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Further education sector conference

UCU Congress 2011 - FE sector conference: Saturday 28 May

Chapter 2 of the NEC report to UCU Congress 2011:
UCU331.html
| UCU331.rtf

Motions:

FE1 - Redundancies and disabled members
FE2 - EMA and support for learners
FE3 - Campaign to save ESOL provision
FE4 - The future of 'Second Chance' Education
FE5 - Manifesto for Further Education
FE6 - Principals' pay
FE7 - Apprenticeships
FE8 - Risk assessment in FE colleges
FE9 - Lesson observation
FE10 - Lesson observations and appraisal schemes
FE11 - On lesson observations
FE12 - Boycott the IfL
FE13 - IfL is failing in its equality duty
FE14 - Fixed term contracts, fractionalisation and equal pay FE15 Agency Workers
FE16 - HPL fractionalisation
FE17 - Advancing LGB and T equality in FE
FE18 - Disability History Month takes forward Commission for Lifelong Learning report
FE19 - International students and the Points Based System: Challenging Tier 4


FE1 Redundancies and disabled members - Disabled members standing committee

Conference condemns the growing numbers of redundancies being announced by further education colleges, which will worsen under this Government's regime of cuts.

Conference re-affirms the principle of branches totally opposing and campaigning against any threat of redundancies.  It acknowledges, however, that, despite such opposition, compulsory redundancies are imposed by recalcitrant employers.

Evidence already suggests that in FE the detrimental effects on disabled members are wholly disproportionate.  Conference calls on FEC to fully appraise branch negotiators of this inequity and to ensure that the following steps, as a minimum, are taken to protect disabled members against unfair treatment during any redundancy process:

  1. insist that all employers carry out a full and comprehensive equality impact assessment
  2. insist that any selection procedure for compulsory redundancies does not include criteria which would de facto indirectly discriminate against disabled members.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE1A.1 - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE committee

Add a third sentence to the end of the second paragraph:

In such circumstances Conference calls on the FEC to campaign actively with branches about how to fight redundancies, looking to generalise from the best experiences of the union but also including informing members of their employment rights during the redundancy process.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference condemns the growing numbers of redundancies being announced by further education colleges, which will worsen under this Government's regime of cuts.

Conference re-affirms the principle of branches totally opposing and campaigning against any threat of redundancies.  It acknowledges, however, that, despite such opposition, compulsory redundancies are imposed by recalcitrant employers. In such circumstances Conference calls on the FEC to campaign actively with branches about how to fight redundancies, looking to generalise from the best experiences of the union but also including informing members of their employment rights during the redundancy process.

Evidence already suggests that in FE the detrimental effects on disabled members are wholly disproportionate.  Conference calls on FEC to fully appraise branch negotiators of this inequity and to ensure that the following steps, as a minimum, are taken to protect disabled members against unfair treatment during any redundancy process:

  1. insist that all employers carry out a full and comprehensive equality impact assessment
  2. insist that any selection procedure for compulsory redundancies does not include criteria which would de facto indirectly discriminate against disabled members.

FE2 Composite: EMA and support for learners - Further Education Committee, Blackburn College, London regional FE committee

Education should be both a right and a choice available to all members of a decent and civilized society. The recent government decision to scrap Education Maintenance Allowance poses a serious threat to the continuing access to and participation in Further Education for some of the most vulnerable groups from the most deprived areas. It is a crass class attack on working class students' ability to access further and higher education which will impact on student numbers and the viability of many courses and have a knock-on effect on lecturers' jobs.

Conference condemns the government's abolition of EMA and ALG.

Conference welcomes the formation of the Save EMA campaign and congratulates branches which have organised to save EMA, and the thousands of students who have organised vibrant and creative protests, demonstrations and occupations.

Conference notes that the campaign to save EMA will continue despite the government decision to end the payments.

Research undertaken at Blackburn College substantiates the proposition that no EMA means no participation in education for a large proportion of 16 to 18 year olds across a broad spectrum of vocational and academic disciplines. Further, the research suggests that withdrawal of EMA significantly impacts progression routes available to FE students wishing to enter Higher Education.

