All out for USS

It's not too late! Universities UK can still commit to meaningful negotiations over pensions and end the strike action.

Business of the Strategy and Finance Committee 2016 (closed session)

UCU Congress 2016: Friday 3 June 2016, 09:00-11:50.

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 1 of the NEC's report to Congress

Motions:

49 - Appointment of auditors
50 - Audited financial statements to 31 August 2015
51 - Budget 2016-17
52 - Subscription rates
53 - Increasing recruitment to UCU branches
54 - Expenses for WRMG branch meetings
55 - Model local branch rules
56 - Retired members: voting protocol on NEC
57 - Inclusion
58 - Employment-related immigration issues: legal support
59 - Fighting trade union victimisation
60 - Rule change: subscription refund
61 - Rule change: admission to membership
62 - Rule change: termination of membership
63 - Rule change: Where membership criteria is no longer met
64 - Rule change: payment of arrears of subscriptions
65 - Rule change: termination of membership
66 - Rule change: resignations
67 - Rule 16.11 (special meetings)
68 - Rule change: participation in Congress
69 - Rule change: evidence of qualifying employment
70 - Rule change: NEC casual vacancies
71 - Rule change: Rule 30.1 (regional committees)
72 - Rule 30.2 (regional committees)
B9 - Rule change: Seat for a representative of members in Prison education

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy


Finance and property, paragraph 2


49 Appointment of auditors - National Executive Committee

Congress approves the appointment of Knox Cropper as the union's auditors for the year ending 31 August 2016.

Carried


50 Audited financial statements to 31 August 2015 - National Executive Committee

Congress receives the union's audited financial statements for the 12-month period ending 31 August 2015 as set out in UCU713.

Carried


51 Budget 2016-17 - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the budget for September 2016 - August 2017 as set out in UCU714.

Carried


52 Subscription rates - National Executive Committee

Congress endorses the subscription rates from 1 September 2016 set out in UCU714.

Carried


53 Increasing recruitment to UCU branches - Lakes College West Cumbria

Congress notes that the existing recruitment policy allows for free membership for student teachers in full time education.

Congress calls for the extension of free membership to employed student teachers studying for their teaching qualification eg. Certificate in Education/Post Graduate Certificate in Education (for a pilot period of two years).

Falls


54 Expenses for WRMG branch meetings - Wales Retired Members' Branch

Wales Retired Members' Branch request Congress to support their request for officers and members who travel more than 100 miles to be able to attend meetings to be reimbursed at the going rate and for at least 50% for mileage in excess of 50 miles, in order to function as an effective branch within the union.

Withdrawn


Rules and standing orders, paragraphs 6.2 - 6.3


55 Model local branch rules - National Executive Committee

Congress approves the model local rules contained in UCU/717.

Carried as amended

55A.1 University of Bristol

Insert after UCU/717:

'subject to an amendment to paragraph 16 'Quorum'. Delete 'One twentieth of the membership or 30 members, whichever is least. In any case, the quorum must be greater than the total size of the committee.' and replace with 'One twentieth of the membership or 25 members, whichever is least. In any case, the quorum must be greater than the total size of the committee.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Congress approves the model local rules contained in UCU/717 subject to an amendment to paragraph 16 'Quorum'. Delete 'One twentieth of the membership or 30 members, whichever is least. In any case, the quorum must be greater than the total size of the committee.' and replace with 'One twentieth of the membership or 25 members, whichever is least. In any case, the quorum must be greater than the total size of the committee.


56 Retired members: voting protocol on NEC (and HEC/FEC) - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Congress notes that retired members in many branches observe the principle of abstaining from voting on issues affecting terms and conditions of employment, but that this is entirely voluntary and is not observed at all levels within UCU.

Congress notes widespread disquiet over crucial decisions taken at national committees on issues such as pensions and pay, with narrow majorities potentially dependent upon votes of retired members, causing many members to question the moral legitimacy of retired members having a vote on such key employment issues.

Congress reaffirms its belief in the value that retired members bring to UCU, but believes that a review of their voting entitlement is necessary if further controversy is to be avoided.

Congress acknowledges the complexities involved in defining 'retired members' and therefore calls for a review of the issues around retired membership and voting rights, with proposals to be brought to Congress 2017.

Carried

56A.1 West Midlands Retired Members' Branch

In the last paragraph insert immediately after 'calls for a review': 'at National, Regional and Local Association and Branch levels'

Also insert immediately after 'with proposals': 'to amend Rules and Standing Orders'

Lost


57 Inclusion - West Midlands Retired Members' Branch

Congress recognises that inequality is a lifelong scourge, affecting people from the cradle to the grave. It also recognises that inequality appears in many forms and affirms that fighting against inequality calls for inclusion of all members of UCU. To exclude some members for whatever reason weakens the forces that can be engaged to fight inequality.

