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Special congress: democracy commission - motions

Motions shown as 'National executive committee (DC recommendation)' have been submitted by the NEC without the NEC taking a position on the motion, in order to put the democracy commission's recommendations to Congress in accordance with Congress policy. Motions shown as 'National executive committee' are submitted directly by the NEC reflecting a substantive decision of the NEC, unrelated to the commission's report.

All business taken in private session.


Section 1: Recommendations of the democracy commission

CBC advice: if motion 1 passes, motion 2 falls.

1  Rule change: General secretary instructions and breach of instructions - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 1 of the democracy commission's final report, Rule change: General secretary instructions and breach of instructions.

Recommendation 1 - Rule changes: General secretary instructions and breach of instructions

Add new 28.2:

28.2 The General Secretary [and Deputy General Secretaries]* shall act in accordance with the instructions of the National Executive Committee.

Renumber current 28.2 as 28.3.

Add to 30.2 (rights and responsibilities of regional committees) new point (iv):

iv. to alert the NEC to any perceived breach of rule 28.2 and receive a timely reply.

Renumber current (iv) as (v)

Add new 18.5:

If at least four regional committees exercise their right under rule 30.2, the NEC shall initiate an independent investigation into the conduct of the General Secretary [or a Deputy General Secretary]* in accordance with the relevant procedures. Devolved nation bodies are also given the right afforded under rule 30.2(iv), and shall count towards the total of four.

Renumber the rest of rule 18 as appropriate.

Taken in parts
Last paragraph: LOST
Remaining motion: CARRIED

Purpose: to specify the GS's obligation to act in accordance with instructions of the NEC and provide a mechanism requiring the NEC to initiate an investigation if four regional committees or devolved nation bodies require it.

*Also to be applied to Deputy General Secretaries if the commission's recommendation to establish these positions is carried [words in square brackets].

1A.1 UCU Wales Council

Add to Rule 30 Title ('Regional committees') 'and Devolved Nations'

Rule 30.2, after Regional Committees, add 'and Devolved Nations decision making bodies'

CARRIED

Purpose: proposed Rule 18.5 gives devolved nations the right to initiate an independent investigation under Rule 30.2 but, at present devolved nations are not mentioned in or covered by Rule 30 or Rule 30.2.

Substantive motion

Congress approves recommendation 1 of the democracy commission's final report, Rule change: General secretary instructions and breach of instructions.

Recommendation 1 - Rule changes: General secretary instructions and breach of instructions

Add new 28.2:

28.2 The General Secretary [and Deputy General Secretaries]* shall act in accordance with the instructions of the National Executive Committee.

Renumber current 28.2 as 28.3.

Add to 30.2 (rights and responsibilities of regional committees) new point (iv):

iv. to alert the NEC to any perceived breach of rule 28.2 and receive a timely reply.

Renumber current (iv) as (v)

Add to Rule 30 Title ('Regional committees') 'and Devolved Nations'

Rule 30.2, after Regional Committees, add 'and Devolved Nations decision making bodies'


2  Rule changes: General secretary instructions and breach of instructions - University of Sheffield

Two-thirds majority required

Add new 28.2:

28.2 The General Secretary [and Deputy General Secretaries]* shall act in accordance with the instructions of the National Executive Committee.

Renumber current 28.2 as 28.3.

Add to 12.6.2 (rights and responsibilities of branches) new point (v):

v. to alert the NEC to any perceived breach of rule 28.2 and receive a timely reply.

Renumber current (v) as (vi)

Add new 18.5:

If at least 20 branches/local associations from separate institutions across the Union exercise their right under rule 12.6.2 in a quorate general meeting, the NEC shall initiate an independent investigation into the conduct of the General Secretary [or a Deputy General Secretary]* in accordance with the relevant procedures. 

Renumber the rest of rule 18 as appropriate.

Purpose: to specify the GS's obligation to act in accordance with instructions of the NEC and provide a mechanism requiring the NEC to initiate an investigation if 20 branches/local associations require it.

*Also to be applied to Deputy General Secretaries if the commission's recommendation to establish these positions is carried [words in square brackets].

To place the responsibility of calling an investigation of a GS [or Deputy GS if position is created] with branches/local associations, as they represent the most fundamental units of member representation in the union. 

Up to last paragraph: FELL
Final paragraph: LOST


3  NEC response to the democracy commission report - West Midlands regional committee

Congress notes:

  1. the West Midland Regional Committee regrets the NEC changing part of the final Democracy Commission report.
  2. the Democracy Commission had considered their report at length, which the NEC then changed without consultation.
  3. there is no legal reason why the original wording cannot be included in the document.

Congress instructs that the original wording in the report be reinstated with immediate effect.

For information: the change made at the NEC's instruction was the removal of the words 'and failure to do so may be misconduct up to and including gross misconduct' from the end of proposed new rule 28.2 in recommendation 1 (motion 1).

