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Business of the equality committee

UCU Congress 2019: Saturday 25 May 2019, 10:00-12:30 | 14:15-15:00

Motions have been allocated to a section of the NEC's report to Congress (UCU957). Paragraph headings refer to paragraphs within this report. CBC has added some new paragraph headings to facilitate the ordering of motions.

Section 1: Business of the equality committee (section 6 of the NEC report to Congress)

1 - Equal and just learning spaces
2 - Mental health reps and training
3 - LGBT+ mental health
4 - The far right on campus
5 - Late motion on Brexit-UKIP
6 - Racism and refugees
L1 - Membership of Alternative for Germany (AfD)
7 - Citizenship rights and the hostile environment
8 - Stop the deportations now
9 - Composite: Representation of migrants in UCU structures
10 - Financial and institutional support for migrant staff
11 - The Stansted 15: challenging the hostile environment
12 - Stop the deportation of Bamidele Chika Agbakuribe, blind Nigerian student
L2 - Support Feyzi Ismail's claim for permanency
13 - Accessibility for all
14 - Social model of disability
15 - No more excuses: Close the LGBT+ data gap
16 - Lyra McKee legacy
17 - Gender based violence
18 - Sexual harassment and abuse have no place in our union
19 - Accountability of colleges and universities: Sexual harassment
20 - Gender identity after the 2018 Gender Recognition Act (GRA) consultation
21 - Respectful dialogue on gender/gender diversity
22 - Seeking justice for women facing retirement
23 - Extension of Equality Act protection to single people

(EP) advisory marking denoting UCU existing policy

Introduction, paragraph 1.1 (equality within all areas of the union's work)

1  Equal and just learning spaces - West Midlands regional committee

Congress notes:

  1. the recent attempted prioritisation of the educational access of students found to have engaged in racism and misogyny at Warwick University over safe educational spaces for those targeted
  2. the disciplinary action at Lancaster University against a black female student whistleblowing on racist and misogynistic activity amongst fellow students
  3. the broader environment across our sectors whereby members and students continue to face institutional barriers of the identification of students as consumers and institutions as corporations in our fight for equal, just learning spaces.

Congress resolves:

  1. to develop themed learning week resources to promote consent and bodily agency, along with developing and sharing of best practice in holding institutions to account
  2. to demand institutions engage with UCU to review policies and practices on discrimination and harassment
  3. to continue to build our fight against harassment in all forms in our institutions.

CARRIED


Campaigning for equality, paragraph 3.1


2  Mental health reps and training - Disabled members standing committee

Congress applauds the development of the Mental Health Charter.

Congress notes:

  1. that non specialist staff are increasingly asked to support students with mental health needs despite minimal training and resources
  2. management seldom recognise and rarely meet the needs of staff with mental health conditions. This often leaves union reps to provide support.
  3. the stress of unreasonable workloads and bullying at work is causing mental health difficulties for post 16 education workers.

Congress believes:

  1. colleges and universities must provide sufficient counselling and mental health support for staff and students
  2. UCU supported mental health first aid training can be helpful for our reps in supporting members with mental health conditions, but is not a resource for our management who must provide suitable workplace support and reasonable adjustments.

Congress resolves:

  1. to step up campaigning for sufficient mental health support
  2. to organise MH training for reps as part of the MH charter.

CARRIED

3  LGBT+ mental health - LGBT+ members standing committee

This Congress recognises that mental health is under-recognised, under-reported, under-diagnosed and under-funded.

The LGBT+ communities are disproportionately affected by mental health issues. LGBT+ young people are four times more likely to self-harm, whilst, tragically, suicide attempts are three times that of heterosexuals. In many suicides, the sexual orientation or gender identity are not recorded. Congress supports positive teaching of LGBT+ lives and issues at all levels of education. This is a particular concern in FE and HE, when students are often exploring and questioning their sexual and gender identity.

Congress calls upon UCU to

  1. raise awareness of LGBT+ mental health issues by organising an event specifically addressing this topic
  2. support LGBT+ members with their mental health needs, diagnosis and care
  3. campaign for better mental health care for all UCU members
  4. campaign for better mental health funding for all, particularly those with protected characteristics, who are often marginalised by society.

CARRIED


Campaigning for equality, paragraph 3.3


4  The far right on campus - National executive committee

The far-right are attempting to take their message of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism onto university and college campuses.

