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Business of the recruitment, organising and campaigning committee

National organising plan

73 National organising plan - National executive committee

Congress notes that under the National Organising Plan (NOP)

  • membership has increased against the general trend for other unions;
  • the number of trained reps has gone up substantially;
  • branches have won many local disputes of national significance; and
  • the UCU has further increased its capacity for effective lobbying, and for political and industrial campaigning. 

Congress recognises that the current political and economic environment will create major difficulties for the pursuit of UCU educational and industrial policy, and for the further implementation of the NOP.  It reaffirms its 2007 commitment to use the NOP:

  • to build members' capacity to defend educational provision and jobs,
  • to protect pay and resist attacks on conditions,
  • to reach outwards in campaigning to persuade society of the importance of education and of our work, and 
  • in expressing and effecting solidarity with the struggles of others.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

73A.1 - National executive committee

At the end of the motion under 'Congress recognises' add two bullet points:

'to tackle inequality in the workplace and in all our processes and practices within the union and within our collective bargaining priorities'

'to conduct a vigorous organising campaign to defend equality in education and at work'.

CARRIED

73A.2 - Women members standing committee

After 'UCU educational and industrial policy', add:

particularly with regard to removing gender and other discrimination in pay, promotion and obtaining secure non-casualised contracts.

Final paragraph, add bullet points after first bullet point, 'to defend educational provision and jobs':

  • to put equality at the heart of all UCU's activities, as an important component of the industrial agenda
  • to promote equality and diversity in all aspects of education and research

In penultimate bullet point, after 'of our work', add:

and the full and equitable representation of women and minority groups in the post-16 workforce and student population.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Congress notes that under the National Organising Plan (NOP)

  • membership has increased against the general trend for other unions;
  • the number of trained reps has gone up substantially;
  • branches have won many local disputes of national significance; and
  • the UCU has further increased its capacity for effective lobbying, and for political and industrial campaigning. 

Congress recognises that the current political and economic environment will create major difficulties for the pursuit of UCU educational and industrial policy particularly with regard to removing gender and other discrimination in pay, promotion and obtaining secure non-casualised contracts, and for the further implementation of the NOP.  It reaffirms its 2007 commitment to use the NOP:

  • to build members' capacity to defend educational provision and jobs
  • to put equality at the heart of all UCU's activities, as an important component of the industrial agenda
  • to promote equality and diversity in all aspects of education and research
  • to protect pay and resist attacks on conditions
  • to reach outwards in campaigning to persuade society of the importance of education and of our work and the full and equitable representation of women and minority groups in the post-16 workforce and student population
  • in expressing and effecting solidarity with the struggles of others
  • to tackle inequality in the workplace and in all our processes and practices within the union and within our collective bargaining priorities, and
  • to conduct a vigorous organising campaign to defend equality in education and at work.


Improved communication with members

74 UCU Website - UCU Scotland

Congress notes feedback from branches indicating that some members have difficulty finding information on the UCU website.

Congress instructs Executive to conduct standard web usability testing on the UCU website using representative samples of members and to restructure the site in accordance with the results of this research by the end of 2010.

CARRIED



Defend jobs, defend education

75 Full state funding for post-16 sector - London regional committee

Congress deplores the unwillingness within any of the major political parties to acknowledge the safeguarding and promotion of fully state funded post-16 education as essential strategy to combat economic recession.

Congress calls on the NEC to refresh established UCU policy and to oppose claims within any political party that tuition fees, casualisation and privatisation can be part of any credible educational strategy for economic recovery and the promotion of social justice.

CARRIED


76 Investing in education - Northern regional committee

Cuts in education at a time of national economic crisis are a recipe for national decline. We call on the NEC to prepare an open letter to the government, as a national union in further and higher education, calling for a strategy of increased public investment in further and higher education, including research and development in renewable and low carbon energy, infrastructure and advanced medical and environmental sciences.

CARRIED


77 Job cuts - Southern regional committee

Congress is appalled at the impending job cuts in both FE and HE and the lack of consultation prior to the announcement of these cuts. Congress believes that this will damage the economic recovery of this country and will have a long-term impact on the skills base of the future workforce.

Congress calls upon NEC to lobby Government and to organise a day of action to highlight the risk to students and staff in post-16 education if these cuts are not reversed.

CARRIED



Defend jobs, defend education

78 Education funding cuts - City University

Congress notes the recent cuts in funding for HE and reluctantly accepts these are inevitable. UCU efforts should be targeted on ensuring minimal damage to front line education and research which would be best served by preventing compulsory redundancies across the sector. Funds should be sustained to maintain standards and prevent a narrowing of participation.

