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Higher Education Sector Conference

UCU Congress 2019: Sunday 26 May 2019, 09:00-18:00

Motions have been allocated to a section of the NEC's report to Congress (UCU957). Paragraph headings refer to paragraphs within this report. CBC has added some new paragraph headings to facilitate the ordering of motions.

Motions HE1-HE10 to be taken in private session

HE1 - HE pay
HE2 - Multi-year pay settlement
HE3 - Future pay claims
HE4 - HE pay and equality campaign 2019-20
HE5 - USS
HE6 - USS employee contributions
HE7 - Composite: USS pensions
HE8 - Composite: USS dispute
HE9 - UCU must remain open to a legal challenge against USS
L5 - No confidence in the USS Board of Trustees
HE10 - Defending the 'no detriment' position in our USS dispute
L6 - UCU directors of USS
L8 - Trinity College exit from USS
HE11 - Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS)
HE12 - TPS
HE13 - Discussion on developing negotiations to increase job security
HE14 - Actions against short contracts
HE15 - Minimum contract lengths for teaching and research
HE16 - Post-contract support for academics on precarious contracts
HE17 - Addressing the gender pay gap
HE18 - Action on the race pay gap in universities
HE19 - Eradicating workplace racism
HE20 - Not disposable: Standing up for LGBT+ staff and studies
HE21 - Racist activity on campus and free speech
HE22 - LGBT+ confidence in higher education
HE23 - Sexual harassment
HE24 - Challenging workloads: a national health and safety issue
HE25 - Workload models
HE26 - Workloads
HE27 - Job losses
HE28 - Workload campaign: disabled workers and carers—step up the action
HE29 - Disproportionate representation in disciplinary and other actions
HE30 - Lecture capture (LC)
HE31 - Questionnaires to elicit student feedback on teaching
HE32 - Academic freedom to discuss sex and gender
HE33 - Mental health services
HE34 - Love Our ARPS Academic related, professional staff committee
HE35 - REF
HE36 - REF codes of practice
HE37 - No REF submissions for redundant staff
HE38 - REF2021 - and redundancy
HE39 - Composite: REF 2021 - codes of practice
HE40 - REF and performance management
HE41 - Empowering branches to pursue UK priorities through local collective agreements
HE42 - International branch campuses in the Middle East
HE43 - Augar review and the future of HE
HE44 - Halt the changes to DSA
HE45 - Improved governance at universities in England and Wales
HE46 - Governance crisis in HE
HE47 - Fight for the rights of international workers and staff
HE48 - Supporting international students threatened with deportation for fee shortfalls


HE pay and equality, paragraphs 2.1-2.4


HE1  HE pay - Higher education committee

HE sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the national negotiators contained in UCUBANHE/56.

LOST

HE2  Multi-year pay settlement - Lancaster University

Conference notes that

  1. the recent industrial action ballot on pay and equality did not reach the 50% required threshold
  2. the iniquitous trade union laws are stacked against industrial action
  3. the annual cycle of pay negotiations is ineffective, as annual bargaining and any arising dispute and ballot for industrial action are a drain on the union's resources
  4. even if we win a decent settlement one year, employers will try to claw this back in the following years.

Conference believes that members would be more engaged with industrial action if the negotiations were on a multi-year basis rather than the prospect of annual strikes.

Conference therefore calls upon HEC to seek to move to multi-year settlements with UCEA to address the problem, with a suggested timeframe of a 2-3 years negotiation cycle.

REMITTED

HE2A.1  University of Birmingham

Add new sentence at the end of paragraph beginning 'Conference believes that members...':

Branches would also benefit from disaggregated ballot result data pertaining to their institution. Therefore all ballot result data in the future should allow for local branches to examine the local turnout and outcome from any overall data.

CARRIED

HE3  Future pay claims - The University of Manchester

HESC notes:

  1. that fair and equitable pay levels are essential for the healthy future of higher education
  2. the difficulty in getting successful ballots in one-year pay claims under current anti-trade union legislation
  3. the difficulties in timing ballots and actions under the current New JNCHES bargaining arrangements
  4. that the most significant improvement in our pay in recent years came from a multi-year pay deal.

HESC therefore resolves that UCU should engage with its members in HE to consult over:

  1. fair and equitable pay structures and levels
  2. the details of a multi-year pay claim that would deliver this outcome
  3. include consideration of the bargaining arrangements in this consultation, and
  4. use the results of the consultation in formulating the next pay claim.

LOST

HE3A.1  University of Birmingham

To add after point d:

Furthermore, HESC resolves that UCU should:

  1. ensure that any such ballots on future pay settlements conducted in 2019/20 are conducted on a disaggregated basis
  2. ensure that any such ballots include specific national demands on pay-related issues of equality, casualisation, and workload
  3. give full guidance on how to bring a local claim within the context of a disaggregated ballot, including legal advice on including pay-related issues within the nationally agreed framework.

Taken in parts:
i: carried
ii: carried
iii: carried

HE3A.2  Higher education committee

'HESC notes', point 2, delete 'in one-year pay claims'. Point 3, delete all.

Add new point 2:

  1. the equality gains of the 2004 Pay Framework have been eroded by grade drift

Add new point 4

  1. the current risk to the sector from contraction and cuts

Add at end of point currently numbered 4, add, 'but the final uplift was accidental'.

Add new point 6:

  1. however, the failure to take industrial action in the years following 2008 wiped out these gains.'

'HESC therefore resolves...', start of point a, add 'regaining'.

Point b, delete 'the details of a multi-year pay'; replace with 'a'.

Point c, delete all.

Add new points c and d:

  1. 'the trade-off between aggregated and disaggregated ballots' and
  2. 'the type of strategy and action required to address falling salaries, and'.

End of existing point d, add 'strategy and' before 'claim'.

Renumber points as necessary.

Taken in parts:
First part of first line (delete in one year pay claims): carried
Point 3 'delete all': carried
Add at end of point currently numbered 4, add, 'but the final uplift was accidental': carried
Point b, delete 'the details of a multi-year pay'; replace with 'a': carried
Point c, delete all: carried

Remainder of amendment: carried

HE4  HE pay and equality campaign 2019-20 - University of Brighton, Grand Parade

Conference notes:

  1. the HE employers' 'final' pay offer for 2019-20 of 1.8% which does not meet current inflation let alone provide a catch-up element
  2. the employers' refusal to engage meaningfully to reduce the gender pay gap and levels of casualisation.

Conference believes that:

  1. this offer falls far short of the joint union claim and the UCU's goals
  2. that members have shown a strong willingness to fight over pay and equality even where ballots have failed to reach the 50% threshold
  3. that a persistent failure to defend levels of HE pay undermines the viability of the UCU.

Conference resolves to initiate a concerted campaign to win industrial action ballots for a fight over pay to commence in the autumn.

CARRIED


Pensions - USS (paragraphs 3.1 - 3.5)


HE5  USS - Higher education committee

HE sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the superannuation working group contained in UCUBANHE/57.

Recommendations of the SWG taken in parts:
3: lost
4. lost
5. lost
Substantive motion CARRIED

HE6  USS employee contributions - Higher education committee

Conference notes USS letters to members in March 2019 notifying them of increases in employee contributions up to 11.4%, with 8.8% from April 1 and a possible 10.4% from October 1.

