Further Education Sector Conference 2018

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

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.

FE1 - FE pay
FE2 - FE pay
L4 - FE England pay
FE3 - FE pay and UCU credibility among FE members
FE4 - College Principals' pay
FE5 - Holiday pay in FE, adult and prison education
FE6 - Equal pay
FE7 - Anti-casualisation
FE8 - Facility time for casualised staff in FE
B12 - Casualisation in FE
FE9 - Prison educators should have career long access to TPS
FE10 - Workload campaign
FE11 - Impact of workload and expectations of FE academic staff
FE12 - Verbal and physical abuse within the FE sector
FE13 - Further education and mental health
FE14 - A more strategic approach to building in ACE
FE15 - Access to natural justice for prison educators
FE16 - Ofsted, surveillance, and targeting of Muslim girls
FE17 - Women, universal credit and ESOL
FE18 - Universal credit: a threat to disabled staff and students
FE19 - Challenging LGBT+ discrimination in FE
FE20 - LGBT+ visibility in FE
FE21 - Liberate the FE curriculum
FE22 - Careers for Black staff
FE23 - Organising in 'supercolleges'
FE24 - College super-groups
FE25 - Cuts and mergers: the apocalypse after area reviews
FE26 - Support for BMET College A-Level teachers
FE27 - Commissioner intervention and FE colleges
FE28 - Holding college leaders to account
FE29 - Future of further education
FE30 - Funding for FE
FE31 - Colleges working together to fight austerity
FE32 - Restore second chance education
FE33 - Apprenticeships
FE34 - Maths and English GCSE compulsion in post-16 education
FE35 - Localising college economies
FE36 - National action

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy

All motions to be taken in open session.


FE1  FE pay - Further Education Committee

Conference approves the report on the FE England 2017/18 pay round and progress in the 2018/19 round as circulated in FE branch circular UCUBANFE/16.

CARRIED


FE2  FE pay - London Regional Committee

Conference notes:

  1. 21% cut in pay since 2009
  2. 9% increase in principals' pay
  3. the merging of colleges has led to new super groups.

Believes:

  1. that pay remains a central issue for all lecturers working in the sector
  2. that with the growth of super groups a new 'gravy train' has been created allowing senior post holders to award themselves extravagant salaries
  3. that whilst government funding cuts have done significant damage to the sector there are enough funds in colleges to award real pay increases to all staff.

Resolves FEC:

  1. to launch a campaign to expose extravagant salaries of senior post holders and the new 'gravy train's' worst excesses
  2. to write a briefing paper that challenges the 'we can't afford it' mantra of the FE employers.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE2A.1  Bournville College, Capital City College Group (City & Islington College), London regional FE committee, Croydon College, Sandwell College

Add under 'notes':

  1. HE lecturers, school and primary school teachers get paid more than FE lecturers
  2. FE lecturers get paid 14% less than school teachers.

Add under 'believes':

  1. that the coordinated action taken by 12 colleges has laid the basis for a national campaign for fair pay.

Add under 'resolves':

  1. if the AoC does not meet our demands for this year's claim then UCU to organise an industrial action ballot for strike action to pursue our aims.

CARRIED

FE2A.2  Anti-casualisation Committee

In 'Believes' point a, change 'lecturers' to 'workers'

Add, at the end of 'Believes' point c, 'if the money is distributed more fairly.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. HE lecturers, school and primary school teachers get paid more than FE lecturers
  2. FE lecturers get paid 14% less than school teachers
  3. 21% cut in pay since 2009
  4. 9% increase in principals' pay
  5. the merging of colleges has led to new super groups.

Believes:

  1. that the coordinated action taken by 12 colleges has laid the basis for a national campaign for fair pay
  2. that pay remains a central issue for all workers working in the sector
  3. that with the growth of super groups a new 'gravy train' has been created allowing senior post holders to award themselves extravagant salaries
  4. that whilst government funding cuts have done significant damage to the sector there are enough funds in colleges to award real pay increases to all staff if the money is distributed more fairly.

Resolves FEC:

  1. if the AoC does not meet our demands for this year's claim then UCU to organise an industrial action ballot for strike action to pursue our aims
  2. to launch a campaign to expose extravagant salaries of senior post holders and the new 'gravy train's' worst excesses
  3. to write a briefing paper that challenges the 'we can't afford it' mantra of the FE employers.

L7  FE England Pay - Further education committee, Capital City College Group (City and Islington College (Camden Road)), Bournville College, Sussex Coast College Hastings, New College Swindon, Capital City College Group (City and Islington (Lifelong Learning)), South and City College Birmingham, City of Oxford College (Activate Learning), Redbridge College, Bracknell and Wokingham College

Composited with motion L4 and becomes the text of that composite.

UCU is astounded at the AoC's previous refusal to discuss the national 2018/19 pay claim until local disputes regarding unresolved 2017/18's claims are settled, when:

  1. FE pay has been cut in real terms by 25%
  2. 33% of principals saw their pay rise by 10% last year.

We believe this refusal to discuss pay for FE workers was both outrageous and reflective of how inept and ineffective the AoC's role has become.

The FE sector needs a national bargaining forum whose decisions are binding on all who participate and one that benefits all who work in this underfunded and over-stretched sector. For the survival of the sector, FE pay must meet the growing demands of the profession.

Now that the AoC have agreed to receive and discuss the joint unions 2018/19 claim we call on them to make an early offer that meets members' expectations for an above inflation pay rise and catch up from years of pay cuts.

