. this announcement does not constitute the beginning of consultation with the unions
  2. other HEI managements will be monitoring developments at LSBU with a view to emulation
  3. this move by LSBU is a threat to the entire sector and is therefore of national significance.

HESC resolves:

  1. to fully support LSBU's UCU branch - including via recruitment and organisation, and preparation for a ballot on industrial action
  2. to organise a national campaign in defence of jobs at LSBU.

CARRIED


L3   Threats to jobs and university access in London - University of East London

Conference deplores the threats to jobs at London HEIs, including UEL, Greenwich, Southbank and Westminster. Together, these represent a serious attack on university provision in London, impacting most heavily on the least advantaged. A number of London HEIs have suffered job losses over consecutive years, leading to:

  1. contraction of some disciplinary areas, limiting provision
  2. a shrinking of university provision in London for lower-income, older or returning and minority ethnic students
  3. unacknowledged redundancies of many in the Academic Precariat, with no respect for their employment rights
  4. increasing workloads and stress for staff who remain, while real-term pay shrinks.

Conference agrees:

  1. to publicise this serious attack on University provision
  2. to lobby the Mayor of London and the OFS to address threats to access
  3. to support branches in their fight against job losses
  4. to work with NUS to defend university access for all Londoners.

HE25  Lecture capture and strike action - East Midlands regional HE committee

During the recent strikes in defence of pensions there were concerns over the possible use of lecture capture as a strike breaking weapon. Therefore, conference asks the HEC to update the 2013 Bargaining Guide for Branches on Recording/Filming of Lectures to bring it in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and to ensure that:

  1. lecture capture is voluntary
  2. academics retain authorship and performance rights to their lectures
  3. academics have a say in the use of the films and other recordings of their lectures
  4. a condition of any agreement with a university on lecture capture has a clause to exclude films and other recordings being used during industrial action
  5. academic freedom is not curtailed by filming and other recording
  6. students are not put into ethical or other difficulties by filmed or recoded responses in lectures
  7. lecture capture is not for disciplinary uses.

CARRIED


New heading: REF and research


HE26  REF 2020/21 and defence of contracts - University of Brighton (Falmer)

Conference notes institutions must submit all staff with a significant contractual research requirement to the 2020/21 REF.

Conference believes that:

  1. this adds impetus to the introduction of teaching-only contracts, particularly in post-92 institutions
  2. this further marketises HE, widening the gap between 'research' and 'teaching' institutions,thus damaging educational quality
  3. even 'voluntary' transfer to teaching-only contracts violates the national contract.

Conference resolves:

  1. to defend post-92 national contract, and 'scholarly activity time'
  2. no local agreements will be made by branches worsening contractual terms
  3. contractual differentiation can only be based on teaching relief for publishable outputs.

HEC will:

  1. collect data on contractual variations in the sector
  2. discuss the threat of the REF at a delegate conference in autumn 2018
  3. agree a draft negotiating position for all branches re the REF code of practice
  4. establish a monitoring group of members to work with branches to ensure compliance with the national agreement (and national contract).

CARRIED UNAMENDED

HE26A.1  University of Manchester

Delete 'particularly in post-92 institutions' in 1.

Delete para c. and replace by: 'c. to campaign to ensure all HE institutions have career paths for teaching-focused staff, allowing time for scholarly activity and providing career progression in line with the national academic role profiles'.

LOST


HE27  Defending the role of research in post-92 institutions - West Midlands regional HE committee

HE sector conference notes:

  1. the TEF and institutional responses to the Stern review threaten to further polarise the sector into 'research-intensive' and 'teaching-focused universities'
  2. the downgrading of terms and conditions at London Metropolitan University
  3. the stripping of academic status of staff employed in the educational development service at BCU
  4. declarations by managers that post-92 institutions are 'teaching institutions', or that 'teaching and practice are our USP' justifying the undermining and under-resourcing of research
  5. comments by Andrew Adonis suggesting that post-92 institutions lose university status.

HE sector conference affirms the importance of research at post-92 universities and rejects its restriction to Russell group universities.

HE sector conference resolves to:

  1. carry out a study on access to research time, research support and research-related progression opportunities at post-92 institutions for staff at all career stages
  2. produce guidance and campaign resources for post-92 branches campaigning to safeguard or improve research resources.

