Higher Education Sector Conference 2016

UCU Congress 2016 - Higher Education Sector Conference: Thursday 2 June 2016

Motions have been allocated to a section of the NEC's report to Congress (UCU712). Paragraph headings refer to paragraphs within this report. CBC has added some new paragraph headings to facilitate the ordering of motions.

Section 2 of the NEC's report to Congress

Motions:

Closed session
HE1 - Pay
L1 - HE industrial dispute strategy​
HE2 - Campaign strategy
HE3 - Building the fight for pay
HE4 - Pay campaign, strikes and ASOS
HE5 - HE pay campaign

Open session
HE6 - Resisting the HE bill and opposing the green paper polices
HE7 - HE green paper/white paper
HE8 - Campaign to protect the public interest in higher education
HE9 - Jeremy Corbyn and higher education policy
HE10 - Casualisation and the higher education green paper
HE11 - Fighting government plans for the reform of higher education
HE12 - Boycott of the Teaching Excellence Framework
HE13 - HE green paper and Teaching Excellence Framework
HE14 - The green paper and TEF
HE15 - The HE green paper, women and gender equality
HE16 - LGBT equality and inclusiveness in HE and the TEF
HE17 - Teaching Excellence Framework, metrics and equality
HE18 - Disabled staff and the Teaching Excellence Framework
HE19 - Defending academic freedom in the era of the green paper and marketisation
HE20 - Threats to academic freedom
HE21 - Rate for the job
HE22 - Defending national terms and conditions
HE23 - De-skilling and the move away from the framework agreement
HE24 - Grade drift
HE25 - Pay and grading of specialist staff
HE26 - Measuring performance
HE27 - Increased uses of metrics in performance management in HE
HE28 - Defending professionalism - rejecting imposed observations
HE29 - Lecture capture
HE30 - Campaign: research and productivity targets
HE31 - HE complaints culture
HE32 - The impact of technologically enhanced teaching
HE33 - Equal pay
HE34 - The Race Equality Charter Mark in Higher Education
HE35 - Support for LGBT research
HE36 - USS and ethical investment
HE37 - Casualisation
HE38 - Casualisation and the changing higher education sector
HE39 - Surviving organisational change
HE40 - Workload
HE41 - Workload and stress in higher education
HE42 - Defend professionalism - fight workload abuse
HE43 - Collect data on workload from TRAC
HE44 - Funding for the health sector
HE45 - Protect the NHS bursary
HE46 - Higher education governance
HE47 - Governance and consultation in public universities
HE48 - Campaigning on vice-chancellors' and senior management pay and perks
HE49 - Fair play with fair pay
HE50 - Scrutiny and inequality of HE pay
HE51 - Freedom of information
HE52 - Defending London Met/CASS
HE53 - Closure of University of Brighton's Hastings campus
HE54 - Targeted research performance measures - who will be next?
HE55 - Improving our work in the postgraduate community
HE56 - Ratification of local negotiations
HE57 - Disabled Students' Allowance and Opportunity Fund

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy


National pay bargaining, paragraphs 2.1 - 2.2


HE1 Pay - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes the report and approves the recommendations from the national negotiators contained in UCUHE/276.

UCUHE/276 section 5 voted in parts;
table row beginning 'August - 18th' lost;
substantive motion carried


L1 - HE industrial dispute strategy - Sheffield Hallam University 

HE Sector Conference welcomes the pay campaign and vote in favour of strike action and ASOS but calls on the HEC to review and revise the proposed summer strike strategy that was published on May 9th. We believe that strike action in June, July or August would be ineffective and should not take place. We believe that an effective strategy should consist of targeted days of action over the summer (e.g. leafleting graduation ceremonies, leafleting open days etc) building to strike action in the Autumn and further clearly defined ASOS. The HE sector conference calls on the HEC to adopt this strategy and support branches to identify and carry out local campaign actions.

Falls


HE2 Campaign strategy - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional HE Sector Committee

Conference is concerned that the will of the HEC is not being effectively implemented with regard to campaigns. The October HEC meeting resolved to 'develop a [pay] campaign now and run it into and throughout the build up to the 2016 negotiating round (October 2015 - March 2016). Seek to develop and submit a joint claim early (January) and move to ballot and action in April or May based on a 2016 dispute if the offer is unacceptable'.

Conference notes that this timetable was not adhered to, with no noticeable campaign until late January, and no pay claim submitted by early February.

Conference calls for:

  1. adherence to campaign strategies agreed by the HEC;
  2. an improvement in communication with branches and members on strategies, timetables and their implementation;
  3. high standards in the creation of campaign materials and more support for branches from those leading UCU nationally.

Carried as amended

HE2A.1 Yorkshire and Humberside Regional HE Sector Committee

In the first paragraph, delete 'that the will of the HEC is not being effectively implemented' and replace it with 'at delays in implementing the will of the HEC'.

In the second paragraph, insert 'fully' before 'adhered to', and delete 'and no pay claim submitted by early February'.

Carried

Substantive motion

Conference is concerned at delays in implementing the will of the HEC with regard to campaigns. The October HEC meeting resolved to 'develop a [pay] campaign now and run it into and throughout the build up to the 2016 negotiating round (October 2015 - March 2016). Seek to develop and submit a joint claim early (January) and move to ballot and action in April or May based on a 2016 dispute if the offer is unacceptable'.

Conference notes that this timetable was not fully adhered to, with no noticeable campaign until late January.

Conference calls for:

  1. adherence to campaign strategies agreed by the HEC;
  2. an improvement in communication with branches and members on strategies, timetables and their implementation;
  3. high standards in the creation of campaign materials and more support for branches from those leading UCU nationally.

HE3 (EP) Building the fight for pay - North West Regional HE Sector Committee

HEC notes the impact yearly pay cuts are having on the membership. With Tory austerity measures still creating savage cuts, pay in the HE sector stagnates. Despite the 2% pay increase in 2014, our pay has fallen in real terms by approximately 13% since August 2008.

Conference resolves to:

  1. actively campaign amongst members to explain why pay is particularly important
  2. organise support for smaller branches which may have difficulty mobilising members
  3. ensure relevant resources reach branches, allowing opportunity for effective campaigning
  4. instruct national negotiators not to enter into negotiations over performance-relate pay, nor to concede to any element of it, as part of these or any future pay negotiations
  5. ensure a minimum of ten working days' notice to branches before distribution of indicative e-ballots, thus allowing time to campaign
  6. make fighting for pay and pay equality a top priority.

Carried


HE4 Pay campaign, strikes and ASOS - University of Brighton, Grand Parade

HESC notes that:

  1. as in the 2013/14 pay dispute, HE managements in the 2014/15 USS dispute announced 100% punitive pay docking for ASOS
  2. UCU policy on industrial strategy (Congress 2014) links ASOS with escalating, national strike action rather than counterposing strikes against ASOS
  3. the assessment boycott was called off by HEC each time it was approaching a period when it would have had the greatest impact
  4. the failure to implement UCU policy by challenging punitive pay-docking with national strike action has undermined many members' belief in ASOS.

In the present pay dispute HESC mandates HEC to:

  1. accept its responsibility to implement national policy in response to punitive pay docking
  2. develop timetables for industrial action which, combined with a mapping of institutions' timetables, ensures that industrial action is taken at times that guarantee the maximum impact.

Carried as amended

Late amendment to HE4   
HE4A.1  University of Brighton, Falmer

Delete point 4 and insert 'HESC believes that assessment boycott remains an essential part of the union's industrial strategy and should not be abandoned.'

Delete point a, and replace with 'prepare members for the implementation of an assessment boycott in the autumn'.

Delete point b, and insert 'combine AOS with escalating strike action in ways which deter punitive deductions and maximize its impact for a successful outcome of the dispute'.