CARRIED


FE3  (EP) FE pay and UCU credibility among FE members - East Midlands regional FE committee

Conference applauds the huge effort by UCU nationally to build the HE pension campaign. In contrast, the FE pay campaign resulted in 14 branches taking action following the September 2017 consultative e-ballot. Conference needs no reminder of the dire pay situation across FE. However, UCU's credibility among FE teachers regarding its capacity to improve pay and conditions issues is deeply compromised. A history of discontinued pay campaigns leaves members feeling that UCU can do little to improve pay and conditions given the sector's wider difficulties. FE is seen as a neglected sector within its own union.

Conference commits UCU to building an ongoing, national FE pay campaign focused on its members, college boards, students, communities, and decision-makers aggressively to press the pay and conditions case. The campaign should aim to build the ground over time for significant industrial action, providing national resources and support to college branches to that end.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE3A.1  Anti-casualisation Committee

Change the word 'teachers' to 'workers'.

Add at end;

'Conference require FEC to introduce a national, accountable pay claim system that:

  1. records details of every local pay claim, including items first requested, items first offered, items unsuccessful as well as successful
  2. triggers follow-on claims on an annual (or other timely) basis.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference applauds the huge effort by UCU nationally to build the HE pension campaign. In contrast, the FE pay campaign resulted in 14 branches taking action following the September 2017 consultative e-ballot. Conference needs no reminder of the dire pay situation across FE. However, UCU's credibility among FE workers regarding its capacity to improve pay and conditions issues is deeply compromised. A history of discontinued pay campaigns leaves members feeling that UCU can do little to improve pay and conditions given the sector's wider difficulties. FE is seen as a neglected sector within its own union.

Conference commits UCU to building an ongoing, national FE pay campaign focused on its members, college boards, students, communities, and decision-makers aggressively to press the pay and conditions case. The campaign should aim to build the ground over time for significant industrial action, providing national resources and support to college branches to that end.

Conference require FEC to introduce a national, accountable pay claim system that:

  1. records details of every local pay claim, including items first requested, items first offered, items unsuccessful as well as successful
  2. triggers follow-on claims on an annual (or other timely) basis.

FE4  College Principals' pay - NPTC Group

FE sector conference notes:

  1. the measures to limit vice chancellors pay
  2. the fact that College Principals' pay has increased at a faster rate than lecturers' pay.

Conference resolves to lobby the various governments and funding councils to limit Principals' pay to no more than five times the median pay of all employees whether full time or part time.

CARRIED


FE5  Holiday pay in FE, adult and prison education - Anti-casualisation Committee

Conference notes that 11 years after it was ruled unlawful, the practice of rolling up holiday pay is still common in colleges, prison education and adult education providers. Conference also notes that in many cases holiday pay is not paid at the correct pro-rata level.

Conference calls on the FEC to:

  1. provide guidance for branches in helping them to identify unlawful 'rolling up' practices or unlawful detriments to part-time staff in the payment of holiday pay
  2. provide negotiating and legal support for branches to lodge claims for correct payment and back payment of unpaid holiday pay where appropriate
  3. ensure that the issue of holiday pay forms part of the campaign for fair treatment for casualised staff in FE, adult and prison education.

CARRIED


FE6  Equal pay - Further Education Committee

Conference notes that all employers of 250+ staff are required to report their gender pay and bonus gaps by 30 March 2018.

Conference also welcomes the work branches are doing to engage with employers on eradicating the gender pay gap (GPG), however more must be done as a gap still exists.

Conference therefore call on FEC to:

  1. remind employers of their legal duties and where necessary, report GPGs
  2. continue work to secure better agreements on eradicating the gender pay gap and publicise good practice throughout the union
  3. encourage branches to work with employers in conducting pay audits to consider other equality strands and where the data is available, work to close any identified gaps
  4. gather data to identify if there are discernible patterns to the causes of gender pay inequality, and review available branch guidance to ensure its currency and effectiveness.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE6A.1  Women Members' Standing Committee

Add bullet point, '5. Centralise fighting gender equality and other equality pay gaps as part of any industrial action'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that all employers of 250+ staff are required to report their gender pay and bonus gaps by 30 March 2018.

Conference also welcomes the work branches are doing to engage with employers on eradicating the gender pay gap (GPG), however more must be done as a gap still exists.

Conference therefore call on FEC to:

  1. remind employers of their legal duties and where necessary, report GPGs
  2. continue work to secure better agreements on eradicating the gender pay gap and publicise good practice throughout the union
  3. encourage branches to work with employers in conducting pay audits to consider other equality strands and where the data is available, work to close any identified gaps
  4. gather data to identify if there are discernible patterns to the causes of gender pay inequality, and review available branch guidance to ensure its currency and effectiveness
  5. centralise fighting gender equality and other equality pay gaps as part of any industrial action.

FE7  Anti-casualisation - Further Education Committee

Conference welcomes the progress made in building local campaigns and negotiations on casualisation in further education in the last year, in spite of the challenging environment. 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


FE8  Facility time for casualised staff in FE - Anti-casualisation Committee

Conference notes:

  1. members need recompense for time spent dealing with union matters, attending activities, annual/committee meetings, conferences and training
  2. over a third of staff are casualised and, consequently, encounter great difficulty arranging to attend union activities, let alone claiming facility time
  3. how hard it is, even after laboriously negotiating time, to claim for time spent in lieu of work duties
  4. casualised members lose hours and therefore pay, in order to participate
  5. many members are prevented from attending and participating altogether.