CARRIED


4  Congress standing orders: Ordering of motions by CBC - criticism of GS - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 2 of the democracy commission's final report, Congress standing orders: Ordering of motions by CBC - criticism of GS.

Recommendation 2 - Congress standing orders: Ordering of motions by CBC - criticism of GS

Standing order 49ii (motions not appropriate for debate), after ...'because motions criticise individual employees', add 'who have no right to address Congress/Conference'

Purpose: To clarify in Congress standing orders that criticism of the general secretary (who has the right to address Congress) does not automatically make a motion not appropriate for debate.

The amended standing order would read:

49. [...] Congress Business Committee shall determine its recommendations on:

ii which motions and amendments are not appropriate for debate, for example because they are out of order because they are in conflict with the objects of the union; or because motions criticise individual employees who have no right to address Congress/Conference,or on legal advice provided to the committee, that they are deemed to be defamatory and therefore may not be published.

CARRIED


5  Rule change: GS term of office - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 3 of the democracy commission's final report, Rule change: GS term of office.

Recommendation 3 - Reduction in GS term of office

Rule change: GS term of office

Rule 28.1, delete 'five years' and replace with 'three years'.

Purpose: To reduce the term of office of the general secretary from five years to three years.

Amended rule 28.1 will read:

28.1 The General Secretary shall be the chief executive of the Union, responsible for duties specified by the Rules and Standing Orders of the Union, and duties allocated by the National Executive Committee, and shall be elected for terms of three years by the membership of the Union, under procedures agreed by the National Executive Committee.

LOST


6  Rule change: Limit on consecutive GS terms - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 4 of the democracy commission's final report, Rule change: Limit on consecutive GS terms.

Recommendation 4: Limit on consecutive GS terms

Rule change: Limit on consecutive GS terms

Rule 28.1, add at end:

No-one who has served three consecutive terms as general secretary is eligible to serve again as general secretary, except after an interval of one year or more.

CARRIED


7  Rule changes: Officers of the union - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 5 of the democracy commission's final report, Rule changes: Officers of the union.

Recommendation 5: Rule changes - officers of the union

Rule 15.4, add:

'The Honorary Treasurer is charged with raising financial concerns and shall be consulted on financial matters, but where decisions are referred to the Officers of the Union by any body of the Union the Treasurer shall be a non-voting Officer.' 

Rule 15.1, (officers of the union), delete 'immediate past president'.

Delete other references to the immediate past president in UCU rules and Congress standing orders as follows:

Rule 15.2 (term of vice president becoming president), delete 'and then Immediate Past President for the next following year.'

Rule 21.1, (filling of casual vacancies) delete final sentence: 'A vacancy in the office of Immediate Past President will not be filled.'

Rule 21.2 (filling of vice president casual vacancy), delete 'and then to the office of Immediate Past President,'

Congress standing order 16 (chairing of Congress), delete 'or by the Immediate Past President.'

Purpose: to change the effect of the officer status of the honorary treasurer, removing their vote in any decision-making by the union's officers. To remove the officer role of immediate past president and all references to it. This leaves the president, president-elect and vice president as those who can collectively make a decision as the officers of the union.

LOST


8  Role descriptions for the union's officer roles - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Congress approves recommendation 6 of the democracy commission's final report, role descriptions for the union's officer roles.

Recommendation 6: Role descriptions for the union's officer roles

The commission asks that the NEC create role descriptions for the union's officer roles and makes these available to members.

CARRIED


9  Reporting of GS, president and vice president activities - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Congress approves recommendation 7 of the democracy commission's final report, Reporting of GS, president and vice president activities.

Recommendation 7: Reporting of GS, president and vice president activities

The NEC is asked to ensure that a system of regularly reporting on activities undertaken on behalf of UCU is established in respect of the general secretary, [deputy general secretaries], president and vice presidents. This record should be available to members and is intended to increase accountability and transparency, to enable NEC and Congress to exercise informed oversight, and also to increase members' understanding of these roles and the visibility of role-holders. The system should feature regular updates (at least monthly). It should take account of:

  • ease of updating
  • accessibility of format
  • providing sufficient and sufficiently timely information that NEC and Congress are able to exercise informed oversight
  • where relevant, the need for some information not to be put immediately into the public realm.

CBC advice: if motion 10 passes, motion 11 falls

CARRIED


10  Rule change: Deputy general secretaries - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 8 of the democracy commission's final report, Rule change: Deputy general secretaries.

Recommendation 8: Deputy general secretaries

Amend 20.5 (order in which ballots shall be counted):

Insert new iii Deputy General Secretaries

Renumber subsequent points as necessary

Amend rule 28.2 - delete 'to another employee of the union'; replace with 'to the Deputy General Secretaries'.

The amended rule will read:

28.2 The General Secretary may delegate any power or duty of, or allocated to, the General Secretary under these Rules to the Deputy General Secretaries as the General Secretary shall determine.

Renumber Rule 29 to Rule 30 and renumber all following rules sequentially.