Carried

Substantive motion

HESC notes that:

  1. as in the 2013/14 pay dispute, HE managements in the 2014/15 USS dispute announced 100% punitive pay docking for ASOS
  2. UCU policy on industrial strategy (Congress 2014) links ASOS with escalating, national strike action rather than counterposing strikes against ASOS
  3. the assessment boycott was called off by HEC each time it was approaching a period when it would have had the greatest impact
  4. HESC believes that assessment boycott remains an essential part of the union's industrial strategy and should not be abandoned.

In the present pay dispute HESC mandates HEC to:

  1. prepare members for the implementation of an assessment boycott in the autumn
  2. combine AOS with escalating strike action in ways which deter punitive deductions and maximize its impact for a successful outcome of the dispute.

HE5 HE pay campaign - University of Dundee

HESC notes:

  1. the victory of EIS members in FE within Scotland in their fight for equal pay
  2. their pay campaign won both a 33% pay award for the least well paid, the return of national pay bargaining and a national pay scale
  3. UCU is entering into a pay dispute in HE.

HESC believes:

  1. similar victories on pay are possible in other sectors
  2. the EIS campaign of escalating industrial action and determined leadership by the EIS union encouraged members to vote for sustained industrial action
  3. EIS recognition that a political and industrial campaign was necessary proved to strengthen members resolve.

HESC resolves:

  1. to send a message of support to EIS on their victory
  2. to commit to a pay campaign involving escalating industrial action and political campaigning.

Carried


New paragraph, the HE green paper


HE6 Composite: Resisting the HE bill and opposing the green paper polices - Ruskin College, University of Leicester, University College London, London Regional HE Sector Committee

Conference notes that the green paper for HE, 'Fulfilling our Potential', makes a number of damaging proposals for the funding and governance of UK higher education, including:

  1. introducing a 'Teaching Excellence Framework' based on metrics
  2. replacing HEFCE, DfA, OFFA etc, with a new 'Office for Students'
  3. reducing regulations (including caps on student numbers and timescales) that 'private providers' have to meet to charge students tuition fees, obtain degree-awarding powers and call themselves a 'university'
  4. weakening academic freedom protections inside existing universities.

HESC also notes:

  1. the HE green paper is designed to ease the entry of private providers (including for-profits) into the HE sector
  2. that provisions in the green paper will also make closures of existing HEIs and takeovers easier
  3. reports in the press that David Cameron sees easing privatisation of HE as a 'flagship' policy of this government, describing universities as a 'closed shop'.

HESC resolves:

  1. to prioritise resistance to privatisation, the green/white paper and HE bill in our national work
  2. to call on members to consider the likely impact of privatisation of teaching in their subject area, including the quality of resulting teaching
  3. to work with the NUS, sister unions, the Council for the Defence of British Universities, the Campaign for the Public University, etc., to build this campaign
  4. to call a national demonstration and a lobby of parliament against the HE bill
  5. to take forward a national campaign against these proposals, including:
    - local organising (briefings, speaking tours, meetings, protests and letter-writing)
    - a public meeting in Parliament timed to coincide with the first or second reading of any bill.

Carried as amended

HE6A.1 Kingston University

Under the first paragraph beginning 'Conference notes', add new points 5. and 6. and 7.:

'5. the introduction of the TEF will significantly undermine the linkages between teaching, scholarship and research embedded with higher education

6. the TEF is also likely to undermine collegiality and impose formulaic approaches to teaching. The corporate language and ethos of the document is based on a competency model of lecturer development rather than a reflective practitioner model

7. the TEF includes measures to control and regulate student unions.'

Carried

HE6A.2 University of Bath

Add to 'HESC also notes':

'd. the key role of the NSS, as a source of data for the TEF, in the government's marketization plans

e. that NUS conference has voted to prepare for a sabotage of the NSS in order to "render the TEF unworkable, and discuss the most effective method with UCU before June".'

Add to 'HESC resolves:' and renumber accordingly:

'iv. to instruct HEC to promptly express support to NUS for a student-led sabotage of the NSS in which students enter artificially minimum scores.'

Carried

HE6A.3 Higher Education Committee

Add the following bullet points in HESC resolves:

'vi. to support the NUS call for a national demonstration in defence of higher education and work with NUS and other campus unions for a demonstration in the autumn term

vii. encourage branches to hold meetings at universities on the HE bill and work with the NUS, HE Convention, CDBU and CPU in their development

viii. organise a national day of action for the defence of HE.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Conference notes that the green paper for HE, 'Fulfilling our Potential', makes a number of damaging proposals for the funding and governance of UK higher education, including:

  1. introducing a 'Teaching Excellence Framework' based on metrics
  2. replacing HEFCE, DfA, OFFA etc, with a new 'Office for Students'
  3. reducing regulations (including caps on student numbers and timescales) that 'private providers' have to meet to charge students tuition fees, obtain degree-awarding powers and call themselves a 'university'
  4. weakening academic freedom protections inside existing universities
  5. the introduction of the TEF will significantly undermine the linkages between teaching, scholarship and research embedded with higher education
  6. the TEF is also likely to undermine collegiality and impose formulaic approaches to teaching. The corporate language and ethos of the document is based on a competency model of lecturer development rather than a reflective practitioner model
  7. the TEF includes measures to control and regulate student unions.

HESC also notes:

  1. the HE green paper is designed to ease the entry of private providers (including for-profits) into the HE sector
  2. that provisions in the green paper will also make closures of existing HEIs and takeovers easier
  3. reports in the press that David Cameron sees easing privatisation of HE as a 'flagship' policy of this government, describing universities as a 'closed shop'
  4. the key role of the NSS, as a source of data for the TEF, in the government's marketization plans
  5. that NUS conference has voted to prepare for a sabotage of the NSS in order to 'render the TEF unworkable, and discuss the most effective method with UCU before June'.

HESC resolves:

  1. to prioritise resistance to privatisation, the green/white paper and HE bill in our national work
  2. to call on members to consider the likely impact of privatisation of teaching in their subject area, including the quality of resulting teaching
  3. to work with the NUS, sister unions, the Council for the Defence of British Universities, the Campaign for the Public University, etc., to build this campaign
  4. to instruct HEC to promptly express support to NUS for a student-led sabotage of the NSS in which students enter artificially minimum scores
  5. to call a national demonstration and a lobby of parliament against the HE bill
  6. to take forward a national campaign against these proposals, including:
    - local organising (briefings, speaking tours, meetings, protests and letter-writing)
    - a public meeting in Parliament timed to coincide with the first or second reading of any bill
  7. to support the NUS call for a national demonstration in defence of higher education and work with NUS and other campus unions for a demonstration in the autumn term
  8. encourage branches to hold meetings at universities on the HE bill and work with the NUS, HE Convention, CDBU and CPU in their development
  9. organise a national day of action for the defence of HE.

HE7 HE green paper/white paper - South East Regional HE Sector Committee

Conference notes the:

  1. success of February's second Convention for HE
  2. intention to produce an alternative white paper
  3. negative impact of the HE green paper and Excellent Education Everywhere (education white paper)
  4. resolve and commitment of other unions to ballot for action to stand up for education and the backing received from parents, experts and cross party support at local and national governmental level.

Conference resolves to:

  1. circulate copies of the alternative white paper to all HE members
  2. support all branches that decide to ballot for industrial action over a trades dispute that arises from the government's reforms to the sector
  3. support the lobby of parliament organised by the council and the campaign around the alternative white paper
  4. declare in favour of a national demonstration against the government proposals (in conjunction with other TUs if possible, the NUS, the council and the campaign)
  5. ballot immediately for strike and ASOS in line with other unions [line withdrawn].

Carried


HE8 (EP) Campaign to protect the public interest in higher education - Coventry University

Conference notes that the 2015 green paper suggests (part C, chapter 3, pp. 66-68) that Higher Education Corporations (HECs) should in future have the right to dissolve themselves into for-profit providers.

Conference also notes that providers such as Coventry University are already taking over large sections of their city/town centres and thereby increasing their asset portfolios.

