Branch Policy

2023/24


2022/23


2021/22


2020/21


2023/24

23/24/01: Increasing financial support for members in the MAB – Passed 23 November 2023

UCL UCU notes

1. During the Marking and Assessment Boycott in the summer, the branch agreed to financially support UCU members who participated in the MAB by covering their losses in terms of net pay (after tax and national insurance contributions have been taken into account) above a threshold of 7 days, and to request pledges and donations from members of 7 days’ net pay.
2. This decision was made when members faced the prospect of approximately 35 days loss of pay.
3. The current set of estimates of the cost to the hardship fund for paying members for deductions in excess of a number of days is set out below. These figures have a degree of uncertainty due to the fact that around a third of affected members have not yet completed our survey.

Net cost to support > 7 days£14,000
> 6 days£20,000
> 5 days£28,000
> 4 days£40,000
> 3 days£52,000
> 2 days£65,000

4. The branch hardship fund contains approximately £160,000 before donations are taken into account.

UCL UCU resolves to reduce the threshold for support from 7 days to 2 days (i.e. 14.6 hours).

This will mean that:

1. all members who participated in the MAB will be entitled to apply for support for net pay beyond 2 days’ net pay from the branch hardship fund, citing the letter from UCL as evidence (if UCL decides to make deductions from part-time staff on an hourly basis, then we will also support part-time MABbers at an hourly rate and cover net pay beyond 14.6 hours);
2. all union members who did not participate will be encouraged to make donations to the branch hardship fund for the equivalent of 2 days’ net pay; and
3. members who have made donations of 7 days’ net pay will be contacted to ask them if they wish their donations to be reduced to 2 days.

Result: Carried (90% for; 3% against; 6% abstentions)

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23/24/02: Emergency UCU motion on Palestine – Passed 27 October 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The current war in Israel and Gaza, triggered by the breakout of Gaza and subsequent killing and hostage-taking of Israelis, is taking place following decades of injustices meted out against the Palestinians which saw more than 7,000 Palestinians killed since 2008.
  2. That this war is beginning to turn into a wider military conflict involving the US, Lebanon and Iran, and attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank.
  3. That UCU Congress has repeatedly affirmed support for peaceful civil-society campaigns of twinning with Palestinian universities and Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions, including supporting members who choose to boycott Israeli academic institutions.
  4. That the government is attempting to silence dissent by attacking free speech on Palestine, including making veiled threats to Vice Chancellors and UCU to police campus speech.
  5. That over 300,000 people demonstrated for an end to the war and freedom in Palestine on 21 October in London.

UCL UCU resolves:  

  1. To support protests for Palestine called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and/or Stop the War Coalition.
  2. To call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas and of all political prisoners held by Israel.
  3. To call for an immediate end to UK military support for Israel, and for an arms embargo. 
  4. To support campaigns against attempts by the government to restrict the right to free expression and protest in solidarity with Palestine.

Result: Carried (66% for; 22% against; 12% abstentions)

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23/24/03: Ongoing Humanitarian Crisis and Crimes Against Humanity – Ceasefire Now! – Passed 27 October 2023

This Branch notes

  1. The urgency of the ongoing and present humanitarian situation in Gaza where the siege on water and food means the population is about to starve or begin to die of dehydration, and the blockade on fuel and electricity means that the hospitals are now failing and without fuel to power generators, 120 babies in incubators will die, along with all those in need of electricity to be kept alive (e.g., for life support or dialysis).
  2. That, as of the 23 October 2023, 5000+ Palestinians in the Gaza strip have been massacred by indiscriminate bombing by the Israeli army, of which 2080 were children (picture 7.5 average sized schools of children – every 15mins a Palestinian Child is killed), and over 800 children are thought to be buried beneath the rubble of bombed buildings with 1 in 20 buildings in Gaza having been bombed. 1119 of those killed by Israel are women and 187 are elderly. In addition, 15,900+ have been injured – often with life changing injuries
  3. That Israel has bombed hospitals, schools, obliterated all the universities in Gaza, obliterated every bakery in Gaza, killed journalists (13 so far), UNWRA workers (35), nurses, doctors, first responders, rescue teams, dropping over 4000 tons of explosives on Gaza in one week alone, increasing in the 2nd week (cf. the 3,900 total dropped on Dresden in WWII).
  4. That over 200 Israeli civilian hostages are being held in Gaza by Hamas, during an attack on Israel on the 7thOctober where they killed many civilians in indiscriminate acts in contravention of international law.
  5. That 170 Palestinian children and several thousand Palestinian adults are presently held without trial, in arbitrary detention by the Israeli state (Israel has upped its administrative detention, without trial to 10,000).
  6. The defamation in the media and by public figures of marches in support of Palestinian human rights and against ethnic cleansing, Genocide, and a humanitarian catastrophe perpetrated by Israel, as “supporting terrorism”, “antisemitic”, “standing for anti-Jewish hatred”, 
  7. That the marches of between 100,000 and 300,000 people have not been about Jews at all, but indeed supported by large contingents of publicly self-identifying Jewish people of conscience saying “not in my name!”
  8. The public statements, events and demonstrations of anti-occupation Jewish organisations like Namod, IfNotNow, Jews for Peace, Independent Jewish Voices, and many others, some of whom formed a Jewish Bloc on the 21 October demonstration in London to say “not in my name!”
  9. That this Branch has policy to oppose occupations (motions on Palestine and on Ukraine) and to support the Palestinian people against oppression and subjugation by a settler colonial apartheid state and policy on supporting boycott and divestment campaigns against state institutions of two occupier states (Russia and Israel).
  10. That international law, morality, and basic humanity forbid a) the indiscriminate attack on civilians, b) the taking of civilian hostages, c) Genocide.
  11. That the UK (along with the US) government has been instrumental in blocking calls for a ceasefire at the UN.

This Branch Believes

  1. The root cause of the conflict is the ongoing illegal military occupation and settlement expansion on Palestinian territories and the violation of the rights of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state. Therefore, there can be no lasting or just peace under the ongoing conditions of the Israeli siege of Gaza, or of Israeli occupation, colonisation, and apartheid across Palestine. These are conditions which Palestinians have a right to resist.
  2. World leaders repeating the mantra that “Israel has the right to defend itself”, whilst blocking a call for a ceasefire, in the context of a massacre by that power that in no way represents a defence of its citizens, are complicitly in some of the gravest crimes against humanity.
  3. That continuously asking Palestinians to talk about Hamas, in the middle of a Genocide, because they are Palestinians or care about Palestinian civilians, is as racist as asking Jews to talk about Israel, because they are Jews.
  4. That what is taking place in Gaza and the attacks on Palestinians by settlers and the army in the West Bank are a crime against humanity.
  5. The occupation, murder, and humiliation of Palestinians did not start on the 7th October, but has been ongoing (9000+ so far killed in 6 Gaza “wars”, continual subjugation, arrest without trial, torture, killings).

This Branch resolves

  1. To call for an immediate ceasefire, and for UCU leadership to be steadfast in campaigning on this
  2. To support and advertise the London national demonstrations calling for a ceasefire and end to these crimes against humanity.
  3. To call for immediate entry of necessary and adequate humanitarian aid to Gaza, and an end to the 17-year siege of Gaza.
  4. To condemn all attacks on unarmed civilians and the taking of civilian hostages.
  5. To call for diplomatic means to immediately release Israeli civilian hostages and Palestinian civilians in Israeli administrative detention, the release of Israeli political prisoners detained for dissenting and speaking out for Palestine.
  6. To support colleagues affected by these events, from those affected by the attacks on Israeli civilians on the 7th October, to those affected by the assaults on Gaza and the West Bank.
  7. To resist and protest attempts by the government and other institutions to restrict the right to free expression and protest, and support staff facing clampdowns on their free speech and/or academic freedom (within the law) on this issue and reject all dehumanising language directed at any group.
  8. To call for an immediate end to UK military support for Israel, and for an arms embargo. 

Result: Carried (67% for; 20% against; 13% abstentions)

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23/24/04: Untitled Motion – Passed 27 October 2023

UCL UCU notes:

1. UCL have sent out correspondence to students and staff about the Israel-Palestine situation, but have failed to acknowledge the word ‘Palestine’ or ‘Palestinian’ in their communications. These refer to antisemitism and islamophobia, but fail to explicitly acknowledge anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism, given that not all Palestinians or Arabs are Muslims. This has led to students and staff reporting feelings of distress, rage and fear about UCL’s stance.

2. UCL’s connection with companies that support and materially assist both the occupation, and anti-Palestinian violence through the supply of weapons technology, such as BAE systems and Elbit.

UCL UCU believes:

This is institutional silencing, and is creating an atmosphere of threat and censorship around communicating about, supporting, and/or advocating for Palestine. Some of the emails have evoked threat of disciplinary procedures, and the general erasure of the word ‘Palestine’ implies that merely acknowledging Palestinian people may be seen as misconduct. It is also affecting the wellbeing of staff and students. Such a one-sided perspective from a leading research institution is unacceptable, and compromises academic integrity as well as obstructs material support for Palestine and Palestinian students.

UCL UCU therefore resolves:

1. to communicate with UCL management about this issue, demanding that they acknowledge the word Palestinian, and anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism,  and that an apology email is sent out, to all the staff and students who have been affected by these communications. 

2. to instruct the Executive Committee to issue a statement of support for ending the Israeli 17-year siege of Gaza, and demand that UCL end their ties with BAE Systems and Elbit Systems, in support of this.

Result: Carried (54% for; 27% against; 19% abstentions)

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23/24/05: Supporting UCL-UCU branch members impacted by the Israel/Gaza conflict – Passed 27 October 2023

Notes:

  • That UCU issued a statement about the current Israel/Gaza crisis on 10 October: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/13229/UCU-statement-on-IsraelGaza
  • That the UCL-UCU branch includes a considerable number of members and their students who are directly impacted by these events because they have family, friends, and colleagues in Israel and/or Palestine 
  • That members across UCL have seen their pastoral care demands increase dramatically as a result of this conflict––at a time when staff workloads are already unsustainable 
  • That members across UCL with expertise in the region are grappling emotionally with the recent violence while also navigating a quickly shifting professional landscape 
  • That members and their students across UCL are concerned about the recent rise in antisemitism, Islamophobia, and attacks directed at Israelis and Palestinians in London because of their nationality.

Believes:

  • That UCL-UCU’s primary responsibility is to represent, support, and advocate for its members 
  • That is the duty of UCL-UCU to support all of its members, regardless of their religious, ethnic, or national identities and personal views with respect to the conflict
  • That UCL-UCU should be a safe space for members across UCL amidst concerns about rising racist activity including antisemitism, Islamophobia, and attacks directed at Israelis and Palestinians because of their nationality 
  • That at a time of significant work-related issues in the UK higher education sector, there is a need to focus on building broad coalitions of members who are fighting for the improvement of working conditions in our profession.

Resolves:

  • To show solidarity with all UCL-UCU branch members affected by the conflict
  • To support members dealing with any work-related issues linked to the conflict, such as seeking reasonable adjustments (e.g., deadline extensions) for delays caused by emotional or other repercussions of the conflict
  • To defend academic freedom and freedom of speech 
  • To condemn any racist activity that affects staff and students and makes them feel unsafe
  • To support initiatives across UCL promoting constructive dialogue between the parties in the conflict.  

Result: Carried (84% for; 4% against; 12% abstentions)

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23/24/06: Proposal for UCU-UCL Branch Statement on the Gaza War – Passed 27 October 2023

We, the undersigned academics, researchers and university staff in the UCL branch of the University and College Union, strongly condemn all forms of violence that have been taking place in the current war between Israel and Hamas, and over the previous 75 years in Israel and the Occupied Territories. We join countless others now in speaking out to demand an end to the killing and destruction in the Gaza Strip.

