UCU Congress 2015
Motions passed at quorate branch meetings at the university of Brighton for consideration at UCU Congress and UCU Higher Education Sector Conference 2015:
Motions for Congress:
UCU and BDS campaign
- the achievements of the global BDS campaign, particularly in North America;
- the overwhelming adoption by Congress (2009 & 2010), after four years’ careful reflection, of a general pro-boycott policy directed at Israeli products and institutions, including academic institutions;
- Congress decision (2009) that all colleagues be urged, in the light of UCU policy, to consider whether cooperation with Israeli institutions is morally or politically defensible;
- that unions have no mechanisms to impose a boycott, and implementation is only encouragement of individuals to reflect, hence legal anti-implementation cautions are irrelevant;
- advice to some members from UCU, and some public information about UCU’s position, have been misleading or inconsistent with policy.
Congress reaffirms its pro-BDS policy.
Anti Union Laws
- all members will be contacted individually, in a dedicated e-mail, reminding them of policy on Israel, and with a link to the PACBI Guidelines;
- any misrepresentations of UCU’s policy will be corrected publicly.
Congress reiterates its total opposition to the anti-union laws introduced by Tory Governments in the 1980s and ’90s.
Congress deplores and condemns the failure of three Labour governments to repeal these vicious laws.
All of this has constrained unions’ ability to protect members interests.
Congress further condemns:
- The increasing frequency of judges overruling democratic trade union balloting procedures on spurious legal and moral grounds
- The intention of the Tories, if they win the general election, to make these laws even more draconian.
Congress agrees that it is even more vital now for the trade union movement to:
- Campaign actively for the repeal of all anti-trade union laws
- Offer full support and solidarity to all workers in struggle, including those whose action is deemed ‘unlawful’ under this draconian and archaic legislation.
Motions for Higher Education Sector Conference
Conference notes the:
- failure of HEC to implement the strategy determined democratically by Conference, and balloted on, in recent pay and pensions disputes;
- substantial ballot majorities for that strategy in recent disputes;
- failure of recent campaigns to achieve their goals;
- consequent erosion of confidence in the union to defend national conditions.
Conference believes that the:
- successful defence of pay and pensions is achievable only through escalating industrial action;
- UCU’s policy on industrial strategy, combining ASOS with strike action, has not been seriously applied.
Conference resolves that:
- future campaigns will fully implement the strategy, combining ASOS with strike action, in line with Conference policy;
- threats of punitive deductions to deter ASOS will be met with escalating strike action across the sector, and branches will not be left to resist alone;
- no proposal to end national disputes short of their goals will be put to members without a special conference.
Teacher Education and Higher Education
- The removal of QTS as a requirement for teaching in some state funded schools.
- That alternative QTS routes have resulted in teacher education places in HEIs being cut by 23% since 2012-13.
- That while academic staff numbers across HE have risen, Education departments have seen a 7% decline in teaching staff since 2004/5 and increased casualisation.
- One of these alternative routes, the Troops to Teachers programme prioritises entry to teaching by ex-service personnel from the Armed as they have gained particular skills and experiences which are invaluable to schools.
Conference resolves to:
- Campaign with other education trade unions to defend the role of HE in teacher education and professionalism.
- Campaign for rigorous and high quality conversion HE programmes to teaching for a broad range of workers, which could include, but not be exclusively for, those leaving the Armed Forces.