Insert new Rule 29:

There shall be two Deputy General Secretaries. The Deputy General Secretaries shall be delegated to assist the General Secretary in the duties specified by the Rules and Standing Orders of the Union, and duties allocated by the National Executive Committee, and shall be elected for the same length of term as the position of general secretary under rule 28.1, by the membership of the Union, under procedures agreed by the National Executive Committee. No-one who has served three consecutive terms as Deputy General Secretary is eligible to serve again as Deputy General Secretary, except after an interval of one year or more.

Renumber schedule C to Schedule D and renumber sequentials in successive alphabetical order.

Insert new Schedule C:

Schedule C: Deputy General Secretaries: nominations of candidates to stand for election

1 Notice to members

1.1 In the 12 months before the term of office of an incumbent Deputy General Secretary is due to expire, the National Executive Committee will issue a notice to all members and employees calling for nominations of members or employees of the union for election to the post of Deputy General Secretary.

2 Receipt of applications and nominations

2.1 The National Executive Committee will determine a common date for receipt of nominations arising out of paragraph 1 of this schedule. That date will be stated in the notice to members and will be no less than 28 days after publication of the notice.

2.2 All nominations will be addressed to the President and must be received at the Head Office of the Union no later than the date determined in paragraph 2.1 of this schedule.

3 Nominations

3.1 Nominations for election to the post of Deputy General Secretary arising out of paragraph 1 of this schedule must be supported by:

a. the identifiable signatures of at least 50 members of the Union of whom not more than 25 may be members of the same branch/local association or of one of the central groups;

b. the written consent of the nominee to be a candidate;

c. written agreement to the terms and conditions as determined by the National Executive Committee to apply to the person elected Deputy General Secretary.

3.2 Support required for any nomination must be received by the President by the date for receipt of nominations.

3.3 A nomination may be withdrawn by a candidate at any time and will then become invalid.

4 Election process

4.1 In the event that there is only one eligible candidate for the post of Deputy General Secretary, that candidate will be declared elected as soon as is practicable.

4.2 In the event that there is more than one eligible candidate for the post of Deputy General Secretary a ballot of the membership will be held.

Purpose: to create two elected deputy general secretary posts within the union.

LOST

10A.1     Croydon College

Delete 'Amend rule 28.2... (to end of clause)' and replace with new 28.3:

'Add new rule 28.3

In the absence of the General Secretary, their duties shall be assumed by the deputy general secretary/secretaries.'

Note: existing rule 28.2 (which will be unchanged if motion 10 is amended by 10A.1) reads:

28.2   The General Secretary may delegate any power or duty of, or allocated to, the General Secretary under these Rules to another employee of the Union as the General Secretary shall determine.

CARRIED


11  Election of Deputy General Secretary - Yorkshire and Humberside retired members

Two-thirds majority required

It is proposed that this rule change come into effect at the time of the next election for General Secretary.

Rule 20.5 (counting order for NEC elections)

Insert after 20.5 'ii General Secretary'

iii. Deputy General Secretary

and renumber accordingly

Rule 28.2 (delegation of duties by the general secretary), end of sentence, delete 'as the General Secretary shall determine' and replace with 'in consultation with the Deputy General Secretary'.

Insert new Rule 29 and renumber other rules accordingly:

29 Deputy General Secretary

The Deputy General Secretary shall be the deputy chief executive of the Union, responsible for duties specified by the Rules and Standing Orders of the Union, and duties allocated by the National Executive Committee, and shall be elected for terms of five years by the membership of the Union, under procedures agreed by the National Executive Committee.

Rule 29.1 (engagement of other employees), after 'Employees other than the General Secretary', add 'and Deputy General Secretary'

Schedule B

Add in procedures, as determined by NEC, for election of Deputy General Secretary.

Purpose: to establish an elected post of Deputy General Secretary. The rule change to come into effect at the next time an election occurs for the General Secretary. Nothing in this rule change has any implications for employment status of any other members of UCU staff.

LOST


12  Oversight of recruitment, appointment and remuneration of UCU's senior officials - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Congress approves recommendation 9 of the democracy commission's final report, Oversight of recruitment, appointment and remuneration of UCU's senior officials.

Recommendation 9: Oversight of recruitment, appointment and remuneration of UCU's senior officials

The NEC shall establish a Scrutiny Panel to oversee the remuneration of the General Secretary and the recruitment, appointment, and remuneration of senior officials of the union. This panel will be elected from the membership and will report to the NEC, and will consult with the staff unions as appropriate.

CARRIED


13  Congress standing orders: Curtailment of Congress - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 10 of the democracy commission's final report, Congress standing orders: Curtailment of Congress.

Recommendation 10: Congress standing orders - curtailment of Congress

Add new Congress standing order 16 (and renumber subsequent standing orders):

Congress can be curtailed (ended early) in one of the following circumstances only:

  1. all the scheduled business of Congress and sector conferences is finished early.