In response to recent actions in this ongoing war, namely the massacres of 7 October 2023 of Israeli citizens by Hamas fighters and the taking of Israeli citizens hostage, experts in international law and genocide have noted that we are now seeing the State of Israeli respond by carrying out a conscious policy of genocide on the people of Gaza – both in terms of their language, which describes Palestinians as ‘human animals,’ and the actions being taken to achieve ‘zero population in Gaza’ and the ‘annihilation of Gaza’.  

The deliberate killing of civilians is always an atrocity and a violation of international law. Neither Israel, the occupying power, or armed groups of the people under occupation, the Palestinians, can ever be justified in targeting defenceless people. We express our grief and heartbreak for the victims of the recent tragedies, and for their families and friends, both Palestinians and Israelis.

Therefore, the planned genocide in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel must be denounced and stopped at once. We call on all political leaders nationally and internationally, including the UK government and the United Nations, to use all diplomatic measures at their disposal, including an arms embargo and sanctions on those responsible for the attacks, to achieve: 

·   an immediate ceasefire by all parties involved.

·   the immediate protection of the 2.3 million civilian population of Gaza, by resuming water, food and power supplies to Gaza, and allowing humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. 

·   the immediate freeing of the hostages taken by Hamas and held in Gaza. 

·   the presentation of a petition to the prosecutor’s office of the International Criminal Court to investigate the war crimes committed by Hamas and the State of Israel against civilians in Israel and the Occupied Territories. 

·   an end to the complicity of western leaders and media with the Israeli state, and a recognition – in discourse and action – that the lives of Palestinians do matter and that there must be no annihilation or genocide in Gaza, or attacks on civilians in the West Bank.  

·   renewed diplomatic efforts to end Israel’s occupation and apartheid of Palestinian territories as this is the root cause of the violence we are sadly seeing today.  

We call for an immediate end to the violence and to the occupation of Palestine, and for the power of diplomacy to move beyond self-interest in order to establish a just and equitable resolution where Israelis and Palestinians, Jews and Muslims, can live together in peace.  

In solidarity,

[insert signatures]

Result: Carried (70% for; 21% against; 8% abstentions)

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23/24/07: No to occupation! No to imperialism! Solidarity with Palestinian workers and youth! – Passed 27 October 2023

UCL UCU notes: 

  • A new conflict has flared up between Israel and the Palestinian people, which has already caused nearly 5900 and 1400 victims since 7 October, among Palestinians and Israeli, respectively. 
  • Thousands of Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed by the Israeli security forces in recent years, such as during ‘Operation Cast Lead’ in 2008-09 and ‘Operation Protective Edge’ in 2014. Before the events on 7 October, 200 Palestinians have been killed this year alone.
  • Israel is actively supported by western governments, with billions in British military equipment being used by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The United States subsidises Israel’s military to the tune of 3.6 billion dollars per year.

UCL UCU believes: 

  • This latest conflict is a direct consequence of decades of violent oppression of the Palestinian people by the Israeli state, with the support of western imperialism, beginning with the ethnic cleansing of the Nakba in 1948.
  • Recently, this oppression has been intensified by the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, which is the most reactionary in Israel’s history.
  • Imperialist diplomacy – such as the Oslo accords – has failed. Only a mass uprising on both sides of the green line and across the Middle East can free the Palestinian people, end the occupation, and ensure equal rights for all peoples.
  • It is the duty of the international movement of workers and youth to support this struggle.

UCL UCU resolves: 

  • To reaffirm its solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people against occupation and for national self-determination.
  • To call on its members to mobilise and campaign – through mass direct action – against companies, banks, and institutions that aid the manufacture and delivery of arms to Israel.
  • To condemn the British government’s support for the Israeli state and the distortions of the mainstream media in Britain in its coverage of this conflict.
  • To reaffirm the commitment to organise and support local rallies in solidarity with Palestine.
  • To submit this motion to UCU Congress and call on it to publicly oppose British imperialism’s role in the oppression of the Palestinian people.
  • To call for a Socialist Federation of the Middle East — Intifada until victory!

​​​​​​​Result: Carried (51% for; 36% against; 14% abstentions)

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23/24/08: Stop the wave of redundancies, rebuild the fightback – Passed 01 February 2024

UCL UCU notes:

1.   No further steps in the Four Fights dispute have been announced since the ballot in November.
2.   The issues regarding equal pay, workloads, casualisation, and pay remain unresolved.
3.   Without an active dispute on any issue, employers are increasing their cuts and attacks. 
4.   UUK has published a report saying that many universities could be in serious financial difficulties next year.* The main drivers are increased TPS costs in post-92 universities and risks to international student recruitment. 
5.   At least 15 UCU HE branches are already facing large redundancy programmes.
6.   As a union, we need to make collective decisions about what happens next.

UCL UCU resolves to:

1.   Call for a SHESC on the future of the Four Fights/JNCHES disputes, including a potential TPS dispute, and resisting redundancies.
2.   Support branches resisting redundancies in the meantime.
3. To donate £3000 to Aberdeen UCU branch hardship fund in the event of a strike.

*https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/what-we-do/policy-and-research/publications/financial-sustainability-uk-universities

Result: Carried (93% for, 3% against, 4% abstentions).

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23/24/09: Motion for participation in the National Day of Workplace Action for Gaza on February 7 – Passed 01 February 2024

UCL UCU notes

  • That Israel is continuing its offensive on Palestinians in Gaza despite a global mass mobilisation in solidarity with Palestine calling for an immediate ceasefire, an end to the siege on Gaza, and lifting the air, land, and sea blockade.
  • The number of civilians killed by Israeli bombing, tank fire, and shooting has reached over 28,000 (without counting all those under the rubble that would likely take the number to well over 30,000) of which 13,000 are children and over 6000 are women. In addition over 24,000 children have had one or both parents killed, with significant numbers designated WCNSF (wounded child, no surviving family). At the same time the case for Genocide by Israel has been found to be plausible enough to warrant a trial by International Court of Justice. But the killing and destruction continues apace, despite the ICJ interim orders. There are still thousands of arbitrarily detained Palestinians held by Israel and over 100 Israeli hostages held by Hamas.
  • UCU Congress motions 8 and 9  (2023) supporting BDS and protests against Israeli oppression of Palestinians.
  • That our own branch supports a call for ceasefire and stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people, based on the motions passed in the EGM of 27 October 2023.
  • That UCU nationally supports the 7 February day of action called for by the Stop the War Coalition and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, and calls on every branch to arrange a protest at their workplace on that day, and to ask student and other campus unions to participate.

UCL UCU resolves to

  • Support students’ right to walk out, protest and demonstrate, and call on members to act in solidarity with them.
  • Take part in the 7 Feb national day of workplace action #StandWithGaza by calling its members to a protest during the lunch hour, along with students and other campus unions.

Result: Carried (69% for, 23% against, 8% abstentions).

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23/24/10: Cuba Vive – End the blockade on health – Passed 20 February 2024

This branch notes that:

  • Cuba’s commitment to health for all has helped the country achieve world-renowned health services for its people despite 62 years of an illegal US blockade. 
  • Today, these achievements are under threat. A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, global economic crisis, climate change, extra sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, and inclusion on the US’s State Sponsors of Terrorism (SSOT) list have taken a terrible toll on the health service. 
  • The country’s dedicated health professionals struggle with limited resources to treat patients. From surgical supplies to spare parts, paracetamol to sutures: items that are in plentiful supply in the UK are increasingly hard to come by or cost up to three or four times more. Some health indicators have declined and there has been an increase in preventable deaths and suffering.
  • Today’s shortages are unprecedented. After leading the region for many years, Cuba’s impressive health indicators are suffering. Between 2019 and 2022 the infant mortality rate rose from 5 per thousand live births to 7.5.
  • Since US companies won’t sell to them, Cuban doctors are forced to adapt larger catheters to use for infants with renal failure who need dialysis; many of the 450 Cuban children diagnosed with childhood cancer each year are forced to go without the appropriate drugs; and 20,000 Cuban families waiting for diagnoses of genetic diseases have not been able to receive adequate care because the technology needed to treat them contains over ten per cent US components and therefore can’t be sold to Cuba.
  • In the midst of this, Cuba’s commitment to internationalism continues to inspire. From sending doctors to help treat COVID patients in 45 countries during the pandemic, to training medical students from the global south, including 144 Palestinians students currently studying at Havana’s Latin American Medical School. 
  • Cuba’s continued inclusion on the SSOT list threatens Cuba’s ability to continue its international health programmes as well as provide health care for its own population.
  • We welcome the Cuba Vive medical appeal launched by the Cuba Solidarity Campaign and UNSION regions in January 2024 which aims to raise money to buy and send containers of life-saving medical aid to Cuba.

This branch agrees to support Cuba Vive by:

  • Donating £300 to the appeal
  • Raising awareness and encourage support by publicising and distributing appeal materials to members
  • Promoting the #OfftheList campaign to remove Cuba from the US State Sponsors of Terrorism list

Result: Carried (65% for, 14% against, 20% abstain).

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23/24/11: Motion of solidarity to staff in Greek universities opposing the bill that permits the establishment of private universities  – Passed 20 February 2024

UCL UCU express our solidarity to colleagues and students in Greece who mobilise against the establishment of private universities in Greece. 

Greek universities remain tuition-free to this date due to the decades-long, relentless action by student and labour unions. This bill will deliver a fatal blow to free public higher education, ultimately forcing public universities to impose tuition fees to compete against private providers.  

In the UK, we know the consequences of the marketisation of Higher Education only too well; the only results this bill is guaranteed to achieve are worse working conditions for staff, barriers to Higher Education- especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds- and research and teaching dictated by the market and not by the needs of society.  

In Solidarity,
UCL UCU

Result: Carried (71% for, 11% against, 18% abstain).

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23/24/12: Congress Motion 1. Gaza, BDS, and UCU – Passed 14 March 2024

Congress notes

  1. The genocidal assault on Gaza, the destruction of all its universities, and the targeted killing of its scholars;
  2. The ongoing disruption of West Bank Palestinian universities, administrative detention of students and staff, and the Israeli military quota on visiting scholars; 
  3. The established role of Israeli universities in the maintenance of the apartheid system; and
  4. The attempt to suppress Palestinian advocacy and critical scholarly work on the Middle East and North Africa in British HE.

Congress resolves to:

  1. Alert all members to UCU policy in support of academic BDS, inviting them to sign the Academic Commitment for Palestine;
  2. Campaign vigorously and publicly for disinvestment by USS from genocide-complicit companies;
  3. Urge branches to support local campaigns to sever ties with Israeli universities, and divest from complicit companies; and
  4. Defend voices for Palestine on campuses, join and donate £1k to the national campaign, and affiliate to BRICUP.

(146 words)

Result: CARRIED (87% for, 7% against, 5% abstain).

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23/24/13: HE Motion 1. Defending union branches from employer censorship on Palestine – or other matters – Passed 14 March 2024

Conference notes 

  1. Intervention by Oxford University to deny debate to a branch motion calling for a “Socialist Intifada” in the Middle East.
  2. Censorship by UCL of the UCL UCU branch website for passing a similar motion.
  3. Breaking into UCU offices at Queen Mary University of London to remove a UCU “Ceasefire Now” poster and one calling for an end to “Israeli apartheid”, both protected free speech.

These attacks parallel those made on individual union members for free speech on Palestine. But they also concern the independent democratic functioning of union branches.

Conference further notes

  1. The launch meeting of Campus Voices for Palestine on 25 January at UCL.
  2. The BRICUP-organised tour of campuses with follow-up events.