Conference requires FEC to:

  1. review guidance about negotiating 'paid time on' for hourly-paid staff
  2. formalise procedures, to support all members, especially casualised workers, to negotiate adequate and reasonable paid facility time off work
  3. arrange for NEC duties to be supported by UCU HQ;
  4. encourage branches to assign facility time to casualised reps, as they don't have the buffer of permanent work.

CARRIED


B12   Casualisation in FE - South East regional FE committee

Congress notes that an increasing number of members in FE and Adult Education are casualised staff.  The reality for many or most is that they are either on short term contracts, hourly paid or zero hour contracts.  In addition, staff in these sectors are pitted against each other in the vague hope that if they work hard enough they will be given a permanent contract.

The multiplier of a half an hour for every teaching hour for marking, paid at admin rate is insufficient and should be scrapped as insufficient and exploitative. Congress agrees that the campaigns to challenge such practices should be prioritised and increased.  Practices that leave highly skilled lecturers having insecure employment and the stress of having to input a lot of unpaid and unrewarded work on the vague promise of a post and to vie for said post with colleagues and comrades are completely unacceptable.

CARRIED


FE9  Prison educators should have career long access to TPS - NOVUS Prison Education

Conference notes that:

  1. many UCU members who work in prison education see this as the area of education they want to commit their career to
  2. most prison educators are members of the TPS and access to this scheme is at risk in the next round of retendering of education contracts
  3. the decision as to the education provider lies solely in the hands of the prison governor, who through the commissioning process decides what pension scheme our members are eligible to join.

Conference therefore instructs the NEC to lobby MPs, the TPS and HMPPS to ensure prison education is a recognised part of the teaching profession and therefore prison educators should have access to TPS, whoever the education provider is, throughout their career.

CARRIED


FE10  (EP) Workload campaign - Further Education Committee

Conference notes that workload intensification and excessive working hours continues to be a significant issue for members.

Conference welcomes the work undertaken by UCU branches and staff during 2017 to launch a workload campaign utilising the statutory rights and functions for trade union safety representatives.

Conference believes that UCU needs to further develop effective workplace organisation to reduce workload intensification and the associated detrimental impact this has for members.

Conference recognises that 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.

Conference resolves:

  1. to continue and expand the UK wide workload campaign
  2. to support local campaigns and negotiations for improved workload agreements
  3. to support an increase in the number of trade union safety representatives throughout the sector.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE10A.1  Women Members' Standing Committee

After the first sentence add, 'Conference also notes excessive working hours particularly impact on those with caring responsibilities who are disproportionately women'.

CARRIED

FE10A.2  Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Add, before 'Conference resolves':

Excessive workload impacts disproportionately on disabled members e.g. lack of disability adjustments creates vulnerability to capability measures or injury from trying to keep up with unadjusted workload. It is important to get workload reasonable adjustment in place at the start of employment.

Add to Conference resolves:

4. include disability equality (adjustments and equal access to work) in campaign

5. include reasonable adjustment duty in training for H&S reps

6. demand employers deliver reasonable adjustments training for all staff including using UCU's David's Story.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that workload intensification and excessive working hours continues to be a significant issue for members. Conference also notes excessive working hours particularly impact on those with caring responsibilities who are disproportionately women.

Conference welcomes the work undertaken by UCU branches and staff during 2017 to launch a workload campaign utilising the statutory rights and functions for trade union safety representatives.

Conference believes that UCU needs to further develop effective workplace organisation to reduce workload intensification and the associated detrimental impact this has for members.

Conference recognises that 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.

Excessive workload impacts disproportionately on disabled members e.g. lack of disability adjustments creates vulnerability to capability measures or injury from trying to keep up with unadjusted workload. It is important to get workload reasonable adjustment in place at the start of employment.

Conference resolves:

  1. to continue and expand the UK wide workload campaign
  2. to support local campaigns and negotiations for improved workload agreements
  3. to support an increase in the number of trade union safety representatives throughout the sector
  4. include disability equality (adjustments and equal access to work) in campaign
  5. include reasonable adjustment duty in training for H&S reps
  6. demand employers deliver reasonable adjustments training for all staff including using UCU's David's Story.

FE11  (EP) Impact of workload and expectations of FE academic staff - Southern regional FE committee

A report by the YMCA Awards found last year that over half of FE teachers found the long working hours to be one of the biggest challenges in their profession. Additionally 62% reported that resource issues, for example having a large amount of marking, were creating real challenges for teachers in the FE sector.

The increasing workloads and expectations we all experience as teachers are impacting on our ability to provide meaningful teaching and learning opportunities for our learners.

Conference calls on the FEC to:

  1. campaign for reasonable workloads for academic and support staff including appropriate remuneration and remission of hours when staff take on additional roles
  2. acknowledge the mental and physical strains that large workloads have on both staff wellbeing and subsequent financial impact when it goes wrong.

CARRIED


FE12  Verbal and physical abuse within the FE sector - Suffolk New College

Conference notes there appears to have been a rise in verbal and physical attacks to staff from students and that workplaces seem to be doing very little to support staff in creating a safe working environment.

Conference also notes that other workplaces, including the NHS and Royal Mail have a zero tolerance policy on verbal and physical abuse towards staff, however in the further education sector we are expected to accept a short suspension and to continue teaching those that abuse us.