The far-right group 'Generation Identity' has now appeared on over 20 campuses, stickering and holding stunts and meetings. Their activities have included trolling and online threats and harassment against Nita Sanghera, UCU VP.

Congress expresses solidarity with Nita and other targets of far-right harassment and resolves:

  1. to work with NUS, other campus unions and anti-racist groups like Stand Up To Racism to oppose the threat of Nazi, racist and fascist ideas on campus by organising a 'Nazis Off Our Campuses' campaign
  2. to organise a national tour alongside Stand Up To Racism, other antiracist campaigns, and sister campus unions promoting events at colleges and universities to highlight the growth of the far right
  3. to develop anti-racist materials aimed at exposing the far right to staff and students.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

4A.1  Women members' standing committee

Add new sentence after the first paragraph, adding, 'Congress notes the shocking comments by UKIP EU candidate Carl Benjamin on rape of children and that he "wouldn't even rape" Labour MP Jess Phillips, comments defended by UKIP leader Gerald Batten'.

In 'Resolves..' , add new bullet points:

'4. To support and send women's committee delegates to the Stand Up to Racism international conference on 19 October'.

'5. To support the Stand Up to Racism UN anti-racism day demos, now co-ordinated globally, in London, Cardiff and Glasgow in March 2020'.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

The far-right are attempting to take their message of racism, Islamophobia and antisemitism onto university and college campuses. Congress notes the shocking comments by UKIP EU candidate Carl Benjamin on rape of children and that he "wouldn't even rape" Labour MP Jess Phillips, comments defended by UKIP leader Gerald Batten'.

The far-right group 'Generation Identity' has now appeared on over 20 campuses, stickering and holding stunts and meetings. Their activities have included trolling and online threats and harassment against Nita Sanghera, UCU VP.

Congress expresses solidarity with Nita and other targets of far-right harassment and resolves:

  1. to work with NUS, other campus unions and anti-racist groups like Stand Up To Racism to oppose the threat of Nazi, racist and fascist ideas on campus by organising a 'Nazis Off Our Campuses' campaign
  2. to organise a national tour alongside Stand Up To Racism, other antiracist campaigns, and sister campus unions promoting events at colleges and universities to highlight the growth of the far right
  3. to develop anti-racist materials aimed at exposing the far right to staff and students
  4. to support and send women's committee delegates to the Stand Up to Racism international conference on 19 October
  5. to support the Stand Up to Racism UN anti-racism day demos, now co-ordinated globally, in London, Cardiff and Glasgow in March 2020.

5  Late motion on Brexit-UKIP - National executive committee

Congress believes:

  1. whatever members' views on Brexit, it is clear that Theresa May's government has made an utter mess of the Brexit process.
  2. with the EU election process having been triggered there is a great danger that the racist and even fascist right will seek to take advantage of any 'Brexit betrayal'.

Congress notes that UKIP has now aligned with far-right figures including fascist activist Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) and the street thugs of the Democratic Football Lads Alliance.

Congress calls on the NEC to consult on whether UCU is able to use its political fund to help finance campaigns against UKIP in future elections.

Drafting amendment: in last sentence replace 'UKIP' with 'far-right parties'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress believes:

  1. whatever members' views on Brexit, it is clear that Theresa May's government has made an utter mess of the Brexit process.
  2. with the EU election process having been triggered there is a great danger that the racist and even fascist right will seek to take advantage of any 'Brexit betrayal'.

Congress notes that UKIP has now aligned with far-right figures including fascist activist Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) and the street thugs of the Democratic Football Lads Alliance.

Congress calls on the NEC to consult on whether UCU is able to use its political fund to help finance campaigns against far-right parties in future elections.


6  (EP) Racism and refugees - London regional committee

The Tories have tried to use the scapegoating of refugees as a method to deflect from their Brexit crisis.

The far right are also trying to make gains from the crisis.

Whether you voted leave or remain we have to unite against racism and the growth of the far right.

Congress resolves to build the widest support for future demonstrations like the Unite Against Racism and Fascism demonstration on 16 March.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

6A.1 East Midlands regional committee

 

Add in the fourth paragraph after 'like the': 'Stand Up to Racism and'; add, after '16 March': 'supported by the TUC'.