Conference resolves to:

  1. call on UUK to pick up any additional employee contributions from 1 October 2019 and not pass them on
  2. enter into dispute and prepare for an industrial action ballot if the employers do not agree.

CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE6A.1  University College London

Point numbered 1, after 'additional employee contributions', add '(including contingent contributions)'

Point numbered 2, after 'prepare for an industrial action ballot', add 'in 2019'

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes USS letters to members in March 2019 notifying them of increases in employee contributions up to 11.4%, with 8.8% from April 1 and a possible 10.4% from October 1.

Conference resolves to:

  1. call on UUK to pick up any additional employee contributions (including contingent contributions) from 1 October 2019 and not pass them on
  2. enter into dispute and prepare for an industrial action ballot in 2019 if the employers do not agree.

HE7  Composite: USS pensions - Imperial College London, University College London

Conference notes:

  1. the transformative impact of the USS strike on UCU
  2. the failure of USS to implement the JEP's first report leading to proposals for increasing contributions and threats of worsening of benefit
  3. additional USS contributions are already leading to some researchers being offered shorter contracts.

Conference believes the refusal to adopt JEP recommendations is underpinned by a governance failure within USS trustee body.

Conference resolves:

  1. to reaffirm UCU's position calling for the resignation of Bill Galvin USS CEO
  2. to call for the transfer of powers to determine the valuation methodology to be moved to the JNC.

Taken in parts:
b: lost
Substantive motion as amended: CARRIED

HE7A.1  Compositing amendment - University College London

Conference resolves, end of point a, add 'and call for the resignation of all independent trustees'

After point b, add:

  1. to call a higher education sector conference on USS in the autumn term 2019 to review the position and consider all actions available to UCU to defend USS
  2. to call for a national Day of Action on USS.

Taken in parts:
c: carried
d:carried
Motion: CARRIED AS AMENDED

HE7A.2  University College London

'Conference notes', point 3: delete all after 'contributions'. Replace with "have already led to some research contracts being substantially reduced in length from the time period originally costed, offered, and accepted - from 5 years to 4 in one case - damaging research projects, and passing employer costs onto staff."'

Conference resolves', add new point c:

  1. to call on employers to protect research projects and staff by picking up additional pension costs.

CARRIED

Substantive motion

Conference notes:

  1. the transformative impact of the USS strike on UCU
  2. the failure of USS to implement the JEP's first report leading to proposals for increasing contributions and threats of worsening of benefit
  3. additional USS contributions have already led to some research contracts being substantially reduced in length from the time period originally costed, offered, and accepted - from 5 years to 4 in one case - damaging research projects, and passing employer costs onto staff.

Conference believes the refusal to adopt JEP recommendations is underpinned by a governance failure within USS trustee body.

Conference resolves:

  1. to reaffirm UCU's position calling for the resignation of Bill Galvin USS CEO and call for the resignation of all independent trustees
  2. to call a higher education sector conference on USS in the autumn term 2019 to review the position and consider all actions available to UCU to defend USS
  3. to call for a national Day of Action on USS
  4. to call on employers to protect research projects and staff by picking up additional pension costs.

HE8  Composite: USS dispute - University of Reading, University of Edinburgh, Lancaster University

HESC notes that:

  1. USS has calculated that full implementation of the JEP proposals to the 2018 valuation would lead to a £0.6 billion technical provisions surplus and require a contribution rate of only 25.5%. This vindicates the UCU position of 'no detriment'
  2. Nevertheless USS are continuing to insist that the JEP proposals be implemented only in part and that contributions be raised to a minimum of 29.7% for the coming valuation period
  3. The USS dispute has not been resolved.

HESC resolves:

  1. to call on USS to implement in full, in the 2018 valuation, the 6 JEP proposals for the 2017 valuation
  2. not to accept any increase in member contributions, including 'trigger contributions', for this valuation and that any threat of these should be countered with a ballot for industrial action in line with existing policy
  3. to call on all employers to publish their response to the USS technical provisions document.

    CARRIED

HE9  UCU must remain open to a legal challenge against USS - University of Sheffield

The handling by USS of their recent actuarial valuations has been subject to intense scrutiny. Concerns over USS's decision-making, governance and associated processes have been raised by many members and branches, and also by UCU's actuarial advisers and the Joint Expert Panel.

The Academics for Pensions Justice group, set up in the wake of the USS dispute, crowd-funded over £50,000 from nearly 2,000 individual donations to obtain specialist legal advice about potential mismanagement by the board of trustees of USS.

Conference believes that UCU must remain open to supporting a legal challenge over the actions of USS, and instructs those with relevant decision-making powers (including but not limited to the superannuation working group, national dispute committee, higher education committee, national executive committee and the general secretary) to give serious consideration to taking further legal steps in defence of members' pensions.

    CARRIED AS AMENDED

    HE9A.1  University of Leeds

    Add at end: Conference agrees:

    1. UCU must do work with aligned groups in pursuit of defending our pensions wherever possible
    2. to draw up a full report on legal options open to UCU, via meaningful consultation with Academics for Pension Justice (and associated legal advisors), NDC and SWG
    3. this report will make recommendations which will inform HEC's consideration regarding next steps in pursuit of any possible legal challenges over the actions of USS.

      CARRIED

    Substantive motion

    The handling by USS of their recent actuarial valuations has been subject to intense scrutiny. Concerns over USS's decision-making, governance and associated processes have been raised by many members and branches, and also by UCU's actuarial advisers and the Joint Expert Panel.

    The Academics for Pensions Justice group, set up in the wake of the USS dispute, crowd-funded over £50,000 from nearly 2,000 individual donations to obtain specialist legal advice about potential mismanagement by the board of trustees of USS.

    Conference believes that UCU must remain open to supporting a legal challenge over the actions of USS, and instructs those with relevant decision-making powers (including but not limited to the superannuation working group, national dispute committee, higher education committee, national executive committee and the general secretary) to give serious consideration to taking further legal steps in defence of members' pensions.

    Conference agrees:

    1. UCU must do work with aligned groups in pursuit of defending our pensions wherever possible
    2. to draw up a full report on legal options open to UCU, via meaningful consultation with Academics for Pension Justice (and associated legal advisors), NDC and SWG
    3. this report will make recommendations which will inform HEC's consideration regarding next steps in pursuit of any possible legal challenges over the actions of USS.

    L5  No confidence in the USS board of trustees - University of Exeter, Newcastle University

    Conference notes that on 7th May 2019 the USS board of trustees definitively and unilaterally rejected the report of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP), by offering three contributions options none of which accepted the full set of JEP recommendations.

    Conference resolves that it has no confidence in the corporate trustee of USS and its board.

    Conference instructs the general secretary to withdraw the UCU nominated trustees.

    Conference invites UUK to also withdraw their nominated trustees.