Conference resolves

  1. To ensure UCU robustly defends branches from attack by employers, including with legal support.
  2. To encourage branches and Regions to participate in the BRICUP tour.

 (149 words)

Result: CARRIED (94% for, 0 against, 6% abstain).

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23/24/14: HE Motion 2. General Election 2024, HE and tuition fees – Passed 14 March 2024

Conference notes

  1. UUK’s 2022 call to increase home undergraduate tuition fees to £12,000 or more.
  2. The Conservative Government’s changes to student loan conditions to compel students to repay RPI-based loans for 40 years.
  3. UUK’s Price Waterhouse Coopers January 2024 report claiming that 80% of universities will be in financial difficulties if international student recruitment falls.
  4. The imminent General Election.
  5. Existing policy opposed to tuition fees or graduate tax as a tax on learning.

Conference believes

  1. The incoming Labour Government will be put under pressure to increase home undergraduate tuition fees, further pricing out working-class students.

Conference resolves UCU will build a public campaign in the run-up to a General Election to 

  1. publicise and popularise UCU’s priorities for a sustainable alternative funding for Higher Education, paid for via progressive taxation; and
  2. emphasise Higher Education’s value as a public good for an educated population.

(149 words)

Result: CARRIED (98% for, 2% against, 0 abstain).

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23/24/15: Emergency Motion: Solidarity with the Apartheid Free Zone – Passed 14 March 2024

UCL UCU Notes

  1. Multiple UCL departments boast of ‘collaborations’ and ‘strategic partnerships’ with arms companies Airbus, Leonardo and BAE Systems
  2. Multiple senior figures from arms companies sit on influential advisory boards within particular departments, including for example the Centre for Ethics and Law
  3. UN Human Rights experts declared on Friday 23rd February that all arms exports to Israel must immediately stop. They said that “Any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law and must cease immediately”
  4. Every university in Gaza has been destroyed by the Israeli military.
  5. Universities in Gaza requested international academic institutional support against the destruction of academic institutions in Gaza.
  6. Students in Gaza have been withheld their right to education for over five months.
  7. At least 94 university academics, including UCL alumnus Dr Refaat Alareer, have been murdered in the ongoing genocide.
  8. Palestinian civil society has called on all those at complicit institutions to “peacefully and responsibly disrupt the system of military relations, funding, propaganda, diplomatic shielding, repression and whitewashing that enables Israel to continue exterminating Palestinians and wiping our cities, villages and refugee camps off the map.”
  9. Previous protests and attempts to liaise and communicate demands with UCL President & Provost and UCL Management regarding UCL’s complicity and commemoration of Dr Refaat Alareer have failed.
  10. In response to this call, UCL students yesterday occupied the Jeremy Bentham room, declaring it an Apartheid Free Zone – a space in which to educate about the struggle of the Palestinian people and from which to pressure management to end UCL’s complicity in genocide.
  11. They are demanding that UCL:
    1. Cuts all ties with arms companies and companies on the BDS list.
    2. Practices full transparency in regards to all funding, sponsorships, research partnerships and collaborations with arms and fossil fuel companies
    3. Stops banking with Barclays, which holds over £1 billion in shares and provides over £3 billion in loans to companies which directly support Israel’s apartheid and its genocidal attack on Gaza.
    4. Directs a pot of funds of at least £250,000 ring-fenced for scholarships available to Palestinian students to study at UCL.
    5. Makes official the student-led renaming of Refaat AlAreer Student Centre and an institutional acknowledgement of his contributions.
    6. Adds its institutional voice to the global call for an immediate, permanent, and sustainable ceasefire.
    7. Ends censorship and criminalisation of pro-Palestinian activism on campus

UCL UCU Believes

  1. Students have the right to take direct action in defence of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and against UCL’s complicity in genocide.
  2. International solidarity, based on the principle that an injury to one is an injury to all, is a central tradition of the trade union movement. 

UCL UCU Resolves

  1. To support the Apartheid Free Zone at UCL.
  2. To oppose any attempts by management to evict, including forcibly, and/or discipline students involved in the Apartheid Free Zone.
  3. To support events and activities taking place in the Apartheid Free Zone.
  4. To support students and/or staff facing disciplinary action for their participation in the Apartheid Free Zone.
  5. To call on management not to repeat previous episodes of police on campus.
  6. UCL UCU calls for this to be settled by discussion.

Result: CARRIED (96% for, 0 against, 4% abstain)

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23/24/16: Solidarity with Goldsmiths UCU – Passed 25 March 2024 

UCL UCU notes that Goldsmiths College, University of London is seeking to cut up to 35% of academic staffing by FTE (full time equivalent) in 11 departments. 361 staff are in scope, and a 50% reduction in FTE Professors in these departments.

This is the biggest attack on a London university staff group and UCU branch since the attack on London Metropolitan University in 2006-2009.

UCL UCU resolves to:

  • Send a message of solidarity to Goldsmiths UCU branch.
  • Pledge £5000 to the Goldsmiths UCU hardship fund, to be payable in the event the branch takes strike action or action short of a strike incurring pay docking.

Result: CARRIED (94% for, 3% against, 3% abstain)

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23/24/17: Solidarity with Royal Society of Arts IWGB branch – Passed 25 March 2024 

Charity workers are overworked, underpaid and exploited. And though not-for-profits often talk of justice, it rarely extends to their own employees.

In 2022 staff at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) had to fight for their union recognition after voluntary recognition was denied 3 times by senior management. Since then, staff members across all teams and levels of the RSA have been campaigning for a fair pay rise reflective of the current cost-of-living pressures.

They have asked for a flat rate of pay that gives the lowest paid members of staff a 10% pay increase to offset a 14% real-terms pay cut in the last 4 years, and also for a 8% pension contribution as staff pensions were slashed to 5.5% during the pandemic.

The RSA has offered a pay rise equivalent to just 2.3% for some of members, and no return to higher pension contributions. The RSA union estimates their pay claim would cost the RSA about £300k, or less than 1% of the charity’s total reserves. In the midst of negotiations, RSA management changed the charity’s reserves policy to make it much harder to use reserves to support staff.

Regrettably, the RSA management’s response so far has been completely at odds with its values, its public-facing image, and many of the principles that draw support to the RSA. As a result, union members went out on the first strike in the organisation’s 270-year history! 

Union members at the RSA need solidarity. Management are refusing to negotiate and we need to ramp up the campaign to respond to the aggressive anti-union approach of their boss. These workers on strike rely on support from the labour movement to keep their fight going.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call on members to boycott any activities at the RSA until the union’s demands are met, as set out by the 2023 pay claim*, and the dispute is resolved
  2. To write to the college/university leadership and urge they boycott the RSA and write to Andy Haldane, RSA CEO to resolve the dispute with the workers
  3. To promote the upcoming picket dates for the RSA strike to its members and to bring the branch banner to a picket
  4. To send a message of solidarity to the RSA pickets 
  5. To make a donation to the RSA strike solidarity fund of £1000: https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/support-the-rsa-strikers/
  6. To write to Andy Haldane, RSA CEO and condemn his treatment of workers
  7. To promote and publicise the boycott of RSA activities on social media

*A flat £2800 salary increase. An increase from 5.5% to 8% pension contributions. A £400 allowance for staff who don’t benefit from hybrid working.

Result: CARRIED (88% for, 3% against, 9% abstain)

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23/24/18: Lecturecast – Passed 25 March 2024 

This Branch Notes

  1. That UCL does not “waive copyright” (in the way it does with publications and original ideas used in teaching) for “g) sound recordings, films and broadcasts created for the purpose of teaching, where UCL has made the necessary arrangements for the making of the sound recording, film or broadcast (as the case may be).”
  2. That UCL believes: “2.6 Performers’ rights. To the extent that a UCL staff member benefits from performers’ rights in any performance in connection with their duties, such rights are (i) assigned to UCL, in respect of proprietary rights; and (ii) unconditionally and irrevocably waived in favour of UCL, its licensees and assignees, in respect of other rights.” No consent has or is being sought in relation to these assignment of these rights.
  3. That the UCL Lecturecast policy states that “Lecturecast is, by default, an opt-in service with the onus on individual lecturers or teaching leads in departments/divisions to choose to use the system.” But adds “Where departments/divisions wish to depart from the standard opt-in policy and set an explicit opt-out policy, this must be in consultation with staff affected. Clear guidance must be given to all staff on this policy; for instance it must be made clear to staff whom they should contact to opt-out”
  4. That the Lecturecast, Lecture Capture, and Copyright published policy states that “In the case of UCL staff, UCL has “deemed consent” to record lectures. Although UCL waives its rights to Copyright in teaching materials created by employees, it does benefit from a broad licence to re-use them.” 
  5. A number of departments have issued instructions to teaching staff that their classes are to be recorded (without explaining that this is opt-in only, or providing a route by which opting out may take place).

This Branch Believes

  1. That “deeming” consent is unacceptable, and incompatible with an opt-in only policy
  2. That only a fully consensual opt-in policy preserves the rights of teaching staff

This Branch Reaffirms 

  1. Our Branch Policy that any recording of classes by the university 
    a. must be explicitly consensual (through an ‘opt-in’ mechanism only)
    b.must be fully informed to the staff who may be asked if they consent
    c. do not imply relinquishing the performance rights of the member of staff (by deeming or any other mechanism except explicit ‘opt in’ consent) 
  2. That we do not agree, and have not agreed to the transference of any of our members rights or to consent being “deemed” in relation to the recording of classes or control of the recordings, without the explicit and informed consent of our members.
  3. That the matter of property rights over teaching performances has not been agreed with UCL by this Branch and we will continue to assert our members’ control and ownership of intellectual property where no explicit transference has occurred by consent.

This Branch Resolves

  1. To communicate the above position to UCL and demand that they remove the reference to staff having been “deemed to consent” to have classes recorded, from their published policies.
  2. To request that UCL inform its heads of department that UCL does not and cannot require class recordings from teaching staff, in a blanket policy, but must fully inform staff that class recording is entirely voluntary and opt-in only. 

Result: CARRIED (91% for, 0% against, 9% abstain)

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23/24/19: ‘Transfer of historic IOE UCU Membership funds to UCL UCU’ – Passed 25 March 2024 

Notes 

  • That money arising from local membership fees of IOE UCU members remains in an IOE UCU  Bank account.
  • At the date of merger total IOE UCU funds were circa £21,000 – a small amount of which (<£1000) being residual local hardship fund from the 2018 strikes/action.
  • IOE UCU no longer exists as a UCU Branch and therefore these funds cannot be used by UCU.
  • IOE UCU Merged with UCL UCU and UCU members in IOE are now members of UCL UCU branch 
  • That IOE UCU members wish to retain the use of these historic funds to support UCU members in IOE. 