 

Add new paragraph: 'Congress resolves to support and promote the Stand Up To Racism international conference on Saturday 19 October and the Stand Up To Racism UN anti-racism day protests planned for March 2020.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

The Tories have tried to use the scapegoating of refugees as a method to deflect from their Brexit crisis.

The far right are also trying to make gains from the crisis.

Whether you voted leave or remain we have to unite against racism and the growth of the far right.

Congress resolves to build the widest support for future demonstrations like the Stand Up to Racism and Unite Against Racism and Fascism demonstration on 16 March supported by the TUC.

Congress resolves to support and promote the Stand Up To Racism international conference on Saturday 19 October and the Stand Up To Racism UN anti-racism day protests planned for March 2020.

L1 Membership of Alternative for Germany (AfD) - SOAS

Congress notes:

  1. a member of academic staff at SOAS is a candidate to be MEP for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in the European elections
  2. the disturbing growth of the far-right in the UK and in recent European elections
  3. the AfD is widely recognised as a far-right, anti-immigrant, Islamophobic, and reactionary party
  4. the AfD promote policies that are at their core, homophobic, sexist including termination of gender studies and research.

Congress believes:

  1. the AfD's views are utterly incompatible with basic values of equality, acceptance, and non-discrimination, and with universities' duty to ensure dignity and respect for all students and staff
  2. membership of extreme far-right parties such as the AfD are similarly incompatible with UCU's values.

Congress resolves:

  1. to campaign against extreme right-wing parties and their members within universities
  2. to strengthen UCU rules on membership (e.g. rule 6.1.1) so that far-right parties such as the AfD are proscribed.

CARRIED

7  Citizenship rights and the hostile environment - Croydon College

This Congress deplores the home secretary's decision to withdraw citizenship from Shamima Begum. The consequences of this decision may well have contributed to the death of her child in a refugee camp. Congress notes with outrage that the continuing questioning of citizenship of the Windrush generation and their offspring and the deportations that have flown from withdrawal of citizenship rights as a strategy for creating a hostile environment for migrants. Congress resolves to campaign for:

  1. the right of Shamima Begum to retain her citizenship
  2. the right of return for all Windrush deportees.

CARRIED

8  (EP) Stop the deportations now - National executive committee

Congress notes:

  1. the hostile environment policy advanced by Theresa May as Home Secretary and accelerated under her premiership
  2. the relentless tide of deportations of the Windrush generation and the failure to end or reverse this after broken promises from the current government
  3. the devastating impact this has had and the commitment of UCU as trade unionists and internationalists to stand in solidarity with members, their families and our communities.

Congress resolves:

  1. to invite Windrush speakers to regional and branch meetings
  2. to develop solidarity networks to support the resistance of deportations
  3. to demand the government end the hostile environment and all deportations.

CARRIED

9  Composite: Representation of migrants in UCU structures - University of Leeds, The University of Manchester

Congress notes:

  1. migrants, defined as non-UK citizens, constitute a large demography within UCU's membership
  2. UCU's structures currently do not represent migrants, thereby leaving them vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, surveillance and other forms of oppression.

Congress believes:

  1. all workers should be treated equally independent of immigration status
  2. racist and anti-migrant sentiments are fuelled by policies such as Hostile Environment and discourses surrounding Brexit
  3. there should be no place for targeted racism and legal discrimination within our sector
  4. only direct migrant representation can advance UCU policy and organising strategies on matters specific to migrant members such as mobility rights, visa fees, NHS surcharge, social security.

Congress resolves to:

  1. recognise migrant status as a protected characteristic under UCU equality structures
  2. implement rule changes necessary to ensure the representational gap is closed
  3. ensure protection of migrant members is a priority for UCU.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

9A.1 National executive committee

Add in Resolves section an additional point iv at the end: 'reaffirm UCU's support for freedom of movement and promote support for freedom of movement on campuses and throughout the Labour and trade union movement.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes:

  1. migrants, defined as non-UK citizens, constitute a large demography within UCU's membership
  2. UCU's structures currently do not represent migrants, thereby leaving them vulnerable to discrimination, harassment, surveillance and other forms of oppression.

Congress believes:

  1. all workers should be treated equally independent of immigration status
  2. racist and anti-migrant sentiments are fuelled by policies such as Hostile Environment and discourses surrounding Brexit
  3. there should be no place for targeted racism and legal discrimination within our sector
  4. only direct migrant representation can advance UCU policy and organising strategies on matters specific to migrant members such as mobility rights, visa fees, NHS surcharge, social security.