Conference is aware that such developments could lead to the privatisation of publicly-owned spaces and that such assets will be extremely attractive to 'corporate raiders' such as hedge-funds. Such privatisation could therefore lead to the asset-stripping of town and city centres for the purposes of shareholder super-profits.

Conference agrees to launch a broad-based campaign to:

  1. raise awareness amongst members, students, citizens and local authorities about these proposed changes
  2. to commit existing higher education providers to place the public good above private profit and in the process democratise institutional governance.

Carried


HE9 (EP) Jeremy Corbyn and higher education policy - Open University

Conference welcomes the election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Party leader, which represents a welcome shift in the UK political landscape. We applaud Corbyn's contribution to UCU's third Cradle to Grave conference and UCU's 2015 Casualised Staff meeting. We welcome his commitment to education as a human right, and opposition to ZHCs. Conference reiterates that coalition and Conservative policies have damaged HE, seeking to turn it into a market commodity at the expense of equality of opportunity. This has especially impacted on the number of part-time mature students. HESC asks UCU to engage with Jeremy Corbyn and his allies in order to produce policies that re-establish the right to higher education for people of all ages. Conference believes that good quality education requires secure contracts and good terms and conditions for all staff, and these must be part of any serious attempt to repair the damage caused in recent years.

Carried


HE10 (EP) Casualisation and the higher education green paper - Anti-Casualisation Committee

Government plans will increase casualisation, as for-profit 'providers' employ more staff on short term, insecure and zero hours contracts, undermining everyone's employment rights.

Large numbers of already casualised teaching staff extend themselves to do the best professional job for students, working far more than paid hours, receiving a full-time equivalent rate well below the appropriate point, working years without proper career development and uncertain of future work.

A time-consuming assessment process is an inequitable additional strain.

The best way to maintain standards is to support and reward staff.

The undermining of national bargaining and pay scales will mean fewer young casualised staff joining UCU.

Conference asks HEC to:

  1. mount a strong national anti-Green Paper campaign, with materials demanding job security, proper pay rates and career development for casualised workers
  2. lobby the Labour Party for an EDM on these points
  3. put pressure on VCs through local campaigns.

Carried as amended

HE10A.1 Higher Education Committee

Replace the second point (2) with: 'lobby the Labour party, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and other sympathetic politicians for an EDM on these points;'

Carried

Substantive motion

Government plans will increase casualisation, as for-profit 'providers' employ more staff on short term, insecure and zero hours contracts, undermining everyone's employment rights.

Large numbers of already casualised teaching staff extend themselves to do the best professional job for students, working far more than paid hours, receiving a full-time equivalent rate well below the appropriate point, working years without proper career development and uncertain of future work.

A time-consuming assessment process is an inequitable additional strain.

The best way to maintain standards is to support and reward staff.

The undermining of national bargaining and pay scales will mean fewer young casualised staff joining UCU.

Conference asks HEC to:

  1. mount a strong national anti-Green Paper campaign, with materials demanding job security, proper pay rates and career development for casualised workers
  2. obby the Labour party, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and other sympathetic politicians for an EDM on these points
  3. put pressure on VCs through local campaigns.

HE11 Fighting government plans for the reform of higher education - North West Regional HE Sector Committee

Government plans for the reform of higher education are laying the ground for a privatisation of HE provision. The changes proposed purport to be about improving the quality of higher education in the UK but they are premised on the idea that the opening up of higher education to the market is the best way to improve teaching quality in the sector.

Conference:

  1. reaffirms its opposition to the provision of education for profit and its commitment to a publicly funded university sector
  2. resolves to campaign actively and urgently against the government's policy proposals with days of local, regional and national action, including a media campaign and a national march
  3. calls on UCU nationally to organise a boycott of the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework.

Carried as amended

HE11A.1 Southern Regional HE Sector Committee

Add new point 4: 'calls on UCU nationally to ensure the vital and professional support from offices located within the region, to enable branches to achieve the above, is fully resourced.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Government plans for the reform of higher education are laying the ground for a privatisation of HE provision. The changes proposed purport to be about improving the quality of higher education in the UK but they are premised on the idea that the opening up of higher education to the market is the best way to improve teaching quality in the sector.

Conference:

  1. reaffirms its opposition to the provision of education for profit and its commitment to a publicly funded university sector
  2. resolves to campaign actively and urgently against the government's policy proposals with days of local, regional and national action, including a media campaign and a national march
  3. calls on UCU nationally to organise a boycott of the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework
  4. calls on UCU nationally to ensure the vital and professional support from offices located within the region, to enable branches to achieve the above, is fully resourced.

HE12 Boycott of the Teaching Excellence Framework - Northern Regional HE Sector Committee

HESC notes that:

  1. the government's green paper Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice outlines the blueprint for the wholesale privatisation of Higher Education in England
  2. central to this privatisation is the provision of increasing student fees, new debt for part-time students and new 'quality' inspection, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), which imposes defined norms for provision of teaching in higher education.

HESC believes that:

  1. privatisation threatens the quality of teaching for students, and increasing student debt will not increase access to Higher Education amongst disadvantaged groups
  2. the introduction of the TEF will significantly undermine academic freedom and the links between teaching, scholarship and research embedded in higher education.

HESC resolves to organise a campaign for a boycott of the TEF, and to oppose any bill to privatise higher education which may emerge from the green paper.

Carried


HE13 (EP) HE Green Paper and Teaching Excellence Framework - West Midlands Regional HE Sector Committee

Conference notes:

  1. that the green paper and Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) take place within a wider shift to a consumer model of education, including: the use of flawed metric systems and graduate employment outcomes for measuring teaching excellence; the raising of tuition fees beyond £9K; and further competition by private providers
  2. the negative implications for academic freedom and equality, and perverse incentives to 'game the system' (similar to REF).
  3. the success of the Cradle to Grave conference and the second HE Convention.
  4. the importance of debating the implications of the HE green paper and TEF within branches and regions, particularly those outside of London.

Conference resolves:

To commit union resources to make campaign resources available for organising local and regional public meetings, with NUS where possible, to raise awareness and debate the consequences of the HE Green paper and the TEF, and how to oppose them.

Carried


HE14 (EP) The green paper and TEF - London Metropolitan University, North branch

Conference notes:

  1. that the green paper on higher education is a blueprint for more private providers in HE and for privatisation of existing institutions
  2. the TEF is a means to help achieve this, masquerading as an attempt to improve teaching quality
  3. the proposed use of invalid teaching quality measures, such as employability, destination of leavers and lifetime income
  4. the threat to certain disciplines from these measures, notably the arts
  5. the insidious introduction of management observation of lectures at London Metropolitan University.

Conference calls upon the NEC to lead a coordinated campaign of lobbying and industrial resistance to the plans described in the green paper.

Carried


HE15 (EP) The HE green paper, women and gender equality - Women Members' Standing Committee

HE Sector Conference notes with concern some possible adverse implications for gender equality in the higher education green paper. These include:

  1. the proposed growth of private for-profit providers and the impact of their employment practices on casualisation, equal pay and equal opportunities
  2. the proposal that HE providers can exit the sector rapidly and the implications for female students who are unable to relocate easily because of domestic circumstances including caring responsibilities
  3. the extent to which research and teaching on gender studies will be supported by the new private providers
  4. the possibility that metrics used for TEF will encourage discrimination against female staff and students.

HESC resolves to campaign for full equality proofing of all proposals to change the landscape of the HE sector and to ensure that issues of gender equality are fully addressed in the debate around the green paper.

Carried


HE16 LGBT equality and inclusiveness in HE and the TEF - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes with concern the proposed teaching excellence framework including student survey links to assessment of teaching. Conference notes that student feedback is open to bias. There is danger that bias can lead to targeting LGBT staff, including backlash when LGBT staff challenge negative attitudes.