CARRIED


New heading: Educational student matters


HE28  Foundation courses - Northumbria University

Conference is alarmed by the increasing number of 1-year foundation (level 3) courses offered by universities. To compete in league tables many universities have raised their tariff entry levels, selling these courses to students while generating huge revenues. Universities claim these courses widen participation; UCU, too, is committed to this. However, if these courses are aimed at students from 'low participation' backgrounds, they are a 'poverty tax', burdening the already disadvantaged with more debt. Alternately, if these courses do not widen participation, they are a 'failure tax' on students who do not 'make the grade'. Finally, huge revenues have not translated into more support for staff and students.

Conference commits to researching the extent of these courses, their costs, and their impact on members; campaigning with the Students' Union so these courses genuinely contribute to widening participation; and raising the profile of this issue in the national media.

CARRIED


HE29  Scrap the Office for Students (OfS) - University of Warwick

Conference notes that:

  1. OfS is 'a marketing regulator driving value-for-money' within the sector (Guardian, 01.01.2018).
  2. The statutory duties of OfS include 'the need to encourage competition between English higher education providers in connection with the provision of higher education' (link).

Conference believes that:

  1. OfS's regulatory powers to enhance competition between British universities, between students, and between academics, is fundamentally detrimental to practices of teaching, learning and research, as well as to the idea of education as a social good and human right
  2. OfS's register, with its emphasis on 'Prevent duties', 'sanctions' and 'penalties and suspensions', is designed to shut down campus debate and the right to protest, while making discrimination against large sections of the academic community the norm.

Conference resolves to:

  1. publicly condemn the design and function of OfS
  2. make the demand for scrapping OfS part of UCU's national policy with immediate effect.

CARRIED


HE30  (EP) Office for Students and the lack of student and staff representation - West Midlands regional HE committee

Conference notes the controversy surrounding appointments to the board of the Office for Students, and the scandalous appointment of Toby Young. Conference calls for HEC to campaign for more representation for students as well as representation from UCU on the Board.

CARRIED


New heading: Governance and management


HE31  The university is ours - Goldsmiths, University of London

Congress believes that democratic governance of our universities is vital so that all staff and students can participate fully in how their institutions are run.

Congress instructs the HEC to develop a toolkit and to actively campaign for good democratic governance based on the following principles:

  1. governing bodies and all relevant sub-committees should be representative of the diverse communities that each university serves
  2. governing bodies and all relevant sub-committees allocate equal votes to staff and student representatives
  3. staff and students should have an official voice through the creation of a 'General Assembly' that is part of the formal structures of governance of the institution
  4. democratic elections should be held for all chairs of university committees within the formal structures of governance; for heads of department/schools; for deans and pro-vice chancellors or their equivalent, and for vice-chancellors or their equivalent.

Motion to withdraw point 2: CARRIED; substantive motion CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress believes that democratic governance of our universities is vital so that all staff and students can participate fully in how their institutions are run.

Congress instructs the HEC to develop a toolkit and to actively campaign for good democratic governance based on the following principles:

  1. governing bodies and all relevant sub-committees should be representative of the diverse communities that each university serves
  2. staff and students should have an official voice through the creation of a 'General Assembly' that is part of the formal structures of governance of the institution
  3. democratic elections should be held for all chairs of university committees within the formal structures of governance; for heads of department/schools; for deans and pro-vice chancellors or their equivalent, and for vice-chancellors or their equivalent.

HE32  (EP) Harmful management practices - Women Members' Standing Committee

HE is responsible for encouraging critical thought and promoting social justice. It should be challenging all forms of violence and oppression when it occurs.

The continual marketisation of HE is creating a hostile environment for staff: competitiveness and individualism leaves little room for humanity and compassion. Whilst the effects of oppression may be addressed in the classroom, the ways in which they impact upon the working lives of staff are often overlooked. The current climate allows dehumanising and harmful practices by management in their treatment of staff.