Conference reiterates its opposition to scrapping EMA and urges branches to work with NUS, local student unions, other unions, and student organisations to organise further protests, teach-ins, occupations and lobbies.

Conference calls upon:

  1. the government to reinstate, improve and expand EMA/ALG
  2. FEC to initiate a national demonstration to defend EMA
  3. all UCU branches/members to support student campaigns to reinstate EMA/ALG
  4. the AoC and college managements to publicly support further protests
  5. the Coalition government to put in place immediate and permanent arrangements to ensure that remaining in education continues to be a viable choice for those from low income families and from areas of high social deprivation.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE2A.1 - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE Committee

Add after paragraph 6 ('teach-ins, occupations and lobbies') and before  'Conference calls upon'

Conference notes the partial restoration of EMA style funding as a result of the strong protests by students   and lecturers' organisations and also notes the recent call for its restoration by the OECD. This shows the effectiveness of high profile campaigning and conference resolves to step up joint campaigning alongside students and other unions at the beginning of the new academic year.

CARRIED

FE2A.2 - City and Islington College Camden Road

Add to end of 2nd paragraph "for English based students"

Add before final paragraph Conference calls upon:

'Conference notes the Government has made a partial u-turn in response to the EMA campaign, and has also made u-turns in regards to other campaigns, eg Save the Forests.'

Add to Conference calls upon:

2. The UK government to reinstate EMA at the full rate for students studying in England in parity with Welsh and Scottish Governments.

Re-number remaining bullet points.

CARRIED

FE2A.3 Croydon College

Delete paragraph 4. Replace with

"Conference notes that the Con- Dem Government's decision to replace the £550million Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) with a £180 million bursary scheme administered by Colleges and schools is a totally inadequate response to the campaigning efforts of parents, students and trade unions to save EMA, and that the campaign will continue for full restoration of EMA and no cut in entitlement."

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Education should be both a right and a choice available to all members of a decent and civilized society. The recent government decision to scrap Education Maintenance Allowance poses a serious threat to the continuing access to and participation in Further Education for some of the most vulnerable groups from the most deprived areas. It is a crass class attack on working class students' ability to access further and higher education which will impact on student numbers and the viability of many courses and have a knock-on effect on lecturers' jobs.

Conference condemns the government's abolition of EMA and ALG for English based students.

Conference welcomes the formation of the Save EMA campaign and congratulates branches which have organised to save EMA, and the thousands of students who have organised vibrant and creative protests, demonstrations and occupations.

Conference notes that the Con-Dem Government's decision to replace the £550million Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) with a £180 million bursary scheme administered by Colleges and schools is a totally inadequate response to the campaigning efforts of parents, students and trade unions to save EMA, and that the campaign will continue for full restoration of EMA and no cut in entitlement.

Research undertaken at Blackburn College substantiates the proposition that no EMA means no participation in education for a large proportion of 16 to 18 year olds across a broad spectrum of vocational and academic disciplines. Further, the research suggests that withdrawal of EMA significantly impacts progression routes available to FE students wishing to enter Higher Education.

Conference reiterates its opposition to scrapping EMA and urges branches to work with NUS, local student unions, other unions, and student organisations to organise further protests, teach-ins, occupations and lobbies.

Conference notes the partial restoration of EMA style funding as a result of the strong protests by students and lecturers' organisations and also notes the recent call for its restoration by the OECD. This shows the effectiveness of high profile campaigning and conference resolves to step up joint campaigning alongside students and other unions at the beginning of the new academic year.

Conference notes the Government has made a partial u-turn in response to the EMA campaign, and has also made u-turns in regards to other campaigns, eg Save the Forests.

Conference calls upon:

  1. the government to reinstate, improve and expand EMA/ALG
  2. the UK government to reinstate EMA at the full rate for students studying in England in parity with Welsh and Scottish Governments.
  3. FEC to initiate a national demonstration to defend EMA
  4. all UCU branches/members to support student campaigns to reinstate EMA/ALG
  5. the AoC and college managements to publicly support further protests
  6. the Coalition government to put in place immediate and permanent arrangements to ensure that remaining in education continues to be a viable choice for those from low income families and from areas of high social deprivation.