Conference calls on UCU to:

  1. produce guidance about LGBT inclusiveness, its relevance to HE teaching and learning and how it can be advanced by branches. This should focus on how LGBT inclusion is central to positive working environments and can help determine student choice
  2. clearly advocate that wherever family is promoted, including the 'Family Test', it be LGBT inclusive
  3. review and report on HEI recording cases of LGBT discrimination
  4. campaign for discrimination to be considered a significant factor in some negative student feedback and for mechanisms to be implemented to mitigate against the impact of this. Include information about this in campaigns about the TEF.

Carried


HE17 (EP) Teaching Excellence Framework, metrics and equality - Black Members' Standing Committee 

HE Sector Conference expresses concern about the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), and specifically the reliance on quantitative metrics to measure teaching quality: 'Employment/Destination', 'Retention/Continuation' and 'Student Satisfaction'.

HE Sector Conference believes such metrics do not meaningfully or accurately measure teaching quality and contribute to discrimination in HE.

HE Sector Conference notes research at the University of California which found female staff consistently receive lower scores on module evaluations; and at the University of Reading demonstrating lower NSS scores for courses taught by black staff.

HE Sector Conference believes the focus on graduate destinations ignores the role of socio-economic privilege in the jobs market.

HE Sector Conference resolves for the UCU campaigns team to produce campaign materials for branches to publicly debate and campaign against the TEF with NUS and relevant equality groups, highlighting the implications for equality, and if implemented to research the equality impact of the TEF.

Carried


HE18 Disabled staff and the Teaching Excellence Framework - Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes that the green paper for HE, 'Fulfilling our Potential' has damaging implications for the funding and governance of UK higher education. The metrics contained in the 'Teaching Excellence Framework' replacing HEFCE, DfA, OFFA will affect disabled workers disproportionately through micromanagement of lecturers by managers coupled with increased student evaluations and feedback. These metrics could lead to higher level of stress, a worsening of pre-existing mental health conditions, disciplinary action, or could be used as criteria for redundancy.

Conference resolves to:

  1. campaign against the TEF and brief branches on implications of the TEF for disabled staff.
  2. argue for academic freedom and allowing lecturers to teach without fear
  3. organise public meeting/demonstration in parliament coinciding with the first or second reading of any bill and involve disabled members.
  4. include disabled members rights in consultation on TEF with the government, demanding reasonable adjustments to mitigate any disadvantages.

Carried


New paragraph, Academic freedom


HE19 Composite: Defending academic freedom in the era of the green paper and marketisation - University College London, South East Regional HE Sector Committee

HESC notes:

  1. over the last decade, university SMTs have attempted to remove or weaken 'model' statutes in pre-92 universities protecting academic staff (and some academic-related staff) from dismissal
  2. a parallel attempt by some SMTs to institutionalise academic 'performance' in terms of publication success, grant income, or other fund-raising success.

HESC believes:

  1. the current government's policy vision for HE is designed, inter alia, to deepen and widen these attacks as HEIs adapt to a changing tuition fee market
  2. these policies represent a serious and profound threat to members' jobs - academics and their colleagues - and a wider, parallel threat to the academic freedom of staff to challenge state and corporate funders.

HESC resolves:

  1. to develop guidance to branches to resist such attacks, building on successes, including local escalation and a requirement for national ratification of policy changes through the UCU ratification panel
  2. to publicise each attack and build national support for targeted branches.

Carried


HE20 (EP) Threats to academic freedom - University of Sheffield

Conference notes:

  1. academic freedom is under pressure from universities defending their 'brand' from outspoken and critical academics and from the 'impact' agenda
  2. government has announced that all new government grants will include an 'anti-lobbying clause' to prevent public money being used to 'lobby for new regulation or more government funding' and 'support activity intended to influence or attempt to influence parliament, government or political parties or attempting to influence legislative or regulatory action'.

Conference believes that:

  1. further narrowing of the category of 'impact' significantly increases the threat to academic freedom, democratic participation and the freedom of speech more generally
  2. the results of publicly funded research should be made available to all members of society to inform debates about policy and the public good
  3. recipients of grants from state bodies should not be prevented from such participation.

UCU resolves:

  1. to campaign actively against any such restrictions.

Carried


Analyse local developments against the national framework agreement (NFA), paragraph 3


HE21 Rate for the job - Higher Education Committee

Conference:

  1. notes the National Framework Agreement (NFA) and associated agreements and role profiles endeavoured to establish minimum rates of pay for the majority of UCU members in universities
  2. welcomes the briefings held for branch activists to refresh and update our knowledge of the NFA
  3. commends the development of information for members and branches to compare the 'Rate for the Job' across the sector.

Conference calls for ongoing analysis and where possible the expansion of the data to include insecure and casual contracts, 'rates for the job', and the reporting of variants which improve on or breach the national minima.

Carried


HE22 Defending national terms and conditions - University of Liverpool

Many HE employers around the UK are not applying the 2004 framework agreement in relation to role profiles and grade descriptions. This is evident in requests for specific grant amounts and REF performance for confirmation to post and promotion, and in the increase of dismissals or attempts to dismiss on grounds of capability. It leads to institutional bullying caused by the uncertainty and lack of job security, it is compromising the public character of HE and the quality of both research and education. The prospect of implementing TEF and several performance management plans throughout the UK will only help deteriorate the situation.

Conference calls:

  1. for the protection of the framework agreement, local implementation agreements and job security to become a priority for UCU
  2. for support to local branches in campaigning and initiating industrial disputes where terms are eroded
  3. for national industrial action if terms of the framework agreement are not implemented.

Point 3 remitted; remainder of motion carried


HE23 (EP) De-skilling and the move away from the framework agreement -Academic Related, Professional Staff Committee

Conference notes with dismay moves by the University of Nottingham to abandon the framework agreement and agreed benchmark role profile forms.

Under the guise of 'project transform', driven by NSS results, the jobs of senior academic related professional staff members have disappeared, with staff shunted into less challenging roles in student-centred hubs, and some responsible tasks now carried out by staff on lower grades who would not normally work at this level. Some role profile forms have been rewritten to be identical, removing the depth and breadth of existing roles.

Conference notes that similar attacks are taking place at many universities, and many branch committees lack historical knowledge of the framework negotiations and benchmark role profiles.

Conference calls on UCU to ensure that all branches have access to the original, negotiated documents relating to the framework agreement and job evaluation, so that they have the tools to challenge their institutions.

Carried


HE24 (EP) Grade drift - Sheffield Hallam University

This Conference requests the HEC to revisit the Framework Agreement in respect of 'grade drift' which has occurred since the agreement was made.

Carried


HE25 Pay and grading of specialist staff - Academic Related, Professional Staff Committee

Conference notes that the decreasing recognition accorded to technical skills by institutional pay and grading arrangements has led to:

  1. a lack of opportunities for progression amongst specialist staff
  2. increasing problems recruiting and retaining technically-skilled staff
  3. increasing reliance on consultants
  4. increasing likelihood of outsourcing, with the proven detriment to both staff and service users that this brings.

Conference calls on the HEC to campaign:

  1. for career paths which do not require a switch to management for staff seeking to progress
  2. for institutions to appropriately reward specialist skills so that more competitive salaries can be advertised, in order to attract and retain more highly skilled staff.

Carried


New paragraph, measuring performance


HE26 (EP) Measuring performance - University of Glasgow

Conference notes with concern the continued use of performance management tools such as early career development/probation and performance development systems. Evidence from members across UK reveals these to be inconsistent and opaque processes, which have served to demoralise staff and to further, embed a mistrust of management and managerial systems.

HESC firmly believes that the member of staff should be at the heart of any effective development system and that any attempt to use it as a performance management tool is flawed and divisive, resulting in demotivated, demoralised staff and the widening of the gulf between management structures and hard-pressed staff.

HESC calls on employers to engage in negotiations to review and overhaul such processes to ensure the developmental aspects of the review process are enhanced and the conflation with performance removed and resolves to support branches fully in these negotiations.

