Boycott Liverpool

Boycott Leicester

Covid-19 information and updates

Other employment-related business

UCU Congress 2011: Sunday 29 May, 14:00-15:45.

Chapter 4 of the NEC's report to UCU Congress 2011:
UCU331.html
| UCU331.rtf

Motions:

21 - Pensions and opposition to the Hutton report
22 - Action on TPS
23 - Zero tolerance for zero-hour contracts
24 - A message to members who manage
25 - Publishing remuneration packages of all staff
26 - Stress and Bullying Working Group 
27 - 1 million climate jobs
28 - Japan - disasters of nature and of second nature


Pensions (insert new paragraph before 1)

21 Composite: Pensions and opposition to the Hutton report - South regional committee, Northern retired members branch, West Midlands retired members branch, Leeds Metropolitan University, London retired members branch

Congress notes that in the EU the average state pension is 60% of average working pay. In the UK it is 31%, where 2.5m pensioners live below the poverty line, 66% of pensioners get the majority of their income from state benefits, 61% of pensioner couples get less than £15,000 per year and 45% of single pensioners get less than £10,000.

Congress deplores the outcome of the Hutton review into public sector pension provision including proposals which will lead to the scrapping of final salary pensions and a rise in the retirement age for six million workers. Congress notes with disgust the Con-Demolition Government's attacks on occupational pensions in both the public and private sectors, by lowering the annual indexation from RPI to CPI. Lord Hutton's interim report calculates that this amounts to a 15% cut in the value of these pensions. This same indexation change will apply to elements of the state pension from April 2011.

This review will result in:

  1. the ending of final salary provision for new entrants and the introduction of career averaging
  2. a de-linking of pensions from RPI and a move to a calculation base on CPI
  3. increase in pension contributions for employees.

Congress recognises that retired members will face falls in living standards along with large sections of working people as they are made to pay the price of an economic crisis they did not cause. Congress believes that these measures will erode the value of public sector pensions, with a particular impact on younger employees and working women. This will also discourage new employees from entering the schemes and threaten future provision for all members.

This attack is being carried forward along with attempts to worsen the TPS and USS. Congress notes the planned increase in pension contributions by 3% from next year.

Congress opposes the levelling down of pensions and agrees to do all we can to help UCU members and others in the public and private sectors to defend and enhance their pension rights.

Congress instructs the NEC to:

  1. campaign, to oppose the changes to the TPS and USS, and reverse the change in indexation of the state pension and occupational pension schemes to retain RPI as the relevant measure.
  2. organise days of action and co-ordinated events with other public sector unions and, where appropriate, pensioner groups, to highlight the problems created
  3. organise a lobby of MPs with a view to defeating any attempt to implement any recommendations of the review
  4. issue advice and model letters to members
  5. ensure that the resources of retired members branches are involved in such campaigns.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

21A.1 Compositing amendment - Leeds Metropolitan University

Add at end:

Congress notes The statement by Mark Serwotka (PCS) that 'If we get teachers, lecturers and civil servants striking, you'd have visible protests in every town in the UK. You would see a scale of unity that you haven't seen in a long time.'

Congress believes every public sector union should be balloting its members now and striking together to defend pensions.

Congress resolves to call on the TUC to co-ordinate action in defence of pensions across the public sector up to and including a 24-hour general strike.

CARRIED

21A.2 Compositing amendment - London retired members branch

At the end of point e, 'Ensure that the resources of retired members branches are involved...', add:

To this end Congress urges all members who are retiring to consider joining their local retired members branch.

CARRIED

21A.3 - Disabled members standing committee

Add a new fifth paragraph after that ending 'threaten future provision for all members.'

'Congress is most concerned at the disproportionate effects of the proposed pension changes on Disabled Members who may suffer prolonged periods of unemployment leading to reduced pensions under a CARE scheme. Similarly they are more likely to be forced out of the existing scheme and onto the new scheme when they re-renter employment.'

Add a new action after point 'e.'

'f. assist Branches to force unwilling employers to conduct Equality Impact Assessments on how the pension changes will affect Disabled Staff.'

CARRIED

21A.4 - Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Committee

Insert before 'Congress instructs the NEC to:'

'Congress also recognises that the state pension is of considerable importance for many retired members and notes government proposals for a universal flat-rate pension, set at a level below the official poverty line and which would not apply to existing pensioners or those retiring before 2016.'

and

Insert new clause (e) and re-designate existing (e) as (f).