FE3 Composite: Campaign to save ESOL provision - Liverpool Community College, Further Education Committee

Conference calls upon FEC to join the national campaign to save ESOL from the proposed government cuts which will, if followed through, result in a) large numbers of vulnerable adults, especially people from black and ethnic minorities, women and asylum seekers, no longer gaining access to ESOL courses and thus becoming more at risk of becoming marginalised within society and excluded from the workforce; and b) create a reduction in ESOL provision of approximately 60-70% thus leading to huge job losses in ESOL.

Conference believes the attack on ESOL is part of a wider policy to restrict access to and participation in adult learning. It is also part of the assault on multiculturalism led by Cameron.

Conference reiterates that people should have an entitlement to learn the language of the country they live in and to be taught by experienced, professional teachers.

Conference congratulates the Action for ESOL campaign and fully supports its demands for:

  1. fully funded English language provision for all who need it and cannot afford to contribute to the cost
  2. people on non-active benefit, those on low incomes and asylum seekers to continue to have access to free provision
  3. the continuation of the ESOL element of the Learner Support Fund
  4. the preservation of ESOL teachers' jobs.

Conference instructs the FEC to continue to support the Campaign in all appropriate ways, including organising a national campaign to raise awareness about the impact of these cuts to ESOL both with members and the wider community and further to organising a lobby of Parliament to call this ConDem Government to account.

CARRIED


FE4 The Future of 'Second Chance' Education - New College Nottingham

Conference notes:

  1. the long and proud tradition of FE Colleges of delivering courses for adult students, providing many with a 'second chance' at education
  2. the continuous onslaught of government policies that make it increasingly difficult for adult students to go into further education
  3. the disproportionate effect of these policies on learners with disabilities, those in receipt of benefits, those from ethnic minorities and women (in effect those least able to pay but who have the most to benefit)
  4. the effect this will have on jobs in the sector.

Conference resolves:

  1. to instruct the FEC to vigorously oppose any policies (including withdrawal of funding) that have an adverse effect on the number of adult students taking FE courses
  2. to ask all members to champion the function that FE serves in providing continuing education for all, regardless of age or circumstances.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE4A.1 South East regional FE committee

Add a comma after 'Colleges' and insert 'Adult Education Institutes and Prison Education departments' in point 1 between 'Colleges' and 'of'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes:

  1. the long and proud tradition of FE Colleges, Adult Education Institutes and Prison Education departments of delivering courses for adult students, providing many with a 'second chance' at education
  2. the continuous onslaught of government policies that make it increasingly difficult for adult students to go into further education
  3. the disproportionate effect of these policies on learners with disabilities, those in receipt of benefits, those from ethnic minorities and women (in effect those least able to pay but who have the most to benefit)
  4. the effect this will have on jobs in the sector.

Conference resolves:

  1. to instruct the FEC to vigorously oppose any policies (including withdrawal of funding) that have an adverse effect on the number of adult students taking FE courses
  2. to ask all members to champion the function that FE serves in providing continuing education for all, regardless of age or circumstances.

FE5 Manifesto for Further Education - Yorkshire and Humberside regional FE Committee

Sector Conference notes the publication of the 'Manifesto for Education' in 2008 and urges FEC to re-launch the pamphlet to address the need to present the union's vision for further education as part of its defence of the sector and of our pay and conditions in the current context of increasing privatisation and marketisation and denial of access to working class people.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE5A.1 South East regional FE committee

Add a second paragraph: 'Sector Conference instructs the FEC to continue to campaign and lobby for a return of Incorporated colleges to a democratic system of accountability and for post-16 FE funding to be routed through one body rather than the complicated current system including LEAs, YPLA and SFA.'

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Sector Conference notes the publication of the 'Manifesto for Education' in 2008 and urges FEC to re-launch the pamphlet to address the need to present the union's vision for further education as part of its defence of the sector and of our pay and conditions in the current context of increasing privatisation and marketisation and denial of access to working class people.