Conference calls on HEC to:

  1. support HE staff to obtain the ideals of humanity, compassion and justice their everyday working lives
  2. hold to account institutions that engage in harmful discriminatory and oppressive practices against members
  3. interrogate and expose the gendered, raced and classed oppression that may underline the treatment of staff in appraisal, disciplinary procedures and other interactions with management.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE32A.1  Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Add new 3 after 2, and renumber:

3. to campaign against the detrimental impact that these harmful management practices have and note that such practices not only impact most severely on those staff with existing mental health conditions but are directly responsible for causing the unprecedented work related stress and associated mental health conditions that are prevalent amongst academic and professional staff in the HE sector. This includes the increasing use of open plan offices for all staff.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

HE is responsible for encouraging critical thought and promoting social justice. It should be challenging all forms of violence and oppression when it occurs.

The continual marketisation of HE is creating a hostile environment for staff: competitiveness and individualism leaves little room for humanity and compassion. Whilst the effects of oppression may be addressed in the classroom, the ways in which they impact upon the working lives of staff are often overlooked. The current climate allows dehumanising and harmful practices by management in their treatment of staff.

Conference calls on HEC to:

  1. support HE staff to obtain the ideals of humanity, compassion and justice their everyday working lives
  2. hold to account institutions that engage in harmful discriminatory and oppressive practices against members
  3. to campaign against the detrimental impact that these harmful management practices have and note that such practices not only impact most severely on those staff with existing mental health conditions but are directly responsible for causing the unprecedented work related stress and associated mental health conditions that are prevalent amongst academic and professional staff in the HE sector. This includes the increasing use of open plan offices for all staff
  4. interrogate and expose the gendered, raced and classed oppression that may underline the treatment of staff in appraisal, disciplinary procedures and other interactions with management.

HE33  HE staff satisfaction league table - Nottingham Trent University

Conference deplores the emphasis in the UK HE sector on divisive league tables which only record quantity but fail to recognise the quality of the contribution made by HE staff, and encourage a targets-based managerial culture which undermines and devalues this contribution. However, given that this seems to be the only language understood by the profit-driven management of HE institutions today, conference feels that there is no alternative but to pursue a similar strategy, implementing an 'employer quality' based ranking system for UK Universities, focusing upon the wellbeing and satisfaction of their employees.

Conference recommends a short biennial survey, gathering data from UCU members registering their relative levels of satisfaction with their employer on various criteria. This would be used to produce a league table, available on the UCU website, for the use of prospective employees to assess the levels of staff satisfaction at a potential employer institution.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE33A.1  LGBT Members' Standing Committee

 

After the first sentence of the second paragraph following the words 'various criteria.' insert a new second sentence:

 

These criteria must include equality issues, and the equalities members standing committees are to be asked to make submissions to these criteria.

Delete the final sentence of the second paragraph and insert a new final sentence:

This could be used to produce a qualitative league table to assess the levels of staff satisfaction at an institution.

CARRIED

HE33A.2  Nottingham Trent University

Add at end: 'Last year a pilot survey com league table was launched by the University of Brighton and that team would be very happy to provide support in any piece of work agreed by UCU.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference deplores the emphasis in the UK HE sector on divisive league tables which only record quantity but fail to recognise the quality of the contribution made by HE staff, and encourage a targets-based managerial culture which undermines and devalues this contribution. However, given that this seems to be the only language understood by the profit-driven management of HE institutions today, conference feels that there is no alternative but to pursue a similar strategy, implementing an 'employer quality' based ranking system for UK Universities, focusing upon the wellbeing and satisfaction of their employees.

Conference recommends a short biennial survey, gathering data from UCU members registering their relative levels of satisfaction with their employer on various criteria. These criteria must include equality issues, and the equalities members standing committees are to be asked to make submissions to these criteria. This could be used to produce a qualitative league table to assess the levels of staff satisfaction at an institution. Last year a pilot survey com league table was launched by the University of Brighton and that team would be very happy to provide support in any piece of work agreed by UCU.


HE34  Composite: Compulsory lecture capture and management abuse of lecture capture technology - Nottingham Trent University, Edge Hill University

Conference notes with concern that many universities are ignoring their own guidelines and those issued through Jisc by:

  1. seeking to impose unilaterally the compulsory recording of all lectures
  2. disregarding the performance and moral rights of the staff concerned in not seeking their consent.

Conference further observes, with concern, the abuse, by management of lecture capture technology in attempting to break strike action in the recent dispute over pensions.

While conference is not opposed to lecture capture per se, after due consultation, it affirms as a principle that opting in, rather than opting out, is the best way of protecting staff rights.