    Taken in parts:
    para 3 beginning 'conference instructs...': lost
    Substantive motion: CARRIED AS AMENDED

    L5A.1  Compositing amendment  Newcastle University

    Add new paragraph at end:

    If UUK refuse to confirm by 1st June 2019 that they will not impose any contribution increases in October 2019, HESC instructs the Higher Education Committee to initiate an immediate campaign for industrial action, highlighting USS's destructive role, with a ballot commencing 1st September 2019 which will give UCU negotiators the necessary leverage to save the USS defined benefit pension with no detriment to members.

    CARRIED

    Sustantive motion

    Conference notes that on 7th May 2019 the USS board of trustees definitively and unilaterally rejected the report of the Joint Expert Panel (JEP), by offering three contributions options none of which accepted the full set of JEP recommendations.

    Conference resolves that it has no confidence in the corporate trustee of USS and its board.

    Conference invites UUK to also withdraw their nominated trustees.

    If UUK refuse to confirm by 1st June 2019 that they will not impose any contribution increases in October 2019, HESC instructs the Higher Education Committee to initiate an immediate campaign for industrial action, highlighting USS's destructive role, with a ballot commencing 1st September 2019 which will give UCU negotiators the necessary leverage to save the USS defined benefit pension with no detriment to members.

      HE10  Defending the 'no detriment' position in our USS dispute - University of Liverpool

      HESC notes:

      1. The multiple failings of the USS 2017 and 2018 valuation documents
      2. USS has calculated the full implementation of the JEP proposals in the 2018 valuation leads to a £0.6 billion technical provisions surplus, requiring a contribution rate of 25.5% which vindicates 'no detriment'
      3. USS is imposing large 'cost sharing' increases in contributions, to 8.8% in April 2019, 10.4% in October 2019 and 11.4% in April 2020, whose rationale has been extensively debunked

      HESC believes these increases are unnecessary and violate UCU's position of 'No Detriment'.

      HESC calls on UUK to join UCU in resisting any contributions increases and to refuse to implement the October 2019 and April 2020 increases.

      HESC resolves to immediately begin campaigning for an industrial action ballot commencing October 2019, should UUK refuse to confirm by 1 July 2019 that they will not impose contribution increases on members from October.

      Last paragraph: withdrawn
      Motion: CARRIED

      Substantive motion

      HESC notes:

      1. The multiple failings of the USS 2017 and 2018 valuation documents
      2. USS has calculated the full implementation of the JEP proposals in the 2018 valuation leads to a £0.6 billion technical provisions surplus, requiring a contribution rate of 25.5% which vindicates 'no detriment'
      3. USS is imposing large 'cost sharing' increases in contributions, to 8.8% in April 2019, 10.4% in October 2019 and 11.4% in April 2020, whose rationale has been extensively debunked

      HESC believes these increases are unnecessary and violate UCU's position of 'No Detriment'.

      HESC calls on UUK to join UCU in resisting any contributions increases and to refuse to implement the October 2019 and April 2020 increases.

      L6  UCU directors of USS - Higher education committee

      Conference notes:

      1. that UCU-appointed director Prof. Jane Hutton has recused herself from the Trustee Board after pressure following her whistleblowing with regard to the 2017 valuation
      2. Prof. Hutton has been a consistent critic of the valuation methodology and forced USS to adjust their mortality assumptions.

      Conference believes:

      1. UCU Directors should be free to represent members' interests without interference by the USS executive and offers Prof. Hutton our strong support
      2. UCU has no confidence in the valuation methodology or the USS executive.

      Conference resolves:

      1. to seek legal advice on behalf of its three USS directors regarding the implications of their removing themselves from the Trustee Board until Prof. Hutton's concerns are satisfactorily addressed
      2. to re-state our call for the resignation of Bill Galvin CEO of USS and issue a press release stating this
      3. to demand a public enquiry into the undermining of USS DB scheme.

      CARRIED

      L8 Emergency motion: Trinity College exit from USS

      HESC condemns:

      the irresponsible decision by the Council of Trinity College Cambridge on 24 May to initiate withdrawal from USS and instead establish a new section in a private Trinity College Scheme.

      HESC believes:

      this puts Trinity's narrow interest in protecting its own assets ahead of the principle of mutuality in USS and the interests of higher education in the UK

      HESC resolves:

      1. to publicise Cambridge UCU's call to not undertake further discretionary work for Trinity such as student supervisions if Trinity leaves USS
      2. to encourage all UCU members to refuse to accept speaking engagements and other voluntary roles at or with Trinity College
      3. to call on UCU to invoke the national censure and academic boycott procedure unless and until Trinity reverses its decision to leave USS.

      CARRIED


      Pensions - Teachers' Pension Scheme (paragraphs 3.6-3.8)


      HE11  Teachers Pension Scheme (TPS) - University of Westminster (Regent)

      Conference notes that:

      1. under Treasury proposals, employer contributions to public sector pension schemes, including the TPS, are planned to rise substantially in 2019
      2. post-92 universities will receive no additional funding from the UK government to cover the increase in staff costs due to this increase.

      Conference believes that any increase in employer pension contributions must not come at the expense of staff jobs, pay awards or benefits. In addition to the effect on staff, such reductions in costs damage the student experience.

      Conference resolves:

      1. to work with other trades unions to campaign for a re-evaluation of the increase in public sector employer pension contributions
      2. to campaign for a phased introduction of increased employer contributions to ease the pressure on finances of public sector organizations, such as universities
      3. to work with universities to explore ways in which any such increase in costs can be mitigated without cutting courses, jobs or benefits.

      Taken in parts:
      bullet b: removed
      Substantive motion: CARRIED

      HE12  TPS - employer increased contribution payments - consequential problems - West Midlands regional HE committee

      HE sector conference notes that employer contributions to the TPS are to increase by 5-7% from September with no transitional relief, requiring universities to pay enormous additional amounts of money into the TPS.

      HE sector conference is deeply concerned that, in response, universities may create Ltd internal companies to TUPE academic staff into, therefore removing the need to pay TPS contributions and forcing members onto new contracts and into inferior defined-contribution schemes.

      HE sector conference therefore resolves to instruct the HEC to:

      1. analyse the data obtained on the intentions of university managements and ascertain if employers are planning to force academic staff onto new contracts of employment and into inferior pension schemes
      2. support such branches with strike action
      3. develop a high-profile national campaign against the increased TPS charges and the lack of transitional relief for universities.

      CARRIED


      Precarious contracts - Stamp Out Casual Contracts (paragraphs 4.1 - 4.4)


      HE13  Discussion on developing negotiations to increase job security - Anti-casualisation committee

      Conference applauds:

      1. work of UCU activists who have campaigned over the years to make anti-casualisation a central aspect of UCU's work and recognise the progress achieved in our understanding of this issue, as a concern for all members
      2. casualised members who supported the USS strike
      3. negotiating gains, which have transferred casualised staff to more secure contracts.

      Such agreements can be used to establish the norm for employment as full-time or fractional permanent contracts and restrict the creation of casualised employment.

      Employers may, despite anti-casualisation agreements, seek to create new forms of precarious work or new layers of casualised staff.

      Conference asks:

      1. HEC to discuss and explore the feasibility and usefulness of collective agreements which determine the staffing structure of universities and exacerbate workload pressures arising from under-staffing
      2. hold a special HEC meeting and a national meeting for reps on all contract types, to promote action on this issue.