Carried as amended

HE26A.1 West Midlands Regional HE Sector Committee

In the final paragraph, after 'HESC calls on employers to engage in negotiations to review and overhaul such processes' insert: 'including their impact on staff with protected characteristics'

Carried

Substantive motion

Conference notes with concern the continued use of performance management tools such as early career development/probation and performance development systems. Evidence from members across UK reveals these to be inconsistent and opaque processes, which have served to demoralise staff and to further, embed a mistrust of management and managerial systems.

HESC firmly believes that the member of staff should be at the heart of any effective development system and that any attempt to use it as a performance management tool is flawed and divisive, resulting in demotivated, demoralised staff and the widening of the gulf between management structures and hard-pressed staff.

HESC calls on employers to engage in negotiations to review and overhaul such processes including their impact on staff with protected characteristics to ensure the developmental aspects of the review process are enhanced and the conflation with performance removed and resolves to support branches fully in these negotiations.


HE27 Increased uses of metrics in performance management in HE - Cardiff University

HE has seen the implementation of various measures for assessing staff performance, including scoring and ranking procedures. This represents a further incursion into HE of models drawn from business. These are being taken up by HEIs at the same time as they are being dropped as ineffective by some businesses.

Conference believes that the reduction of individuals to a single number poorly reflects the effort of members and the values traditionally associated with high quality education and research.

The last agreement on standards for appraisal is the CVCP/AUT agreement from 1989.

Therefore conference calls on UCU to:

  1. undertake a review of the changes in practice of assessing performance and use of metrics for assessing individuals in HEIs
  2. generate advice and a template to aid challenges to imposed reviews of performance and use of metrics for assessing individuals
  3. seek a new national agreement to update the CVCP/AUT agreement on appraisal standards.

Carried as amended

HE27A.1 Higher Education Committee

Delete the third paragraph beginning 'The last agreement on standards for appraisal...' and bullet point 3.

Carried

Substantive motion

HE has seen the implementation of various measures for assessing staff performance, including scoring and ranking procedures. This represents a further incursion into HE of models drawn from business. These are being taken up by HEIs at the same time as they are being dropped as ineffective by some businesses.

Conference believes that the reduction of individuals to a single number poorly reflects the effort of members and the values traditionally associated with high quality education and research.

Therefore conference calls on UCU to:

  1. undertake a review of the changes in practice of assessing performance and use of metrics for assessing individuals in HEIs
  2. generate advice and a template to aid challenges to imposed reviews of performance and use of metrics for assessing individuals.

HE28 Defending professionalism - rejecting imposed observations - Manchester Metropolitan University

Conference notes that teaching observations, when engaged with voluntarily, can be a useful tool for developing pedagogy and practice. However, an increasingly managerialist agenda in HE seeks to monitor teaching in order to target individuals for success/ failure. Conference reiterates that teaching is not a performance and rejects the use of crude metric-based measurement. Lesson observation is no measure of competence: successful learning is a far broader process. We reject the use of student surveys as 'evidence' of an academic's work. Imposed lesson observations are an issue for the whole union.

Conference resolves:

  1. to vigorously support branches facing imposed lesson observations
  2. to develop a negotiating pack based on a rejection of observation-as-performance-management
  3. to work with the NUS to develop a joint understanding of the limitations of measuring teaching as performance
  4. to reject any attempt to link teaching observation and PDR.

Carried


HE29 Lecture capture - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional HE Sector Committee

Conference notes the introduction of lecture capture in some institutions without consultation.

While acknowledging the potential benefit of recording some lectures, conference has concerns over blanket recording and automatic uploading of lectures, including:

  1. potential use in peer observation
  2. issues of academic freedom
  3. additional workload and time pressures
  4. possible issues for disabled staff and students
  5. questions over pedagogic value
  6. use of recordings to monitor staff performance
  7. the need for guidelines on intellectual property rights
  8. the right of the individual to opt out.

Conference calls on UCU to consult members/branches, then issue clear guidelines about lecture capture, in order to regulate its introduction, so that it is not used to replace people or as a performance objective.

Carried as amended

HE29A.1 University of Central Lancashire

Add at end:

'Lecture capture for reasons of inclusivity (e.g. as part of "Inclusive Learning Policies") should not be undertaken uncritically. Adjustments that are reasonable in the individual case may not be reasonable in the general case (e.g. making lecture material available before it can be properly explained) and meeting equality duties should not require undermining academic working conditions.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Conference notes the introduction of lecture capture in some institutions without consultation.

While acknowledging the potential benefit of recording some lectures, conference has concerns over blanket recording and automatic uploading of lectures, including:

  1. potential use in peer observation
  2. issues of academic freedom
  3. additional workload and time pressures
  4. possible issues for disabled staff and students
  5. questions over pedagogic value
  6. use of recordings to monitor staff performance
  7. the need for guidelines on intellectual property rights
  8. the right of the individual to opt out.

Conference calls on UCU to consult members/branches, then issue clear guidelines about lecture capture, in order to regulate its introduction, so that it is not used to replace people or as a performance objective.

Lecture capture for reasons of inclusivity (e.g. as part of "Inclusive Learning Policies") should not be undertaken uncritically. Adjustments that are reasonable in the individual case may not be reasonable in the general case (e.g. making lecture material available before it can be properly explained) and meeting equality duties should not require undermining academic working conditions.


HE30 Campaign: research and productivity targets - University of Glasgow

Conference reiterates UCU's policy position of opposition to the use of individual (research) funding targets in HEIs and instructs HEC to campaign against them. The campaign should include the following:

  1. the production of briefing materials for branches to support local negotiations
  2. the investigation of appropriate mechanisms for obtaining an agreement at UK level, possibly through JNCHES (pay negotiations)
  3. collecting and disseminating information on good practice
  4. naming and shaming campaign for institutions which use individual funding targets.

Carried


HE31 HE Complaints culture - Southern Regional HE Sector Committee

This sector conference notes with concern the malign impact of the introduction of student fees, particularly in the area of student complaints. Predictably, constant government emphasis on the student as first and foremost a consumer and customer has led to the widespread development of a complaints culture in HE, which is in the interest of neither students nor staff.

Conference believes that UCU has a key role in protecting both staff and students from this negative impact of commodification, and it can further do so by:

  1. working together with the NUS to agree a protocol for complaints which is fair to both parties
  2. gathering together information from branches concerning the recent operation of complaints procedures against staff
  3. producing advice for branches on how to best protect staff against the punitive and unfair application of complaints procedures by employers.

Carried as amended

HE31A.1 Yorkshire and Humberside Regional HE Sector Committee

In bullet point 1, insert 'nationally' after 'NUS', and replace 'agree a protocol for complaints which is fair to both parties' with 'develop principles which are fair to both parties;'

Carried

Substantive motion

This sector conference notes with concern the malign impact of the introduction of student fees, particularly in the area of student complaints. Predictably, constant government emphasis on the student as first and foremost a consumer and customer has led to the widespread development of a complaints culture in HE, which is in the interest of neither students nor staff.

Conference believes that UCU has a key role in protecting both staff and students from this negative impact of commodification, and it can further do so by:

  1. working together with the NUS nationally to develop principles which are fair to both parties
  2. gathering together information from branches concerning the recent operation of complaints procedures against staff
  3. producing advice for branches on how to best protect staff against the punitive and unfair application of complaints procedures by employers.

New paragraph, technologically enhanced teaching


HE32 The impact of technologically enhanced teaching - University of Northampton

Conference notes:

  1. members are expected to adapt to new ways of working in light of technological advances and methods of delivery, often requiring packaged, online delivery of teaching alongside face-to-face contact with students
  2. technologically enhanced delivery has implications for how teaching, contact time and intellectual property rights are defined
  3. the demands of technologically enhanced teaching puts at risk members' well-being and their capacity to work professionally.