Conference:

  1. urges HEC to intensify pressure on universities to adopt opt-in only policies and to reject policies which make opt-out difficult or impossible
  2. calls on HEC to build on guidance to branches in order to ensure that abuse of lecture capture technology during industrial action is not possible in future.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE34A.1  Anti-casualisation Committee

Add to conference notes:

'3. that pressure to record small group teaching also exists.'

In a, after 'impossible' add: 'and to recognise the particular inequities faced by casualised staff who do not have extra paid time to train to execute lecture recording and who risk loss of hours for exercising their right to opt-out'

Add:

'c. asks branches to organise meetings and/or questionnaires for casualised teaching staff in order to flush out and deal with abusive pressure on them to record their teaching events.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes with concern that many universities are ignoring their own guidelines and those issued through Jisc by:

  1. seeking to impose unilaterally the compulsory recording of all lectures
  2. disregarding the performance and moral rights of the staff concerned in not seeking their consent
  3. that pressure to record small group teaching also exists.

Conference further observes, with concern, the abuse, by management of lecture capture technology in attempting to break strike action in the recent dispute over pensions.

While conference is not opposed to lecture capture per se, after due consultation, it affirms as a principle that opting in, rather than opting out, is the best way of protecting staff rights.

Conference:

  1. urges HEC to intensify pressure on universities to adopt opt-in only policies and to reject policies which make opt-out difficult or impossible and to recognise the particular inequities faced by casualised staff who do not have extra paid time to train to execute lecture recording and who risk loss of hours for exercising their right to opt-out
  2. calls on HEC to build on guidance to branches in order to ensure that abuse of lecture capture technology during industrial action is not possible in future
  3. asks branches to organise meetings and/or questionnaires for casualised teaching staff in order to flush out and deal with abusive pressure on them to record their teaching events.

HE35  Governance - UCU Scotland

Congress recognises the improvements made in the revised Scottish Code of Higher Education Governance published in 2017. In particular the recommendations for staff, student and trade union involvement in arrangements for determining senior pay are to be welcomed. However it is recognised that a minority voice on remuneration committees will not of itself address the issue of excessive executive pay and that broader action is required. Congress urges HEC to push for UCU involvement on remuneration committees and to produce guidelines for alternative models of determining senior pay. Guidelines should include advice on possible multipliers of average pay, job sizing, and extending the salary scale beyond point 52.

CARRIED


New heading: Equality


HE36  Equal access to higher education for asylum seekers - University of Northampton

HESC notes:

  1. the sterling work done by the Students Action for Refugees (STAR) in support of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers
  2. the importance of STAR's equal access campaign which would facilitate the ability of asylum seekers' to pursue higher education by defining asylum seekers as home instead of international students, and
  3. the consistent commitment that UCU has shown in recognising asylum seekers' needs to 'rebuild their lives' and 'integrate into their local communities'.

The HESC calls for:

  1. all branches to work with STAR affiliates and student unions to campaign for equal access to HE, including pressuring each university to offer at least 10 scholarships that cover study and maintenance costs
  2. UCU to make the equal access campaign a priority and promote it through the union's website and the weekly campaign update, and
  3. the HEC to provide regular reports on the progress made to win equal access.

CARRIED


HE37  (EP) Institutional racism in our universities - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

Conference notes David Lammy's expose of the lack of BME access to Oxford University and the recent row over decolonising the curriculum at Cambridge University. These highlight the reality of institutional racism at the centre of the 'elite' Russell group university sector.

UCU reiterates its support for equal access for BAME students across post-16 education and for a curriculum that offers students access to global and not simply Eurocentric culture.

Conference believes that UCU at national, regional and local levels must work with SU's, campus unions and anti-racist campaigns to promote equal access to education for BAME students and to promote a truly global education.

CARRIED


HE38  (EP) Recruitment, retention and promotion of black staff in HE - Black Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes that the UCU 'witness' survey report of February 2016 found that nine out of ten (90.5%) respondents from higher education said they had 'often' or 'sometimes' faced barriers when seeking promotion. Conference also notes that little has changed in the sector. The latest Equality Challenge Unit data tells us that fewer than 8% of UK professors are from a BME background (male 6.2%, female 1.7%).

Conference believes that all universities must address the issue of promotion of Black staff and the barriers faced as a matter of urgency.