Conference resolves to:

  1. campaign to raise awareness of abuse towards staff
  2. encourage workplaces to offer better support to staff facing abuse from students
  3. encourage workplaces to adopt a zero tolerance policy on abuse to staff
  4. to work together with other unions to tackle the issues across the entire education sector.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE12A.1  Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Add new para 3:

The Tories sustained assault on disabled people has not only deepened poverty but also created an increase in disability hate by lending respectability to the notion we are scroungers, workshy etc. This creeping prejudice impacts disabled members trying to get workplace adjustments as well as in abuse and bullying.

Add new 5 and 6:

5. to recognise hate crime within campaigns against abuse and bullying

6. to produce a briefing on combatting disability hate.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes there appears to have been a rise in verbal and physical attacks to staff from students and that workplaces seem to be doing very little to support staff in creating a safe working environment.

Conference also notes that other workplaces, including the NHS and Royal Mail have a zero tolerance policy on verbal and physical abuse towards staff, however in the further education sector we are expected to accept a short suspension and to continue teaching those that abuse us.

The Tories sustained assault on disabled people has not only deepened poverty but also created an increase in disability hate by lending respectability to the notion we are scroungers, workshy etc. This creeping prejudice impacts disabled members trying to get workplace adjustments as well as in abuse and bullying.

Conference resolves to:

  1. campaign to raise awareness of abuse towards staff
  2. encourage workplaces to offer better support to staff facing abuse from students
  3. encourage workplaces to adopt a zero tolerance policy on abuse to staff
  4. to work together with other unions to tackle the issues across the entire education sector
  5. to recognise hate crime within campaigns against abuse and bullying
  6. to produce a briefing on combatting disability hate.

FE13  Further education and mental health - Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Mental health has become more and more prominent and embedded in UCU's work. In further education increasing numbers of students and staff are reporting mental health conditions and issues. The services to support people are often absent or patchy. Colleges often react to a situation rather than tackling the causes of mental health such as high workloads and precarious and insecure contracts. Sickness absence policies also force staff into 'presenteeism' increasing mental health conditions and issues.

This conference calls upon FEC to:

  1. support and disseminate the NUS charter for mental health which includes mental health training for staff
  2. work with the AoC on guidance on how to create working cultures and environments that support the wellbeing and health of staff
  3. call on the AoC to recommend disability leave policies and to ensure provision of counselling services (staff and students) in all colleges.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE13A.1  LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Insert new sentence 3

Statistics from numerous studies show that LGBT people are at significantly greater risk of mental health problems.

Add new bullet points after 'This conference calls ...'

4. research into mental health of LGBT FE staff with recommendations for improvements.

5. work with the NUS looking at the mental health of FE learners and what measures can be taken to better support LGBT wellbeing

6. campaign against cuts to mental health services and for services that can support wellbeing of LGBT staff and learners.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Mental health has become more and more prominent and embedded in UCU's work. In further education increasing numbers of students and staff are reporting mental health conditions and issues. The services to support people are often absent or patchy. Colleges often react to a situation rather than tackling the causes of mental health such as high workloads and precarious and insecure contracts. Sickness absence policies also force staff into 'presenteeism' increasing mental health conditions and issues.

This conference calls upon FEC to:

  1. support and disseminate the NUS charter for mental health which includes mental health training for staff
  2. work with the AoC on guidance on how to create working cultures and environments that support the wellbeing and health of staff
  3. call on the AoC to recommend disability leave policies and to ensure provision of counselling services (staff and students) in all colleges
  4. research into mental health of LGBT FE staff with recommendations for improvements
  5. work with the NUS looking at the mental health of FE learners and what measures can be taken to better support LGBT wellbeing
  6. campaign against cuts to mental health services and for services that can support wellbeing of LGBT staff and learners.

FE14  A more strategic approach to building in ACE - Hackney ACE

Conference notes:

  1. the important work done by members teaching in adult and community education sector, directly employed by local authorities
  2. that progress has been made in understanding the challenges faced by members in the ACE sector.
  3. the value of the recent members' survey and the FOI that has gone out to ACL departments.

Conference asks that:

  1. priority is given to gathering and collating the data provided by the FOI
  2. this information is used to inform a strategic plan on how to organise in ACE
  3. bargaining guides and recruitment materials are produced specifically for staff in ACE
  4. that a meeting of ACE members will be consulted in developing this strategy before the annual ACE meeting.

CARRIED


FE15  Access to natural justice for prison educators - NOVUS Prison Education

Conference notes that:

  1. members who work in prisons, can be excluded from their place of work and subsequently dismissed from their job, even if their employer finds they have no case to answer
  2. prison educators are denied a right of appeal unless supported by the education provider
  3. that prison educators can be interviewed by prison staff without access to support or representation.

Conference believes that HMPPS would not be able to treat their own staff in this manner and our members are placed in a position where they are unable to access natural justice.

Conference therefore instructs the FEC to:

  1. raise via media and through lobbying of MPs that prison educators cannot access natural justice under the current exclusion procedures
  2. using the OLASS Forum seek to agree new procedures and review the PSI with HMPPS to release this tension and protect our members.

CARRIED


FE16  (EP) Ofsted, surveillance, and targeting of Muslim girls - Women Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes:

  1. Ofsted announced they will question girls about wearing hijabs
  2. that this follows a pattern of targeting of the clothing of Muslim women and girls which has seen college managements attempt to ban the niqaab
  3. that it is part of a wider racist and sexist cultural process weaponising Muslim women and girls as part of a deliberate attempt to divide society
  4. Prevent strategy surveillance and control together with this new Ofsted policy act destructively within our colleges and harm communities.