'Campaign with other unions and the NPC for a state pension for all, including existing pensioners, set above the official poverty line.'

CARRIED

21A.5 - University College London

Add to end of point 1. after the first sentence of 'This review will result in:'

Congress notes that this threat to final salary schemes is growing and in the current climate of austerity will inevitably mean worse pension entitlements for the vast majority of teachers and lecturers and will amount to the theft of our deferred salaries.

Add after 'and enhance their pension rights' (para 6):

Congress reiterates our opposition to CARE schemes and instructs negotiators to insist that our current pension schemes must remain as final salary schemes.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress notes that in the EU the average state pension is 60% of average working pay. In the UK it is 31%, where 2.5m pensioners live below the poverty line, 66% of pensioners get the majority of their income from state benefits, 61% of pensioner couples get less than £15,000 per year and 45% of single pensioners get less than £10,000.

Congress deplores the outcome of the Hutton review into public sector pension provision including proposals which will lead to the scrapping of final salary pensions and a rise in the retirement age for six million workers. Congress notes with disgust the Con-Demolition Government's attacks on occupational pensions in both the public and private sectors, by lowering the annual indexation from RPI to CPI. Lord Hutton's interim report calculates that this amounts to a 15% cut in the value of these pensions. This same indexation change will apply to elements of the state pension from April 2011.

This review will result in:

  1. the ending of final salary provision for new entrants and the introduction of career averaging. Congress notes that this threat to final salary schemes is growing and in the current climate of austerity will inevitably mean worse pension entitlements for the vast majority of teachers and lecturers and will amount to the theft of our deferred salaries.
  2. a de-linking of pensions from RPI and a move to a calculation base on CPI
  3. increase in pension contributions for employees.

Congress recognises that retired members will face falls in living standards along with large sections of working people as they are made to pay the price of an economic crisis they did not cause. Congress believes that these measures will erode the value of public sector pensions, with a particular impact on younger employees and working women. This will also discourage new employees from entering the schemes and threaten future provision for all members.

Congress is most concerned at the disproportionate effects of the proposed pension changes on Disabled Members who may suffer prolonged periods of unemployment leading to reduced pensions under a CARE scheme. Similarly they are more likely to be forced out of the existing scheme and onto the new scheme when they re-renter employment.

This attack is being carried forward along with attempts to worsen the TPS and USS. Congress notes the planned increase in pension contributions by 3% from next year.

Congress opposes the levelling down of pensions and agrees to do all we can to help UCU members and others in the public and private sectors to defend and enhance their pension rights. Congress reiterates our opposition to CARE schemes and instructs negotiators to insist that our current pension schemes must remain as final salary schemes.

Congress also recognises that the state pension is of considerable importance for many retired members and notes government proposals for a universal flat-rate pension, set at a level below the official poverty line and which would not apply to existing pensioners or those retiring before 2016.

Congress instructs the NEC to:

  1. campaign, to oppose the changes to the TPS and USS, and reverse the change in indexation of the state pension and occupational pension schemes to retain RPI as the relevant measure.
  2. organise days of action and co-ordinated events with other public sector unions and, where appropriate, pensioner groups, to highlight the problems created
  3. organise a lobby of MPs with a view to defeating any attempt to implement any recommendations of the review
  4. issue advice and model letters to members
  5. campaign with other unions and the NPC for a state pension for all, including existing pensioners, set above the official poverty line
  6. ensure that the resources of retired members branches are involved in such campaigns. To this end Congress urges all members who are retiring to consider joining their local retired members branch
  7. assist branches to force unwilling employers to conduct Equality Impact Assessments on how the pension changes will affect Disabled Staff.

Congress notes The statement by Mark Serwotka (PCS) that 'If we get teachers, lecturers and civil servants striking, you'd have visible protests in every town in the UK. You would see a scale of unity that you haven't seen in a long time.'

Congress believes every public sector union should be balloting its members now and striking together to defend pensions.

Congress resolves to call on the TUC to co-ordinate action in defence of pensions across the public sector up to and including a 24-hour general strike.


22 Action on TPS - Liverpool John Moores University

Congress resolves that any further UCU industrial action (after 24th March) relating to the UCU ballot on the Teacher's Pension Scheme should only happen if co-ordinated with the unions representing the rest of the members in that scheme.