Conference resolves to:

  1. ensure that branches raise the issue of promotion and retention of Black staff with their institution
  2. ascertain more closely what the barriers are to promotion for Black staff in higher education
  3. work with relevant stakeholders to challenge institutions in this area.

CARRIED


HE39  Curricula and working practices in relation to Afro-/Afri-phobia - University of the West of England

HESC notes 'The International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) 2015 -2024', with thematic objectives of recognition, justice and development, was launched in 2015 by the United Nations. There are disproportionately low numbers of African heritage academic and professional staff in HE. Existing curricula and pedagogy at all levels of education contribute poorer educational outcomes for African heritage students. The UK government has failed to implement recommendations of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

HESC instructs HEC to:

  1. set up a working party to investigate issues with curricula and working practices in relation to Afro-/Afri-phobia and develop policy and actions for UCU branches
  2. implement suitable policies and measures and with adequate resources to officially recognise IDPAD.

HESC calls upon branches to collaborate with community representatives to address Afro-phobia/Afri-phobia, a specific form of systemic racism, marginalising African diaspora communities from access to human rights.

CARRIED


HE40  Eugenics and the London Conference on Intelligence Black members standing committee

HE sector conference notes the secrecy surrounding the London Conference on Intelligence (LCI), hosted at UCL over the last three years. The conference focussed on the appalling racist ideology of eugenics.

HE sector conference also notes:

  1. the participation in LCI by the disgraced Toby Young
  2. Young's appointments as the director of the New Schools Network and board member of the Office for Students, after which he resigned in scandal
  3. Young's misogynistic comments, disdain for the disabled, misogynistic comments, and hostility towards the working classes and the LGBT+ community.

HE sector conference believes:

  1. LCI is a misuse of UCL premises
  2. that eugenics threatens to give academic credibility to racism and should be robustly opposed.

HE sector conference resolves to:

  1. oppose LCI
  2. publicise any further LCI events to ensure that they are heavily boycotted
  3. make explicit to all education institutions the racist agenda of LCI.

CARRIED


HE41  Neurodiversity and higher education - Disabled Members' Standing Committee

This conference calls for a fact sheet and training workplace reps on neurodiversity.

Differences in a way that a person processes information and learns is termed neurodiversity, and includes autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD and other related differences. These differences can become highly disabling as significant misunderstandings exist about the labels, and how they affect people. Simple reasonable adjustments are not put into place creating barriers to participation in the workplace. This has become acute in higher education where staff are being disciplined or placed on capability as their condition or issue is not recognised or understood.

Conference therefore ask for a positive factsheet giving straightforward myth-busting information about neurodiversity from a social model perspective focusing on the strengths and achievements of neurodiverse employees and the importance of reasonable adjustments to create accessibility. UCU should also encourage the Equality Challenge Unit to support this approach.

CARRIED


HE42  LGBT+ promotions and funding equalities data - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Without data that answers questions, including the following, claims that systemic anti-LGBT+ prejudice no longer exists are at best superficial and at worst disingenuous.

Do HE staff who identify as LGBT+, and those whose research or teaching is on LGBT+ have equality of access to training and promotions?

How many university E+D committees act on LGBT+ promotions equality data?

Are people who identify as LGBT+ paid the same as heterosexual cis gendered colleagues?

Are people who identify as LGBT+ represented in successful bids to research funding bodies in a way that is proportionate to our numbers in the HE population?

Conference calls on UCU to:

  1. campaign for positive action and greater transparency on promotions equality data
  2. request LGBT+ promotions equality data from HEIs
  3. analyse:
  1. LGBT+ promotions equality data
  2. RCUK and charitable funding bodies' LGBT+ equalities data
  3. marketisation impact on the offer of LGBT+ studies.

CARRIED


HE43  LGBT+ inclusive sex and relationship education - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes that:

  1. it's been 30 years since the introduction of Section 28. Whilst it was fully repealed in 2003 its pernicious legacy remains
  2. HE is in a unique position with institutions delivering initial teacher training (ITT)
  3. the government has started consultation on sex and relationship education (SRE)
  4. inclusive SRE is more important than ever.