Congress resolves to:

  1. recognise migrant status as a protected characteristic under UCU equality structures
  2. implement rule changes necessary to ensure the representational gap is closed
  3. ensure protection of migrant members is a priority for UCU
  4. reaffirm UCU's support for freedom of movement and promote support for freedom of movement on campuses and throughout the Labour and trade union movement.

10  Financial and institutional support for migrant staff - University of Cambridge

Congress notes:

  1. migrants are an integral part of the UK university staff body, which is 30% non-UK
  2. regular above-inflation increases in visa fees and related costs act as a form of double taxation on migrant staff
  3. financial support and formal representation for migrant staff are deeply lacking across the sector.

Congress believes:

  1. direct migrant representation is needed to advance UCU policy on matters specific to migrant members
  2. standards set by the Universities of St Andrews and Sheffield show that our employers can and should take responsibility to redress punitive financial measures that affect migrant staff.

Congress resolves to:

  1. create a migrant representative under the UCU equality structures and implement rule changes to close the representational gap
  2. negotiate with the employers nationally for a gold standard across the sector on:
  • covering visa costs, NHS and indefinite leave to remain fees for staff and their dependants
  • provision of dedicated HR support.

CARRIED

11  The Stansted 15: challenging the hostile environment - Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee

Congress notes the case of the 'Stansted 15', activists who, in March 2017, used non-violent direct action - lying down in front of an aeroplane - to prevent a charter flight due to remove asylum seekers and other migrants to the UK from taking off.

As a result of this action, approximately 50 people due to be deported were able to remain in the UK to continue their legal cases. The activists themselves however have been charged with terror-related offences under the Aviation and Maritime Security Act. If found guilty, they face life sentences.

Congress believes that:

  1. the Stansted 15 acted with bravery, humanity and kindness
  2. the government's decision to charge them with terror-related offences is politically motivated and is designed to reinforce its 'hostile environment for migrants'.

Congress resolves to send a message of solidarity to the Stansted 15 and to donate £1000 to their trial fund.

CARRIED

12  Stop the deportation of Bamidele Chika Agbakuribe, blind Nigerian student - National executive committee

Congress notes:

  1. threatened deportation of Bamidele Chika Agbakuribe, a blind Nigerian student, and his family after the University of Dundee cancelled Bamidele's student status, postponed from 25 March to 5 June after campaign and local MSP's intervention
  2. appeal submitted by Positive Action in Housing (PAIH)) against ending Bamidele's student status.

Congress calls for an end to his deportation and an agreed settlement with Dundee University.

Congress believes May's racist hostile environment and the Home Office Prevent agenda encourages institutional racism and makes international students vulnerable.

Congress resolves to:

  1. support Bamidele's right to stay in Scotland to complete his and his family's education
  2. call on:
    1. Dundee University to reach an agreed settlement PAIH appeal
    2. Home Office to withdraw deportation order
    3. Scottish government, and John Swinney MSP (education minister) to mediate between Dundee and PAIH to reach an agreed settlement with Bamidele.

CARRIED

L2  Support Feyzi Ismail's claim for permanency - SOAS

Congress expresses support for Feyzi Ismail, a Senior Teaching Fellow at SOAS, who has been employed on ten separate fixed-term contracts since 2011, including four successive 12-month contracts between 2014 and 2018.

Congress notes that her request for permanency has twice been turned down on the basis of "objective justifications" despite her engaging in the same work as permanent colleagues. On 20 May, her grievance hearing scheduled for 21 May was postponed because students were planning to organise a silent demonstration outside the hearing in her support.

Congress believes that this case:

  1. reflects a pattern whereby fixed-term contracts are used at the expense of the security and career development of fixed-term employees
  2. raises questions about the use of "objective justifications" to deny permanency
  3. is an issue of national significance for precarious and permanent staff. 

Congress resolves to demand that SOAS urgently hear her grievance and issue a full-time permanent contract.

CARRIED


Equality for disabled members, paragraph 5.1


13  Accessibility for all - Disabled members standing committee

Congress commends the excellent work undertaken by the Disabled Members Standing Committee, and the achievements of UCU's Day of Action campaign. Congress notes disability discrimination on campuses and commends the current access campaign by UCU University of Liverpool.