UCL UCU IOE members section resolves 

  1. That a 2nd /sub-branch bank account of UCL UCU  be established to enable the transfer and holding of the funds of the former IOE UCU Branch. These are funds that accrued from IOE UCU members local membership fees before the merger of the 2 branches in 2019.
  2. That expenditure from the account (within the framework of UCU National and Branch rules) should be decided by members from UCL IOE UCU subsection by means of formal proposals and agreement at UCL IOE UCU section members meetings. 
  3. That Funds in the IOE sub-branch account* may be used by UCL UCU Members in the UCL IOE section for the purposes of 
  4. Members meetings expenses inc. refreshments
  5. Local Campaign materials 
  6. Tokens of recognition and appreciation for services to IOE UCU members 

*Payments from this sub-branch account need to be approved the UCL UCU Branch officers who are current signatories on the main UCL UCU bank account 

Result: CARRIED (59% for, 14% against, 28% abstain)

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23/24/20: Redundancies – Attacking Teaching Staff in the History Department – Passed 2 May 2024

This branch notes

  1. The proposal to make 10 members of staff redundant in the History Department
  2. That all the redundancies are among teaching staff
  3. That the Organisational Change Procedures and redeployment procedures have not been properly applied for these colleagues
  4. That UCL agreed a Teaching Concordat in 2021 that proposed to make sure that Teaching staff were not treated as disposable staff on insecure contracts

This branch believes

  1. That the selecting of teaching staff for redundancies in a department on this scale signals a breach of the principles of the Teaching Concordat
  2. That this kind of attack threatens teaching staff generally at UCL
  3. That these redundancies are unacceptable and unnecessary

This branch resolves

  1. That, unless UCL agrees to guarantee no compulsory redundancies in the History department, UCL UCU will invoke the collective dispute resolution procedure, under the terms of Appendix 2 in UCL’s Trade Union Recognition Agreement, and immediately notify the Provost of a formal dispute if agreement to defend our members from the threat of compulsory redundancy cannot be reached at JCNC. 

Result: CARRIED (76% for, 18% against, 6% abstain)

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23/24/21: SHESC Motion. Supporting a Convention for Higher Education – Passed 2 May 2024

SHESC notes

  1. The crisis in HE, leading to UUK and UCEA lobbying for high fees and implementing mass redundancies.
  2. The roots of this crisis lie in the 2010 fees and loans market system, with the English model increasing pressure on HEIs in other nations.
  3. The need to build a broad political consensus in defence of higher education.
  4. The partial success of the broad-based 2016 HE Convention initiative in lobbying Government to amend the Higher Education and Research Act.
  5. UCU’s latest Reclaim HE campaign.

SHESC resolves

  1. To support calls for a reconvened Convention for Higher Education initiated by London Region (date to be determined).
  2. To send a speaker to this event to discuss UCU’s campaigns including Reclaim HE.
  3. To build and advertise this event.
  4. To support and mobilise for a national demonstration at Goldsmiths University, called by Goldsmiths and London Region UCU.

Result: CARRIED (86% for, 0% against, 14% abstain)

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23/24/22: Promoting BDS at UCL – Passed 27 June 2024

UCL UCU notes

  • UCU national’s longstanding policy in support of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) since at least 2007.
  • Our local branch’s policy of supporting BDS at UCL (most recently in a motion passed at the general meeting on 14th March 2024).
  • The BDS pledge for UCL staff that was written in March 2024, made public in May 2024, and which had 668 signatories as of 15th June 2024.

UCL UCU resolves

  • Circulate the UCL BDS pledge  for UCL staff in a single email to all members, encouraging members to sign 
  • Promote social media channels and the website of the staff BDS movement at UCL
  • Encourage members to get involved with the BDS campaign at UCL
  • Continue promoting BDS and BDS related events at UCL

Result: CARRIED (95% for, 2% against, 3% abstain)

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23/24/23: Solidarity with Goldsmiths UCU – Passed 27 June 2024

UCL UCU notes 

  1. Goldsmiths UCU are currently engaged in a bitter local dispute over redundancies and extensive restructuring. Management plan to make redundant 133 academic staff across 11 departments, to make savings of about £8 million.
  2. Goldsmiths UCU members initiated a marking and assessment boycott on Friday 19 April, and have called two weeks of strike action to fall across exam board meetings (Monday 17 – Friday 21 June, and Monday 24 – Friday 28 June).  
  3. Management are deducting 50% of pay for the MAB and 100% of pay for two weeks of strike action. This means that for the month of June, Goldsmiths UCU members will receive only 25% of their pay.

UCL UCU resolves

  1. To make a donation of £10,000 to the Goldsmiths UCU hardship fund, and to encourage colleagues to make financial contributions via https://goldsmithsucu.org/support-fund.
  2. To support and advertise demonstrations and protests called by Goldsmiths UCU.

Result: CARRIED (98% for, 0% against, 2% abstain)

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2022/23

22/23/29: Progressing the Four Fights dispute – Passed 23 August 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The serious disruption caused by the MAB to management, students, and workers throughout the sector.
  2. The punitive pay deductions that have been applied to members participating in MAB, nationally and at UCL.
  3. That employers have disregarded academic standards in order to undermine the effectiveness of the MAB, and progress or graduate students.
  4. That the delay by the General Secretary (GS) and officers of the union in authorising a new ballot for industrial action means there will be a break in the current legal mandate for industrial action, which expires at the end of September.
  5. The MAB is part of a national dispute, and decisions need to be addressed by the national consultative (BDM) and decision making bodies of the UCU (HEC, GS and officers).
  6. UCU’s Higher Education Committee (HEC) has agreed to
    (a) Call five days of strike action in either of the last two weeks of our current mandate (with flexibility where student terms have not commenced);
    (b) Start an industrial action ballot at the earliest opportunity over ‘Four Fights’;
    (c) Survey members on next steps for the MAB.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. Staff that have participated in the MAB cannot instantaneously complete boycotted work on the 1 October.
  2. UCL needs staff goodwill to address complaints and possible legal action by students who have been affected by UCL’s actions to compromise academic standards to undermine the MAB.
  3. Starting the industrial action ballot pressurises our employers.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. That existing marking and assessment which has not been carried out due to MAB will not be marked unless and until UCL management withdraw their threat of pay deductions.
  2. To continue to challenge the legality of punitive pay deductions at UCL.
  3. To send a clear signal to university employers (and new students) that the dispute is not over by calling five days of strike action in induction week of Term 1, and to carry out all necessary preparatory steps to ensure that this action is a success.
  4. To start preparations for the industrial action ballot as soon as possible.

Result: Carried (53% for; 33% against; 15% abstentions)

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22/23/28: Next steps for the MAB? – Passed 8 August 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  • The intransigence of UCEA, who have not improved their 15 March final offer for the 2023-2024 pay dispute.
  • The serious disruption caused by the MAB to management, students, and workers throughout the sector.
  • The punitive pay deductions that have been applied to members participating in MAB, nationally and at UCL.
  • That employers have disregarded academic standards in order to bypass the MAB, and progress or graduate students, thereby damaging the reputation of UK HE.
  • That the delay by the General Secretary and officers of the union in authorising a new ballot for industrial action means there will be a break in the current legal mandate for industrial action, which expires at the end of September.
  • That management can instruct members participating in MAB to carry out marking and assessment from 1 Oct when the mandate expires.
  • UCL management’s threat of further punitive deductions for 14 days for MAB mid-September for Late Summer Assessments.
  • The statements from the General Secretary on 1 August and UCEA indicating that the 2023-2024 pay dispute is deadlocked.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To advise UCL UCU members not to boycott the marking of new assessments such as the Late Summer Assessments, Postgraduate Taught marking, and other incoming work.
  2. That existing marking and assessment which has not been carried out due to MAB will not be marked unless and until UCL management withdraw their threat of punitive pay deductions.
  3. That (if UCL management continues to demand completion of previously-boycotted marking) without removing the threat of punitive pay deductions, we will use our existing legal mandate to call for strike action during Induction Week (25-30 September).
  4. To continue to challenge the legality of punitive pay deductions at UCL.
  5. If the threat of punitive deductions is not withdrawn, to ask members who have not yet made a pledge to contribute to the UCL Fighting Fund, to help cover all members participating in MAB so that none suffer the loss of more than 7 days’ pay.
  6. To call a further all-members general meeting next week to review the situation.

Result: Carried (84% for; 3% against; 13% abstentions)

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22/23/27: Call the reballot now! – Passed 8 August 2023

UCL UCU notes

  1. that a Branch Delegate Meeting has been called for Friday 11 August which will advise HEC on the next steps in the dispute;
  2. that our motion at HESC calling a long summer reballot has not yet been actioned 

UCL UCU believes that UCEA’s decision to wait out our action until 30 September is due to the fact that UCU will have no industrial action mandate after that date.

UCL UCU resolves to write to the General Secretary and HE officers to call an immediate reballot of members in both disputes with the minimum of break between mandates; if this does not occur, to call on HEC to do likewise.

Result: Carried (76% for; 14% against; 11% abstentions)

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22/23/26: Solidarity with Ukraine, reject UCU Congress motion no. 5 – Passed 23 June 2023

Notes:

  1. That since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion in Ukraine in February 2022 (preceded by its annexation of Crimea and invasion into Eastern Ukraine in 2014), the world has witnessed repeated evidence of Russia’s atrocities on occupied Ukrainian territory, recognized by the International Criminal Court as war crimes, as well as the displacement of millions of innocent civilians, and environmental devastation.
  2.  That more specifically, as of the beginning of May 2023, this Russian aggression towards Ukraine has destroyed or damaged more than 2500 educational establishments including institutions of higher learning and more than 900 medical establishments.
  3. That at a General Meeting of UCL UCU on March 31, 2022, a motion was passed stating that UCL UCU stands united in our condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and declares its support for the human rights of those under occupation or suffering oppression.
  4. That the same General Meeting defeated a motion proposing an equidistance between Russia, the aggressor, and Ukraine, and framing the Russian attack as the outcome of NATO expansion.
  5. That in late May 2023 UCU Congress passed by a big majority motion (no. 6) stating that it stands united in its condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and declares our support for the human rights of those under occupation or suffering oppression.
  6. That in late May 2023 UCU Congress also passed, by a majority of only 9 votes, a widely condemned motion (no. 5) repeating the false claims of an alleged NATO expansion as the cause of the war and calling for UCU to support a position whereby Ukrainians are deprived of adequate means for self-defence, and thus left vulnerable to being kidnapped, tortured, raped or bombed in their homes by the Russian armed forces.
  7. That this same motion features a common antisemitic trope by including an entirely gratuitous point associating the Ukrainian president, Israel, and the US.
  8. That in a letter from union members at UCL SSEES dated 31 May 2023 to UCL General Secretary Jo Grady, these colleagues stress the damage done by the passing of motion no. 5 at UCL Congress, and the fact that many UCU members have decided to leave UCU because of it.

Believes:

1. That the Russian Federation should immediately cease fighting and withdraw its forces. If Russia stops fighting, there will be no war. If Ukraine stops fighting, there will be no Ukraine.

2. That allowing Russia to fulfil its demands, even partially, will create further instability in the Eastern Europe, and will signal to the aggressor that such actions may remain unpunished.

3. That Ukraine is lawfully exercising its right to self-defence, according to the Charter of the United Nations.

4. That military aid to assist Ukrainian self-defence saves lives. Stopping it would appease the aggressor. Hesitating and delaying it prolongs the war and brings more losses and suffering.

5. The UCU Congress motion no. 5 is ill-informed, discriminatory, and does not reflect the branch majority views of the branch. It equates the victim and the aggressor, denies Ukraine’s agency, and only helps the Kremlin’s propaganda.

6. That the debate on this important issue did not include proper representation of the Ukrainian perspective and did not facilitate an informed discussion, which is a core feature of academia.

7. That the UCU Congress motion no. 5 damages the union’s ability to undertake its core mission by taking energy and focus away from the current disputes, angering members, causing colleagues to leave the union.