HESC calls upon the HEC to:

  1. develop and circulate guidelines to enable branches to negotiate the necessary adjustments to workload models that appropriately recognise the demands of technologically enhanced teaching
  2. develop and circulate a template for branch negotiators to protect members' intellectual property rights.

Carried


Gender pay gap, paragraph 5


HE33 Equal pay - Higher Education Committee

This conference:

  1. commends the ongoing work done by UCU to address gender pay inequality in higher education
  2. welcomes the information provided by the UCU, including via the 'Rate for The Job' website and the report on International Women's Day
  3. welcomes the bargaining guidance circulated on these matters during 2016
  4. notes the existence of embedded structural disadvantage within higher education
  5. condemns the lack of progress made by HE employers in addressing demonstrable inequalities.

Conference:

  1. calls on all branches to demand their employer work with the UCU on equal pay audits and then agree equal pay action plans, to establish how they will tackle the issue locally and monitor progress
  2. calls for a further report to be presented to the 2017 annual sector conference, outlining the steps that have been taken nationally and at institutional level to close the gap and identifying best and worst practice.

Carried


Work with black members, paragraphs 6.1 - 6.2


HE34 The Race Equality Charter Mark in higher education - Black Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes:

  1. the Equality Challenge Unit's Athena SWAN Charter in 2005 to encourage commitment to advancing the careers of women in STEM employment in universities, subsequently expanded to all disciplines
  2. 137 universities have now signed up to Athena SWAN
  3. the linking of National Institute for Health Research funding to Athena Swan Silver status and the Research Council UK's Statement of Expectations on Equality and Diversity for institutions in receipt of RCUK funding.

Conference also notes the development of the Race Equality Charter aimed at replicating Athena Swan for race equality.

However, the new award does not employ the same funding levers as Athena Swan leading to a lack of sectoral commitment as evidenced by the fact that only eight universities have thus far achieved the award.

Conference resolves:

To work with relevant partners/stakeholders to promote the charter and ensure a link to research funding, similar to Athena SWAN.

Carried


New paragraph, Support for LGBT research


HE35 Support for LGBT research - LGBT Members' Standing Committee

Ongoing cuts to research grants within HE threatens to further marginalise LGBT research. In Britain this research has historically been marginalised - evidenced by absence of specialist LGBT journals, conferences and research institutes.

Conference supports LGBT research and condemns cuts in HE.

Conference welcomes the three academic and activist research conferences organised by UCU since 2008 and ongoing attempts to secure a special edition of a journal. Conference believes that continuing this organising by the UCU equality team has a role in promoting LGBT research and sharing practice. Conference calls on UCU to:

  1. publicise and resource these conferences on a biennial basis linked to IDAHOT (17th May) with the next conference in 2017
  2. publish a summary of proceedings of each conference in Equality News and the UCU website
  3. develop in between conferences a network of activists and academics which could include a programme of regional seminars and widely available webinars.

Carried


Pensions, paragraph 7


HE36 USS and ethical investment - University of Oxford

Conference instructs UCU to use its position in USS to get USS to engage more effectively with USS members on the issue of ethical investment, including:

  1. reporting annually to USS members on how USS has used its shareholder votes to promote ethical behaviour, including specific examples;
  2. reporting annually to USS members on how its investment strategy has been influenced by its thinking on the long term future of high carbon industry, including specific examples;
  3. polling USS members to ascertain their opinions on various aspects of ethical investment, including industries in which they may not wish USS to invest, such as tobacco, land mines, cluster bombs, and thermal coal.

Carried


Casualisation, paragraph 8


HE37 Casualisation - Higher Education Committee

Conference congratulates UCU for its work in highlighting the use and abuse of precarious contracts in higher education and notes the growing public and political pressure on our universities. Conference also welcomes the significant progress being made in targeting key universities and the latest national push to encourage universities to engage with the union, together with work aimed at naming and shaming those who refuse.

Conference reaffirms the high priority of the union's 'Stamp Out Casual Contracts' campaign and its aim to ensure that low-paid, casualised staff receive the proper rate of pay for the job and job security for all staff.

Conference resolves to continue building greater national public pressure on this issue and calls on the HEC to ensure that branches are supported with advice and sharing of best practice in building vibrant campaigns at campus level and networks throughout the union.

Carried as amended

HE37A.1 Women Members' Standing Committee

At end of the second paragraph, after 'job security for all staff.' insert new paragraph:

'Women in HE suffer disproportionately in getting access to paid maternity leave; tax credits; risk permanent loss of job or being given unfavourable work after maternity leave as well as difficulty in accessing affordable childcare for unpredictable hours. This is compounded by an unaffordable tribunal system.'

After the final paragraph add a new paragraph:

'Conference calls for research on the above issues for casualised female staff in HE and that they are included in any campaigns against casualisation and for fair pay generally.'

Carried

HE37A.2 Anti-Casualisation Committee

Add at end of motion after 'union' :

', and in working for the transfer of members on casualised contracts to permanent and secure employment.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Conference congratulates UCU for its work in highlighting the use and abuse of precarious contracts in higher education and notes the growing public and political pressure on our universities. Conference also welcomes the significant progress being made in targeting key universities and the latest national push to encourage universities to engage with the union, together with work aimed at naming and shaming those who refuse.

Conference reaffirms the high priority of the union's 'Stamp Out Casual Contracts' campaign and its aim to ensure that low-paid, casualised staff receive the proper rate of pay for the job and job security for all staff.

Women in HE suffer disproportionately in getting access to paid maternity leave; tax credits; risk permanent loss of job or being given unfavourable work after maternity leave as well as difficulty in accessing affordable childcare for unpredictable hours. This is compounded by an unaffordable tribunal system.

Conference resolves to continue building greater national public pressure on this issue and calls on the HEC to ensure that branches are supported with advice and sharing of best practice in building vibrant campaigns at campus level and networks throughout the union, and in working for the transfer of members on casualised contracts to permanent and secure employment.

Conference calls for research on the above issues for casualised female staff in HE and that they are included in any campaigns against casualisation and for fair pay generally.


HE38 Casualisation and the changing higher education sector - Anti-Casualisation Committee

Conference welcomes the publication of the recent bargaining toolkit on casualisation in higher education, and calls for UCU to organise regional workshops for activists and reps to publicise this guidance.

Conference also calls on the HEC to conduct a survey of all branches to discover the extent of the use of precarious contracts in group structures, including any subsidiary companies or embedded private providers. Conference further calls on the HEC to ensure that staff on precarious contracts in such structures are brought within anti-casualisation campaigning.

Carried


Academic related, professional staff, paragraph 9


HE39 Surviving organisational change - University of Hull

Conference notes the increase in organisational change and restructuring in universities, as they compete for students and funding in a changing HE landscape.

Universities face multiple threats: government funding cuts, the growth of private providers, the tyranny of league tables and NSS, the REF and TEF. Many institutions have responded by implementing change on an unprecedented scale, not always underpinned by factual evidence.

Conference believes the level of change in many institutions is unsustainable, and that academic related, professional staff are suffering disproportionately, often seen as a cost rather than an asset, whose removal or downgrading provides a quick fix to economic woes.

Conference reaffirms its belief that academic related, professional staff are a vital part of the academic team, and asks HEC to remind branches of UCU's guidance on negotiating organisational change policies and urge them to consult ARPS members to ensure local organisational change policies cover their needs.


Workload and safe, sustainable workplaces for UCU members, paragraph 11


HE40 Workload - Higher Education Committee

Conference notes the recent survey of UCU members aimed to achieve better understanding of the nature and composition of workloads across all parts of the post 16 education sector, and how these have changed in recent years.

Conference calls for updated bargaining and campaigning guidance to be provided to branches during 2016/17, as a basis for the development of practical measures to tackle the various problems which influence members' workload concerns.