Congress also notes the hard work undertaken by UCU event organisers. Notwithstanding the principled position UCU takes on accessibility for workers, delegates to Congress, conferences and other UCU events continue to encounter discrimination through lack of access. These issues affect those with seen and unseen disabilities.

Congress resolves:

  1. trained UCU staff shall undertake accessibility site evaluations when organising national and regional events, and use only accessible venues
  2. that UCU provides resources to branches to tackle disability discrimination, including lack of accessibility
  3. that UCU lobbies parliament for a review of building regulations to ensure they meet the accessibility needs of disabled people.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

13A.1 UCU Scotland

After bullet point 1 add:

  1. that UCU with input from disabled members sitting committee and disabled members produces guidelines for minimum and desirable accessibility standards and publicises to branches

Original bullet points 2 and 3 then become bullets 3 and 4. Then add two new bullet 5 and 6 below:

  1. that UCU campaigns for removal of barriers of access to STEM, including abuse of health and safety and negative attitudes, publicises good practice and names and shames 'bad' institutions
  2. that UCU publicises the DISC project UCU Scotland is participating in and its recommendations and other outcomes when available.

13A.1 point 6 withdrawn

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress commends the excellent work undertaken by the Disabled Members Standing Committee, and the achievements of UCU's Day of Action campaign. Congress notes disability discrimination on campuses and commends the current access campaign by UCU University of Liverpool.

Congress also notes the hard work undertaken by UCU event organisers. Notwithstanding the principled position UCU takes on accessibility for workers, delegates to Congress, conferences and other UCU events continue to encounter discrimination through lack of access. These issues affect those with seen and unseen disabilities.

Congress resolves:

  1. trained UCU staff shall undertake accessibility site evaluations when organising national and regional events, and use only accessible venues
  2. that UCU with input from disabled members sitting committee and disabled members produces guidelines for minimum and desirable accessibility standards and publicises to branches
  3. that UCU provides resources to branches to tackle disability discrimination, including lack of accessibility
  4. that UCU lobbies parliament for a review of building regulations to ensure they meet the accessibility needs of disabled people
  5. that UCU campaigns for removal of barriers of access to STEM, including abuse of health and safety and negative attitudes, publicises good practice and names and shames 'bad' institutions.

14 (EP) Social model of disability - Coleg Gwent Newport

Congress notes that the social model of disability was adopted by the United Nations through the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which was ratified by the UK Government in 2009.

Congress further notes the excellent work done by the equality standing committee in producing toolkits supporting the social model of disability.

Congress believes that the social model of disability can reduce the possibility of discrimination within the workplace. Members with disabilities may be indirectly discriminated against when needing additional time off due to their impairments.

Congress calls upon branches:

  1. to seek that their institutions adopt the social model within its policies
  2. raise awareness of the social model within its institutions and wider communities
  3. to negotiate a separate disability leave section in their sickness absence policies.

CARRIED


Equality for LGBT+ members, paragraph 6.6


15  No more excuses: Close the LGBT+ data gap - National executive committee

The National LGBT Survey (2018) demonstrated that prejudice against LGBT+ people exists at all levels of education. Effective data collection has potential to tackle this by making LGBT+ people a statistical reality with equality of social capital.

The higher education equality body (now HE Advance) said that 'Sexual orientation has not yet received the same degree of analytical attention as other protected characteristics such as gender, disability, age, and race/ethnicity' (2018). Its 2017 statistical report on HE staff equality examined sexual orientation in four tables; ethnicity was discussed in 43 tables and gender in 31 tables.

Congress calls on UCU:

  1. to remind employers that their Public Sector Equality Duties require advancement of equality, and their ability to do this depends on good data
  2. to promote the closure of the LGBT+ data gap for staff in post-16 education, and the need for intersectionality to be included in data collection.

16  Lyra McKee legacy - Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee

Congress:

  1. sends solidarity to the National Union of Journalists on the death of Lyra McKee, a journalist killed when doing her job, and condolences to her partner and family.
  2. congratulates trade unionists who organised protests after the killing. This reaction shows the mass of Northern Irish people do not want to return to political violence. Trade unionists in NI, like Lyra, courageously campaign against sectarianism, paramilitarism and repression.
  3. celebrates Lyra as a powerful advocate for LGBT+, civil, and human rights. Her journalistic work showed empathy with the marginalised, documenting how many have been left out in Northern Ireland's political process.
  4. notes Lyra, a young gay woman in NI, was denied the right to marry the person she loved. In honour of Lyra, Congress commits UCU to do what is in our power to make equal marriage available in Northern Ireland.
  5. resolves to donate £500 to the GoFundMe Lyra legacy fund.