8. That the passing of UCU Congress motion no. 5 has done considerable reputational damage to UCU.

Resolves:

  1.  To condemn the unprovoked and unjustified military aggression of Russia against Ukraine.
  2. To support the provision of Ukraine with any form of aid that it needs, including military aid, humanitarian aid, and tougher political and economic sanctions against Russia.
  3. To consider possible cooperation and affiliation with the Ukrainian Solidarity Campaign.
  4.  To engage with the Ukrainian community in the UK, including Ukrainian academics hosted by British universities, and ensure adequate representation of Ukrainian voices. 
  5. To state opposition to the UCU Congress motion, and to call upon UCU to revise and recall it.
  6. To follow in our activities the suggestions of the Ukraine Peace Appeal towards a more informed solidarity (https://www.ukrainepeaceappeal2023.info/), and to call for its wider support by UCU.
  7. To call on UCU to denounce the devastating impact of the Russian aggression on Ukrainian institutions of higher education more forcefully.
  8. To call on UCU to energetically support solidarity with Ukraine in general, and in particular with colleagues working in higher education (as academics or in professional services) and students, whether in Ukraine itself, or displaced as a result of the war, or those within the wider Ukrainian diaspora.
  9. To support initiatives at UCL supporting displaced Ukrainian colleagues and students and aiming at the reconstruction of Ukrainian institutions of higher education.
  10. To call on UCU to review and change the governance procedures relating to the avoidance of discriminatory wording or framing in motions (more generally, and specifically here), and the procedures that resulted in passing the UCU Congress motion.
  11. To send this motion to London Region UCU, without the sections specifically concerning the UCL branch, for adoption by the region.

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22/23/25: Solidarity with UCL Security Workers – Passed 22 June 2023

This Branch Notes

  1. UCL’s subcontractor Bidvest Noonan has informed outsourced security guards at UCL that they will all need to reapply for their jobs, with 40 redundancies made in the process.
  2. Those not being made redundant will be required to accept worse working conditions and cuts to their hours. The new working hours proposed mean many workers face losing £13,500 a year from their salaries.
  3. UCL and Bidvest Noonan’s plans also involve removing building attendants from their roles. These roles are incredibly important for the functioning of UCL buildings, and this move will vastly decrease campus safety.
  4. This move is on the back of a longstanding campaign from UCL security staff to be brought in-house, as already this workforce (the most racialised workforce at UCL) has among the worst pay and conditions on campus. 
  5. Fire and hire restructures and redundancies are becoming common managerial strategies in HE to demobilise union branches and increase staff workloads.

This Branch Believes

  1. Outsourcing should be eradicated from Higher Education as it creates a tier system between university workers and directly contributes to institutional racism.  
  2. That security workers are key to running our institutions, and they risked their lives to keep our universities secure during the pandemic. Their struggle is our struggle. 
  3. That every effective local campaign against redundancies in the sector strengthens the position of all university trade unions and will dissuade university employers from taking this approach in the future. 
  4. That cross-branch and cross-union solidarity is one of the strongest resources we have in the fight against corporate managers and the erosion of our sector. 

This Branch Resolves

  1. To make a donation of £1,000 towards IWGB’s strike fund
  2. To publicise IWGB’s campaign against the redundancies at UCL.
  3. To send a template email to UCL’s Provost.

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22/23/24: Local Subs – Passed 22 June 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. if UCL implements the current punitive deductions in the Marking and Assessment Boycott the local Branch Hardship Fund will be dramatically reduced
  2. that UCU is arguing that branches will need to increasingly rely on local Hardship Funds for future industrial action
  3. that local subscription rates were frozen for several years, and following merger with the IOE branch, local subscriptions for UCL members were reduced, because at the time there was no need to increase them
  4. UCL UCU local subscriptions for 2022-23 are currently set at the following rates per month:
  • F0 (£60K and above) £5.00 
  • F1 (£40K-£60K) £3.20
  • F2 (£30K-£40K) £2.40
  • F3 (£22K-£30K) £1.60
  • Below £22K and retired: 0
  • Attached members: £0.50.
  1. union subscriptions, including local subs, are 2/3 tax exempt (see https://my.ucu.org.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/469/~/tax-relief-on-subscr…)
  2. that local subscriptions currently bring in approximately £48k per year, which funds a branch administrator and office as well as supports the hardship fund

UCL UCU resolves

  1. to increase local subscriptions by 50% for all members that pay subscriptions.
  2. to review subs at the next Annual General Meeting
  3. to remind members to claim tax relief on their subscriptions

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22/23/23: Solidarity with Brighton UCU – Passed 22 June 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The University of Brighton has proposed plans to sack at least 100 academic staff, saving £17.9 million, with approximately 400 members at risk of redundancy.
  2. The most recent financial statements from the University of Brighton boast of the high levels of capital expenditure, with £24m on the balance sheet in 2021-22 and £28m the year before. The huge spend on new buildings is part of a plan apparently intended to allow the University to “grow student numbers”. 

UCL UCU believes:

3.  The student-staff ratio is already one of the very worst in the UK: 97th according to one source. Reducing staff while also planning to increase student numbers can only aggravate the  workload. If anything, staff numbers should be increased. 
4.   Cross branch solidarity is needed to stop this pattern of targeted redundancies within the sector.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To donate £2,000 towards Brighton UCU’s hardship fund
  2. To publicise Brighton UCU’s campaigns against the redundancies.
  3. To support cross-branch solidarity actions that Brighton may call during their campaign.

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22/23/22: Motion on Strike action – Passed 27 April 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The decision by UCL management to impose a flat rate deduction amounting to half pay for 70 or more days (i.e. at least 10% of annual salary) on every member of staff participating in the Marking and Assessment Boycott (MAB) – with the threat of higher deductions if the dispute continues into July.
  2. That this flat rate applies regardless of whether a colleague was due to mark 1 essay in June or 200 essays in April. The same rate applies for one-off assessments such as PhD vivas.
  3. That marking and assessment do not make up 50% of the work of colleagues’ workload who are engaged in marking and assessment during this period.
  4. That by contrast most universities have said they will make deductions based on due dates of submission of marks.
  5. The UCL undergraduate exam board period is 15-23 June.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. UCL’s decision on deductions is deliberately punitive, disproportionate, and designed to maximise the pressure on colleagues to not take part in industrial action (the MAB).
  2. That members’ rights to take part in ASOS, now and in the future, are under threat.
  3. This threat must be confronted first and foremost with an escalated industrial response, because legal challenges can take years.
  4. Our core focus must be to win the dispute and protect our members.
  5. An escalation of this kind by an employer must be met with an effective industrial escalation on our part.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To plan strike action that targets the undergraduate Exam Board period (15-23 June 2023).
  2. To call on HE officers to trigger the formal employer-notification process outlined in our motion to Special HE Sector Conference, HE5. This notifies the employer for strike action over a long period but then allows the branch to stand down action according to how the employer responds.
  3. To monitor UCL’s response and adjust strike action dates, if necessary, to be effective.
  4. To call on all exam board chairs, deputy chairs, and participants to not reschedule exam boards.
  5. To also consider other dates of strike action depending on the employer’s response.
  6. That our strike action threat will only be withdrawn if UCL withdraws its threat of punitive deductions.

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22/23/21: Motion on USS legal action – Passed 05 April 2023

UCL UCU notes that:

  1. In 2022, UCU HESC L5 instructed UCU to financially support the USS legal action.
  2. Subsequently, the NEC instructed the national officers to provide £350,000 to the legal action.
  3. The UCU national officers have refused to enact these instructions, and are in breach of UCU’s rules.
  4. The Court of Appeal has agreed to hear the case. 

UCL UCU believes a key factor in the USS directors’ and TPR’s current willingness to restore benefits cut between April 2022 and April 2024, is the ongoing legal action. 

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call on UCU national officers to comply with Conference and NEC’s instructions and to financially support this campaign with £350,000.
  2. To use UCU resources to gain additional publicity and political support for this legal challenge, and 
  3. That UCU must back the case publicly by email and social media. 

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22/23/20: Motion on disagreeing respectfully in UCU – Passed 05 April 2023

UCL UCU notes that:

  1. Our current disputes raise strong feelings because they deeply matter to members 
  2. Dissent, debate and discussion are a vital part of union activity
  3. The recent public fighting (e.g. on social media) over union strategy and decision making is a boon to employers wishing to divide and defeat us
  4. There is no place for personal attacks in our union

UCL UCU resolves to call on all officers to circulate guidance on union discussions outlining the importance of:

  1. Disagreeing respectfully 
  2. Being willing to listen to other points of view
  3. Considering carefully whether publicly voicing concerns is detrimental to our current disputes
  4. Utilising private channels of debate, dissent and discussion through utilising UCU emails, branch meetings, local reps and executive committee to pass on ideas, comments and concerns
  5. Calling out unacceptable conduct from other members

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22/23/19: Motion on the current USS e-consultation – Passed 05 April 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration toward USS benefit restoration in which UUK:
  • expressed an intention to restore benefits by April 2024, but has not committed to so doing, while member institutions have to agree to this policy before it is enacted;
  • agreed to seek an improved risk-management mechanism in the light of the open and long-term nature of the scheme, but has made no commitment to the preservation of benefits or to restraint on contribution increases should the scheme experience future adverse valuations;
  • has made no commitment to repay USS benefits lost between April 2022 and 24.
  1. The 29 March 2023 UCU news item ‘USS Trustee confirms full pension benefit restoration on course for April 2024’.
  2. The resignation of USS Chief Executive Bill Galvin and his replacement with Carol Young (who led the closure of the Heineken DB pension scheme in 2011 and designed and launched their replacement DC plan).
  3. That the limited progress made on USS is not conditional on agreeing to pause industrial action or settle the grounds of our dispute with UUK.
  4. That UCL UCU mandated delegates to the 29 March 23 BDM to ‘Vote ‘no’ [to] putting the current commitments in UUK statements on USS to the members for formal consultation’.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. The coupling of the four fights and USS campaigns is strategically important.
  2. That the joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration toward USS benefit restoration is not an ‘offer’ in the commonly understood sense of the term.
  3. An e-consultation vote to ‘note’ the joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration could be used to stand-down or otherwise undermine the USS dispute.
  4. An e-consultation ‘no’ vote on the joint statement on UUK and UCU collaboration would put pressure on individual employers, and increase political pressure on USS to resolve the dispute.
  5. That notification of the forthcoming marking and assessment boycott should be in support of both four fights and USS disputes.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To preemptively email a statement, including this motion as an Appendix, to all UCL UCU members encouraging a ‘no’ vote in any e-consultation on the USS statement.
  2. To use social media to encourage UCL UCU members to vote ‘no’ in any e-consultation on the USS statement.
  3. To mandate delegates to the 19 April 23 Special Higher Education Sector Conference to support motions HE2, HE4, HE5*, HE10 and HE11, and oppose motions HE3 and HE9.

* Explanatory note: HE5 is a composite motion which includes a motion submitted by UCL UCU. See relevant motions mentioned above in the  first report of the SHESC Congress Business Committee.

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22/23/18: Motion on censuring the GS’s approach to the disputes – Passed 28 March 2023

UCL UCU notes: 

  1. UCU’s elected negotiators were marginalised in the later stages of negotiating
  2. UCEA’s Four Fights “offer” did not improve on the previously rejected offer 
  3. Constitutionally, the elected HEC, not the GS, determines when and how members receive offers in disputes 
  4. The 48-hour e-survey was poorly worded and circulated shortly before emergency BDM and HEC meetings, limiting branches’ opportunities for discussion. Both meetings also restricted discussion
  5. HEC options for voting were restricted, but the majority opposed consulting now 
  6. Unison rejected UCEA’s “offer” and are balloting for further industrial action  
  7. The GS’s messaging breaches UCU rules, procedure, and policy

UCL UCU believes: 

  1. Presenting this “offer” as a gain or consulting on it are serious errors 
  2. Plebiscitary ballots are not fair consultations, against UCU rules and policy, and incompatible with UCU’s democratic structures 
  3. This is no way to run a dispute 

UCL UCU resolves to censure the GS’s approach.