  2. credible communication is received about a natural disaster or other imminent threat (for example, fire) and advice from the relevant authorities requires Congress to be ended.

  3. a vote of two-thirds of delegates is carried to end Congress/sector conference.

Purpose: to specify the circumstances in which Congress or a sector conference can be ended early.

CARRIED


14  Congress standing orders: Election of alternative chair - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 11 of the democracy commission's final report, Congress standing orders: Election of alternative chair.

Recommendation 11: Congress standing orders - election of alternative chair

Add new Congress standing order 17:

To achieve this election, the Chair of the Congress business committee (or if the Chair is unavailable, another member of this group, or if none are available a self-nominated delegate) will temporarily assume the Chair with the sole purpose of holding this election. Candidates for Chair must then declare themselves and a vote be taken. The successful candidate will take the Chair for the remainder of Congress/Sector Conference.

Purpose: to specify how a Congress or sector conference chair will be elected if none of the named chairs are available.

CARRIED


15  Negotiation with staff during the course of Congress - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Congress approves recommendation 12 of the democracy commission's final report, Negotiation with staff during the course of Congress.

Recommendation 12: Negotiation with staff union during the course of Congress

Congress notes that a dispute that emerges with the staff union and concerns delegates to Congress is not a dispute with the direct employer or managers of union staff, but rather involves a somewhat different constituency, and one that is in different relations of power, with both union staff and union management.

Adoption of this recommendation mandates the NEC to negotiate with the staff union to achieve the following Congress standing order (which would then be brought for subsequent adoption by Congress):

Should any dispute with the staff union emerge during the period of Congress/Sector Conference about matters directly related to Congress/Sector Conference, the UCU negotiating team must include two members directly elected by Congress / Sector Conference to represent the interests of delegates, in addition to any members of the union leadership, whose role is to represent UCU management. These members are charged with directly liaising with Congress / Sector Conference.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

15A.1 University of Leeds

After 'about matters directly related to Congress/Sector Conference', insert: 'a process of binding arbitration should be sought to avoid halting Congress/Sector Conference.'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress approves recommendation 12 of the democracy commission's final report, Negotiation with staff during the course of Congress.

Recommendation 12: Negotiation with staff union during the course of Congress

Congress notes that a dispute that emerges with the staff union and concerns delegates to Congress is not a dispute with the direct employer or managers of union staff, but rather involves a somewhat different constituency, and one that is in different relations of power, with both union staff and union management.

Adoption of this recommendation mandates the NEC to negotiate with the staff union to achieve the following Congress standing order (which would then be brought for subsequent adoption by Congress):

Should any dispute with the staff union emerge during the period of Congress/sector conference about matters directly related to Congress/sector conference a process of binding arbitration should be sought to avoid halting Congress/sector conference, the UCU negotiating team must include two members directly elected by Congress/sector conference to represent the interests of delegates, in addition to any members of the union leadership, whose role is to represent UCU management. These members are charged with directly liaising with Congress/sector conference.


16  Rule change: Dispute committees - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Two-thirds majority required

Congress approves recommendation 13 of the democracy commission's final report, Rule change: Dispute committees.

Recommendation 13: Rule change: dispute committees

Insert new rule 35 (renumber remaining rules accordingly)

35.1 For all multi-institution industrial disputes, a dispute committee will be constituted immediately followingthe declaration of a disputefrom delegates from each branch involved in the dispute, which will exist for the duration of the dispute. Delegates will be elected or nominated by branches, with an entitlement of one delegate per branch. NEC members from the relevant sector/subsector may attend as observers.The committee will be chaired by the relevant Vice President (for single sector disputes), or by the President (for cross-sector disputes). The frequency of meetings will be determined by the committee. Branches may send different delegates to each meeting.

35.2 The scope of the dispute committee is limited to the dispute for which it is constituted.

35.3 No decision affecting continuation, escalation, or ending of an industrial dispute, including putting to the membership for approval a proposed deal to settle the dispute, will be taken without the approval of the dispute committee constituted for that dispute.

Purpose: To create in rule dispute committees for multi-institution disputes.

CBC advice: if amendment 16A.1 is passed, amendment 16A.2 falls.

LOST

16A.1 UCU Wales Council

In the new rule 35.1 change all references to 'branch' to 'institution', and all references to 'branches' to 'institutions'.

LOST

16A.2 UCL

In proposed new Rule 35, insert after 'Delegates will be elected or nominated by branches, with an entitlement of one delegate per branch', the following clause: ', who will wield a vote weighted in proportion to their Sector Conference delegate entitlement.'

Purpose: to ensure decisions made by such a body are in proportion to branch size, using the formula used for electing delegates to conferences. It is envisaged that card votes can be weighted and counted accordingly.

CARRIED

16A.3 University of Sheffield

Add to the end of 35.1: 'Elected negotiators for a given dispute will be members of any national dispute committee by virtue of their election as union negotiators, in order to facilitate productive communication and open negotiations where feasible.'