Equality for women members, paragraph 7.4 (guidance on gender based violence)


17 (EP) Gender based violence - UCU Scotland

Congress notes and welcomes the work of UCU, NUS, the Scottish Government and higher education institutions promoting action against gender based violence in Scottish HE and the work of Strathclyde University's Equally Safe in HE initiative in developing a toolkit.

Congress also welcomes the rolling out of signposting information on gender based violence to every member of staff in Scottish higher education.

Congress notes that, sadly, incidences of gender based violence in higher education institutions remain all too high, and that there are continuing reports of misogynistic behaviour on campuses and amongst student groups.

Congress believes that the current initiatives in higher education are timely and positive but that progress must be maintained and therefore calls on UCU to seek further opportunities to work co-operatively across the HE and FE sectors to tackle gender based violence.


Equality for women members, paragraph 7.6 (challenging sexual harassment in the workplace)


18  Sexual harassment and abuse have no place in our union - Women members standing committee

Congress applauds the #MeToo movement.

Congress believes

  1. we need to take a stand in support of survivors and in making our workplaces free of sexual harassment
  2. the use of non-disclosure agreements allow those accused of harassment to move to new workplaces without facing charges and puts other people (overwhelmingly women) at risk.

Congress resolves:

  1. introduce new rule 6.1.2 in national rules:
    UCU will refuse membership to, or expel from existing membership, any person who is found guilty of sexual harassment as this conduct is contrary to the rules of UCU as outlined in 6.1 above
  2. to develop a campaign countering use of non-disclosure agreements involving accusations of sexual harassment—including running FOI exercise to investigate institutions using these
  3. to campaign for institutions to refer sexual harassment/rape cases to the police
  4. produce guidelines in how to audit disciplinary and grievance policies.

Bullet points a & c remitted

CARRIED AS AMENDED

18A.1 London regional committee

Add new congress resolves 'e': "To require relevant bodies to produce clear and detailed guidance for NEC members, regional and branch officers on how best to support and advise members reporting sexual harassment, including cases in which the alleged perpetrators are other UCU members, officers or staff."

CARRIED

18A.2 Anti-casualisation committee

Add to the end of Congress resolves part d:

These guidelines need to recognise sexual harassment, and the threat of sexual harassment, which can be present particularly in the lives of many casualised, vulnerable and mainly female staff and PhD students, who may often feel obliged to keep quiet and not 'rock the boat', because they risk losing teaching hours or supervisory support.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress applauds the #MeToo movement.

Congress believes

  1. we need to take a stand in support of survivors and in making our workplaces free of sexual harassment
  2. the use of non-disclosure agreements allow those accused of harassment to move to new workplaces without facing charges and puts other people (overwhelmingly women) at risk.

Congress resolves:

  1. to develop a campaign countering use of non-disclosure agreements involving accusations of sexual harassment—including running FOI exercise to investigate institutions using these
  2. produce guidelines in how to audit disciplinary and grievance policies. These guidelines need to recognise sexual harassment, and the threat of sexual harassment, which can be present particularly in the lives of many casualised, vulnerable and mainly female staff and PhD students, who may often feel obliged to keep quiet and not 'rock the boat', because they risk losing teaching hours or supervisory support
  3. to require relevant bodies to produce clear and detailed guidance for NEC members, regional and branch officers on how best to support and advise members reporting sexual harassment, including cases in which the alleged perpetrators are other UCU members, officers or staff.

19  (EP) Accountability of colleges and universities: Sexual harassment - National executive committee

A recent case at the University of Warwick highlighted us to the fact of how such institutions are negating their responsibilities in tackling and addressing these sexist issues. The case of two students making direct threats of rape and sexual abuse were in the first instance dealt with adequately, but on appeal sanctions previously imposed were suddenly diluted and demeaned the severity of the impact to their female survivors. It is clear that the costs of losing students are primary to management and consideration of the survivor is secondary.

Congress believes that colleges and universities should have a clear and robust policy in holding students to account in cases of sexual harassment.