Congress:

  1. Instructs UCU nationally, via its branches, to coordinate a robust industrial action campaign to oppose any compulsory redundancies noting that action must be organised locally.
  2. Instructs UCU nationally, via its NEC, to start a major information campaign amongst students and the general public to build resistance.
  3. Calls on all branches to hold ballots for strike action to oppose any compulsory redundancies.
  4. Calls on all local branches to hold ballots for action short of a strike including a work to rule on all exam marking to oppose any compulsory redundancies.

WITHDRAWN

78A.1 - Yorkshire & Humberside regional committee

First sentence, delete: 'HE and reluctantly accepts these are inevitable'; replace with 'education.'

Second sentence, delete: 'ensuring minimal damage to front line'; replace with 'protecting'.

End of second sentence, delete 'the sector', replace with 'our sectors'.

Insert new second paragraph: 'Congress blames the bankers and the government for the financial crisis and declares that to deal with the debt issue, savings can be made elsewhere, such as collecting unpaid taxes, taxing the rich, ending the current wars, and cancelling Trident and ID cards'.

WITHDRAWN


79 Opposition to redundancies and cuts: a national struggle - University of Manchester

The threat of cuts and redundancies at FE and HE institutions demands a co-ordinated national response by all relevant unions. This union supports the action already taken nationally to oppose this threat, and condemns the use at Sussex University of batons, dogs, teargas and tazers to undermine opposition.

UCU strongly urges all its branches, officials and NEC members to:

  1. Take all necessary action to:
    a. Oppose redundancies, and cuts at all further and higher education institutions;
    b. Condemn the use of oppressive police tactics, such as those witnessed at Sussex University, and to ensure that justice is fully secured for all victimised individuals;
    c. Proactively engage with all FE and HE unions (including Unite, Unison and the NUS) to build a co-ordinated response to these threats.
  2. Make clear their support for action taken by all FE and HE union branches and to send delegates to support such action.

CARRIED


80 Composite: Resisting attacks and cuts in post-16 education - South East regional committee, UCU Wales

UCU members are facing the biggest onslaught on post-16 education in many decades. Whichever party wins the next election it is clear that public sector workers and services will be made to pay the cost of the economic and financial crisis.

Congress is alarmed about the serious reductions in funding for post-16 education and in particular:

  • the reductions in capital building funds particularly in FE;
  • the closure of courses and departments in HE;
  • the closure of courses, particularly A-levels, in FE;
  • the narrowing focus of publicly funded adult education;
  • the consequent redundancies, the impact on those still able to secure employment in post-16 education and the impact on pensions.

Congress resolves that UCU should prioritise opposition to cuts in post 16 education provision and resist attacks on pay, conditions and pensions both politically and with industrial action. UCU should seek a joint campaign in conjunction with other unions in the post-16 education sector and other public sector unions within the TUC.

CARRIED


L3 - University of Glasgow

Congress strongly supports UCUG in its dispute with Glasgow University over compulsory redundancies in the faculties of Education and Biomedical & Life Sciences as well as the threat of jobs in GUARD (Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division). Congress calls on Glasgow University Court and Senior Management Group to withdraw this very real threat of compulsory redundancies and sends a strong message of support to UCUG members in their local ballot for industrial action.

CARRIED


L4 University of Middlesex Philosophy - University of Middlesex

Congress notes the decision by Middlesex University to close philosophy programmes and the related protest campaign and occupations

Congress condemns the decision to suspend 3 members of philosophy staff and impose disciplinary sanctions on students.

Congress condemns the wider attacks on philosophy and humanities provision across the HE sector.

Congress resolves to:

  • Urge all UCU branches to write to the VC and governors calling for the suspensions to be lifted.
  • Urge all UCU branches to send messages of support to Middlesex UCU (ucu@mdx.ac.uk) in its continuing efforts to achieve a framework for a negotiated settlement and to the Save Middlesex Philosophy Campaign.

CARRIED


L9 - Emergency Motion RE: City College Birmingham

Congress deplores the announcement (on 26th May) at City College Birmingham of 78 compulsory redundancies and massive cuts to agency teachers due to

  • Total closure of nursery provision
  • Total closure of supported learning for adults
  • Extensive cuts to community based ESOL and basic skills with the loss of up to 1000 student places.
  1. We condemn this attack on provision for the most marginalized, vulnerable and disadvantaged students, and will examine legal challenges to this through DDA and EHRC. 
  2. We call for an urgent enquiry into the management of the college; specifically the spending of over £8 million since November 2007 on consultants, special advisers and the interim principalship, and whether there has been any malpractice and whether taxpayers have received value for money.

We offer our full support to the branch in fighting these redundancies and will raise the issue with ministers and the SFA.