      CARRIED

      HE14  Actions against short contracts - Anti-casualisation committee

      Conference notes:

      1. short contracts spread casualisation, undermine the union, and increase precarity in longer-term contracts
      2. pension implications of short-term contracts are under-recognised, leading to significant financial loss by casualised workers
      3. if employment, otherwise qualifying for a Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) or Teacher's Pension Scheme (TPS) pension, lasts for less than two years of unbroken work, the employee must leave the scheme and the scheme retains the employer's contribution
      4. senior staff have a duty of care and solidarity to inform casualised staff and to resist creating casualised contracts.

      Conference demands:

      1. UCU produce campaigning materials for branches, UCU-delivered training and digital communications
      2. these materials state practical actions that senior staff can take to resist creating short contracts
      3. use national bargaining machinery to demand a minimum contract length of 24 months for all staff
      4. UCU progress talks with funders to support a 24-month minimum contract.

      Taken in parts:
      Point d: carried
      CARRIED AS AMENDED

      HE14A.1  (EP) Academic related, professional staff committee

      Add new point 5 in 'Conference notes' - '5. the benefits to the employer of retaining institutional knowledge and skills, and to the individual of providing career development opportunities, through continuity of employment.'

      Add at the end of 'Conference demands' point b - 'and provide career progression opportunities to academic related professional staff.'

      CARRIED

      Substantive motion

      Conference notes:

      1. short contracts spread casualisation, undermine the union, and increase precarity in longer-term contracts
      2. pension implications of short-term contracts are under-recognised, leading to significant financial loss by casualised workers
      3. if employment, otherwise qualifying for a Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) or Teacher's Pension Scheme (TPS) pension, lasts for less than two years of unbroken work, the employee must leave the scheme and the scheme retains the employer's contribution
      4. senior staff have a duty of care and solidarity to inform casualised staff and to resist creating casualised contracts
      5. the benefits to the employer of retaining institutional knowledge and skills, and to the individual of providing career development opportunities, through continuity of employment.

      Conference demands:

      1. UCU produce campaigning materials for branches, UCU-delivered training and digital communications
      2. these materials state practical actions that senior staff can take to resist creating short contracts and provide career progression opportunities to academic related professional staff
      3. use national bargaining machinery to demand a minimum contract length of 24 months for all staff
      4. UCU progress talks with funders to support a 24-month minimum contract.

      HE15  Minimum contract lengths for teaching and research - University of Birmingham

      HESC notes:

      1. contracts of less than 12 months for both teaching and research staff are routinely used by HE employers, with mixed success combating this locally
      2. such contracts aid the spread of precarity across the HE sector, undermining union organising
      3. contracts of this type are normalised across the HE sector to an extent that demands a national response.

      HESC resolves:

      1. that the union demand an end to contracts of less than 12 months for all teaching and research staff, to be replaced by a basic minimum contract length of 12 months, with this outcome pursued via national bargaining machinery
      2. that the union concurrently enter in talks with UKRI/other research funders (e.g. Leverhulme Trust and Wellcome Trust), to compel those bodies to support 12 month minimum contracts for research staff.

      CARRIED

      HE16  Post-contract support for academics on precarious contracts - Senate House University of London

      Congress notes:

      1. UCU reported that 54% of UK academic staff are on insecure contracts, which is 'the early careers norm'. A structural issue in HE is affecting the lives and careers of thousands of researchers and academics.
      2. research shows that precarity damages careers and mental health. Periods without employment, an institutional affiliation or a research home can lead to academics being 'pushed out of, or deterred from, an academic career'.
      3. academics in precarity need immediate support.

      Congress resolves to negotiate with universities to provide a standardised, low-resource, mutually-beneficial, post-contract support package for academics on precarious contracts and graduating PhD students, including a minimum of one year of:

      1. a non-stipendiary research affiliation
      2. an institutional email address
      3. permission to deposit outputs in the institutional repository
      4. access to online resources, CPD opportunities, shared workspaces, and support for developing funding bids on the same terms as currently employed academics.

      CARRIED AS AMENDED

      HE16A.1  Anti-casualisation committee

      In 'Congress notes', insert a new number 3 and renumber accordingly:

      1. the predominantly BAME and female precarious outsourced, non-academic workers' call for a boycott of the University of London, to pressure it to end its discriminatory practice of outsourcing

      Insert a new paragraph before 'Congress resolves':

      Congress believes the fight for casualised staff in HE is directly connected to - and empowered by - the struggle of female outsourced workers for equality and justice at our universities.

      Add an extra point (e) at the very end:

      1. to call a boycott of events at the University of London's central administration until workers are brought in-house.

      CARRIED

      Substantive motion

      Congress notes:

      1. UCU reported that 54% of UK academic staff are on insecure contracts, which is 'the early careers norm'. A structural issue in HE is affecting the lives and careers of thousands of researchers and academics
      2. research shows that precarity damages careers and mental health. Periods without employment, an institutional affiliation or a research home can lead to academics being 'pushed out of, or deterred from, an academic career'
      3. the predominantly BAME and female precarious outsourced, non-academic workers' call for a boycott of the University of London, to pressure it to end its discriminatory practice of outsourcing
      4. academics in precarity need immediate support.

      Congress believes the fight for casualised staff in HE is directly connected to - and empowered by - the struggle of female outsourced workers for equality and justice at our universities.

      Congress resolves to negotiate with universities to provide a standardised, low-resource, mutually-beneficial, post-contract support package for academics on precarious contracts and graduating PhD students, including a minimum of one year of:

      1. a non-stipendiary research affiliation
      2. an institutional email address
      3. permission to deposit outputs in the institutional repository
      4. access to online resources, CPD opportunities, shared workspaces, and support for developing funding bids on the same terms as currently employed academics
      5. to call a boycott of events at the University of London's central administration until workers are brought in-house.

      Gender pay and other equality issues (paragraphs 5.1-5.3, re-titled)


      HE17  Addressing the gender pay gap - Women members standing committee

      HE conference notes that equal pay and closing the gender pay gap remain outstanding matters for our members. Conference also has concerns about the race pay gap and disability pay gap.

      Expediency is needed to urgently address this matter and in furtherance of this fundamental aim we agree that:

      1. regional officers provide support to branches and negotiate and agree facility time for national and branch activists to allow this to be taken forward nationally and locally
      2. International women's day in universities from 2020 be designated #GenderPayEqualityNowDay.

      CARRIED

      HE18  Action on the race pay gap in universities - West Midlands regional HE committee

      HE sector conference notes:

      1. figures from the BBC showing a 26% race pay gap at Russell group institutions
      2. UCU research showing that 90% of Black staff in colleges and universities face barriers to promotion; 72% experience bullying and harassment, and 78% feel excluded from decision-making
      3. the under-representation of Black staff within the professoriate and other senior roles, which is even worse for Black women
      4. the success of UCU campaigns on the gender pay gap.

      HE sector conference believes the race pay gap in universities is completely unacceptable and must be tackled with the same commitment and resources as the gender pay gap.

      HE sector conference resolves:

      1. to incorporate action on the race pay gap into future national HE pay claims
      2. to demand employers immediately publish data on their race pay gaps
      3. to develop campaign resources to support local collective bargaining by branches to tackle the race pay gap.