Congress resolves to

  1. highlight the rise of sexual abuse in colleges and universities
  2. promote the need for management to take these issues seriously
  3. work with others to educate students and staff.

REMITTED


New paragraph, Gender identity, after paragraph 7.7


20  Gender identity after the 2018 Gender Recognition Act (GRA) consultation - LGBT+ members standing committee

Congress notes that the report on the consultation on the GRA has been delayed by government due, at least in part, to government pandering to the reactionaries of the right.

Congress recognises that gender and biological sex are different. Gender is a social category, not a biological one. Congress believes that everyone has the right to self-define their gender, including legal gender recognition.

Congress notes the diversity of gender identity and calls on UCU to continue to promote a greater awareness of the issues faced by every part of the LGBT+ community.

In the event of government retreat over the GRA consultation, Congress resolves to continue to campaign for further legal change guaranteeing gender self-identification.

REMITTED

20A.1 Composite: Women members standing committee, University of Leeds, National Executive Committee

In the second paragraph, after the first sentence which ends in 'not a biological one', remove full stop and add new sentence, 'and modern evidence indicates that neither are binary'.

After the last sentence in the last paragraph, take out full stop and add, 'and formal recognition of non-binary status for data gathering purposes and for options for non-binary and no gender indication options on passports and other documents that indicate gender'.

21  Respectful dialogue on gender/gender diversity - University of Edinburgh

Congress notes:   

  1. proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act have potentially profound consequences for a range of social and institutional regulations, procedures and practices
  2. the debate over definitions of 'sex', 'gender' and 'gender identity' in and beyond universities has become hostile and intimidating
  3. feminist scholars have been targeted for publishing research on sex and gender.

Congress believes:    

  1. UCU is rightly committed to promoting equality 
  2. UCU members hold a variety of views on issues of sex and gender and have much to contribute to public debate
  3. potential conflicts of rights should be discussed openly in a spirit of respectful, evidence-based dialogue.

Congress calls on UCU to:    

  1. reaffirm its commitment to academic freedom in research and teaching
  2. condemn the harassment of feminist academics for expressing views on sex and gender
  3. construct spaces in which gender diversity can be explored through respectful dialogue.

REMITTED

21A.1 Composite: University of Leeds, LGBT+ members standing committee

In Congress notes 1, delete from 'potentially profound consequences...' to end of clause. Replace with 'the potential to significantly improve trans people's lives'.

In 3. insert 'trans and other' between 'feminist' and 'scholars'.

In Congress believes a. add at end after 'equality': 'under the Equality Act 2010 and other legislation, and supports proposed changes to the 2004 Gender Recognition Act that support trans people and their rights.'

In Congress believes c, delete 'potential conflicts of rights' insert 'the rights of oppressed groups'.

In 'Congress calls on UCU to ii; add 'and trans people' after 'academics'.

In Congress calls on UCU to ii, at end, delete 'and gender' insert 'gender and gender identity'.

In final sentence (iii), add at end 'underpinned by solidarity with all oppressed groups and promote unity in action of women and trans people in the face of attacks on either group.'


New paragraph, Justice for women facing retirement, after paragraph 7.7


22  Seeking justice for women facing retirement - Southern retired members

Congress recognises the injustice experienced by women whose state pensions have been deferred without adequate notification. The consequences have been that those affected were unable to make long-term financial plans and some are now experiencing significant hardship.

Congress calls on the NEC to undertake an active campaign, together with other trades unions and campaign groups to seek justice for the many retired UCU members and others who have been disadvantaged.

REMITTED


New paragraph, Other equality issues, after paragraph 7.7


23  Extension of Equality Act protection to single people - National executive committee

Congress notes:

  1. under the Equality Act 2010 married people and people in civil partnerships are protected from discrimination on grounds of marital status, but single people are not and so can lawfully be treated less favourably
  2. that lack of legal protection gives scope for expression of negative attitudes towards single people
  3. that if health and social care services are organised on the assumption that people have a 'next of kin' family member who can look after them in periods of illness and disability, this disadvantages single people
  4. that there are various forms of existing discrimination against single people, such as single person supplements charged by holiday firms
  5. that discussion of loneliness as a health problem can foster negative stereotypes of the lives of single people.

Congress believes that the Equality Act should be extended to include single people as a protected category and will work to achieve this legal reform.

REMITTED

Last updated: 27 May 2019