Brighton UCU Members’ Meeting, 16 March 2022
The following motions were passed:
Congress Motion on Anti-trade union laws
- The Tories anti-trade union laws are designed to prevent workers taking effective industrial action.
- Despite the ballot thresholds UCU have been able to launch UK-wide action.
- The development of GTVO strategies and the use of disaggregated ballots have enabled branches to take on our employers.
- That UCU initiate an inter-union forum on strategies to combat the anti-union laws.
- To call on the Labour Party to commit to abolishing all anti-trade union legislation when elected.
Congress rule change motion: Industrial action committees
Insert new rule 35 (renumber remaining rules accordingly)
35.1 For all multi-institution industrial disputes, an industrial action committee will be constituted immediately following the declaration of a dispute from delegates from each branch with a mandate for industrial action, which will exist for the duration of the dispute. Delegates will be elected by branches, with an entitlement of one delegate per branch who will wield a vote weighted in proportion to their Sector Conference delegate entitlement. Each involved branch without a mandate may send a non-voting delegate and NEC members from the relevant sector/subsector may attend as observers. The committee will be chaired by the relevant Vice President (for single sector disputes), or by the President (for cross-sector disputes). The frequency of meetings will be determined by the committee. Branches may send different delegates to each meeting.
35.2 The scope of the industrial action committee is limited to the dispute for which it is constituted.
35.3 No decision affecting the continuation, strategy, or ending of an industrial dispute, including putting to the membership for approval a proposed deal to settle the dispute, will be taken without the approval of the industrial action committee constituted for that dispute.
Purpose: To establish industrial action committees.
Sector Conference Motion on Trade Union Coordination
- UCU is one of a number of trade unions organising higher education workers and part of the JNCHES machinery.
- Unison has become more successful in disaggregated ballots and has struck alongside UCU members this academic year.
- Justice for Worker, NUS and other student campaigns have also supported trade unions and continue to put pressure on our employers.
- Members of all campus unions and students share common interests in fair pay, equality and quality of education.
- The most effective strike action involves shutting down university campuses and operations, which requires co-ordinated action between UCU and other campus unions.
- Co-ordinated joint union and student action maximises leverage over the employers.
That HEC and HEC officers maximise the opportunities for joint action at national and local level between UCU and other campus and student unions when deciding on industrial action dates, notifications and strategies.
Motion on Ukraine (amended)
Brighton UCU opposes the military offensive in Ukraine as a barbaric assault on the Ukrainian people and a threat to world peace.
Brighton UCU believes
- The immediate responsibility for the bloodshed lies with Putin, but the conflict flows from imperialist rivalry between the West and Russia in which ordinary Ukrainians are pawns.
- The US and Nato are not a source of peace or democracy. They were responsible for devastating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and support Israeli and Saudi Arabian violence in the Middle East.
Brighton UCU calls for
- An immediate end to the military offensive in Ukraine and the withdrawal of all Russian forces.
- Respect for Ukraine’s right to self-determination.
- The unconditional release of everyone detained in Russia for protesting against the war.
- NATO withdrawal from Eastern Europe.
- The lifting of all restrictions on the entry into Britain of refugees from Ukraine whatever their background.
Brighton UCU resolves
- To call for the University to gain University of Sanctuary status and to sign the City of Sanctuary pledge Building a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in the UK
- To send solidarity messages to the Russian anti-war protesters.
- To support protests called by Stop the War, CND and other peace organisations against any escalation of the conflict by either side.