We therefore call for the incoming NEC 2016 to amend the standing orders for the Equality Standing Committees by deleting sentence 2 of paragraph 1.4 'At the time of nomination, candidates must be in qualifying employment under rule 3.1.1 or have been in qualifying employment within the preceding 12 months.' as this will allow full participation of UCU members to serve on the Equality Standing Committees, so that all members are recognised as an essential and integral part of this union in the fight against inequality.

Remitted


New paragraph, Legal support scheme


58 Employment-related immigration issues: legal support - South West Regional Committee

A growing number of personal cases relate to immigration issues, such as the requirement for documentation which members must produce to prove their right to work in the UK.

At present, UCU's legal scheme will only consider members' requests for assistance in disputes with their employer, which excludes this growing category of cases which relate to immigration law, in particular to work permits and visas.

Congress directs the NEC to extend the range of legal issues covered by the scheme to include immigration issues where these issues relate to a member's employment or potential employment.

Remitted


New paragraph, Defending union representatives


59 Fighting trade union victimisation - North West Regional Committee

Congress condemns all victimisation of trade unionists, noting the growing number of cases against UCU representatives in the North West Region, in both FE and HE. Congress believes that employers resort to union victimisation as a tool to undermine legitimate UCU activity in protecting members at work.

Congress notes the deleterious impact that victimisation has on its members and the associated trauma caused to those who witness such. Congress is also aware of the fact that institutions maliciously use victimisation as a strategy to cover up management mistakes and failings.

Congress instructs national UCU to engage in branch & regional led campaigns of action against employers suspected of victimisation as a matter of priority, and to ensure that Tribunal cases are brought forward and are not paid off prematurely. Furthermore, successful tribunal cases should result in national censure of the employer and maximum press coverage.

Carried as amended

59A.1 West Midlands Regional Committee

Add after first paragraph: 'Congress also notes the victimisation of Mark Campbell, David Hardman, Christina Paine and other reps at London Metropolitan University.'

Carried

Substantive motion

Congress condemns all victimisation of trade unionists, noting the growing number of cases against UCU representatives in the North West Region, in both FE and HE. Congress believes that employers resort to union victimisation as a tool to undermine legitimate UCU activity in protecting members at work.

Congress also notes the victimisation of Mark Campbell, David Hardman, Christina Paine and other reps at London Metropolitan University.

Congress notes the deleterious impact that victimisation has on its members and the associated trauma caused to those who witness such. Congress is also aware of the fact that institutions maliciously use victimisation as a strategy to cover up management mistakes and failings.

Congress instructs national UCU to engage in branch & regional led campaigns of action against employers suspected of victimisation as a matter of priority, and to ensure that Tribunal cases are brought forward and are not paid off prematurely. Furthermore, successful tribunal cases should result in national censure of the employer and maximum press coverage.


SECTION 5: RULE CHANGES to be taken in private session


60 Rule change: subscription refund - National Executive Committee

Add new rule 7.10

7.10 In exceptional circumstances, the union may refund or partially refund a member's subscriptions. The National Executive Committee shall determine the circumstances under which any such refunds shall be made.

PurposeTo be explicit in the rule book that there are some exceptional circumstances in which subscriptions may be refunded, to be determined by the NEC, to ensure consistent treatment of members.

Carried


61 Rule change: admission to membership - National Executive Committee

Delete existing rules 8.1 and 8.2; replace with:

8 Admission to membership

8.1 Every applicant for membership shall apply in the form prescribed from time to time by the union, and must commit to pay any subscriptions that are properly payable in accordance with rule 7.

8.2 Membership shall be deemed to have begun for the purposes of the member's rights and obligations upon registration of the applicant's details on the union's central membership database.

PurposeTo update rules about joining to better reflect the current use of on-line and telephone joining.

Carried


62 Rule change: termination of membership - National Executive Committee

Delete existing rule 9.1, replace with:

9.1 Where the correct subscription payments are not received from a member for five consecutive calendar months, the Union may notify the member by letter, sent to the address notified by the member to the union as their preferred mailing address, that membership shall cease on the expiry of 28 days from the date of the letter, unless there is settlement of all arrears prior to the expiry of the 28 day period.

PurposeTo describe more clearly in rule 9.1 how the period of non-payment of subscriptions due, that terminates membership, operates (no change to that period).

Carried


63 Rule change: Where membership criteria is no longer met - National Executive Committee

Add new rule 9.2:

9.2 Where, in the judgement of the general secretary, a member no longer meets the criteria for membership set out in Rule 3, the union may notify the member by letter, sent to the address notified by the member to the union as their preferred mailing address, of its intention to terminate membership on the expiry of 28 days from the date of the letter. A member who objects to their membership being terminated has a right of appeal in accordance with the procedures referred to in Rule 8.3.

PurposeThis permits the union to remove from membership anyone who no longer meets the membership criteria.