CARRIED


17  Final report of the democracy commission (UCU/975) - National executive committee (DC recommendation)

Congress adopts the final report of the democracy commission as set out in UCU/975 (recommendations to be voted on separately).

CARRIED


18  The life of the democracy commission - West Midlands regional committee

Congress welcomes the work that the Democracy Commission has undertaken in an attempt to restore full accountability and transparency to decision making in our union.

Congress notes that the life of the Democracy Commission is due to end at the close of this Special Congress.

Congress instructs that the life of the Democracy Commission be extended to the Annual Congress at Bournemouth in May 2020. At this point it gives a summary of its work to Congress, and there should be a vote on extending the Commission for a further year. If needed the terms of reference should be revised at this time.

NOT TAKEN


Section 2: Democratic structures - Congress and sector conferences

19  Rule change: Rule 16 National Congress and sector conferences - Yorkshire and Humberside retired members

Two-thirds majority required

In 16.7.1 after 'specialist committees set up under Rule 25' insert comma and add:

'Annual meeting of retired members'

Add point 16.7.6

'The annual meeting of retired members shall be entitled to submit two of the motions carried at its annual meeting to UCU annual Congress'.

Purpose: To give the annual meeting of retired members the right to send two motions directly to annual Congress. No provision is made for sending of amendments since by its nature an annual meeting cannot be scheduled in a way which would permit the sending of both motions and amendments.

NOT TAKEN

19A.1 Yorkshire and Humberside retired members branch

In the addition to 16.7.1, and in the new point 16.7.6, replace 'Annual Meeting of Retired Members' with 'Annual Meeting of Representatives from Retired Members' Branches, set up under rule 24.2'

Purpose of amendment: to clarify that the meeting which shall be entitled to send two motions to Annual Congress is the autumn meeting of Representatives of Retired Members' Branches, established under Rule 24.2 and not the meeting of retired member branch delegates at Annual Congress, established under Rule 24.1.


20  Rule change: Congress membership - National executive committee

Two-thirds majority required

Rule 17.1, first clause, after '... National Executive Committee', add ', two members of each standing committee set up under rule 23.1 (one from each sector)'

Purpose: to give each equality standing committee the ability to send two voting delegates to Congress (currently each committee sends two observers).

NOT TAKEN


21  Congress standing order change: Speaking times at Congress - South west regional committee

Two-thirds majority required

Standing Order 19: replace 'five minutes' with 'four minutes' and 'three minutes' with 'two minutes'

Purpose: to reduce the speaking times in the Congress standing orders for movers of motions (and sections of the NEC's report to Congress) from five minutes to four minutes, and for all other speakers from three minutes to two minutes.

NOT TAKEN


22  Congress standing orders: 'New-delegate friendly' order of business for Congress - South west regional committee

Two-thirds majority required

Standing Order 65: in section C, move points 2, 3, and 4 to follow point 5, and renumber accordingly.

Purpose: to move other topics ahead of the financial business in the order of private sessions of Congress.

CBC advice:if motion 23 passes, motion 24 falls.

NOT TAKEN


23  Rule change and Congress standing order changes: Subsector conferences - National executive committee

Two-thirds majority required

Rule 12.6.2 (rights and responsibilities of branches), point ii, replace 'Sector Conferences' with 'Sector and Subsector Conferences and observers to the appropriate Subsector Conference'

Rule 12.7 (determination of sectors by Congress) Add after first sentence:

In addition, it will determine the Subsectors of pre-92 and post-92 Higher Education solely for the purposes of Subsector Conference organisation.

Rule 16.3 (annual report to Congress), second sentence, after '... motions passed by any' special replace 'Sector Conferences' with 'Sector and Subsector Conferences'.

Add new rule 16.4.1:

16.4.1 Subsector conferences of pre-92 and post-92 higher education may make decisions on professional and employment matters which are particular to that subsector. Such decisions will be equal in status to decisions of sector conferences, however, the higher education sector conference may also make decisions which are particular to a subsector.

Add new 16.7.6:

Motions and amendments to a subsector conference may be proposed by the higher education committee, by branches/local associations in that subsector, and by specialist committees and national equality standing committees. Each relevant branch, and each committee specialist and national equality standing committee shall be entitled to submit two motions and two amendments to a subsector conference.

Rule 16.10 (Congress business committee), replace 'Sector Conferences' with 'Sector and Subsector Conferences'.

Rule 16.11 (Calling of special conferences):

First clause, after 'National Congress', delete 'or', replace with comma; after 'Sector Conferences', add 'or subsector conferences'.

After '...by the National Executive Committee or in the case of the Sector', add 'or Subsector'.

After 'or for Sector Conferences, in the sector', add 'or for Subsector Conferences of a requisition from quorate meetings in 15 branches/Local Associations from separate institutions in the Subsector'

At end of first sentence, after '...not less than one tenth of the members of the Union', add ',Sector or Subsector as appropriate'.