Sector Conference instructs the FEC to continue to campaign and lobby for a return of Incorporated colleges to a democratic system of accountability and for post-16 FE funding to be routed through one body rather than the complicated current system including LEAs, YPLA and SFA.


FE6 Principals' Pay - Further Education Committee

Conference deplores:

  1. the continuous (at least) 8-year trend where average English Principals' pay rises are more than double that of their own staff despite successive years of budget cuts.
  2. college principals' willingness to accept excessive pay rises while delivering government policy (including mass redundancies) which is destroying further education.
  3. successive governments' failure to tackle this national scandal.

notes:

  1. the average Principals' pay rise in 09/10 (3.6%) in contrast with the national deal of 1.5%.
  2. that many Colleges did not award the full deal to their staff.
  3. that this represents a distasteful barometer of the damaging neo-liberalisation of the public sector.

and instructs FEC to publish a report highlighting this long-running issue.

CARRIED


FE7 Apprenticeships - Oxford and Cherwell Valley College

Conference notes:

  1. the major problem of youth unemployment and the lack of suitable training for young people seeking work
  2. the coalition government is withdrawing the previous offer of a guaranteed apprenticeship for those with the right qualifications
  3. many apprenticeships are narrowly focussed on the specific needs of their employer
  4. increasingly release to FE Colleges does not form part of apprenticeship arrangements as employers are setting up their own training programmes with inferior pay and conditions for training staff
  5. apprentices are generally paid below the national minimum wage (employers are allowed to pay only £2.50 an hour for those aged 19).

Conference demands:

  1. a guaranteed place for all suitably qualified applicants for apprenticeships
  2. minimum general standards to be set and monitored
  3. the national minimum wage to be paid and for trade unions to negotiate higher wage levels
  4. training and education to be partly based in Colleges to maintain standards.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE7A.1 Women members standing committee

Insert at the end of point 4: 'and prioritising will result in fewer opportunities for women apprentices'

Insert new bullet point at end:

e. Measures should be taken to avoid gender stereotyping in apprenticeships

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference notes:

  1. the major problem of youth unemployment and the lack of suitable training for young people seeking work
  2. the coalition government is withdrawing the previous offer of a guaranteed apprenticeship for those with the right qualifications
  3. many apprenticeships are narrowly focussed on the specific needs of their employer
  4. increasingly release to FE Colleges does not form part of apprenticeship arrangements as employers are setting up their own training programmes with inferior pay and conditions for training staff and prioritising will result in fewer opportunities for women apprentices
  5. apprentices are generally paid below the national minimum wage (employers are allowed to pay only £2.50 an hour for those aged 19).

Conference demands:

  1. a guaranteed place for all suitably qualified applicants for apprenticeships
  2. minimum general standards to be set and monitored
  3. the national minimum wage to be paid and for trade unions to negotiate higher wage levels
  4. training and education to be partly based in Colleges to maintain standards
  5. measures should be taken to avoid gender stereotyping in apprenticeships.

FE8 Risk assessment in FE colleges - South East regional FE committee

Conference notes concerns around the risk assessment of:

  1. SLDD and NEET learners
  2. vocational work-based learning environments.

Conference instructs national officers to agree guidelines with the employers that specify:

  1. the comprehensive risk assessment of SLDD learners prior to learners starting courses a priority to protect the health and safety of staff, learners and members of the public
  2. H&S reps should challenge funded ratios of staff to vulnerable groups of learners and compare to what is actually being delivered in practice
  3. H&S reps training should include risk assessment of NEET and SLDD learners
  4. H&S reps should ensure that agreements, policies, practices and risk assessments include NEETS and SLDD learners
  5. the use of health and safety checks (including checks that employer liability insurances are up to date) prior to learners starting work placements
  6. that any checks are carried out by suitably qualified vocationally competent staff.