CARRIED


L12 - Emergency motion: London South Bank University

Congress notes the announcement of 60 compulsory redundancies at London South Bank University (with a further 40+ threatened next academic year).

Congress calls on London South Bank University to:

  1. Withdraw the proposed redundancies
  2. Abandon the pre-emptive announcement of redundancy selection criteria that will fundamentally undermine the possibility of meaningful consultation.

CARRIED


L13 - Support Westminster University UCU

We call upon Congress to support Westminster University UCU in our fight to save jobs and fight off threats to the national contract.

We ask Congress to

  • condemn moves to punitive pay-docking for members engaged in ASOS
  • provide further Head Office support
  • request maximum possible publicity for Westminster UCU's struggle to defend jobs
  • support Westminster UCU's call for their hard faced management to enter meaningful negotiations with UCU to resolve this dispute, cease their attack on the national contract, and to refrain from introducing new zero hours and teaching only contracts.

We further ask Congress to back Westminster UCU's negotiating position of demanding the opening up, and improvement of, a voluntary severance scheme across the university, and for management to negotiate the financial challenges at Westminster with UCU.

Congress urges management to take up UCU Westminster's invitation to go to ACAS.

CARRIED


B18 College of North West London

Congress notes that all the members at the College of North West London is under threat of dismissal, members received their letters today (28 May 2010) through internal mail.

Recognising the crucial nature of this dispute, in which the College management is bent upon smashing the UCU branch, which has been at the forefront of many campaigns both local and national, conference calls on the union, should the vote for strike action on the 9th June at the branch or earlier be positive to resist this threat, to pay members full sustentation from the first day of strike action.

Congress recommends strongly that all FE and HE branches in the country to start sending messages of support to union members at CNWL urging them to rally behind their union and start collection to support CNWL members fighting for their jobs without worsened conditions of service.

Congress calls on the NEC to implement all other possible help including a collection at the Congress, to help members at CNWL to lift the threat of dismissal.

CARRIED


81 Agreement on redundancy avoidance, meaningful consultation and academic freedom - University of Leeds

The ground breaking agreement on redundancy avoidance, meaningful consultation and academic freedom at the University of Leeds serves as a model for tertiary education. Congress notes that the agreement was achieved following a high profile campaign which included the real threat of strike action. Congress further notes that it is union campaigning underpinned by the threat of industrial action which has delivered the most effective defence of academic freedom, collegiality and educational values.

CARRIED


82 Out-sourcing of IT information and support - Academic-related staff committee

Congress recognises that the education sector is under increasing pressure to out-source aspects of IT provision.  

Cloud computing (storing your data, out-sourced, around the world), rather than in-house, and free webmail result in lost control and increased hacking attempts while the legal position of the privacy of the data is not clear.  By keeping our data and email in house, we keep the jobs, the support, the control and the legal privacy rights.

Congress calls on the NEC to produce guidance and campaigning materials, in conjunction with the academic related staff committee, on protecting our electronic privacy, including provision of:

  • Advice & resources on the regulations surrounding data privacy,
  • Sample data & email privacy policies that provide clear, transparent, fair treatment of all staff's data and email privacy
  • Campaigning tools to resist IT out-sourcing that include the issues of privacy
  • Evidence of the decrease in service quality when IT jobs are out-sourced

CARRIED



Industrial campaigning

83 Another fancy new building going up? That's your pay-rise! - The Manchester College Prison Education Branch

In representing over 1000 members, we in the Manchester College Prison Education demand that Congress directly challenge the manner in which universities, colleges and all other publicly funded establishments allocate resources and spend money.

Whilst we welcome a boost to the building trade, we ask whether or not having shiny new glass fronted edifices spring up all around our campuses is in fact being done at the expense of university and college lecturers' pay and conditions.

Why, for example, should the profits from prison education contracts in the Isle of Wight, Birmingham or Durham end up servicing bank loans for the ever expanding Manchester campuses while lecturers fall victim to both redundancy and vicious rewrites of their contracts?

Congress therefore urges the NEC to mount a national campaign that confronts the way that universities and colleges use and abuse their funding streams, especially where public money and lucrative government contracts are involved.

CARRIED


84 Increasing pay inequality - LSE

Congress agrees that posts carrying greater responsibility should attract higher pay. Congress notes high top rates of pay common in the financial sector are being mimicked in the public sector. Congress is alarmed that senior staff in FHE are being awarded salaries that are excessive compared to other staff. Congress notes that this:

  1. reduces collegiality in institutions and lowers the quality of working life for all
  2. diverts funding towards a few and away from preserving jobs in a time of cuts
  3. provides ammunition to the populist media by allowing them to suggest that our pay is excessive by publicising the pay of a few.
  4. affects collective bargaining through pay deals outside the spine for a few.