LOST


Casualisation and zero hour contracts (new paragraph)

23 Composite: Zero tolerance for zero-hour contracts - London Metropolitan University, Anti-casualisation committee, London regional committee

Congress notes the dismal and poor work conditions resulting from the use of zero-hour contracts (ZHC) in HE/FE - the permanent lack of job and financial security and the lack of proper holiday, sick pay, maternity or paternity pay, lack of opportunities for professional development and promotion and unequal terms and conditions. Congress also notes that staff on ZHC have no entitlement to in-house training and are frequently excluded from planning and decision-making that deprives them of a sense of belonging to their workplace. Congress further notes that ZHC lack of specificity frequently lead to an undefined amount of unpaid workload. The use of permanent zero hours contracts aims to circumvent the protection intended by the fixed-term regulations, while in fact providing no job security.

Congress welcomes UCU policy on zero tolerance for ZHC and their elimination.

Congress calls on the NEC to affirm UCU's campaign against the use of ZHC in HE/FE and ensure this campaign forms part of a wider fight for job security. Congress also calls on the NEC to conduct a thorough investigation into the legality of ZHC and the extensive use of such contracts in HE/FE.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

23A.1 - Open University

After the first paragraph, insert the following as the second paragraph:

Congress also notes the insidious threat to Trade Unionism and to academic freedom and freedom of speech that is posed by the extensive use in HE and FE of zero hours contracts. This arises inevitably in a situation where staff can have their employment terminated without due procedure and for any reason whatsoever, such as taking strike action or expressing an opinion that is unpopular with their managers.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Congress notes the dismal and poor work conditions resulting from the use of zero-hour contracts (ZHC) in HE/FE - the permanent lack of job and financial security and the lack of proper holiday, sick pay, maternity or paternity pay, lack of opportunities for professional development and promotion and unequal terms and conditions. Congress also notes that staff on ZHC have no entitlement to in-house training and are frequently excluded from planning and decision-making that deprives them of a sense of belonging to their workplace. Congress further notes that ZHC lack of specificity frequently lead to an undefined amount of unpaid workload. The use of permanent zero hours contracts aims to circumvent the protection intended by the fixed-term regulations, while in fact providing no job security.

Congress also notes the insidious threat to Trade Unionism and to academic freedom and freedom of speech that is posed by the extensive use in HE and FE of zero hours contracts. This arises inevitably in a situation where staff can have their employment terminated without due procedure and for any reason whatsoever, such as taking strike action or expressing an opinion that is unpopular with their managers.

Congress welcomes UCU policy on zero tolerance for ZHC and their elimination.

Congress calls on the NEC to affirm UCU's campaign against the use of ZHC in HE/FE and ensure this campaign forms part of a wider fight for job security. Congress also calls on the NEC to conduct a thorough investigation into the legality of ZHC and the extensive use of such contracts in HE/FE.


24 A message to members who manage - Anti-casualisation committee

Congress reminds UCU members who manage staff on casualised contracts (fixed-term / hourly-paid/agency) of their legal and moral obligation to safeguard their employment rights.

In order to follow and take forward UCU policy, members are urged:

  1. to pursue all available means to renew the contracts of staff whose fixed-term contracts are ending
  2. to redeploy staff into suitable vacant posts when their fixed-term contracts are ending and not being renewed
  3. NOT to advertise posts externally while staff are at risk of redundancy
  4. NOT to take work off/reduce the hours of staff
  5. NOT to use 'zero-hours' contracts, or variable hours contracts (unless there is an acceptable minimum number of hours, under which redundancy consultation would be triggered).

Members prevented from following and implementing UCU policy, should contact their local branch/ association immediately.

CARRIED


Publishing remuneration packages (new paragraph)

25 Publishing remuneration packages of all staff - Loughborough University

Recent pay deals have seen staff suffer the ignominy of imposed pay increases that are a cut in real terms as they are lower than inflation.

This is in stark contrast to a banking sector recently rescued with public money and to the substantial increases we have seen in salaries and benefits for senior managers, especially Vice Chancellors, across our sector.

Congress calls upon all universities and colleges to publish the remuneration packages of all staff in the interests of transparency and for a robust debate on what our institutions should really be spending money on in these dark economic times. Congress calls upon the NEC to mount a campaign to lobby government for the implementation of a standard code of conduct on pay for sustainable universities and colleges.