REMITTED


FE9 Lesson observation - South East regional FE committee

FE Sector Conference notes the concerns expressed by previous conferences about:

  1. the increased number of lesson observations imposed upon teaching staff in recent years including internal quality reviews or audits and external quality reviews
  2. the abuse of lesson observation as a bullying management tool
  3. the need to return to an agreed professional development model.

Conference therefore instructs national officers to mount a campaign using all measures possible, up to and including industrial action, to outlaw lesson observation malpractice so that lesson observation can return to the supportive role that it is meant to be.

CARRIED


FE10 Lesson observations and appraisal schemes - North West regional FE committee

Conference acknowledges the increased stressors placed on staff by the plethora of 'performance management' measures being introduced by employers which include:

  1. increasing frequency of teaching and learning observations
  2. unannounced or short notice observations
  3. grade appraisal schemes.

Conference notes that this increased pressure can lead to work related stress and mental health problems, and that the pressure of cuts in funding will only increase the workload and observation pressures on our members.

Conference calls on the FEC to mount a campaign to

  1. defend the professional standing of lecturers by demanding meaningful consultation prior to any proposed changes to the observation process and appraisal scheme.
  2. highlight the increased stress for lecturers caused by unannounced observations and the de-motivating nature of appraisal schemes, which focus on the negative aspects of performance, much of which is based on retention and achievement data.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE10A.1 South regional FE committee

Add after 'observation pressures on our members' , ' Furthermore unannounced observation is invasive, oppressive, intimidatory, punitive and professionally discourteous and is frequently used to bully or dismiss staff.'

Add at end 'c. Agree protocols in all institutions, d. Work with the NUS to oppose unannounced lesson observations as equally detrimental to students, e. Organise 'hit squads' to walk in unannounced to Governing Body meetings., f. ensure an agreed observation scheme is supportive with an entitlement to refuse to participate'.

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference acknowledges the increased stressors placed on staff by the plethora of 'performance management' measures being introduced by employers which include:

  1. increasing frequency of teaching and learning observations
  2. unannounced or short notice observations
  3. grade appraisal schemes.

Conference notes that this increased pressure can lead to work related stress and mental health problems, and that the pressure of cuts in funding will only increase the workload and observation pressures on our members. Furthermore unannounced observation is invasive, oppressive, intimidatory, punitive and professionally discourteous and is frequently used to bully or dismiss staff.

Conference calls on the FEC to mount a campaign to

  1. defend the professional standing of lecturers by demanding meaningful consultation prior to any proposed changes to the observation process and appraisal scheme.
  2. highlight the increased stress for lecturers caused by unannounced observations and the de-motivating nature of appraisal schemes, which focus on the negative aspects of performance, much of which is based on retention and achievement data
  3. agree protocols in all institutions
  4. work with the NUS to oppose unannounced lesson observations as equally detrimental to students
  5. organise 'hit squads' to walk in unannounced to governing body meetings
  6. ensure an agreed observation scheme is supportive with an entitlement to refuse to participate.

FE11 On lesson observations - Westminster-Kingsway College

This conference notes that onerous and stressful lesson observation schemes are still issues of dispute in many colleges. It calls on the FEC to

  1. endorse the London region policy document on this issue which would help to strengthen and clarify our position nationally
  2. give support to any branches requesting a ballot for industrial action on this issue
  3. publicise the successful two-year boycott of observations at Westminster-Kingsway college.

POINT 1 REMITTED - REMAINDER OF MOTION CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

This conference notes that onerous and stressful lesson observation schemes are still issues of dispute in many colleges. It calls on the FEC to:

  1. give support to any branches requesting a ballot for industrial action on this issue
  2. publicise the successful two-year boycott of observations at Westminster-Kingsway college.

FE12 Composite: Boycott the IfL - Lambeth College, North West regional FE committee, City of Sunderland College, Westminster-Kingsway College, Barnsley College, Oxford and Cherwell Valley College

Conference is outraged at the demand for a fee of £68 to be a member of the IfL, membership of which is mandatory for teachers in FE. At a time when the General Teaching Council for schoolteachers has been abolished the argument for keeping membership of the IfL mandatory is weaker than ever. Conference rejects the justification in the letter from IfL Chief Executive Toni Fazaeli that members receive "unique and valuable benefits" believing that the IfL is of no real benefit to FE teachers.