HE41 (EP) Workload and stress in higher education - Wales HE Sector Committee

Conference notes that the continuing pressures to improve student recruitment, retention, and progression without increasing staff numbers, and in some cases even reducing staff numbers through redundancies, have led to poor morale and heavy workloads for many academic and academic-related staff and have had a significant impact on the services we provide to students. This situation has led to an increase in the already high levels of stress, with many colleagues suffering from long-term stress-related illnesses and disabilities or even leaving university employment, thus creating ever higher workloads and levels of stress for those remaining.

Conference requests UCU to make workload and stress a focus of its campaign to defend higher education funding and in its negotiations with individual institutions and UCEA.

HE41A.1 LGBT Members' Standing Committee

After first paragraph insert new paragraph:

'Conference also notes that quotas for external research income are a major stress and believes it's vital that awards processes be transparent about equality data and marginalised research.'

At end of motion add new paragraph:

'Conference calls on UCU to: draw attention to the impact of stress on protected characteristic groups who already disproportionately experience workplace stressors including bullying, lack of reasonable adjustments and bias; and lobby research councils and funding bodies to collect, monitor, and publish equal opportunities data.'


HE42 Defend professionalism - fight workload abuse - Manchester Metropolitan University

Conference notes:

  1. an unsustainable year-on-year increase in workloads
  2. that in part this is due to the increased allocation of administrative and non-academic tasks to academics
  3. that while academics have wide-ranging responsibilities, this should not be abused by endless 'dumping' of workload on UCU members
  4. that this is an attack on admin staff jobs.

Conference resolves to:

  1. survey members to gather data on the extent of additional tasks inappropriately assigned to academics
  2. work with other campus unions to ensure proper staffing and appropriate allocation of all tasks and jobs
  3. campaign locally and nationally against the burden of tasks which do not require an academic's input
  4. work with students to highlight the attack on professionalism
  5. prioritise a national campaign to reduce long work hours in HE and safeguard professionalism by rejecting tasks which do not require an academic's skills and/or knowledge.

HE43 Collect data on workload from TRAC - University of Aberdeen

Conference notes that workload is a major cause of stress to members yet there are almost no reliable data on actual workloads. It also notes that universities in the UK periodically ask staff to record their work patterns for the purposes of TRAC (Transparent Approach to Costing). Finally, Conference is invited to note the Aberdeen UCU branch collected 107 TRAC data report summaries provided by 67 individual members to calculate an average working week of 54 hrs for academic staff, as reported in Gaudie, Aberdeen University students' newspaper (www.thegaudie.co.uk/features/190116-how-much-do-our-academics-work).

Conference calls on UCU to act, with the help of branches, to compile TRAC data (or equivalent) from more universities in the UK so that a more reliable picture of the actual working hours done by academics can be available and used as a tool in the fight to reduce stress and exploitation of staff.


New paragraph, Funding for the health sector


HE44 Funding for the health sector - University of Hertfordshire

Conference notes the chancellor's announcement that free training places for health students alongside the associated bursary will be removed and replaced by tuition fees, student loans and that the cap on the number of health training places is to be lifted.

Conference is concerned that changes in funding structures for nursing and allied health professional training threatens to destabilise future entry into the healthcare workforce and lead to further shortfalls in qualified health professional staff.

Conference calls on the government to:

  1. guarantee support with tuition fees to ensure that the health care workforce can be recruited from a range of educational backgrounds and ages.
  2. ensure that additional expenses associated with these programmes (the extended academic year, extra travel and accommodation) are properly costed and funded.
  3. maintain and adequately fund the placement tariff for non-medical education and training.
  4. guarantee support to those professions that struggle to recruit.

HE44A.1 Teesside University

After second paragraph insert:

'Therefore conference calls upon UCU's Higher Education Joint Liaison Committee to Organise a one day special conference for health professionals/educators to discuss, debate and develop a strategy of campaigning for the restoration of free training places and the associated bursary.'

Before 'Conference calls' insert 'Also'.


HE45 Composite: Protect the NHS bursary - Northumbria University, Northern Regional HE Sector Committee

In the 2015 autumn statement, George Osborne announced the scrapping of the NHS bursary for new student nurses, midwives and allied health professions including social workers, paramedics, speech and language therapists and podiatrists, in England from 2017. From this date, a new grade of associate nurses will be introduced. The NHS bursary supports over 80,000 healthcare students at more than 120 universities each year and the Tories want to scrap it.

This matters to UCU members because this will put our hardworking health and social care academics' jobs at risk because of the loss of NHS commissioned training places at University. These commissioned places bring vital finance into the universities in excess of £ 2.5 billion per year.

This conference resolves to:

  1. support student action against the cuts
  2. instruct UCU to campaign vigorously against these cuts
  3. instruct UCU to support affected members and fight for the jobs threatened by the cuts
  4. oppose the introduction of the associate nurse role.

Governance, paragraph 12.1


HE46 (EP) Higher education governance - UCU Scotland Executive

Conference congratulates UCU Scotland for the campaign to deliver democracy, accountability and transparency in university governance in Scotland. The passing of the HE Governance (Scotland) Bill marks the culmination of years of campaigning and all those involved should feel rightly proud. Having ensured that all university boards in Scotland will have reserved places for trade union and student nominees, as well as elected chairs, conference encourages the NEC to support members nominated as governors, to facilitate sharing best practice, and to ensure that the new legislation is implemented in a manner beneficial to all staff and students, and this reform is promoted across the UK.

Conference urges the union to continue to push for progress on the 'unfinished business' of the von Prondzynski review such as the establishment of a Scottish Centre for Higher Education Research, and for moves towards gender balance and diversity on University boards.


HE47 (EP) Governance and consultation in public universities - London Metropolitan University, City and North branches

Conference notes:

  1. the ongoing cuts, property sales, and relocations at London Met, Brighton, and elsewhere, with attendant damage to local communities
  2. the lack of information and consultation about these and other critical decisions
  3. the reliance upon external appointments of senior management and consultants at the expense of staff and student knowledge
  4. the lack of transparency in the appointment and contribution of governors, and the under-representation of academics and local communities
  5. UNESCO's (1997) recommendations of academic representation on HE governing bodies and academic boards.

Conference calls upon NEC to campaign for:

  1. greater accountability of public universities to local communities
  2. the guarantee of elected academic representatives on governing bodies
  3. the right of academics to elect a majority of representatives to academic bodies within their institutions.

New paragraph, vice-chancellors' pay and perks, transparency and accountability


HE48 (EP) Campaigning on vice-chancellors' and senior management pay and perks - Anglia Ruskin University

Conference welcomes the publication of 'Transparency at the top?' which reports key findings from UCU's FoI request in 2015. Despite the government's own warnings against excessive pay the survey revealed that many vice-chancellors continued to receive substantial pay rises, and that 20 institutions had more than 100 employees with salaries over £100,000.

The survey also highlighted many examples of vice-chancellors receiving excessive benefits in kind, for example very high hotel costs. Top of this list was the vice-chancellor of Middlesex University, Professor Michael Driscoll, with an average expenditure per night of £448.40; four other VCs averaged over £300.00 per night.

Conference welcomes the publication of the survey findings and instructs the HEC to continue to press universities for greater transparency over £100,000+ pay and perks, and to make further use of this data in its campaign for a fair rate for the job.

HE48A.1 University of Bath

After second paragraph, insert new paragraph:

'Conference notes that many Vice-Chancellors have additional roles outside their universities for which they are paid and to which they commit considerable time.'

After final paragraph, add new paragraph:

'Conference further instructs HEC to extend its FoI requests to include Vice-Chancellors' additional roles outside their universities, to cover the remuneration for these roles and especially the time which they spend on them.'


HE49 (EP) Fair play with fair pay - University of St Mark & St John

Conference notes that increasingly senior leaders within HEIs are seeing their pay increases well in excess of public sector pay rises, most prominently exemplified through pay increase for Vice Chancellors. This increases pay inequality within HEIs where the senior managers are playing by different rules to the majority of academic staff.