      CARRIED

      HE19  Eradicating workplace racism - Black members standing committee

      A recent Centre for Social Investigation report suggests that racial discrimination in the labour market remains at levels similar to the 1960s.

      The scandal of racism in universities has returned to public attention, with increasing public awareness of ethnic attainment gaps for students, under-representation of black staff, ethnic pay gaps and harassment on campuses.

      Universities must serve the community to institute transparency and fairness in institutional practices.

      Conference reiterates the urgent need to:

      1. work with NUS to address the attainment gap for minority ethnic students
      2. achieve equal pay for all, including eradicating the ethnic pay gap
      3. removing barriers to training, progression and promotion for black staff
      4. challenge the disproportionate use of precarious contracts when employing black staff.

      Conference agrees to:

      1. publish a report highlighting the attainment gap, pay disparities, barriers to training and progression, discrimination through precarity and harassment
      2. campaign against the ethnic pay gap, including through national pay campaigns.

      CARRIED

      HE20  Not disposable: Standing up for LGBT+ staff and studies - LGBT+ members standing committee

      In a neo-liberal marketplace bolstered by a doctrine of austerity, there is a risk that the interests of marginal LGBT+ communities can be regarded as expendable. Doctrines of prioritisation threaten already marginalised research and teachers, and have implications for LGBT+ HE workers and for LGBT+ studies.

      The TUC found in 2017 that 39 per cent of LGBT+ workers have been harassed or discriminated against by a colleague. Restructuring often has a negative impact on the well-being of employees. In the workplace, bullying often increases in the face of reorganisation and redundancies, disproportionately affecting LGBT+ people.

      Conference calls on UCU and branches to:

      1. closely monitor the effects of HE restructuring on LGBT+ workers and on LGBT+ studies
      2. insist on management producing meaningful evidence about the equality impact of restructures, including on LGBT+ people, in all restructures.

      CARRIED

      HE21  Racist activity on campus and free speech - Black members standing committee

      Conference has observed the alarming increase of far-right, racist activity on campus including incidents at Exeter, Nottingham and Lancaster. It is also noteworthy that university management has been slow to act in challenging such behaviours. This equivocation normalises the paradigmatic shift being pursued by the Alt-Right characterised by anti-migrant sentiment and pro-free-market ideals.

      Conference notes the deliberate conflation of hate-speech and free-speech which has serious implications for the wellbeing of black students and staff who feel trapped by the rhetoric surrounding the 'hostile environment' policy and the 'prevent' initiative leaving many workers fearful of speaking out.

      Conference resolves to:

      1. work with local activists to challenge the growth of far-right activity on campus
      2. establish clear guidelines for members on free speech on campus
      3. compile a list of far-right groups and activities to arm members/branches in their campaigning work.

      CARRIED

      HE22  LGBT+ confidence in higher education - LGBT+ members standing committee

      Conference notes reports that LGBT+ people often fail to report hate crimes. LGBT Youth Scotland (2017) found that reporting from LGB and Trans students in HE decreased from about 70% in 2012 to about 40%. Across the UK approximately 80% of LGBT+ people who experienced hate crime left it unreported (YouGov 2017).

      Conference recognises that discrimination often leads LGBT+ people to suffer in silence. Conference believes this is unacceptable.

      HEIs should enable LGBT+ voices to be heard rather than tolerate silence. Conference believes that for sexual orientation and gender identity policies to be effective there must be commitment to implementation.

      Conference disputes equality index ranking as reliable indication of real action. Conference calls on UCU to work with branch officers to effectively challenge management around LGBT+ equality by:

      1. undertaking a survey of LGBT+ members including questions measuring confidence
      2. organising and facilitating LGBT+ awareness raising actions within HE institutions.

      CARRIED

      HE23  Sexual harassment - University of Brighton Falmer

      Conference notes that

      1. the Equality Act 2010 defines sexual harassment as 'unwanted conduct of a sexual nature which has the purpose or effect of violating someone's dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them'
      2. the 2017 NEC commitment to prioritize branch implementation of UCU's sexual harassment model policy; encourage reps to attend sexual harassment training; work with NUS, 1752 and UUK to agree procedures for students and staff involved in sexual harassment cases
      3. the lack of publicity given to UCU's work on sexual harassment

      Conference requests that

      1. Congress mandate the NEC to audit progress on their 2017 statement
      2. circulate a detailed report on that progress to all branches
      3. consult on a strategic plan to involve every HEI in England and the devolved regions in the creation of a support system for staff and students involved in cases of sexual harassment.

      CARRIED


      Workload, Academic freedom, and safe sustainable workplaces for UCU members (paragraphs 6.1-6.3, re-titled)


      HE24  (EP) Challenging workloads: a national health and safety issue - Bournemouth University

      Conference notes ever increasing, unmanageable workloads impacting on members' health and safety. It calls on the HEC to evaluate the UCU health and safety workload campaign and update members on the progress of that campaign.

      Conference notes that the deaths of Dr Malcolm Anderson (Cardiff University) and Professor Stefan Grimm (Imperial College) have been disregarded in the context of increasing workloads caused by redundancies, financial mismanagement and governance irregularities.

      Conference resolves that UCU:

      1. identify the most egregious and exploitative employers
      2. seek legal opinion on the risk to university staff health, safety, and lifework balance with a view to taking collective action against particularly egregious employers
      3. continues to work to ensure balanced workloads.

      CARRIED

      HE25  Workload models - London Metropolitan University

      Conference notes the post-92 sector of higher education needs transparent, consistent and equitable academic workload models taking proper account of administrative, research and other non FST duties. Examples of best and worst practice vary widely between institutions, with some (such as London Metropolitan) using only non-consultative teaching minimums as a model without carrying out due diligence in ensuring balanced workloads that goes against staff contracts. Without knowledge of a recognised agreed workload conversation across the sector individual disputes on workload will lack due process, and union negotiations.

      Conference resolves to:

      1. conduct a sector-wide survey of workload models, identifying which institutions use them and which do not, identifying examples of best practice for purposes of comparison, and in order to exert pressure on management to follow best practice.
      2. provide guidance to branches on how to pressure the employer to adopt a reasonable workload allocation model.

      Taken in parts:
      Bullet 2: carried
      CARRIED

      HE26  Workloads - East Midlands regional HE committee

      HE sector conference calls upon the HEC to conduct research into, and prepare a report on, workload planning and its operation/implementation in the HE sector.

      CARRIED AS AMENDED

      HE26A.1  Academic related, professional staff committee

      Add to the end of the motion - 'covering both academic and academic related professional staff.'

      CARRIED

      Substantive motion

      HE sector conference calls upon the HEC to conduct research into, and prepare a report on, workload planning and its operation/implementation in the HE sector covering both academic and academic related professional staff.

      HE27  (EP) Job losses/workload/work-related stress - UCU Scotland

      Conference notes the cuts in higher education institutions. As well as supporting branches opposing job losses, conference recognises that when employers announce cuts and jobs are lost the workload does not diminish for the remaining staff who are simply required to do more. Increasing workload from job losses, combined with rising student expectation driven by the commodification of HE, and a 24-hour work culture driven by technology, mean that incidences of work-related stress and an accompanying impact on mental health are all too common for university staff.