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22/23/17: Motion for a UK-wide MAB strategy driven by branches – Passed 28 March 2023 (and approved for SHESC by ranked vote)

SHESC notes and reaffirms the core strategy set out in Motions 5 and 6 carried in both SHESCs April 2022.
SHESC calls on branches to ready members for a marking and assessment boycott (MAB) explaining that it will require a higher level of organisation than hitherto, with daily strike committee meetings open to all members to:

  1. Organise the MAB, fundraising and salary sharing
  2. Decide whether strike action for punitive deductions should be taken or called off
  3. Send delegates to BDMs (or national strike committee meetings)
  4. notify to the employers a series of 10 days of strike action commencing in late April to support the ASOS
  5. fortnightly: call BDMs with voting powers (or national strike committee meetings)
  6. in consultation with branches, call off strike action in 10 day units if the employers agree not to make punitive deductions

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22/23/16: Motion on the ever-increasing casualisation and insecurity in HE needs addressing urgently – Passed 28 March 2023 (and approved for SHESC by ranked vote)

SHESC notes that:

  1. insecurity is one of the “Four Fights”, alongside pay, inequalities, and workloads
  2. insecure employment in HE continues to grow. 66% of research staff and 43% of teaching-only staff are on fixed-term contracts, and women, people with disabilities, and people from ethnic minorities are disproportionately included.
  3. the outline agreement reached at ACAS as a basis for future negotiations with the employers does not explicitly include anything to address casualisation and insecurity, other than a brief remark on zero hours contracts.

SHESC believes that insecurity is key in the Four Fights and must be explicitly addressed in any resolution to this dispute.

SHESC resolves to insist that any future negotiations and agreements cannot be reached or resolved without the inclusion of concrete proposals to address insecurity.

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22/23/15: Motion on instructing our delegates to the next BDM – Passed 28 March 2023

UCL UCU resolves to instruct our delegates attending the Branch Delegates Meeting on 29 March to:

  1. Vote ‘no’ to putting the current UCEA proposals to the membership for formal consultation; 
  2. Vote ‘no’ putting the current commitments in UUK statements on USS to the members for formal consultation;
  3. Vote ‘no’ to terms of reference for talks if these require us to give up our pay dispute for a year;
  4. Vote to support a Marking and Assessment Boycott starting on 17 April 2023 (if the re-ballot is successful).

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22/23/14: HESC Motion: For a long reballot over the Summer to permit industrial action at the start of Term – Passed 14 March 2023

HESC resolves to ballot members for industrial action in a long ballot commencing as soon as possible and ending in September 2023 over the outstanding USS and JNCHES disputes, in order to be able to take strike action from the start of the Autumn Term.

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22/23/13: Congress Motion: Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill – Passed 14 March 2023

Congress notes that:

  1. In January, the government introduced the “Strikes (Minimum Service Levels)” Bill, which further restricts the right to strike, making existing anti-TU legislation worse, among the worst in Europe.
  2. Unless we fight it, it will become universal; another attack against working and civil rights.
  3. Union leaders, including ours and the TUC took unacceptably long to organise action, in what should have been an immediate, militant response against this new assault.

Congress resolves that:

  1. The NEC organise an ongoing, high-profile, high-priority campaign to stop its enforcement and to repeal ALL anti-trade union laws that plague Britain and the working class.
  2. We stand together and coordinate with sister unions, especially those targeted now and those next on the list (healthcare, education, civil servants, etc). 
  3. We must stop being reactive and deferring vital action to the TUC leadership; we must go on the offensive today.

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22/23/12: Motion on Increasing days covered by local hardship (strike) fund – Passed 23 February 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. UCU is currently covering 11 days of the current 21 days of strike action from the national Fighting Fund. 
  2. We currently have nearly £160,000 in our local hardship fund.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To permit applications to the branch hardship (strike) fund from UCL UCU members in good standing for any strike dates that are not covered by the National UCU Fighting Fund;
  2. To cap total payments at £125,000 (approximately 80% of the total local hardship fund) for the current round of strikes, in order to keep funds in reserve for a Marking and Assessment Boycott, pending monthly reviews of the hardship fund budget & balance.
  3. To prioritise the claims of members earning less than £30,000 when payments are made by taking their claims first in monthly batches.
  4. To encourage colleagues to make donations to the branch hardship (strike) fund.

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22/23/11: Motion on Striking on 15 March Budget Day – Passed 23 February 2023

UCL UCU notes:

  1. 15 March is Budget Day.
  2. The NEU and PCS unions have both called national strikes on that day.
  3. The NEU has called a national demonstration and carnival in London, with a march from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square.

UCL UCU believes that we should strike together with other unions where possible, and that Governments can and should act to cut price inflation.
UCL UCU therefore resolves:

  1. To call on HEC to call March 15 as a strike day.
  2. To encourage members to join the demonstration called by the NEU, and to advertise it widely.

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22/23/10: #NoSellout – Passed 23 February 2023

UCL UCU notes that:

  1. The employers’ offers on pay and conditions and USS are not strong enough to justify a pause of action: there is no improvement with respect to the 5-6% pay offer that union members have already rejected; vague promises to discuss casualisation and workload frameworks do not constitute an offer; and the restoration of our USS benefits and reduced member contributions are still conditional on the outcome of the upcoming valuation. 
  2. No branches and only one officer were consulted before pausing the action.

UCL UCU believes that:

  1. Pausing the strike action now weakens us in the dispute with the employers and damages the prospects of the ongoing negotiations to deliver an outcome in our favour. 
  2. We are in this action to win, and the current UCEA proposals have no new concessions of any substance.
  3. The current offer on pay does not deliver: our lowest paid colleagues still stand to lose around 10% of their wages’ value against RPI over the 2 years 2021-2023, and UCU members face a 15% real-terms pay cut.  
  4. Members’ control of the dispute through regular strike meetings that can hold negotiators to account is the only way for it to be effective, by uniting members, all campus unions, and students around our demands. 
  5. Maximum pressure has to be exerted on the employers now, in order for negotiations to be effective, and we are willing to do this.
  6. What has paved the way to the current situation is a lack of strategy: what constitutes a good offer, how we respond to various outcomes of interim negotiations, what are the checkpoints for escalation, etc. Instead, confining the discussion solely to the number of strike days and indefinite strike tactics, takes any meaningful control of the dispute away from the members. 

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. Call on the UCU HE officers and HEC members to reinstate action if possible, and contribute in the discussion to find ways to keep up the momentum of our struggle.
  2. Support the ‘unofficial’ Branch Delegates Meeting called by London Region UCU on Thursday 23 February (4-6pm) and elect two delegates to attend.
  3. Support  the protest outside the HEC meeting at UCU HQ on Friday 24 Feb from 10am.
  4. Organise protests at the UCEA/UUK offices and around campuses in the Bloomsbury area the upcoming 2 weeks, in coordination with students, other campus unions, and nearby UCU branches.
  5. Support other major action by workers, by sending solidarity messages and encouraging all members to join protests and picket lines:
  • The IWGB at UCL, who were planning to strike with us on 1 or 2 March.
  • The nurses at UCLH who will be on strike on 1 and 2 March.
  • The Camden NEU demonstration on 2 March.
  1. Call on the HEC to call strike action in conjunction with the NEU and PCS on Budget Day, 15 March.
  2. Call under Rule 16.11 for a Special Higher Education Sector Conference to debate and direct the future of our disputes. Notice for this SHESC should be issued as soon as the number of branches requesting it reaches twenty.
  3. Continue building our own branch’s organising and membership strength, by focussing on research and academic related/professional services staff and coordination with the Student Union and other student organisations, and other campus unions, including outsourced workers.
  4. To support the campaign for a reballot, but not to the exclusion of industrial action under the present ballot.
  5. To call on the HEC to support talks with the employers, but without conditions (such as the condition that we stop/pause our strike action).

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22/23/09: Motion calling on HEC to serve notice on employers for March strike days – Passed 23 February 2023

UCL UCU notes that following the 2-week suspension of strike action announced by the General Secretary, the next scheduled strike day is not until March 16. This is almost 2 weeks after the end of the suspension and amounts, in practice, to a suspension of close to 4 weeks. By that time any remaining strike action before the end of Term and the Easter break will have lost most of its potential leverage.


UCL UCU calls on HEC and HE officers with immediate effect to serve notice to employers of additional strike days including Monday 13, Tuesday 14 & Wednesday 15 March, and following week, Thursday 23, Friday 24 March. This needs to be done now in order to comply with the 2-week notification period, and will serve to keep the pressure on employers who might otherwise feel relaxed about riding out the rest of Term. These strike days can be stood down should members agree to an offer when one eventually is put to a vote.

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22/23/08: Motion on Donating to USS Legal Action – Passed on 05 January 2023 

UCL UCU notes:

  1. A critical element of the campaign to restore our USS benefits, worth on average £8000 to every USS member between 2022 to 2024, is the legal case brought by members Neil Davies and Ewan McGaughey. 
  2. They are currently fundraising £350k to take their case to the Court of Appeal. Previous rounds of fundraising have been generously supported by UCU branches up and down the country, including our own.
  3. These branch donations have substantially alleviated the financial burden on individual members and allowed the case to proceed to this stage.
  4. Since the High Court hearing, the USS CEO has announced his resignation, USS is now reporting a surplus and has published more information about its climate change plans. 

UCL UCU believes that:

  1. As UCL UCU has previously made a donation to this effort, hence there is nothing unusual about the present proposal.
  2. There is a need for a second instalment, based on the stage reached by the court case.
  3. UCL UCU has played no role in the development of the case which is being handled by Neil and Ewan.
  4. Making a fresh contribution will allow their action to proceed.
  5. It is essential to legally test the principle that the managers of a pension scheme such as USS are not at liberty to alter its framework in a fundamental way.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call on the branch committee to act on the Conference and the NEC’s democratic decisions by further supporting this legal action;
  2. To provide £3000 support to the legal case as several other branches have done for the most recent round of funding;
  3. To circulate the crowd funder to members in the branch; 
  4. To call on the national officers to enact the lawful decisions of our delegates at Conference and the NEC.

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22/23/07: Motion on HEC proposed strategy – Passed on 05 January 2023

UCL-UCU favours:

  1. A strategy of all-out discontinuous indefinite strike action, involving taking industrial action on 4 rotating working days a week, starting in February and continuing until members vote to end the action, or the ballot mandates expire.
  2. A Marking and Assessment Boycott starting on the 23 January.
  3. Immediately announcing our intention to re-ballot to renew our mandate for further action.
  4. UCL UCU calls on HEC and HE officers to ensure that in order to maximise impact and focus efforts, branches are consulted to ensure that strike action is not called in Reading Weeks.

NB: the HEC proposal is for the MAB in Jan to target summative assessments.

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22/23/06: Motion on Donating to the IWGB strike fund – Passed 22 November 2022

UCL-UCU notes:

  1. Our outsourced colleagues at UCL who are represented by the IWGB have voted for strike action in pursuit of £15/hour minimum wage and union recognition.
  2. UCL-UCU has a proud tradition of solidarity with our campus trade unions and has support previous strikes by other unions on campus.

UCL-UCU resolves:

  1. To make a £2000 donation to the IWGB Universities Branch strike fund.

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22/23/05: Motion on Industrial Action – Passed 27 October 2022

UCL UCU notes the brilliant ballot results giving us the ability to take action in every university.

UCL UCU believes that:  

  1. A strong ballot result without action will not be enough to defeat the employers.
  2. Coordinating our action with other unions will increase our leverage.