Conference calls for the tying of senior managers pay to either the national pay deal; or for VCs (nationally) to commit to pay all university staff pay rises in line with VCs rises across the sector. At a time where academic staff have suffered pay cuts (in real terms - pay deflation in the sector has seen the value of salaries having fallen 14.5%) senior managers are enjoying pay rises (in real terms) which far exceed those of the majority of academic staff. This is divisive and should be reversed. Conference demands fair play with fair pay.


HE50 (EP) Scrutiny and inequality of HE pay - Southern Regional HE Sector Committee

This sector conference notes UCU's disclosure of the shocking refusal of 24 universities to respond to the legitimate FOI request made by UCU for information regarding the pay and perks of VCs, which have been growing rapidly over recent years, while pay for most HE staff has fallen.

Conference is outraged by this refusal to expose to public scrutiny the details of expenditure of such large sums of public money.

Therefore conference instructs HEC to:

  1. intensify its campaign to expose the most secretive institutions
  2. step up its attacks on the growing inequality between top and bottom pay in UK universities, especially in the context of the cancer of casualisation which sees the exploitation of so many HE lecturing staff
  3. continue to name and shame the worst offenders.

HE51 (EP) Freedom of information - University of Liverpool

The conference notes with dismay the recent call by the Russell Group universities to be exempted from the requirements of the Freedom of information Act.

Such a call is compromising the commitment of the universities to act in the public interest including that of its own staff. It is hypocritical since research performed in such institutions relies on the use of the Freedom of information Act; it sets the HE sector faster in the route of unaccountability characterising privatisation and managerialism.

This conference:

  1. requests that UCEA endorses the application of the FOIA in HE
  2. calls on the NEC to campaign for the protection of the public interest through the FOIA implementation by HE institutions.

Local disputes, paragraph 13.1


HE52 Defending London Met/CASS - London Regional HE Sector Committee

Conference notes:

  1. continuing course closures and redundancies at London Metropolitan University, driven by a deliberate shrinkage plan reducing student numbers from over 12,000 to 10,000, and
  2. the closure of the entire East End campus, including the CASS Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at Aldgate, which will move, in reduced form, to the North London campus.

Conference believes:

  1. LMU has been exposed to a series of cuts due to the UK undergraduate tuition fee market
  2. these cuts are likely to intensify the spiral of decline created by earlier management failures
  3. the HE Green Paper increases the vulnerability of LMU to a private takeover.

Conference resolves to support:

  1. LMU UCU, Unison and students' union in opposing the cuts as one of national significance, and
  2. the campaign against redundancies at LMU and the campaign to keep the CASS at Aldgate.

Carried as amended

HE52A.1 Anti-Casualisation Committee

Under 'Conference notes' add:

'3. integral connections between marketisation in HE and increasing casualisation, marked at LMU by an increase in HPLs who are forced to work under deleterious, insecure contracts.'

Under 'Conference believes' add:

'd. LMU are openly replacing permanent staff made redundant with HPLs in a bid to create a more "flexible", insecure workforce to "respond to market demands".'

Under 'Conference resolves' add:

'iii. To ensure that staff on casualised contracts who lose hours in a manner that effectively equates to redundancy are included in any such campaigns.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. continuing course closures and redundancies at London Metropolitan University, driven by a deliberate shrinkage plan reducing student numbers from over 12,000 to 10,000, and
  2. the closure of the entire East End campus, including the CASS Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design at Aldgate, which will move, in reduced form, to the North London campus
  3. integral connections between marketisation in HE and increasing casualisation, marked at LMU by an increase in HPLs who are forced to work under deleterious, insecure contracts.

Conference believes:

  1. LMU has been exposed to a series of cuts due to the UK undergraduate tuition fee market
  2. these cuts are likely to intensify the spiral of decline created by earlier management failures
  3. the HE Green Paper increases the vulnerability of LMU to a private takeover
  4. LMU are openly replacing permanent staff made redundant with HPLs in a bid to create a more 'flexible', insecure workforce to 'respond to market demands'.

Conference resolves to support:

  1. LMU UCU, Unison and students' union in opposing the cuts as one of national significance, and
  2. the campaign against redundancies at LMU and the campaign to keep the CASS at Aldgate
  3. to ensure that staff on casualised contracts who lose hours in a manner that effectively equates to redundancy are included in any such campaigns.

HE53 Closure of University of Brighton's Hastings campus - University of Brighton, Eastbourne

Conference notes:

  1. the decision by UoB to close its Hastings campus by 2019
  2. the attempt by UoB to sell the campus to a private provider
  3. the proposal to transfer some academic jobs to the local FE college.

Conference believes: 

  1. the loss of the campus would be a serious blow to the area in terms of educational opportunities, widening participation, employment and regeneration
  2. these closures are a direct result of the marketisation of HE and tend to fall on the most disadvantaged areas and students
  3. privatisation and outsourcing of HE teaching will be encouraged by the provisions in the current HE Green/White Paper.

Conference resolves to:

  1. treat an industrial dispute over the Hastings closure as a local dispute with national significance
  2. develop a national campaign against privatisation and outsourcing of existing HE provision
  3. provide resources to support the campaign by staff, students and the local community to reverse the closure decision.

Carried


HE54 Targeted research performance measures - who will be next? - Newcastle University

This conference notes that the implementation at Newcastle University of Research and Innovation Performance Expectations has led to a local dispute of national significance, and Newcastle UCU branch seeks the solidarity of the UCU national leadership and other branches in the dispute.

Carried


New paragraph, representation of postgraduates


HE55 Improving our work in the postgraduate community - UCU Scotland Executive

Conference supports the work being done to create an active post-graduate network within the union and urges all branches to ensure postgraduate representation on their committees. Conference asks the NEC to discuss how to better organize within the postgraduate community. This might include consideration of:

  1. how better contact could be fostered amongst postgraduate contacts throughout universities
  2. producing materials aimed at the postgraduate community and of how to raise the profile of postgraduate issues in our work on social media
  3. increased collaboration on the issue with NUS.

Carried


HE56 Ratification of local negotiations - University of East Anglia

Conference notes:

The importance of national ratification in protecting the national interests of the union.

Conference believes:

  1. ratification panels' advice or decisions which contradict either precedents or published guidance undermines local negotiators and is in itself detrimental to the national interests of the union
  2. ratification panels' advice or decisions which overrule local branch memberships undermine local union democracy and should be done with caution and only after discussion with the branch
  3. the decisions of ratification panels should be made in a timely manner.

Conference demands:

  1. ratification panels publish their process and their decisions in a timely manner; and
  2. ratification panels are bound by their own precedents unless there has been a subsequent change in policy agreed by national congress, notified to branches and reflected in amendments to the negotiating guidelines issued to branches.

Remitted


New paragraph, Disabled students' allowances


HE57 Composite: Disabled Students' Allowance and Opportunity Fund - West Midlands Regional HE Sector Committee, Disabled Members' Standing Committee

Conference notes the cutting of the Disabled Students' Allowance and the Opportunity Fund. We deplore this decision which will impact on access to HE for disabled students and students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Conference reaffirms its opposition to government cuts and changes to the Disabled Students Allowance (DSAs) due in 2016-17. The DSA caused an increase in the number of disabled students in HE by almost 100,000 (2003/04 - 2011/12) with research showing that a successful course of study was more likely. 

The cuts to DSA will:

  1. worsen the quality of existing support as HEIs will be forced to opt for services which charge less but lack quality assurance
  2. remove support for disabled people from poorer backgrounds and reduce the quality of support in poorer HEIs.This will create a two tier system with some universities unable to pay funding shortfalls
  3. have a more restrictive eligibility criteria with many students given no support due to having 'less complex needs'.

HE sector conference resolves to work together with the NUS to document the effects of this decision on access and provision, and to campaign for its reversal.

Conference calls on the HEC to:

  1. initiate joint campaigns with disabled people's organisations, the NUS and other trade unions to document the effects of these decisions and to campaign to completely reverse these cuts.

Carried

Last updated: 7 June 2016