      Conference notes the findings of UCU's most recent survey of members showing that that members work the equivalent of two days for free each week. Conference recognises the unacceptability of this situation and calls on UCU to lobby for government action to direct higher education institutions to address the issue of workload and work related stress.

      CARRIED AS AMENDED

      HE27A.1  Anti-casualisation committee

      Insert after second sentence, before 'Increasing workload':

      Conference also recognises that as a result of cuts and redundancy programmes in HE, work that is left behind often strategically becomes more casualised. This is detrimental to the sector. Both the casualised and the permanent staff work significant unpaid hours resulting in damage to health. The campaign recognises that both staff groups are put at risk and seeks to campaign for secure jobs and a fair allocation of work for everyone.

      CARRIED

      Substantive motion

      Conference notes the cuts in higher education institutions. As well as supporting branches opposing job losses, conference recognises that when employers announce cuts and jobs are lost the workload does not diminish for the remaining staff who are simply required to do more. 

      Conference also recognises that as a result of cuts and redundancy programmes in HE, work that is left behind often strategically becomes more casualised. This is detrimental to the sector. Both the casualised and the permanent staff work significant unpaid hours resulting in damage to health. The campaign recognises that both staff groups are put at risk and seeks to campaign for secure jobs and a fair allocation of work for everyone.

      Increasing workload from job losses, combined with rising student expectation driven by the commodification of HE, and a 24-hour work culture driven by technology, mean that incidences of work-related stress and an accompanying impact on mental health are all too common for university staff.

      Conference notes the findings of UCU's most recent survey of members showing that that members work the equivalent of two days for free each week. Conference recognises the unacceptability of this situation and calls on UCU to lobby for government action to direct higher education institutions to address the issue of workload and work related stress.

      HE28  Workload campaign: disabled workers and carers—step up the action - Disabled members standing committee

      Conference notes:

      1. excessive workload of an additional two days a week
      2. the refusal or long delays in implementing, reasonable adjustments including timetabling issues for disabled workers
      3. carers in higher education cut hours or leave their job due to the stress of juggling work and care commitments
      4. the success of the first day of action on disabled members in higher education.

      Conference believes the workload campaign must recognise these extra pressures and develop suitable actions and resources to support disabled workers. This is not only a matter of the stress and pressure of extra work, but also of remaining in work and preventing poverty.

      Conference resolves to:

      1. develop resources and activities of the workload campaign to address the specific needs of disabled workers/carers
      2. support the DMSC to organise an annual day of action in higher education
      3. continue the reasonable adjustments campaign.

      CARRIED

      HE29  Disproportionate representation in disciplinary and other actions - University of Northampton

      HESC notes that:

      1. some HEIs use disciplinary action and extensions or failure of probation where the alleged poor performance is about tone, attitude or approach rather than misconduct
      2. there is often a disproportionate over-representation in the same where the respondent has a protected characteristic
      3. the use of discretion and the drawing of inferences can lead to discrimination.

      HESC believes that:

      1. the use of disciplinary and similar procedures to manage performance where misconduct is not an issue is inappropriate
      2. the inappropriate use of disciplinary and similar procedures has the effect that employees with protected characteristics may be discriminated against.

      HESC resolves:

      1. to challenge HEIs where there are patterns in the data that demonstrate inequalities of outcome
      2. to challenge the use of performance management where the outcome is discriminatory
      3. to actively support branches, including through funding legal action, where there is evidence of inequality of outcomes as against the protected characteristics.

      CARRIED

      HE30  Lecture capture (LC) - University of Liverpool

      Conference notes:

      1. UCU's position that the recording of lectures should be covered by a negotiated agreement between UCU and the employer and that participation in filmed or recorded lectures/teaching should always be voluntary
      2. LC impacts on academic staff members' personal privacy, academic freedom, performance rights and health and differentially impacts protected categories.

      There is evidence that universities:

      1. insist on LC as mandatory
      2. used LC material in disciplinary and performance review meetings.

      Conference demands that:

      1. staff choosing not to use LC should not be required to engage in a formal opt out process
      2. LC never be used in performance management, disciplinary action or to replace teaching during industrial action
      3. LC not be used where teaching takes place in countries where freedom of speech is not guaranteed
      4. UCU immediately seeks legal advice on the points in this motion.

      CARRIED

      HE31  Questionnaires to elicit student feedback on teaching - University of Lincoln

      HE sector conference notes that universities elicit student feedback on teaching through questionnaires. This is in spite of clear evidence that this feedback is unrelated to teaching quality and that the feedback discriminates against women and minorities. What is worse is that at some institutions the results of these questionnaires are also used by management in decisions affecting staffing and promotions.

      Branches and associations are trying to address these issues locally but it might be useful to bring these struggles together in a national campaign.

      HE sector conference therefore calls on the HEC

      1. to collate information at a national level about the use of module evaluations, and
      2. to explore how such a campaign might best be constructed based on this evidence, and
      3. to bring proposals for such a campaign to the next meeting of HE sector conference.

      HE32  (EP) Academic freedom to discuss sex and gender - University College London

      HESC notes:

      1. UCU's commitment to equality and academic freedom
      2. that UCU members have much to contribute to public debate over definitions of 'sex', 'gender' and 'gender identity'
      3. harassment has been directed at academics and activists.

      HESC believes:

      1. that UCU members hold diverse views
      2. members need not agree with the views of any academic to support their right to express them within the law (note 2)
      3. civil engagement with reasoned argument and empirical evidence is a foundational value of HE, and essential for democracy.

      HESC resolves to:

      1. re-affirm our commitment to academic freedom in research and teaching, and to the right of academics to participate in political debates
      2. condemn the blacklisting and abuse of academics for exercising their academic freedom and lawful rights.

      LOST

      HE32A.1  Higher education committee

      Add at end:

      1. reaffirm that the rights of trans people and women are complementary
      2. reaffirm the right of minority groups to self-identify
      3. recognise the importance of the central involvement of trans, non-binary people and women in sex/gender studies/debates and campaign for the resources for this
      4. calls for joint Women's/LGBT+Standing-Committee session at Cradle to Grave conference and guidelines with Women's/LGBT+ standing committee input on gender self-identification and cis women's and trans rights enhancing each other.

      CARRIED

      HE32A.2  LGBT+ members standing committee

      Add to resolves to iii and iv:

      1. condemn any harassment of feminists and/or trans people for expressing views on sex, gender and gender identity;
      2. construct spaces in which gender diversity can be explored through respectful dialogue underpinned by solidarity with all oppressed groups and the promotion of unity in action by women and trans people in the face of attacks on either group.

      CARRIED

      HE33  Mental health services - Academic related, professional staff committee

      Conference notes:

      1. increasing awareness of student and staff mental health needs
      2. counselling services are vital to support staff and students
      3. some universities are downgrading counsellors while adding workload to their roles
      4. counselling staff are overloaded, demoralised and stressed.