Rule 17.3 (composition of sector conferences), second sentence, replace 'Sector Conferences' with 'Sector and Subsector Conferences'; after '...who are in that Sector', add 'or Subsector respectively'.

Add new 17.5:

17.5 In respect of pre-92 and post-92 subsector conferences, each higher education branch which is not in the relevant subsector may send one observer to a subsector conference. These observers will not be eligible to propose or speak to resolutions.

Rule 18.1 (responsibilities of the NEC), final sentence: 'The HEC and FEC shall abide by and implement the decisions passed by their respective sector conferences.', add, after sector, 'and subsector'.

Amendments to Congress standing orders:

Standing order 3.1 (submission of motions), final sentence, replace 'Sector conferences' with 'Sector or subsector conferences'.

Standing order 3.2 (submission of motions), first sentence, replace 'Sector conference' with 'Sector or subsector conference'.

Standing order 3.3 (submission of amendments), final sentence, after '...special meetings of National Congress or Sector,' add 'or subsector'.

Standing order 17 (chairing), in both instances, replace 'Sector Conference' with 'Sector or Subsector Conference'.

Standing order 18 (quorum), replace 'Sector Conference' with 'Sector and Subsector Conferences'. After '...proportionate to the membership of each sector', add 'or subsector'.

Standing order 22 (advice on consequentials), replace 'sector conference' with 'sector or subsector conference'

Standing orders 43 and 44 (notice of special meeting), in each standing order, replace 'sector conference' with 'sector or subsector conference'

Standing order 45 (business of special meetings), at end, replace 'Congress/sector conference' with 'Congress, sector conference or subsector conference.'

Standing order 47 (quorum for CBC meetings), add at end:
In respect of the business of subsector conferences, the HE sectoral sub-group of CBC will meet (irrespective of the subsectors of those members), and the quorum shall be two.

Purpose: this rule change creates subsectors in HE for pre-92 and post-92 branches, for the purpose of calling subsector conferences. The conferences would allow decision-making by the subsectors, equivalent to that of a sector conference, where a matter affects only the relevant subsector. Established on the same basis as sector conferences, observers from HE branches not in the subsector are provided for, and the quorum is based on that used for sector conferences but proportional to the number of members in the subsector.

NOT TAKEN


24  Congress standing order 18 - University of Leeds

Two-thirds majority required

Congress standing order 18 (quorum), delete "(subject to rounding up to the nearest whole number)"

Add at end:

'except where only a subset of the branches in a sector is eligible to vote on the topic under discussion, in which case the quorum shall be a fraction of 150 members proportionate to membership in that subset. Quora shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number.'

Purpose: To have a quorum for sector specific conferences on matters relating to a subset of the sector which is line with the membership of that subset.

CBC advice: If motion 25 is lost, motion 26 falls.

NOT TAKEN


25  Electronic voting at Congress, FESC and HESC - Glasgow Caledonian University

Congress notes that:

  1. counting each card vote takes 5-10 minutes which means approximately an hour of time is lost each day of Congress, FESC and HESC that could be devoted to debate and policy making
  2. electronic voting reduces opportunities for putting fellow delegates under peer pressure to vote in a certain way, ensuring that the views expressed truly reflect individual views
  3. the technology is available and is widely used including by the TUC, NEU and Unite following accessibility guidelines
  4. electronic voting is more transparent, and can allow a record of individual votes, if wished.

In the above, best Trade Union practice guidelines for the use of data in line with GDPR should be adopted and incorporated into practice

Congress therefore instructs that electronic voting be introduced at our subsequent Congress, FESC and HESC and thereafter.

NOT TAKEN


26  Congress standing order change: 38 and 39 - Voting process - Glasgow Caledonian University

Two-thirds majority required

Standing order 38: after '....hold up their voting cards', add 'this will initiate the use of electronic voting, where the facility is available.'

Standing order 39, first sentence: delete 'count employing tellers is taken', replace with 'electronic vote'

Purpose: to put electronic voting into the Congress standing orders order

NOT TAKEN


27  Video streaming of Congress, FESC and HESC - Glasgow Caledonian University

Congress notes that:

  1. only a tiny fraction of our membership is able to attend Congress and sector conferences
  2. it is important that members who cannot attend congress or conference are fully appraised of the discussions and decisions of our policy making forum in Congress, FESC and HESC
  3. the TUC and political parties make their proceedings available in this way
  4. previous congresses have decided to publish a list of delegates attending conference, unless the individual does not wish their details published. Likewise it is a simple matter to allow delegates to opt out of any of their contributions being made public, or their presence at congress/conference being made public.

Congress therefore instructs the National Executive to investigate and instigate the introduction of secure streaming of the open sessions of Congress.

NOT TAKEN


28  Addressing the underrepresentation of black members at Congress - Black members standing committee

Congress notes the underrepresentation of black staff from both the Further and Higher education sectors. Congress also notes the positive work being undertaken to increase engagement and develop black activists and the increase in numbers attending the annual Black Members' Conference.