UCL UCU proposes that industrial action takes the following form:

  1. Take strategic strike action before the Christmas break, maximising co-ordination with CWU.
  2. A national demonstration to UCEA talks on 30 November.
  3. Working to contract and other forms of ASOS to begin as soon as possible.
  4. A marking & assessment boycott to start 1 December.
  5. Punitive deductions to be met with sustained strike action, backed by financial support from all other branches.
  6. Notification of future action before completion of existing action.
  7. A BDM to be called in January: should discuss next steps, including the possibility of all-out strike action if the employer has not moved following the initial phase of action.
  8. Escalating strike action to begin week beginning 6 February (or earliest date when all universities are teaching) coordinated with other unions where possible, starting with 3 days (week 1) 4 days (week 2) 5 days (week 3), pending discussion and approval at the January BDM mentioned above.
  9. For the General Secretary to approach other unions to actively seek co-ordination and report back results.
  10. A call should go out asking all UCU members to resign from external examiner roles at other institutions. They should be encouraged to do so as soon as possible as their agreements may include notice periods.

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22/23/04: Motion on Industrial Action – Passed 27 October 2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The need for escalating our struggle in response to the coordinated attack on our income and living conditions, by employers and the government.
  2. The encouraging rise of class struggle in several sectors and industries in Britain and all over Europe, which shows that real power lies with the workers.  
  3. The clear majority in favour of an enduring struggle across the sector, throughout this academic year, following the experience of last year’s disputes, which led to wide discussions amongst members about the vision and a winning strategy for the union.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That the success of our struggle is not merely a matter of action days, key dates and tactical pressure, but primarily depends on:
  2. Our ability to organise the mobilisation and participation of the majority of our members, from across roles (academic, research, teaching, and academic-related/ professional services staff).
  3. The coordination with non-UCU university staff, with our students, and with workers of other sectors.
  4. The content and the orientation of the struggle, aligning our demands with the need for dignified living conditions and free education for all, against the devastating market models served by the policies of governments and the political parties who support them.

UCL UCU proposes:

  1. Sustained escalating action in local, regional and national level, combining as necessary strikes, ASOS, rallies and any other effective form of protest, to ensure continuity of our struggle, maximal impact to the employers and maximal mobilisation of our members.
  2. Such action to be coordinated with other university staff unions and students, as well as unions of other sectors, including coordinated strike days.
  3. Membership control of the organisation of our struggle and the decisions that need to be taken, by establishing branch General Meetings as the heart of the Union and its struggle, and empowering regular, decision-making reps meetings at the local, regional, and national level.

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22/23/03: EDI Disability support at UCL – Passed 12 October 2022

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That the position of the UCL Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) manager for disability should be a permanent one, given UCL’s recent press release with a target to improve the mental health of disabled staff by 8% on its staff survey. 
  2. Without any permanent members of staff in EDI focused on disability, hitting this target is going to be impossible.   
  3. Failing to adequately resource this target only serves to make disabled staff feel more marginalised, making it more difficult to address their many concerns.

UCL UCU resolves to call on UCL:

  1. To ensure permanent – and sufficient – resourcing for disability specifically is put in place.
  2. To request that a permanent EDI Manager for Disability Equity at an appropriate Grade level, managing the whole program of work for both staff and student disability equity, and any complex casework.
  3. To request that UCL have a permanent Project Officer (at an appropriate grade level) role for reasonable adjustments (dealing with all queries to do with reasonable adjustments including inbox management, workplace needs assessments, access to work administrative support for staff, general support for Disabled/Neurodivergent staff), providing support for reasonable adjustments training.
  4. To request a permanent Project Officer (at an appropriate grade level) managing individual schemes and programs (e.g. external accreditation programs like Disability Confident, Business Disability Forum, general Disability Equity initiatives.
  5. To request a fixed-term Project Officer (at an appropriate grade level) ASAP with the specific remit of supporting UCL’s return to campus/roll out of the new hybrid working policy.

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22/23/02: We can win the ballot because we can win the dispute – Passed 12 October 2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The increasing number of unions taking action over the cost-of-living crisis, and the growing coordination between unions.
  2. Previous Conference decisions in favour of hard-hitting escalating action rather than token strike days.
  3. The success of last summer’s marking and assessment boycotts.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That while we aim for a huge majority on a big turnout, 50%+1 is enough to call hard-hitting escalating action.
  2. Only serious industrial action will shift the employers.

UCL UCU calls for (and instructs any of its delegates to support):

  1. Democratic control of the dispute via branch delegate meetings that are empowered to discuss motions from branches.
  2. Hard-hitting, escalating strike action backed by ASOS, including escalating to a marking and assessment boycott.

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22/23/01: Strengthening the UCL-UCU hardship fund (strike fund) and support for members – Passed 22 September 2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. That the cost-of-living crisis and the continual rise in inflation is affecting our members who have faced an average 24% cut in salary over the past twelve years.
  2. That UCL UCU branch have already contributed £50,000 to the central UCU fighting fund and have now been asked to contribute above this amount in recognition of likely strike action in 2022/23.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That UCL UCU members need reassurance because they are tired and worried that they may not be able to afford to strike due to financial pressures and familial tensions.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. That the UCL UCU branch should transfer £50,000 from our group account to our hardship account, in preparation to support our members in industrial action.
  2. That, during future strike action, the UCL UCU branch should increase the exceptional hardship payment from £75 to £100.

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2021/22

21/22/29: Solidarity with in-housing campaigns – Passed 29 June 2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. Since UCL decided to outsource cleaning, security, and catering services a decade ago, workers have seen a significant decline in pay and conditions. Previously UCL security staff were paid over £15/hr. Now workers are campaigning actively to be brought in house and for fair pay.

UCL UCU supports:

  1. The IWGB and UNISON campaigns calling for UCL to end outsourcing, zero hours contracts, and poor pay.
  2. The IWGB campaign for fair pay for security guards, cleaners and porters at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
  3. The Condemnation of LSHTM’s targeted suspension of unionised workers.

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. Publicly support both the IWGB and UNISON campaigns (e.g. on social media, in regular communications with members)
  2. Circulate information about the campaigns and actions members can take on an ongoing basis and, in the first instance, by 5 July.
  3. Publicly support IWGB’s demand to be recognised by UCL, and put pressure on UCL accordingly.
  4. Actively work to encourage dialogue and collaboration between UNISON and IWGB.
  5. Donate £1000 to the strike fund of the LSHTM workers (if sufficient funds are available), who announced on 20th June that they have voted to go on strike for an end to discrimination and for fair pay.
  6. In the event of a strike related to any of these campaigns and in the case that sufficient funds are available, make a donation to the relevant strike fund(s) to show our solidarity.

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21/22/28: International solidarity – PAME congress – Passed 29 June 2022

UCL UCU believes that international solidarity is at the core of our Trade Union practices. We have plenty to learn by sharing experiences with other trade unions around the world, especially ones with experience and victories in hard-won struggles and industrial actions, and plenty to give by actively supporting them.

The All-workers Militant Front in Greece (“PAME”) is one such grassroots organisation, that brings together unions and individual trade unionists from all sectors, under a militant workers movement. Their congress in Piraeus, Greece, on June 17-19, welcomed participants from Greek and international Trade Unions, to discuss their experiences, make connections in common struggles, and show their solidarity.
UCL UCU resolves to cover the travel expenses for one delegate to this conference, to the amount of £620.

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21/22/27: Solidarity with QMU UCU – Passed 29 June 2022

UCL UCU notes that whereas over 15 branches have settled Marking and Assessment Boycotts and won gains without a penny being deducted from participating members, Queen Mary University of London (QMU) UCU members are facing the threat of 100% pay deductions in July.

UCL UCU resolves to pledge up to £10,000 from our hardship fund to QMU UCU should this become necessary, and to encourage members to donate up to a day’s pay directly to the hardship fund of QMU.

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21/22/26: For consistency on Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) – Passed 19 May 2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. Legislation in UK rendering Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaigns unlawful for public bodies unless consistent with Government policy.
  2. the B’Tselem, Yesh Din, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch reports, as well as the Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories designating the situation there as one of apartheid and highlighting systematic Israeli anti-Palestinian discrimination – widespread seizures of Palestinian land and property, unlawful killings, forcible transfer, drastic movement restrictions, and the denial of citizenship;
  3. The Designation of 11 Palestinian human rights organisations as ‘terrorist’ by the Israeli state;
  4. The Israeli Ministry of Defence intention to isolate Palestinian universities, undermining Higher Education (and academic freedom) by limiting the number and disciplinary specialisms of foreign scholars permitted work visas;
  5. Trade union support for protest forms, such as BDS, in the UK as means of opposing the occupation of Ukraine.
  6. Calls for institutional boycotts of state-funded academic institutions in Russia as a response to the occupation of Ukraine and war crimes.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. Boycotts and divestment campaigns in relation to institutional ties with Russian state-sponsored academic institutions are legitimate forms of protest and opposition to the occupation of Ukraine;
  2. By consistency, BDS campaigns are legitimate forms of protest and opposition to other violent occupations and violations of civilian populations’ human rights.

UCL UCU resolves:

To mandate its Congress delegates to support Dundee University UCU motion SFC21, calling on UCU to:

a.  join the campaign against anti-BDS legislation;

b.  make forceful representations to the Israeli Embassy, affirming Palestinian universities’ membership of the global scholarly community;

c. reaffirm Congress’ 2010 opinion on BDS and academic boycott;

d.  immediately invite all members to consider, given reported crimes against humanity, the moral and political consequences of any relationship with Israeli institutions.

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21/22/25: Finance and Solidarity – Passed 05 May 2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The UCL UCU branch currently holds £X in the general account and £Y in the local hardship fund.
  2. UCU is about to call industrial action in 41 branches including a marking boycott, and further action will probably be needed in the autumn.
  3. In order to support this action there is a call on branches like ours to make a significant contribution to the national fighting fund.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To contribute 24.6% of the funds in the general account to the national fighting fund.
  2. To top up the branch hardship fund with 9.8% of the general funds.
  3. Amounts (1) and (2) were determined during the EGM and were not to exceed a pre-set total.
  4. To set up a GoFundMe process to permit members to donate days of pay for members in branches taking the marking boycott, and to call on members to participate.

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21/22/24: Amendment to HE Sector Conference motion HE1: USS: Higher education committee – Passed on 05/05/22

Existing text:
HE Sector conference notes the report and approves the recommendations of the SWG contained in UCUBANHE80 (SWG June 2022).

Add at end:
Noting the positive improvement in the USS monitoring position due to increases in the Bank of England base rate, UCU resolves to urgently campaign to prioritise the diversion of deficit recovery contributions into pension benefits in the short term as part of our industrial and political strategy to defend our pensions. (51 words)

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21/22/23: Amendment to HE Sector Conference motion HE5: Effective industrial action on Four Fights and USS – Passed on 05/05/22

Existing text:
Conference notes:

  1. Decisions taken at previous Conferences, and repeatedly expressed at Branch Delegate Meetings, to maintain the link between Four Fights and USS.
  2. The successful action by UCU members at the University of Liverpool last year, which involved both periods of sustained strike action, and a marking and assessment boycott.
  3. That brief periods of strike action (1-3 days) are ineffective.

Conference resolves: 

a. To maintain the link between the two disputes until sufficient progress is made in one or both to justify separation. 

b. To call escalating strike action and a marking and assessment boycott over both disputes. 

c. To allow limited local variation, to minimise as far as possible strike action on unproductive days, while maintaining maximum effective action overall. 

d. To respond to 100% pay deductions for ASOS by immediately calling further strikes.

Add at end:
e. To commence disaggregated reballots in all branches over both disputes from as soon as possible in June to as late as possible in September;

i. with end dates timed to permit action in induction week,

ii. with both disputes in the same envelope where possible, and

iii. to liaise with branch officers immediately to identify induction week dates.

Where branches have strike mandates until October, the end date may be extended accordingly. (72 words)

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21/22/22: Amendment to Congress Motion SFC18: Oppose the invasion of Ukraine – for peace not escalation – Passed on 05/05/22

Existing text:
Congress stands united in our condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We declare our support for the human rights of those under occupation or suffering oppression.