Conference opposes the demand for a fee of £68 and is appalled that money is being sought from relatively low paid workers - who will experience another pay cut this year - to pay for a failing service and the excessively high salaries of some who work for the IfL. The wedge between teachers' and lecturers' pay has increased yearly since the introduction of IfL.

Conference sees the IfL as a burden on the sector. For UCU members the IfL is little more than a glut of emails and an annual reminder to register CPD activities. In addition, even the Times Educational Supplement (TES FE 11/2/11) has commented that 'the case has yet to be made whether a register and a code of conduct is even necessary'.

Conference recognises that the IfL has failed in:

  1. providing relevant services and benefits for teachers in the LLS
  2. its primary objectives of professionalising the sector, defending the FE teaching force and achieving parity with teachers' pay
  3. the promotion of equality: its own structures have failed to respond to calls from this union to address issues of democracy and equality.

The IfL is NOT fit for purpose. FE lecturers are and always have been professionals. Conference calls on the FEC to:

  1. organise a national campaign of resistance to this measure
  2. lead a collective boycott of the IfL
  3. encourage members not to pay the £68 membership fee or to renew IfL membership
  4. circulate the UCU petition against the fee
  5. call on college managements and the AOC to refuse to make IfL membership a condition of employment or promotion.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE12A.1 Compositing amendment North West regional FE committee, City of Sunderland College, Westminster-Kingsway College

Add at end:

f. campaign persuade the government to disband the IfL, with redeployment of its staff to more useful tasks, and find an alternative ways to support CPD of teachers in the sector

g. encourage the Government to use the money instead to give lecturers a decent pay rise.

CARRIED

FE12A.2 Eastern and Home Counties regional FE committee

Add:

h. In order to ensure to build longevity and breadth to our campaigning on the IfL, UCU should organise an electoral slate for the next set of advisory council elections as well as any further elections in association with other unions and groups where possible.

CARRIED

FE12A.3 South regional FE committee

Add after point 3., 'Currently the IFL 'polices' rather than promotes professional development.'

Add after 'boycott of the IFL', 'and seek the reform and if necessary the abolition of the IFL'

Add at end after point 'e', 'and seek the establishment of a single professional body for teachers and lecturers which actively promotes and provides CPD for staff, and membership of which is free to individuals. A professional body which only concerns itself with conduct and discipline is not a professional body.'

CARRIED

FE12A.4 Anti-casualisation committee

Add new point 4: "recognising the disproportionate impact that the IFL fees have on casualised staff"

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference is outraged at the demand for a fee of £68 to be a member of the IfL, membership of which is mandatory for teachers in FE. At a time when the General Teaching Council for schoolteachers has been abolished the argument for keeping membership of the IfL mandatory is weaker than ever. Conference rejects the justification in the letter from IfL Chief Executive Toni Fazaeli that members receive "unique and valuable benefits" believing that the IfL is of no real benefit to FE teachers.

Conference opposes the demand for a fee of £68 and is appalled that money is being sought from relatively low paid workers - who will experience another pay cut this year - to pay for a failing service and the excessively high salaries of some who work for the IfL. The wedge between teachers' and lecturers' pay has increased yearly since the introduction of IfL.

Conference sees the IfL as a burden on the sector. For UCU members the IfL is little more than a glut of emails and an annual reminder to register CPD activities. In addition, even the Times Educational Supplement (TES FE 11/2/11) has commented that 'the case has yet to be made whether a register and a code of conduct is even necessary'.

Conference recognises that the IfL has failed in:

  1. providing relevant services and benefits for teachers in the LLS
  2. its primary objectives of professionalising the sector, defending the FE teaching force and achieving parity with teachers' pay
  3. the promotion of equality: its own structures have failed to respond to calls from this union to address issues of democracy and equality. Currently the IFL 'polices' rather than promotes professional development
  4. recognising the disproportionate impact that the IFL fees have on casualised staff.