Conference recognises that girls and women have the right to wear whatever they want. Conference resolves:

  1. to campaign against this targeting of Muslim women and girls
  2. to renew our efforts to opposition to Prevent and all policies which use the language of equality for surveillance, control and policing of students and workers
  3. to campaign for policies which achieve equality through educational empowerment.

CARRIED


FE17  Women, universal credit and ESOL - Women Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the worst effects of the changes to welfare benefits by rolling individual benefits e.g. housing benefit, child tax credit etc. into one single payment will fall on women
  2. where there is a joint claim the likelihood is this will lead to and/or exacerbate dependency particularly amongst new refugee women and women facing domestic abuse as the dependent of the male 'head of the household'
  3. currently under fee remission rules for adult courses in FE, those in receipt of JSA/ESA, get free courses including ESOL. If a woman is part JSA claiming household but not named on the claim, this risks excluding her from access to education.

Conference resolves:

  1. to work with other unions e.g. PCS and welfare rights groups to campaign to change universal credit
  2. to demand change to fee remission rules so that women dependents automatically get free courses
  3. to press for free ESOL courses for all.

CARRIED


FE18  Universal credit: a threat to disabled staff and students - Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the change to universal credit can mean a cut in benefit of up to £58 a week for disabled people
  2. as UC is paid a month in arrears it can cause rent arrears and force some students to use money needed for disability needs and food for rent
  3. further education students moving from ESA to UC lose the right to study without being forced to look for work and all disabled people, are forced to undertake mandatory health and work conversation or face sanction
  4. Disabled staff who could claim ESA on sick leave or on redundancy, may get no benefit under UC.

Conference believes introduction of UC can affect the ability of our students to remain on course and succeed and may disadvantage disabled staff.

Conference resolves to join campaigns to 'fix universal credit', working with disability organisations, benefits campaigners and other unions.

CARRIED


FE19  Challenging LGBT+ discrimination in FE - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Invisibility of LGBT+ people in school education continues as part of Section 28's legacy. This leads to FE staff facing challenges caused by the failure of others to tackle anti-LGBT+ feelings and language.

Conference notes with concern:

  1. the Pride and Prejudice LGBT+ report findings including that 17% of staff experienced name-calling in the workplace and 10% had been threatened or intimidated.
  2. little evidenced progress for LGBT+ equality in FE
  3. FE staff being left to challenge LGBT+ discrimination with little support or training.

Conference resolves to:

  1. campaign for including images of LGBT+ people, stories and concerns
  2. work with unions, organisations and projects such as TUC, Schools Out, Voices and Visibility providing LGBT+ resources across the sector
  3. support FE branches in celebrating LGBT+ events e.g. LGBT History Month
  4. campaign for action on anti-LGBT+ behaviour
  5. support LGBT+ members who are feeling bullied and harassed.

CARRIED


FE20  LGBT+ visibility in FE - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

The Local Government Act came into effect in May 1988, including the infamous Section 28. It stated local authorities 'shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality.' Though this was repealed in 2003 FE still operates in its shadow.

Conference notes:

  1. a systemic lack of evidencing and promoting LGBT+ presence amongst the staff and/or students - data isn't routinely collected
  2. there aren't precise figures on the make-up of FE workforce
  3. we cannot evidence data on the percentage of FE teachers who identify as one protected characteristic or an intersection of several.

Conference calls for:

  1. inclusive collection of data about all protected characteristics in FE as informed by UCU guidance and recommendation e.g. on LGBT+ equality
  2. recognition of our varied existences, our real families and communities in all aspects of how the companies, institutions and other providers in FE operate.

CARRIED


FE21  Liberate the FE curriculum - Black Members' Standing Committee

Conference congratulates the work undertaken in HE to broaden the curriculum with campaigns such as 'Why is my curriculum White?' and 'Rhodes must fall', to make the learning experience for Black students more inclusive and representative.

Conference notes:

  1. 42% of Black students believes the curriculum does not reflect issues of diversity, equality and discrimination
  2. courses do not adequately reflect or acknowledge the diverse and intersectional experiences of Black students.

Conference believes that a fully inclusive curriculum can assist in addressing the attainment gap faced by Black students.

Conference resolves to:

  1. challenge the marginalisation of Black students in FE and to campaign with the NUS to liberate the curriculum in FE
  2. work with the AoC and other stakeholders in developing a framework for a fully inclusive curriculum
  3. produce guidance on how FE courses can be more inclusive.

CARRIED


FE22  Careers for Black staff - Black Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes the continued failure of the further and adult education sector to establish a reliable set of data on staff disaggregated by ethnicity. The higher education sector has the Higher Education Statistics Agency which produces datasets allowing based on information supplied by each university but here is no equivalence in further and adult education.

Conference believes that a reliable source of data is vital to ensure the further and adult education sector has an open and transparent career path which Black staff can access.

Conference resolves to:

  1. work with relevant stakeholders to facilitate the setting up of a Further Education Statistics Agency
  2. seek feedback from further and adult education branches with regard to the data collection that is currently undertaken
  3. provide guidance for branches on the type of monitoring to request from their institution and how best to organise around this issue.

CARRIED


FE23  Organising in 'supercolleges' - Lewisham Southwark College

Conference notes the recent area reviews in further education have led to a proliferation in the number of 'supercolleges' i.e. where a number of institutions have been merged together under the umbrella of a 'group'. These groups have, more often than not, been formed against best interests of college staff, students and the local communities affected by the mergers, and many jobs have been lost.

Though many new college groups have been formed according to local geography, there are some which do not fit this model and this brings particular challenges to UCU in terms of organising and campaigning.