      Conference believes:

      1. student and staff mental health needs are best met by professional in-house counsellors rather than online provision
      2. more counsellors are needed to handle increasing demand
      3. counselling is a difficult job which management should respected
      4. counselling staff should not be casualised, downgraded, or have their hours reduced.

      Conference instructs HEC to:

      1. publicise the important and effective work done by student counsellors
      2. campaign for better resourced counselling services, with better pay and conditions.

      CARRIED


      Academic related, professional staff (ARPS) (paragraphs 7.1-7.3)


      HE34  Love Our ARPS - Academic related, professional staff committee

      Conference notes:

      1. the many and varied roles of academic related and professional staff, recognising the vital role ARPS play in our institutions and our union
      2. a significant percentage of the HE workforce occupy ARPS roles but this is not reflected in our membership figures.

      Conference instructs HEC to launch a #LoveOurARPS campaign which:

      1. refreshes the ARPS manifesto for relaunch
      2. produces recruitment and campaign materials which reflect the diversity of ARPS roles and emphasise ARPS are an integral part of the academic team
      3. investigates institutional spending on ARPS CPD and establishes a model claim
      4. develops and deploys a regular survey expanding our understanding of ARPS issues
      5. facilitates greater inter-branch communication
      6. investigates ARPS casualisation through FOI and other means
      7. tables the ARPS role profiles as part of the UK HE claim and encourages branches to submit claims pursuing these
      8. links to the workload campaign.

      CARRIED


      After paragraph 8.3, insert new heading: Research Excellence Framework (REF)


      HE35  REF - Higher education committee, University of Liverpool

      HESC notes

      1. the publication of the REF guidance, in particular the eligibility of outputs from previously employed staff
      2. the requirement to include all category A staff, once they have one eligible output
      3. previously REF portability encouraged a transfer league of staff which exacerbated pay inequalities.

      HESC believes

      1. the new guidance on portability puts staff at risk of redundancy once outputs are published
      2. the lower threshold for inclusion increases the risk of
      • REF criteria being used for performance management purposes; and
      • the movement of staff from T&R to T&S contracts, undermining scholarship in universities.

      HESC resolves

      1. to demand that the outputs from staff made redundant by an institution are made ineligible
      2. to campaign against the use of REF criteria for performance management
      3. to campaign for T&S to have equal status with T&R
      4. to campaign for the abolition of REF.

      CARRIED

      HE36  REF codes of practice - Yorkshire and Humberside regional HE committee

      Conference notes that REF2021 is having a major impact on university staff and that universities are consulting staff on codes of practice for research assessment. Staff need to question the selection process, equality impacts and real time allocated for research and scholarly activities.

      Conference resolves that HEC will consult with members to produce minimum requirements and standards for local UCU branches to use in negotiating codes of practice and other REF issues with their management. These should address:

      1. no detriment to the employment status and terms and conditions of staff not returned in the REF
      2. equality impact assessment on how members in the various equality strands will be affected by institutional plans
      3. stress risk assessment, with particular reference to workload intensity, due to the pressures of the REF
      4. the removal of publications from REF submissions for staff who have been made redundant by their university.

      CARRIED AS AMENDED

      HE36A.1  Higher education committee

      Second paragraph, first sentence, after 'consult with members to produce', delete 'minimum standards'; replace with 'essential and desirable standards'.

      End of point numbered 1, add 'and the negative impacts on individuals, departments and research'.

      Add at end:

      1. appropriate measures for including staff carrying out interdisciplinary research and creating an environment conducive to interdisciplinary research.

      CARRIED

      Substantive motion

      Conference notes that REF2021 is having a major impact on university staff and that universities are consulting staff on codes of practice for research assessment. Staff need to question the selection process, equality impacts and real time allocated for research and scholarly activities.

      Conference resolves that HEC will consult with members to produce essential and desirable standards for local UCU branches to use in negotiating codes of practice and other REF issues with their management. These should address:

      1. no detriment to the employment status and terms and conditions of staff not returned in the REF and the negative impacts on individuals, departments and research
      2. equality impact assessment on how members in the various equality strands will be affected by institutional plans
      3. stress risk assessment, with particular reference to workload intensity, due to the pressures of the REF
      4. the removal of publications from REF submissions for staff who have been made redundant by their university
      5. appropriate measures for including staff carrying out interdisciplinary research and creating an environment conducive to interdisciplinary research

      HE37  No REF submissions for redundant staff - University of Glasgow

      Conference is concerned that the ability to include staff who have been made redundant in submissions to the REF increases vulnerability of staff and the risk of casualisation. Some universities have agreed polices to protect staff.

      Conference instructs HEC to campaign for

      1. employing institutions, possibly through UCEA, to agree not to return submissions of compulsorily redundant staff.
      2. call on UCU to name and shame institutions abusing the REF process and to highlight good practice.

      CARRIED

      HE38  REF2021 and redundancy - Open University

      Conference notes that the UK HE funding bodies have bowed to pressure to allow universities to submit the work of former staff who have been made redundant in the REF2021.

      If this decision is not reversed conference asks the HEC to use Freedom of Information requests or other suitable means to find out which institutions do so, and to name and shame offending institutions.

      CARRIED

      HE39  Composite: REF 2021 codes of practice - Women members standing committee, University of Westminster (Regent)

      Notwithstanding UCU policy opposing REF and the fact that REF is unfit for purpose, conference notes that REF2021 submissions and codes of practice must ensure specific considerations relating to equality and diversity. Institutions are required to demonstrate their selection processes are compatible with equality legislation and have been subject to an Equality Impact Assessment (EIA). Codes of practice must also include a statement on how the institution supports its fixed-term and part-time staff in relation to equality and diversity.

      This conference resolves to ensure that institutional REF2021 equality statements are not mere lip-service to the REF2021 guidance but are clearly demonstrated in the selection processes and support provided to women employed with the sector.

      HEC will:

      1. collect data on imminent REF2021 codes of practice and equality statements
      2. provide policy and guidance to branches for monitoring REF codes of practice and required EIA in their organisations.

      REMITTED

      HE40  REF and performance management - The University of Manchester

      Conference notes:

      1. universities' internal REF planning aims to prepare for REF 2021, a goal which is distinct from fostering high-quality research
      2. as part of this planning, universities are unilaterally introducing new measures of performance management and contract changes, which are not agreed processes
      3. relevant issues were the subject of a conference on 7/12/2018.

      Conference believes such practices violate existing agreements and, when this results in reduction or removal of research roles, constitute a threat to the UK's research capacity and weakens research-led teaching.

      Conference resolves to:

      1. circulate outcomes of the conference to branches for use in local actions
      2. improve support for members at risk from formal and informal REF-related performance management, and enforced contract changes
      3. gather evidence and assess the need for a campaign of industrial action.

      REMITTED


      Industrial action (paragraph 9.1)


      HE41  (EP) Empowering branches to pursue UK priorities through local collective agreements - Higher education committee

      Conference notes the limited progress in delivering meaningful action through the national bargaining machinery on national priority issues like casualisation, the gender pay gap and workloads.

      Conference also notes that UCU's strategy of continuing to push these issues nationally while coordinating and supporting work to drive improvements at local level has produced a series of successful local agreements on all these issues that deliver real improvements for our members.