The IfL is NOT fit for purpose. FE lecturers are and always have been professionals. Conference calls on the FEC to:

  1. organise a national campaign of resistance to this measure
  2. lead a collective boycott of the IfL and seek the reform and if necessary the abolition of the IFL
  3. encourage members not to pay the £68 membership fee or to renew IfL membership
  4. circulate the UCU petition against the fee
  5. call on college managements and the AOC to refuse to make IfL membership a condition of employment or promotion
  6. campaign persuade the government to disband the IfL, with redeployment of its staff to more useful tasks, and find an alternative ways to support CPD of teachers in the sector 
  7. encourage the Government to use the money instead to give lecturers a decent pay rise
  8. in order to ensure to build longevity and breadth to our campaigning on the IfL, UCU should organise an electoral slate for the next set of advisory council elections as well as any further elections in association with other unions and groups where possible
  9. and seek the establishment of a single professional body for teachers and lecturers which actively promotes and provides CPD for staff, and membership of which is free to individuals. A professional body which only concerns itself with conduct and discipline is not a professional body.

FE13 IfL is failing in its equality duty - Women members standing committee

Conference is concerned that the IfL have made no serious attempts to investigate the position of women, Black, disabled or LGBT members in the sector. While they maintain the largest database of CPD in the sector, there is no suggestion that they intend to investigate or monitor how opportunities for CPD impact on career development, pay differentials and promotion.

Data shows that within the sector only 36% of principals are women and less than 4% are Black. Recent LSN research identifies the negative culture of colleges as a key barrier to career development and highlighted references to old boys' networks, racist and sexist attitudes, lack of feedback on performance, ineffective appraisals, ineffective equalities practice and long hours cultures.

Conference calls on the FEC to:

  1. call the IfL to account on these matters and
  2. raise the issues of CPD monitoring around equality in the negotiations with employers.

CARRIED


FE14 Fixed term contracts, fractionalisation and equal pay - Barnet College, Barnet and Hendon

Conference acknowledges UCU efforts in the 'Stamp Out Casualisation' campaign but notes the failure, by most colleges, to meet their obligations (under 'Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002' and equal pay legislation). This affects three main categories:

  1. 'sessional' hourly-paid lecturers seeking a permanent contract after the 4-year qualification period
  2. 'sessional' lecturers seeking established MGL status
  3. established 'fractional' MG Lecturers with systematic 'overtime' of more than 4 years.

All of these do work 'broadly similar' to established staff.

Many Colleges have simply failed to address the situation at all. Some have introduced immoral and legally questionable 'zero-hours' contracts. Most simply stonewall until the employees leave in frustration.

Conference instructs FEC to:

  1. re-launch an upgraded 'Stamp Out Casualisation' campaign
  2. present proposals to the AoC for a national agreement on ordered progression to established posts for part-timers.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

FE14A.1 Anti-casualisation committee

Add to end of a: "by involving regional committees, branches, local associations and activists across the sector"

CARRIED

SUBSTANTIVE MOTION

Conference acknowledges UCU efforts in the 'Stamp Out Casualisation' campaign but notes the failure, by most colleges, to meet their obligations (under 'Fixed-term Employees (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations 2002' and equal pay legislation). This affects three main categories:

  1. 'sessional' hourly-paid lecturers seeking a permanent contract after the 4-year qualification period
  2. 'sessional' lecturers seeking established MGL status
  3. established 'fractional' MG Lecturers with systematic 'overtime' of more than 4 years.

All of these do work 'broadly similar' to established staff.

Many Colleges have simply failed to address the situation at all. Some have introduced immoral and legally questionable 'zero-hours' contracts. Most simply stonewall until the employees leave in frustration.

Conference instructs FEC to:

  1. re-launch an upgraded 'Stamp Out Casualisation' campaign by involving regional committees, branches, local associations and activists across the sector
  2. present proposals to the AoC for a national agreement on ordered progression to established posts for part-timers.