Conference resolves to:

  1. produce campaigning guidance for branches who are organising within 'supercolleges'
  2. ensure that branches who are part of college groups remain within their local regions of UCU
  3. re-affirm UCU's commitment to supporting publicly-run local community education and campaigning against the increasing corporatisation of the sector.

CARRIED


FE24  College super-groups - Activate Learning City of Oxford College

Conference notes the growth of college 'super-groups' aided by the government's area reviews but also developed by colleges themselves seeking economies of scale and diversification.

In some cases these super-groups have extended their reach beyond FE into schools, studio schools, UTCs and international work. As this type of college has evolved there has often been:

  1. a rationalisation of provision leading to cuts
  2. harmonisation of terms and conditions of employment, often to the lowest common denominator
  3. the growth of high paid chief executives and other senior staff.

Conference calls for a review of how UCU should respond to these new developments.

CARRIED


FE25  Cuts and mergers: the apocalypse after area reviews - City of Liverpool College (City)

Conference notes UCU predicted that the area review would cause cuts, restructures, redundancies and a loss of places, courses and programmes. The government argued that the area reviews would make the FE sector stronger and more resilient. They also guaranteed that students would not be detrimentally affected geographically.

The Hartford campus in Warrington Vale College is under threat of closure. The site has some of the best resources. The travel to the next site will be very challenging for students.

Both of the promises from the government have been broken here.

This could happen to any college that has more than one site.

Conference resolves to:

  1. support the sites and branches; support them in their regions; in their efforts to fight cuts, closures and restructures
  2. work with NUS to prevent the cuts to colleges.

CARRIED


FE26  Support for BMET College A-Level teachers - West Midlands regional FE committee

FE sector conference notes:

  1. the creation by BMET College of a 'Centre of Excellence' for A-Levels.
  2. the aggressive move by BMET management forcing A-Level tutors to re-apply for their existing jobs in competition with external candidates.
  3. the dedication and experience of the existing BMET A-Level teaching team.
  4. the failure by BMET management properly to consult the appropriate unions on this matter.

Conference resolves:

  1. to give full national support to BMET members in highlighting and fighting this reprehensible move
  2. to action UCU to monitor this worrying development nationally, and resist the expansion of this practice across the sector.

CARRIED


FE27  (EP) Commissioner intervention and FE colleges - Bradford College

Bradford College, Hull College, and Kirklees College in Yorkshire and Humberside have all seen recent intervention by the FE Commissioners, due to what can be described as, mismanagement.

Mismanagement of finances in the sector stems from government policy resulting in:

  1. inefficient mergers and acquisitions
  2. new buildings that are not fit for purpose and incur massive debt as public funding is unavailable
  3. debt resulting from the underfunding of further education courses
  4. the marketisation of FE, resulting in unrealistic expansion plans and competition for students
  5. the rising pay of senior post holders agreed at secretive remuneration committees.

UCU acknowledges that mismanagement which leads to government intervention, is of national significance.

Conference resolves to campaign for the introduction of democratic management structures that include: competent governors, elected union officials and students; all to be provided with appropriate information and resources to allow their active involvement in strategic decision making.

CARRIED


FE28  Holding college leaders to account - Hull College

On 19th April, Hull College Group Branches passed a motion of no confidence in their CEO and 'Fresh Start' proposals focused on financial savings and not on investment, education or quality. Financial mismanagement by her predecessor, her failure to meaningfully consult to mitigate redundancies and cuts to provision, and lack of oversight by governors is irrevocably damaging an already deprived community.

Conference believes that institutional leadership should accept responsibility and accountability for the damage caused by their actions. They should not be allowed to blame staff, students or government for poor financial governance.

Conference resolves to expose and publicise examples of financial mismanagement with a register of institutions left needing financial intervention. Available on the UCU website as a tool that local officials can use to hold college leaders to account, this would include: the names of the affected institution(s); the senior executive leader; and their financial legacy.

CARRIED


FE29  Future of further education - Further Education Committee

Further education sector conference recognises the support for our educational arguments and industrial strategies being offered by the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn leadership.

Conference believes we must develop this relationship to maximise our influence over the policy of a future Labour government towards FE.

Conferences asks FEC to:

  1. build on its relationship with Labour's front bench and encourages branches to build relationships with local MP's to increase their understanding of the sector
  2. work with other trade unions, NUS and the Labour Party to organise a 'future of FE' conference for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

CARRIED


FE30  Funding for FE - Activate Learning City of Oxford College

Conference notes that that the DfE national rates of funding of £4,000 per student for full time 16 to 18 year olds and £3,300 for 18+ students have been frozen again this year. This is the sixth year that the funding for 16 - 18 year olds has remained unchanged.

Conference agrees with Richard Atkins the FE Commissioner that 'FE sector funding is unfair' and commends Amanda Spielman Ofsted's Chief Inspector comments that there should be 'an increase in funding for 16- 18 year olds and that the FE sector 'will struggle unless given more funding'.

Conference calls for an immediate increase of £1,000 per student as a first step towards an adequately funded FE provision for these groups of students and proportionate increases for part time students.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE30A.1  Hull College

After the second paragraph, insert the new paragraph: 'Commissioner intervention inevitably follows, resulting in massive bailouts for Colleges who find themselves rated financially inadequate. These bailouts are subject to conditions that are shrouded in secrecy, yet ultimately result in mass redundancies and cuts to provision.'

After the last paragraph, insert the new paragraph: 'Conference also calls for a campaign to cease the imposition of draconian conditions on colleges who seek a bailout from the transaction unit, and to make public details of any conditions imposed.'