Congress believes it is vital to ensure participation of black members at all levels of the union and is keen to address the issue in a systematic way.

Congress resolves to:

  1. task the NEC with establishing a sub-group to develop proposals for the NEC to agree and return to Congress 2020. The aim of the proposals being to increase the numbers of black members at subsequent national meetings including but not exclusively Congress
  2. allow regions and branches to send black members who are not part of their delegation as observers to Congress 2020 as a means of mentoring future activists.

NOT TAKEN


Section 3: Democratic structures - other issues

29  Rule change impact assessments - University of Southampton

Congress resolves that for all proposed rule changes a full impact assessment is required, with statements as to whether any impacts are considered to be significant, prior to any ballot being conducted.

NOT TAKEN


30  Status of referenda in UCU - National executive committee

Congress notes that

  1. the only official UCU policy making body is Congress
  2. the Brexit referendum initiated by the former general secretary which had a high participation, but no official status.

Congress believes that the union requires a position on referenda.

Congress instructs the NEC to produce a report for Congress 2020 including a recommendation on the status of referenda in UCU. This could include total exclusion or conditions under which referenda can be held.

NOT TAKEN


31  Electronic consultation - University of Southampton

As a general principle, Congress instructs the use of electronic means for national, regional and branch consultation and voting unless forbidden by law.

NOT TAKEN


32  Research into the principles and practicalities of electing officials - UCL

Congress believes that ultimately the best way to support and hold our union officials to democratic account is that they be directly elected.

Congress resolves that the NEC commission research into the positives and negatives of elected officials and to present findings to next Congress for discussion.

Congress notes that following any such review any changes will need to be formally decided by a future Congress and will take time to implement, and affirms that they will not impact on existing staff without agreement.

NOT TAKEN


33  Disclosures of trauma, abuse, and harassment - University of Leeds

Congress notes:

  1. UCU's deep commitment to fighting discrimination and oppression
  2. UCU's commitments to ending all forms of harassment, misconduct and violence in our institutions and UCU.

Congress recognises that appropriate training is necessary for anyone who may be in receipt of such disclosures.

Congress agrees:

  1. it is vital for UCU reps and staff to respond appropriately and sensitively when members disclose traumatic events, whatever the context of such disclosures.
  2. mishandling any disclosure of violence, harassment, or misconduct is likely to intensify survivors' pain and trauma.

Congress resolves that:

  1. training for reps and staff shall be reviewed urgently, and updated to specifically include input from survivor support organisations
  2. all procedures connected to the rules of this union shall be urgently updated to reflect the necessity of responding appropriately, ensuring respectful and professionally-informed support is provided whenever a disclosure of trauma, abuse, or harassment is made.

NOT TAKEN


34  National hustings events - Open University

UCU should hold recorded hustings for the posts of General Secretary (and Deputies) and the Presidential team in order to increase voter engagement, ensure parity and meet accessibility obligations.

The NEC should create a small election group of 5 to oversee the hustings events and choose chairs.

In advance of the election several dates should be provided to candidates to find one that all can attend, if necessary, via remote participation. Expenses should be paid to candidates including for travel, childcare or other caring cover.

The election group should agree a contingency plan for illness or other non-attendance - for example by allowing a recording of timed answers.

Members should be made aware of this source of information before the ballot opens. They should be able to submit questions in advance, anonymously. The event should be live-streamed and recorded. The recording should be available on the UCU website with a transcript.

NOT TAKEN


35  Addition of 15.9-15.11 to Rule 15 - National hustings event - University of Sheffield

Two-thirds majority required

Add new rules:

15.9 Between 7-14 days after a ballot for Officers of the Union has opened, a national hustings event will be held to ensure that all members and candidates have access to a fully accessible hustings event. This event will be video-recorded and edited before distribution to all members. Reasonable traveling and subsistence expenses will be made available to candidates, paid from union funds.

15.9.1 The location of this event may not occur at the home branch of any participating candidate, and the location will rotate to a different region from the previous year, with due consideration to accessibility depending on candidates' locations.

15.9.2 All members eligible to vote in the relevant election will have the opportunity to submit questions in advance of this event.

15.10 The date for the event will be chosen in consultation with all candidates, and will be finalised no later than one month before the beginning of the ballot period.

15.10.1 If a candidate prefers to attend electronically rather than in person, or to pre-record a statement and answers to questions, this will be facilitated. Candidates who are disabled, impaired or have a long term health condition will be able to make this known and have their adjustment needs accommodated to avoid any disadvantage by reason of disability.

15.10.2 If a candidate cannot make the session due to illness or emergency, they will be given an opportunity to record their responses on another date, to be included in the recording for members.