Congress instructs the NEC to work with other unions and other interested bodies in campaigning against rising inequality and for higher marginal rates of tax for the highest paid.

CARRIED



Under-represented groups

85 Agency staff in colleges and universities - Liverpool Community College

Both FE and HE's continued use of agency staff stymies the possibility for continuity, quality, professional development, job security and all other benefits enjoyed by their full time colleagues. Every year hundreds of agency employed staff find that their posts have 'disappeared' or their teaching hours significantly reduced.

This amounts to a silent compulsory redundancy without the usual package of benefits that accompanies the voluntary dismissal of full time colleagues. The position faced annually by agency staff in the sector is intolerable and we call on Congress to:

  1. Initiate a high profile campaign in the press and media to pressurise the incoming government to ensure parity of professional status for all teachers
  2. Campaign for equal treatment for equal work
  3. Campaign for the eventual removal of all agencies from colleges and universities

CARRIED


86 Campaign to improve job security of staff on fixed-term funding - Anti-casualisation committee

Because we need to look beyond the Fixed-Term Regulations to improve the security and stability of staff on fixed-term funding, this Congress calls on the National Executive Committee to work with the Anti-casualisation Committee to launch a more comprehensive and multi-pronged campaign, including by:

  • Changing the way staff and projects are managed by universities so that contracts are not specifically linked to fixed-term funding;
  • Challenging funders' discrimination and short-termism;
  • Using employment tribunals to challenge redundancy on the basis of expiry of fixed-term funding;
  • Campaigning against poor implementation of redeployment procedures;
  • Ensuring that all staff have full and comprehensive job descriptions; and
  • Challenging attitudes throughout academia in order to end discrimination on the basis of contract type.

CARRIED


87 Anti-casualisation campaign branch project - Anti-casualisation committee

Congress welcomes the initiatives undertaken as part of the anti-casualisation campaign, but there is a need for more progress on the ground. Congress calls on the NEC to initiate a project to run during the coming year, involving at least one HE and at least one FE institution, where local branch activists work with the local Branch Development Organiser, and with input from the NEC and the Anti-casualisation Committee, to recruit, organise and support casualised staff; to report on progress regularly at NEC, analyse the results and issue a report by Congress 2011 to inform future strategy.

CARRIED


88 Casualisation - Southern regional committee

Congress recognises that UCU has with some success campaigned against casualisation but employers continue to resist our campaigning pressure and to seek to exploit the most vulnerable of our members, those on fixed term and hourly-paid contracts. The negative impact of this exploitation is not only felt by these colleagues but also by all of those working in further and higher education.

Therefore this Congress agrees that:

  1. a detailed survey of all post-16 institutions be undertaken by UCU to ascertain the proportion of hourly paid contracts and short term employment and identify any patterns of change over recent years
  2. UCU follow this survey with a vigorous campaign to achieve a significant reduction in dependency on hourly paid or fixed term contracts
  3. UCU set out to use wherever possible the legislation designed to protect staff from such exploitation.

CARRIED



Under-represented groups

89 The organisation of retired members' branches - East Midlands retired members branch

Congress recognises that at a time of pensions crisis, the experience of regional retired members' branches is a useful resource for the whole union. The practical difficulties that have occurred in setting up these branches are hampering their effectiveness.

Congress therefore resolves:

  1. That dedicated resources be made available at head office to ensure the implementation of Rule 12.4, by informing retired members that they are in the relevant retired members' branch, unless they opt otherwise, and that membership lists, including home e-mail addresses, are sent to branch officers.
  2. That a retired members' section is placed on the website.
  3. That an ad-hoc working group be set up (including representatives of retired members' branches, membership department staff, and the pensions official) to sort out existing organisational problems.
  4. That an annual meeting of representatives from retired members' branches is facilitated.

CARRIED

B16 Defending Trade Union Education - Preston College

TUC education is under sustained attack by Colleges. Despite representations many TUC education units have closed and most recently Preston is in the process of closure. Consequently members have already lost their livelihoods or are at risk of redundancy.

The UCU calls upon the TUC to adopt a proper strategy and campaign to protect and expand their education provision and defend the livelihoods of our members working within trade union education.

In particularly we call upon the TUC to urgently take the following steps;

  • Support and defend the existing TUC education units
  • Work more closely with progressive providers of learning like the Workers Education Association.
  • Urgently ensure that TUC education units are re-established in those areas in which provision have already been lost.
  • Ensure that TUC education lecturers who are affected by unit closures are fully protected through redeployment to new providers.

CARRIED

Last updated: 1 August 2016