      Conference reiterates national priority status of these issues and calls on HEC to:

      1. accelerate work to support and empower our branches to pursue local claims in relation to casualisation, the gender pay gap and workloads
      2. ensure that bargaining guidance and campaign packs are worked into appropriate training resources
      3. ensure the delivery of branch briefings and training events tailored to these priority issues
      4. ensure that agreements and success stories are shared and publicised the union.

      REMITTED


      Local disputes (paragraph 10.1)


      HE42  International branch campuses in the Middle East - University of Birmingham

      HESC notes that:

      1. UK universities continue to open international branch campuses overseas despite violations of human rights and restrictions to academic freedom.
      2. the detention and murder of students studying at UK universities, as illustrated by the cases of Matthew Hedges (UAE) and Giulio Regeni (Egypt), and other students and academics in the region
      3. the University of Birmingham has failed to negotiate with UCU on the opening of their Dubai campus. This included implementation of new staff policies and the effective de-recognition of the union on the new campus.

      HESC resolves to:

      1. advise all members to 'Boycott' the University of Birmingham Dubai campus. This is not industrial action, but an exercise of our academic freedom.
      2. instruct the HEC to work with MENA Solidarity, human rights organisations, and other trade unions to campaign for LGBTQ+ rights, workers' rights, and academic freedom on any new international branch campuses in the Middle East.

      REMITTED

      HE42A.1  University of Liverpool

      Add the following two points.

      1. UCU to send resource and support to branches dealing with international branch issues.
      2. UCU to develop a toolkit in collaboration with MENA where possible to support branches dealing with the development of international branches and with members based in international campuses.

      HE42A.2  LGBT+ Members' Standing Committee

      Add to HESC notes that:

      1. LGBT+ staff experience discrimination. Repression is everyday reality for many LGBT+ people globally
      2. university practices that compromise LGBT+ rights undermine people's work and lives.

      Add to HESC resolves to:

      1. call on universities to consistently implement LGBT+ equality vigilantly promoting and protecting rights when working with and within other countries no less than in the UK
      2. with LGBT+ MSC produce guidance about working where LGBT+ is illegal and raise awareness of LGBT+ equality and human rights violations internationally.

      New paragraph, HE funding, after paragraph 10.1


      HE43  Augar review and the future of HE - University of Brighton Grand Parade

      Conference notes the widespread belief that the Augar Review will recommend a lower student fee, and denial of funding to students with low Level 3 grade profiles.

      Conference believes this:

      1. betrays an ignorance of the disjunction between level 3 and 4 performance, and the nature of higher learning
      2. would set back widening participation, rendering HE a minority privilege
      3. would create funding crises for many HEIs, with job losses and even closure for some
      4. requires public campaigning, joint UCU action with SUs and NUS, including UCU industrial action, to defend the sector.

      Conference instructs the HEC to:

      1. coordinate action by branches fighting job cuts and closures, and seek solidarity action from all branches
      2. position such action as the defence of higher education, and access to it
      3. jointly sponsor a national defence convention with CPU and CDBU and NUS to build support for resistanced. organise a national demonstration before any Parliamentary vote.

      REMITTED

      HE44  Halt the changes to DSA - Disabled members standing committee

      Disability Student Allowance (DSA) was introduced to provide equality of opportunity for disabled students in higher education. In 2014 the government announced its plans to modernise DSA citing that the current system was outdated.

      Since then there have been several controversial changes made to DSA. These include:

      1. a compulsory student contribution of £200 DSA equipment a before it will be supplied
      2. retraction of funding for lower classified non-medical support roles
      3. minimal funding for specialist transcription services
      4. removal of DSA funding for specialist accommodation
      5. reduced computer peripherals and accessories funding.

      Conference believes that these cuts have served to be an attack on the most vulnerable of learners as they are unlikely to be able to subsidize the changes.

      Conference resolves to:

      1. join with NUS and DPOs to gather evidence of the impact of DSA cuts
      2. step up pressure to end the £200 equipment charge.

      REMITTED


      New paragraph, Governance, after paragraph 10.1


      HE45  Improved governance at universities in England and Wales - University of Reading

      Conference notes that universities in Scotland are enhancing staff and student representation in their governance following the passing of the recent Act. No such changes are currently proposed in England and Wales. The decision making bodies at most universities, such as Senate, often pay lip service to accountability by allowing the election of staff members to key committees, but those members are then rendered unaccountable to those who elected them by invoking confidentiality.

      Conference resolves:

      1. to instruct the NEC to carry out surveys of all universities in England and Wales to establish which currently elect staff to their key decision-making bodies
      2. to identify which of these permit those staff to be accountable to the wider staff community
      3. to publish findings on governance in order to support branches who are fighting for better practice.

      REMITTED

      HE46  Governance crisis in HE - Open University

      Conference notes that 2018 and 2019 have seen several vice-chancellors and other senior figures in English universities resign under a cloud.

      Conference believes these cases testify to the failure of a model of governance and of HE finance in which universities are run as businesses.

      While each case has been different, common features have been a history of bullying and unacceptable pay differentials, and all have caused damage to their institutions and to higher education. Warnings by staff and unions that something was going seriously wrong have been ignored too often.

      Conference asks HEC and its appropriate sub-committees to develop proposals for early warning systems as well as pressing for reform of HE governance and finance.

      Conference also notes that the law may have been broken in some cases, and that the resignation of one or two senior figures should not prevent prosecution of those responsible.

      REMITTED


      New paragraph, International staff and students, after paragraph 10.1


      HE47  Fight for the rights of international workers and staff - University of Warwick

      HESC notes that:

      1. in light of heightened and rather polarised discussion of policies on immigration in the UK; rising visa fees; increased monitoring by the Home Office, and uncertainty over EU colleagues as Brexit nears, there is widespread concern as to whether universities are supporting international staff and workers
      2. UCU activism during the USS strike led to the Home Office adding legal strike action to the list of exceptions to the rule on absences from employment without pay for migrant workers, showing that UCU activism can improve the lot of all workers.

      HESC resolves to:

      1. issue a public statement on the need to address the issues faced by international staff and workers
      2. encourage all UCU branches to create international staff working groups to start addressing issues relating to increased monitoring; rising visa and NHS surcharge costs, and the impact of the EU Referendum.

      REMITTED

      HE48  Supporting international students threatened with deportation for fee shortfalls - UCU Scotland

      Conference reaffirms policy on free education and against exorbitant fees to international students.

      Conference condemns exclusion from education and deportation of international students unable to pay the full fees.

      Conference instructs UCU to work with NUS and local student unions to:

      1. obtain data on the numbers of international students excluded and deported/voluntarily repatriated due to fee short falls
      2. draw up an agreement to be negotiated with universities to prevent the exclusion and deportation of international students on grounds of fees.

      Conference calls on branches to negotiate the implementation of this policy.

      Conference instructs the UCU to put pressure on government to support international students and prevent exclusion and deporting on grounds of fees, including by:

      1. making funding available to cover fee shortfalls.
      2. putting pressure on universities to sign agreements not to exclude students with fee shortfalls.

      REMITTED

      Last updated: 3 June 2019