15.10.3 Candidates may choose not to attend.

15.11 During the relevant ballot period, any other branch organising a hustings event will provide candidates with 30 days notice, making every effort to make the event accessible all candidates, including facilitating electronic attendance. Reasonable traveling and subsistence expenses will be made available to candidates, paid from branch funds, on the basis that all candidates standing for a given position are invited to attend.

NOT TAKEN


36  Rule change: Rule 24 National Meetings of Retired Members - Yorkshire and Humberside retired members

Two-thirds majority required

24.4 The meeting shall select from among resolutions it has carried at its current and immediate previous annual meeting two motions for sending to the BDC of the NPC.

Purpose: To clarify and improve the process of selection by the annual meeting of two motions for forwarding to the BDC (Biennial Delegate Conference) of the NPC (National Pensioners' Convention).  This addition to rule will authorise the meeting to consider not only motions carried at its current meeting but also the motions from the previous year's annual meeting.  This rule addition expands the scope of motions for consideration for forwarding.

NOT TAKEN


37  Rule change: conduct of non-statutory ballots - National executive committee

Two-thirds majority required

Add new schedule C to the rules; renumber existing schedule C

SCHEDULE C

Conduct of non-statutory ballots

  1. A nominated member of the senior management team shall be responsible for acting as the scrutineer for each non-statutory ballot held by the union. The scrutineer will be responsible for supervising the secure conduct of the non-statutory ballot.
  2. Non-statutory ballots include but are not limited to: indicative ballots for industrial action; ballots on whether to continue, call off or suspend action; surveys of eligible members agreed by NEC, its sub-committees or by Congress or a sector conference; and branch member consultations requested by the branch, endorsed by the relevant regional official and Head of Further or Higher education as appropriate.
  3. The Head of Higher Education, Further Education or National Head of Regional Organisation, as appropriate, will act as returning officer for the ballot and will comply with the directions of the scrutineer.
  4. Non-statutory ballots shall be organised consistent with the principles put forward by the Commission for Effective Industrial Action (CEIA) as agreed at the 2018 Congress, with particular reference to the following:
    • local or national officers responsible for calling a non-statutory ballot should ensure that the campaign is "characterised by long term planning, union wide consultation to establish issues that are important to members, a prioritisation of resources and a gradual mobilisation running up to ballot" (Recommendation 5)
    • the relevant authoring Committee 'must always make clear voting recommendations when calling a ballot to authorise or cease a dispute.' (Recommendation 8)
    • when a consultative ballot is conducted it must be used as a campaigning tool which carries the relevant officers/committee's recommendations as opposed to a passive surveying of members' views. (Recommendation 11)
    • acceptance of an offer and thereby the ending of a dispute should ordinarily require a vote of all relevant members (Recommendation 15).
  5. In order to ensure consistency and adherence to the CEIA principles set out in this code, all non-statutory ballots should be undertaken at UCU Head Office except where capacity issues require the ballot to be undertaken elsewhere. The independent scrutineer most recently appointed by the NEC for the purpose of statutory NEC elections should be used where capacity issues mean the union's ballot team cannot undertake a ballot.
  6. Non-statutory ballots will normally be conducted using a secure on-line voting system. Before the ballot begins, the returning officer will satisfy themselves that the relevant system is secure. Security considerations include but are not limited to the confidentiality of whether any particular member has voted, how any member has voted, and the ability to ensure that duplicate votes cannot be cast.
  7. Ballot material should be at one remove from the voting screen upon which the member makes their choice.
  8. The scrutineer will make special arrangements to enable voting by any member unable to vote online.
  9. The membership data used for the purposes of the ballot will be the relevant members as recorded on the union's central membership database.
  10. Non-statutory ballots shall normally remain open for no fewer than 10 days. This may be varied in exceptional circumstances, as determined by the relevant committee.
  11. The counting of a non-statutory ballot shall not be started until the ballot has formally closed.
  12. The scrutineer will provide to the returning officer, as appropriate, a report of the ballot which sets out the total eligible members balloted, the numbers voting for each option, the number of abstentions, the total turnout as measured by total voters divided by total constituency, and any significant issues relating to the security or integrity of the ballot which have arisen.
  13. In the event of any doubt or difficulty, the returning officer will seek the advice of the scrutineer.
  14. A copy of the scrutineer's report of any non-statutory ballot will be provided to any member on written request to the General Secretary.

Purpose: To put into rule the key principles that will be followed in respect of conduct of non-statutory ballots.

NOT TAKEN


38  Change to UCU Regional Committee Model Standing Orders (rule 30.1) - Yorkshire and Humberside regional committee

Two-thirds majority required

Standing Order 6: delete the final sentence:

'In both cases, officers of the Committee shall not be included for the purpose of counting the quorum'.

Purpose: To bring the Regional Committee Model Standing Orders in line with standing orders/rules of all other UCU, trade union and democratic bodies. The amended quorum will be defined as 'attendance by members from five different institutions. For meetings of the region's sector committees, the quorum shall be attendance by members from three different institutions.'

NOT TAKEN

Last updated: 9 December 2019