Carried


64 Rule change: Payment of arrears of subscriptions - National Executive Committee

Add new rule 9.3:

9.3 The termination of membership by the union in accordance with rules 9.1 and 9.2 is without prejudice to the right of the union to recover any payment of arrears of subscriptions, or, in a case in which legal assistance has been provided to the member in the period when subscriptions were not properly paid, to recover as a debt the cost of the provision of such legal services in the said period.

PurposeThis covers in rule the existing practice of asking any member receiving legal assistance whose subscription payments are found to be deficient, to make payment of arrears to UCU.

Carried


65 Rule change: termination of membership - clarification - National Executive Committee

Add new rule 9.4

9.4 Nothing in this rule prevent the union from expelling a member in accordance with rule 13.

PurposeThis clause is for the avoidance of any doubt that, in addition to rule 9, membership can be terminated as a result of the conduct of members' procedure provided for in rule 13.

Carried


66 Rule change: resignations - National Executive Committee

Delete existing rules 10.1 and 10.2. Replace with:

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

Purpose: Intended to make the time period in which a resignation takes effect easier to understand and to operate.

Carried


67 Rule 16.11 (Special meetings) - University of Southampton

Insert after first sentence '...members of the Union.' a new sentence 'For a meeting requisitioned by branches, it is further required that the requisitioning branches be sufficient in size and number to be entitled to send as many voting representatives to the meeting as would constitute a majority if the meeting were minimally quorate.'

PurposeIt is important that the union allocates wisely the monies paid by members. This amendment is intended to reduce the risk of calling expensive special congresses or conferences when there is no realistic prospect of passing any new business.

Lost


68 Rule change: participation in Congress - New College Nottingham

Rule 17, add new 17.4:

Additionally, each of the English regions, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland shall be able to send up to four observers to National Congress - two from FE and two from HE; these observers will be able to attend all events at Congress and relevant Sector Conferences, but will not be eligible to propose or speak to resolutions.

PurposeTo encourage newer and younger members to become active and participate in the union's democratic structure, to allow less experienced members to attend Congress and observe the workings of union democracy, engage with more experienced members and help gain the confidence to step up and become the next active layer of the union.

Carried


69 Rule change: evidence of qualifying employment  - National Executive Committee

Rule 18.7.4, add at end, 'and shall provide proof of such qualifying employment in the form determined by the returning officer'.

Schedule A to the rules, add at the end of paragraph 5d:

'and shall provide proof of such qualifying employment, normally in the form of a payslip dated within the preceding 12 months, or as otherwise determined by the returning officer. If geographical and/or sectoral criteria apply, these should be reflected in the proof of qualifying employment.'

Add at the end of paragraph 6d:

'and shall provide proof of such qualifying employment, normally in the form of a payslip dated within the preceding 12 months, or as otherwise determined by the returning officer. If sectoral criteria apply, this should be reflected in the proof of qualifying employment.'

PurposeTo put into rule the requirement for candidates in NEC elections to provide proof of their qualifying employment.

Carried


70 Rule change: NEC casual vacancies - National Executive Committee

Add new rule 20.6:

When a casual vacancy ballot is being conducted in the same ballot period as ordinary full term vacancies, ballots to elect members to full term vacancies will be counted first, in the order determined by rule 20.5. When more than one casual vacancy is being conducted in the same ballot period, casual vacancies will be counted in the order set out in rule 20.5. After a candidate is successfully elected to any vacancy, votes for that candidate will be disregarded in subsequent ballot counts.

PurposeTo provide clarity of the counting order NEC casual vacancies when conducted in the same ballot period as full term vacancies (following UCU's current practice).

Carried


71 Rule Change: Rule 30.1 (regional committees) - University of Southampton

Append at end 'Regional committees are required to adopt revised model Standing Orders agreed by Congress at their next meeting, without amendment.'

PurposeA region has frustrated the intent of Congress by delaying the adoption of revised Standing Orders. If, in future, Congress wishes to allow individual Regions to retain local variations through Standing Order revisions, Congress can make this clear in the model Standing Orders themselves.

Lost


72 Rule 30.2 (regional committees) - University of Southampton

Append at end 'v. to conduct annual elections for regional officers by electronic ballot of the regional membership, with a voting window of at least two weeks. Voting for each post will be by Alternative Vote (AV).'

PurposeIncumbent officers can currently secure a disproportionate advantage in annual elections by controlling the AGM location and timing. This can effectively disenfranchise colleagues at remote locations or with caring responsibilities.

Lost


B9 Rule change: Seat for a representative of members in Prison education - The Manchester College Prison Education

Delete:

18.8.5 point ii. (ii. at least one will be employed, or, if unemployed, most recently employed in, prison education.)

Insert new:

18.14 Seats for members in prison education

18.14.1 There will be one national executive committee seat for a representative of members in prison education, to be filled by a member of the FE sector. To be eligible for election to this seat a member must be employed in prison education in their main employment, or, if not employed at the time of nomination, have been most recently employed in prison education in their main employment

Purpose: To create an FE sector seat for a representative of members in Prison Education elected by and from all members.

Carried

Last updated: 13 June 2016