FE15 Agency Workers - Anti-casualisation committee

Conference notes that agency workers in Further and Adult Education suffer job insecurity; restricted employment rights; lack of access to occupational pension schemes; and lack of recognition in their workplaces that their union represents them.

Conference reaffirms the trade union principles of all standing together and of the strong protecting the weak. Conference welcomes the work already done, with UCU input, on giving these vulnerable workers some parity of terms and conditions after 12 weeks.

Conference welcomes UCU policy that agency workers be transferred to fair and equal contracts of employment, and we call on the FEC to make all efforts to achieve further success in this.

Conference affirms our commitment to the recruitment and protection of agency workers at all times, until we are able to achieve the transfer of all agency workers in Further and Adult education to direct employment on equal terms and conditions.

CARRIED


FE16 HPL Fractionalisation - Women members standing committee

Conference notes that:

  1. staff on hourly-paid, temporary or fixed term contracts suffer lower pay and worse terms and conditions than their permanent counterparts
  2. in the current climate of cuts, HPLs are at greater risk of losing some or all of their hours
  3. women are disproportionately represented among HPLs
  4. the increased casualisation of education staff undermines terms and conditions for all workers across the sector, whatever their contractual situation
  5. colleges do not automatically transfer staff to permanent contracts on the same basis as permanent, full-time lecturers as required by law.

Conference believes that:

  1. the fight for HPL rights should be central to the UCU's agenda
  2. UCU should fight for all HPLs to be fractionalised after 4 years continuous service
  3. Hackney College UCU is seeking to fractionalise HPLs, and should be given the legal backing of the union to take this case forward.

CARRIED


FE17 Advancing LGB and T equality in FE - LGBT members standing committee

Historically many LGB and T people chose to work and study in FE because it has been seen as a more accepting and diverse environment. Equality and diversity in employment practice and curriculum delivery are crucial.

The common Inspection Framework for Ofsted requires that providers are marked on their commitment to Equality and Diversity. E&D is a limiting grade.

Delivery of the Every Child Matters Agenda is also subject to Ofsted inspection, and includes a clear commitment to teach equality and diversity to full-time learners up to age 19.

Conference calls on FEC to

  1. campaign for the limiting grade to be maintained in any inspection framework
  2. campaign and provide support for work
    • against homophobia and transphobia in staff and classrooms
    • for the delivery of education supportive of LGB and T equality throughout the FE curriculum
  3. publically encourage LGBT history month activities throughout the sector

CARRIED


FE18 Disability History Month takes forward Commission for Lifelong Learning report - Disabled members standing committee

Conference expresses grave concern about the negative impact spending cuts are already having on disabled staff working in further, adult, continuing and community education. The final report of The Commission for Lifelong Learning recognised that many disabled staff working in the sector experienced systemic discrimination and this situation is likely to deteriorate further due to the Coalition's misguided economic policies.

Conference believes it is vital that UCU represents disabled members effectively and creatively, and congratulates those UCU FE branches which have used the Wallchart '200 Years of Disabled People as Activists', produced by the Disabled Members Standing Committee, to promote disability equality within Colleges.

Conference calls upon FEC to ensure that all FE and Adult Education branches are encouraged to celebrate UK Disability History Month and to use the Wallchart as a resource to recruit and organise disabled members in order to educate the wider membership about disability issues.

CARRIED


FE19 International Students and the Points Based System: Challenging Tier 4 - Further Education Committee

FESC believes that the further education sector benefits enormously from the presence of international students who originate from outside the European Economic Area. Furthermore, Colleges act as a springboard into higher education within the UK with some 40% of HE undergraduates coming from Colleges and that overseas students likewise make use of this traditional route to go onto higher education within the UK.

FESC notes with concern that proposals to limit the numbers of international students runs counter to the well-being of colleges on cultural, academic and financial grounds. English Language teaching staff would be particularly badly hit if level three courses were closed to overseas students as and there would be a reduced need for support classes for international students on mainstream courses.

FESC calls on FEC to develop a national campaign to challenge immigration controls and provide continued support for joint union initiatives such as UK Uncapped.

CARRIED

Last updated: 28 May 2011