Where institutions refuse they should be named and shamed, and the details requested via the Freedom of Information Act.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

25A.1 - National Executive Committee

Add a final paragraph:

Congress also instructs the NEC to

  1. continue to demand equal pay reviews in all HE and FE institutions to identify  pay inequities and poor promotion and progression practices  because of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief, age or contractual status
  2. act upon the findings and challenge discriminatory pay, promotion and progression practices through the bargaining agenda  and strategic legal casework particularly class actions.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Recent pay deals have seen staff suffer the ignominy of imposed pay increases that are a cut in real terms as they are lower than inflation.

This is in stark contrast to a banking sector recently rescued with public money and to the substantial increases we have seen in salaries and benefits for senior managers, especially Vice Chancellors, across our sector.

Congress calls upon all universities and colleges to publish the remuneration packages of all staff in the interests of transparency and for a robust debate on what our institutions should really be spending money on in these dark economic times. Congress calls upon the NEC to mount a campaign to lobby government for the implementation of a standard code of conduct on pay for sustainable universities and colleges.

Where institutions refuse they should be named and shamed, and the details requested via the Freedom of Information Act.

Congress also instructs the NEC to

  1. continue to demand equal pay reviews in all HE and FE institutions to identify  pay inequities and poor promotion and progression practices  because of gender, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion or belief, age or contractual status
  2. act upon the findings and challenge discriminatory pay, promotion and progression practices through the bargaining agenda  and strategic legal casework particularly class actions.

Health and Safety (report paragraph 3)

26 Stress and Bullying Working Group - National Executive Committee

Congress notes the already worrying levels of occupational stress and bullying in post-16 education, as documented by recent UCU surveys, and is concerned that these may increase due to current funding cuts. Congress welcomes the establishment by UCU of National Executive Committee's Stress and Bullying Working Group as a joint FE and HE activity, and welcomes the working group's extensive Plan of Action as agreed by Executive earlier this year. Congress notes that the plan includes: surveys of the entire membership every two years to produce robust employer-level data to support local campaigning; developing related media work, training and information provision; and joint working with Recourse to provide support for individual UCU members affected by stress and bullying. Congress calls on the National Executive to continue to support the activities of the working group and of Recourse and to provide sufficient resources for their work within current budget constraints.

CARRIED


Environmental work (report paragraph 15)

27 1 million climate jobs - South Thames College

Congress recognises the link between the global economic crisis and the climate crisis.

Congress supports the creation of a million climate jobs aimed at reducing emissions, enhancing energy efficiency, developing environmentally friendly low sources of energy, and training workers in the green skills necessary for a low carbon economy. UCU must link the campaigns to fighting job cuts with the opportunities for job creation.

At a time when large numbers of lecturing jobs needed to deliver sustainability training are at risk, UCU must organise at institution, community, and national level to:

  1. appoint Green Reps in every branch
  2. introduce course offers that promote low carbon skills
  3. develop local alliances to increase the supply and demand for energy efficiency and renewable sources of energy
  4. liaise with FHE sector bodies to implement a coherent qualification framework
  5. support the 1 million climate jobs petition and march.

CARRIED


Nuclear power (new paragraph after 15)

28 Composite: Japan - disasters of nature and of second nature - University of Brighton Grand Parade, University of Leeds

Congress expresses its concern and compassion for the Japanese people.

Congress notes

  1. political decisions can constitute a greater threat than natural events, notably reliance on nuclear energy with its inherent dangers
  2. threats to human survival and wellbeing from such reliance are not restricted to earthquake zones
  3. that this technology is fundamentally unsafe, costly, cannot mitigate against greenhouse gas emissions, produces irreversible effects on the environment condemning our descendents for generations to come and is of no long term benefit to humankind
  4. risk-avoidance presumes effective prediction but 'accidents' arise from radical unpredictability
  5. however small a statistical risk, it can be outweighed by the size of the consequences
  6. in the case of nuclear meltdown, evaluations depend on the valuation of lives lost, shortened or damaged
  7. the social and economic viability of nuclear energy is dependent on heavy subsidy, and its comparative cost in terms of human life is unproved
  8. dependence on nuclear energy also has the associated security risks that impair civil liberties and potentially compromise democracy.

Congress reaffirms its opposition to nuclear power in the UK and elsewhere, and resolves to play a major role in campaigning against it.

Congress calls on the government to phase out the British nuclear programme and to redirect funds into the research and development of renewable technologies coordinated via a central laboratory. Such a project would stimulate the research base of our universities and enable Britain to become world leading in these vital technologies of the future.

CARRIED

Last updated: 29 May 2011