CARRIED

FE30A.2  Lambeth College

Add at end:

Congress notes in the government's 'Integrated Communities' Green Paper: the claim that 'immigration has put pressure on services'; 770,000 people in England aged 16+ need English, (women disproportionately affected); proposals include community-based English tuition and volunteer-run conversation clubs; FE Funding Cuts and funded ESOL in Colleges are not mentioned.

Congress resolves to campaign to make restoration of FE (and ESOL) funding, and rejection of a reliance on the voluntary sector, central to this paper's proposals.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes that that the DfE national rates of funding of £4,000 per student for full time 16 to 18 year olds and £3,300 for 18+ students have been frozen again this year. This is the sixth year that the funding for 16 - 18 year olds has remained unchanged.

Conference agrees with Richard Atkins the FE Commissioner that 'FE sector funding is unfair' and commends Amanda Spielman Ofsted's Chief Inspector comments that there should be 'an increase in funding for 16- 18 year olds and that the FE sector 'will struggle unless given more funding'.

Commissioner intervention inevitably follows, resulting in massive bailouts for Colleges who find themselves rated financially inadequate. These bailouts are subject to conditions that are shrouded in secrecy, yet ultimately result in mass redundancies and cuts to provision

Conference calls for an immediate increase of £1,000 per student as a first step towards an adequately funded FE provision for these groups of students and proportionate increases for part time students.

Conference also calls for a campaign to cease the imposition of draconian conditions on colleges who seek a bailout from the transaction unit, and to make public details of any conditions imposed.

Congress notes in the government's 'Integrated Communities' Green Paper: the claim that 'immigration has put pressure on services'; 770,000 people in England aged 16+ need English, (women disproportionately affected); proposals include community-based English tuition and volunteer-run conversation clubs; FE Funding Cuts and funded ESOL in Colleges are not mentioned.

Congress resolves to campaign to make restoration of FE (and ESOL) funding, and rejection of a reliance on the voluntary sector, central to this paper's proposals.


FE31  Colleges working together to fight austerity - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

Conference notes:

FE colleges across the country are feeling the effects of austerity. Area Reviews, mismanagement, Commissioner interventions and funding cuts are forcing colleges into restructuring exercises resulting in redundancies, attacks on terms and conditions and loss of community provision.

Conference believes:

  1. the effects of austerity on FE has been overlooked for too long, with no significant campaign action by UCU to fight it
  2. UCU has a duty to protect FE from these attacks
  3. by working collaboratively, UCU college branches can fend off/fight back against the worst effects of austerity.

Conference calls on FEC to:

  1. mount a nationwide campaign highlighting how austerity is affecting colleges as community resources
  2. campaign for increased funding and recognition that colleges are best placed to serve the learning needs of their communities
  3. support clusters of college branches to work together to mount joint campaigns against common threats.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE31A.1  Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

Add at the end of bullet point a, after 'community resources', 'and produce a policy document or model toolkit for branches'.

Add a new bullet point d. 'Demand transparency and accountability at all levels of local management and national Government where public money is spent on outsourced organisations'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

FE colleges across the country are feeling the effects of austerity. Area Reviews, mismanagement, Commissioner interventions and funding cuts are forcing colleges into restructuring exercises resulting in redundancies, attacks on terms and conditions and loss of community provision.

Conference believes:

  1. the effects of austerity on FE has been overlooked for too long, with no significant campaign action by UCU to fight it
  2. UCU has a duty to protect FE from these attacks
  3. by working collaboratively, UCU college branches can fend off/fight back against the worst effects of austerity
  4. demand transparency and accountability at all levels of local management and national Government where public money is spent on outsourced organisations.

Conference calls on FEC to:

  1. mount a nationwide campaign highlighting how austerity is affecting colleges as community resources and produce a policy document or model toolkit for branches
  2. campaign for increased funding and recognition that colleges are best placed to serve the learning needs of their communities
  3. support clusters of college branches to work together to mount joint campaigns against common threats.

FE32  Restore second chance education - Hackney ACE

Conference notes:

  1. adult learning is in crisis once again. Since 2013 over 1.5 million learners have been lost
  2. cuts recently to the Adult Learning Skills Budget (ASB) have had a negative impact on adult learning with a loss of provision
  3. that the coming devolution of funding to metropolitan Mayors will cause uncertainty for the future and unstable funding regime will cause jobs losses.

Conference instructs NEC and national officers to:

  1. liaise with David Lammy MP and other MPs to hold a parliamentary lobby for adult education this by the end of the year 2018
  2. invite community organisations and the WEA to take part
  3. produce a brochure for all MPs which recognises the full value of wider learning
  4. ensure stable and sustainable funding is top of the agenda for restoring adult education.

CARRIED


FE33  (EP) Apprenticeships - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

Conference notes:

  1. the apprenticeship levy is failing to meet government targets, and the number of starting apprentices has fallen drastically
  2. private contractors are taking millions from the government to deliver apprenticeships, but are either collapsing, failing inspections or not even being inspected
  3. the collapse of LearnDirect, First4Skills and recently, Carillion, have left thousands of apprentices in limbo.

Conference believes the apprenticeship model in the UK is broken, and thousands of young people are being failed in their bid to gain essential skills.