Conference resolves to

  1. work with education unions and others campaigning for a SRE curriculum including healthy relationships and consent, understanding sexuality, sexual health and staying safe, media and cultural representation of sex and gender, emphasising the importance of self-identification in sexual orientation and gender identity throughout
  2. promote respect for a diverse range of families and relationships, reflect ethnic diversity, a range of beliefs and disabilities, LGBT+ inclusion and access for all
  3. support embedding LGBT+ concerns, including inclusive SRE, into ITT teaching and curriculum.

CARRIED


HE44  Universal credit and its impact on women in higher education - Women Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes:

The worst effects of the changes to welfare (rolling individual benefits such as housing benefit, JSA/ESA and working tax and child tax credit into one single payment) will predominantly fall on women. In HE women struggling to survive on insecure and low paid work are particularly affected. PhD students are often on zero hours contracts, many casualised lecturers have long periods (up to six months a year) where they are not given work, hence are forced to claim although they are not necessarily entitled.

HE conference resolves:

  1. to pressure political parties to make changes so that women can claim benefits in their own right without their partners/husbands
  2. to work with other unions and welfare rights groups to campaign to fix or scrap universal credit and for dignity and respect to be put back into the welfare system so that it provides payment to those in need.

CARRIED


HE45  Challenging cultures of exclusion and advancing the equality agenda - UCU Scotland

Congress recognises:

  1. universities are taking Athena Swan seriously due to the impact on funding
  2. the potential for using AS to advance the equality agenda and the risk of window-dressing activities which do not lead to meaningful change.

Congress agrees to ask HEC to:

  1. collect information from members and branches on successful initiatives
  2. produce and circulate guidelines on the effective use of AS
  3. encourage branches to use AS to encourage departments, schools and institutions to:
  1. organise regular seminars and poster campaigns on e.g. removing barriers to trans students and staff, ending violence against women, intersectionality and celebrating the equality calendar
  2. provide non-binary options in data collection and do not collect unnecessary data
  3. provide sufficient gender neutral facilities, including toilets and changing facilities
  4. move beyond equality audits in ending the gender pay gap
  5. start to dismantle institutional sexism and other discrimination.

CARRIED


Motions HE46 - HE47 to be taken in private session


USS Joint Expert Panel


HE46  HESC to monitor Joint Expert Panel progress - University of Oxford

HESC notes:

  1. the outcome of the UCU ballot announced on 13 April accepting the offer to form a Joint Expert Panel to re-examine the USS valuation
  2. the central importance of scrutinising the progress of the JEP
  3. the need to continually evaluate the requirement for further industrial action during the pensions dispute.

HESC resolves to convene a special meeting of UCU higher education sector conference in September 2018 to consider the progress of the Joint Expert Panel and the need to ballot for a renewed mandate for industrial action.

CARRIED


HE47  Transparency and confidentiality of Joint Expert Panel (JEP) - University of Glasgow

Conference recognises the great importance of the JEP and its outcomes for members pensions and the problems caused by excessive secrecy of the USS Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC).

Conference believes that transparency should be the default of JEP and that JNC should be encouraged to show greater transparency.

Conference mandates SWG members involved in setting up JEP to:

  1. negotiate a change in terms of reference to make transparency the default, as well as an appropriate confidentiality policy and regular reports from JEP to all stakeholders
  2. agree regular reporting and feedback mechanisms with UCU appointed members of JEP
  3. negotiate increased transparency of JNC communications e.g. approved minutes other than confidential matters to be made publicly available.

Conference further mandates HEC to transparency as a default, with agenda, approved papers and approved minutes made available on the website and to develop a confidentiality policy to cover exceptions.

CARRIED


B26  Defence of the post-92 contract

Conference notes that the post-92 contract is attacked by employers across the sector through:

  1. attempts to redefine the 550 maxima criteria via the implementation of real hours-based workloads
  2. attempts to attack the contractual right to scholarly activity time by reducing/diminishing/removing such hours
  3. attempts to introduce or impose teaching-only contracts with the pretext of the new TEF rules.
  4. attempts to attack the contractual right to ownership of intellectual property of any work produced during scholarly activity
  5. attempts to attach the right of ownership of intellectual property and moral rights of any video recording material.

Conference resolves:

  1. that a special post-92 sector conference is organised in defence of the post-92 national contract
  2. that defending the post-92 national contract becomes a national priority
  3. that a new activists toolkit is prepared and circulated across the post-92 activists.

CARRIED

Last updated: 4 June 2018