Conference resolves to campaign for a properly funded apprenticeship scheme that:

  1. pays a living wage to apprentices
  2. encourages employers to provide apprenticeship opportunities to young people
  3. protects apprentices in the event their employer/training provider faces financial difficulties
  4. does not allow employers to be their own training providers
  5. recognises that FE Colleges are best placed to deliver apprenticeship training.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE33A.1  LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Add new bullet points after 'Conference resolves to ...'

f. remains committed to understanding and assisting the lives of young people facing inequalities in life chances related to factors of class, disability, gender identity, race, sex and sexual orientation

g. undertakes research to ensure effective support for young people facing adverse life chances including all protected characteristics

h. ensures that the exclusion of sexual orientation factors in recent research into the impact of apprenticeships in lives of learners is addressed and not repeated.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. the apprenticeship levy is failing to meet government targets, and the number of starting apprentices has fallen drastically
  2. private contractors are taking millions from the government to deliver apprenticeships, but are either collapsing, failing inspections or not even being inspected
  3. the collapse of LearnDirect, First4Skills and recently, Carillion, have left thousands of apprentices in limbo.

Conference believes the apprenticeship model in the UK is broken, and thousands of young people are being failed in their bid to gain essential skills.

Conference resolves to campaign for a properly funded apprenticeship scheme that:

  1. pays a living wage to apprentices
  2. encourages employers to provide apprenticeship opportunities to young people
  3. protects apprentices in the event their employer/training provider faces financial difficulties
  4. does not allow employers to be their own training providers
  5. recognises that FE Colleges are best placed to deliver apprenticeship training
  6. remains committed to understanding and assisting the lives of young people facing inequalities in life chances related to factors of class, disability, gender identity, race, sex and sexual orientation
  7. undertakes research to ensure effective support for young people facing adverse life chances including all protected characteristics
  8. ensures that the exclusion of sexual orientation factors in recent research into the impact of apprenticeships in lives of learners is addressed and not repeated.

FE34  Maths and English GCSE compulsion in post-16 education - London regional FE committee

Conference notes the unacceptable levels of stress and anxiety compulsory study of English and maths in post-16 education is creating for students and staff. Compulsion undermines inclusivity and diversity and has an adverse impact on equalities.

Conference calls on the union to research and develop alternative strategies to widen participation, engagement and improvement in English and maths that is developmental and not punitive.

CARRIED


FE35  Localising college economies - West Midlands regional FE committee

FE sector conference notes:

  1. the growth of multinational and often tax-avoiding corporations as a presence in our colleges
  2. the devastating impact of the failure of outsourced companies such as Carillion and Capita for our colleges and communities
  3. the reckless use of public money in outsourcing a diverse range of college services, from highly paid 'mocksted' consultants to web development to personnel data packages, and the lack of democratic accountability for this
  4. the success of the Preston model in fighting austerity through a holistic understanding of the economic growth created through localising the economy.

FE sector conference calls on the FEC to:

  1. launch a national campaign to challenge the diverting of public money into outsourced corporations
  2. develop campaign materials and evidence based resources for branches to challenge college leadership on their financial decisions to outsource.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE35A.1  Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

Insert a new bullet point a. and re-letter appropriately:

a. demand transparency and accountability at all levels of local management and national Government where public money is spent on outsourced organisations.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

FE sector conference notes:

  1. the growth of multinational and often tax-avoiding corporations as a presence in our colleges
  2. the devastating impact of the failure of outsourced companies such as Carillion and Capita for our colleges and communities
  3. the reckless use of public money in outsourcing a diverse range of college services, from highly paid 'mocksted' consultants to web development to personnel data packages, and the lack of democratic accountability for this
  4. the success of the Preston model in fighting austerity through a holistic understanding of the economic growth created through localising the economy.

FE sector conference calls on the FEC to:

  1. demand transparency and accountability at all levels of local management and national Government where public money is spent on outsourced organisations
  2. launch a national campaign to challenge the diverting of public money into outsourced corporations
  3. develop campaign materials and evidence based resources for branches to challenge college leadership on their financial decisions to outsource.

FE36  (EP) National action - Further Education Committee

The overwhelming votes for action at 15 FE colleges in February, smashing through the Tories anti-union thresholds, show what is possible when we give a clear strategy to branches.

Union officers and activists worked seamlessly together to deliver impressive votes for strikes using a successful GTVO strategy.

This result mirrors the massive support for action in defence of USS.

The results show we need a more confident approach to building national action over crucial key issues like pay and pensions.

FE36A.1  Bournville College, Capital City College Group (City & Islington College), London regional FE committee, Croydon College, Sandwell College

At the end of first paragraph add: 'The 15 colleges coordinated ballot achieved a 62% turnout with a 93% vote for action.'

At the end of the second paragraph add: 'That UCU in FE can deliver a 50% turnout nationally with a dynamic and creative pay campaign.'

Third paragraph, after 'This result mirrors' insert: 'the HE campaign over pensions and'

Add at end:

Any future national action over pay must be escalating and the AoC to be notified of all the days that we are going to take if they don't meet out demands.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

The overwhelming votes for action at 15 FE colleges in February, smashing through the Tories anti-union thresholds, show what is possible when we give a clear strategy to branches. The 15 colleges coordinated ballot achieved a 62% turnout with a 93% vote for action.

Union officers and activists worked seamlessly together to deliver impressive votes for strikes using a successful GTVO strategy. That UCU in FE can deliver a 50% turnout nationally with a dynamic and creative pay campaign.

This result mirrors the HE campaign over pensions and the massive support for action in defence of USS.

The results show we need a more confident approach to building national action over crucial key issues like pay and pensions.

Any future national action over pay must be escalating and the AoC to be notified of all the days that we are going to take if they don't meet out demands.

Last updated: 31 May 2018