Congress resolves to:

  1. Call on the UK Government to allow unconditional entry to the UK to refugees displaced by and fleeing this conflict, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or citizenship.

Congress further resolves to:

a. Offer our solidarity to any colleagues and students directly and indirectly affected by these events.

b. Support all those calling for peace, including those in very difficult circumstances in Russia and Belarus, and to call on all governments – including our own – to bring about a peaceful end to this war.

c. Call on UK universities to facilitate the resettlement of refugee staff and students.

Add at end:
d. Call on UK universities to suspend all institutional cooperation and funding arrangements with all state-funded academic institutions in Russia, and in particular those whose leadership signed a statement by the Russian Union of Rectors dated 4 March 2022 endorsing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Congress supports constructive engagement with Russian colleagues and students on an individual basis, in particular those who may be suffering from, or in danger of suffering from, persecution in Russia. (75 words)

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21/22/21: Congress Late Motion: The ‘Rwanda Plan’ and the Nationality and Borders Act – Passed on 05/05/22

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The ‘Rwanda Plan’ for offshoring asylum seekers and the Nationality and Borders Act effectively end the right to claim legal asylum in Britain and threaten the citizenship rights of 6 million people, and marks a huge escalation of the government’s racist ‘hostile environment’.
  2. Lethal ‘Pushbacks’ in the channel, deportations and fundamental attacks on the rights of refugees must be opposed.
  3. The Ukraine war and the Afghan crisis have exposed once again the government’s failure to respond adequately to humanitarian crisis.

UCU resolves to work with refugee solidarity and anti-racist organisations to oppose the offshoring of refugees and the Nationality and Borders Act.

UCU believes visa restrictions should be waived for all those fleeing war, whatever their nationality.

UCU will campaign to say ‘All Refugees welcome here’.

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21/22/20: Special HE Sector Conference Motion: Industrial action plan – Passed 05 April 2022

HESC resolves UCU will:

  1. Identify summer term dates with each branch.
  2. Call a boycott of all summative marking from the start of summer term.
  3. Notify each employer of an initial two-week strike period from week 3 of term, stating that strikes may be avoided depending on the employer’s conduct, in particular that if the employer insists on disproportionate pay deductions for participation in ASOS then strikes will not be stood down.
  4. Notify further two-week strike periods to each employer prior to each subsequent strike.
  5. Ask branches to delegate two officers to coordinate with ROs and Head of HE to enact this plan.
  6. Call weekly Branch Delegate Meetings with voting powers to continually monitor the national situation.
  7. Ask members not taking ASOS to pledge a day’s pay a week to local hardship funds.
  8. Call an emergency appeal for the national Fighting Fund.

[150 words]

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21/22/19: Congress Motion: Oppose the invasion of Ukraine – for peace not escalation – Passed 17/03/2022

Congress stands united in our condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We declare our support for the human rights of those under occupation or suffering oppression.

Congress resolves to:

  1. Call on the UK Government to allow unconditional entry to the UK to refugees displaced by and fleeing this conflict, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or citizenship.
  2. Offer our solidarity to any colleagues and students directly and indirectly affected by these events.
  3. Support all those calling for peace, including those in very difficult circumstances in Russia and Belarus, and to call on all governments – including our own – to bring about a peaceful end to this war.
  4. Call on UK universities to facilitate the resettlement of refugee staff and students.

(122 words)

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21/22/18: HE Sector Conference Motion: Defend Education – Fight for the Future – Passed 17/03/2022

Conference notes:

  1. The student tuition fee cap freeze of £27,295 for post-2012 English and Welsh graduates, with RPI+3% over 30 years.
  2. 2023-entry graduates will repay RPI-rated student loans above a salary threshold of £25,000 – for 40 years.
  3. Additional proposals for minimum exam entry requirements for undergraduates, and caps in student recruitment for courses without ‘well paid graduate jobs’.
  4. The existing marketisation process is creating university ‘winners and losers’, job losses and course closures, and undermining national bargaining.

Conference resolves:

  1. To build a UK-wide campaign against these changes and for a sustainable funding model without fees and loans, and approach the NUS, the TUC and individual trade unions, and campaigning organisations such as the CDBU, CPU and HE Convention for support.
  2. To call national demonstrations in Autumn 2022 in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast under the slogan ‘Defend Education – Fight for the Future’.

(150 words)

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21/22/17: Additional payment availability from local hardship fund – Passed 17/03/2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The National Officers of the UCU have decided that the central UCU Fighting Fund be used to support the forthcoming round of industrial action in pursuit of the USS and Four Fights campaigns.
  2. For eligible members, the sum of £50 can be claimed for the second and subsequent days of strike action for members earning £30,000 gross or more per annum, and the sum of up to £75 for the second and subsequent days of strike action for members earning less than £30,000 gross per annum.
  3. These payments are subject to a cap of 11 days, which will be kept under review.
  4. That the amount claimed cannot exceed loss of earnings.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To use monies in the local UCL UCU hardship fund to support claims for the first day of industrial action, and to pay the same amounts to eligible members as the national UCU Fighting Fund (as set out in ‘notes’ point 2 above) i.e. £50 or £75.
  2. A one-off additional payment of £75 be available to members experiencing exceptional hardship i.e., having difficulty paying essential bills such as rent or mortgage, Council Tax, food, and utilities.
  3. That the eligibility criteria for claiming from the central UCU Fighting Fund apply to the local UCL UCU hardship fund.

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21/22/16: Strike Deductions and Student Hardship Funds – Passed 17/03/2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. Where UCL has budgeted for full staff costs, any deductions from staff wages represent a saving on agreed budgets and additional funds.
  2. Historically, strike pay deductions have been donated to the Student Hardship Fund, now known as ‘UCL Financial Assistance Funds’.
  3. The importance of solidarity between staff and students in campaigning for a fairer university in the Four Fights dispute.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call publicly on the Provost to confirm that deductions from staff wages for strike action or ASOS are added to the existing funds for the UCL Financial Assistance Funds.
  2. That the total amount deducted and donated is made public to staff and students.
  3. To campaign jointly with the UCL Student Union towards this goal.

Explanatory note: in the case of research staff funded by fixed term grants, unspent salary costs are retained by the Principal Investigator and should be spent on extending their contracts and deadlines.

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21/22/15: Oppose the invasion of Ukraine – for peace not escalation – Passed 11/03/2022

UCL UCU stands united in our condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. We declare our support for the human rights of those under occupation or suffering oppression.

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. Call on the UK Government to allow unconditional entry to the UK to refugees displaced by and fleeing this conflict, regardless of nationality, ethnicity, or citizenship.
  2. Offer our solidarity to any colleagues and students directly and indirectly affected by these events.
  3. Support all those calling for peace, including those in very difficult circumstances in Russia and Belarus, and to call on all governments – including our own – to bring about a peaceful end to this war.
  4. Call on UK universities to facilitate the resettlement of refugee staff and students.
  5. Call on UK universities to suspend all institutional cooperation and funding arrangements with all state-funded academic institutions in Russia, and in particular those whose leadership signed a statement by the Russian Union of Rectors dated 4 March 2022 endorsing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. UCL UCU supports constructive engagement with Russian colleagues and students on an individual basis, in particular those who may be suffering from, or in danger of suffering from, persecution in Russia.

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21/22/14: Call for an urgent meeting of branches to discuss the USS and Four Fights disputes – Passed 10/02/2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. HEC did not approve any of the strike proposals presented to branch delegates on 18 Jan 2022.
  2. HEC appears to have decided on a course of action that members have not been able to evaluate.
  3. To win our disputes, we need a clear strategy that branches have been able to assess and input into.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call for an urgent meeting of branches with a strike mandate so we can coordinate and propose industrial action strategy.
  2. To send delegates to such a meeting, whether organised centrally by UCU or by branches themselves.
  3. To advertise the meeting on the evening of 21 Feb called by the UCU Solidarity Movement to discuss next steps.

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21/22/13: Support ‘Stop the Silvertown Tunnel’ Day of Action – Passed 10/02/2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. There is a climate emergency that requires urgent action.
  2. That transport is a leading cause of UK carbon emissions.
  3. The Mayor of London has proposed traffic reduction targets to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2030.
  4. These targets are unobtainable if the Silvertown Tunnel, currently the largest new road construction in the UK, goes ahead.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That trade unions have an important part to play in challenging a project which will only increase private road traffic.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To raise awareness of the issue amongst members.
  2. To send a letter demanding the Mayor of London ‘pause and review’ the Silvertown tunnel project immediately’.
  3. To support the Stop the Silvertown Day of Action on 26 February.
  4. To join the Stop the Silvertown Tunnel Coalition campaign.

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21/22/12: Solidarity with United Voices of the World Union – Passed 10/02/2022

UCL UCU sends its solidarity to the United Voices of the World Union and resolves to donate £1,000 to their strike hardship fund for the Great Ormond Street Hospital strikers.

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21/22/11: Calling a Special Higher Education Sector Conference on the disputes – Passed 27/01/2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. That we are in the fight of our lives over USS and the Four Fights, with a threat to wreck the pension scheme in pre-92 universities and runaway inflation. Casualisation and workload are spiralling out of control due to the consequences of universities adapting to covid conditions, and structural inequality is worsening.
  2. That UCU’s nationally agreed strategy is to keep the action on USS and Four Fights together and to prosecute both disputes concurrently. This was recently reconfirmed by Motion 12 at the last September Higher Education Sector Conference.
  3. That Branch Delegate Meetings on the two disputes both reported a desire for escalating and effective strike action.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call on the UCU HEC to call a Special Higher Education Sector Conference (SHESC) to discuss and take decisions on the USS and Four Fights disputes.
  2. As per 16.11 of the union’s rules, this branch calls for a Special meeting of UCU’s Higher Education Sector Conference to take place at the earliest opportunity in order to discuss and take decisions on the Four Fights and USS disputes.

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21/22/10: Keep strike action effective and united – Passed 27/01/2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. That the USS dispute is at a crunch point.
  2. The General Secretary’s email to members on Friday was unclear as to whether or not action would be conducted across both disputes, and suggested that “regional rolling action” would be proposed.
  3. That in the USS reballot, UCL UCU failed to reach the participation threshold of 50% set by the Trade Union Act 2016, but achieved a Yes vote of 85%. However, UCL UCU has a live strike mandate over the Four Fights.
  4. That UCU policy, repeatedly confirmed by delegates at UCU’s sovereign body, the HE Sector Conference, is that both fights should be prosecuted together, most recently, Motion 12 (Leeds) in September 2021. Part 4c states that ballots and action will be taken concurrently.
  5. UCU Conference has not discussed regional rolling action, but the UCU Commission for Effective Action emphasised the need for serious national effective action.
  6. That acting over the Four Fights on a USS strike date is a lawful tactic that is strengthened if all branches do the same.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To formally write to UCU Higher Education Committee Officers asking that they ensure UCL UCU be called out on strike over the Four Fights on dates when branches are called out on strike over USS, and to write to other branches in the same position as us encouraging them to do likewise.
  2. To seek to ensure that strike action is conducted on a coordinated UK-wide basis as far as possible, allowing for local variation around term dates/reading weeks where necessary.

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21/22/09: Solidarity with Students / NUS Demonstration – Passed 27/01/2022

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. send our thanks to the UCL Student Union for their referendum result.
  2. call on members to show their solidarity with students and mobilise to support the NUS Demonstration on March 2nd, 2022, under the banner ‘A New Vision for Education’.
  3. formally ask UCU Higher Education Committee Officers to agree that, if we are in a position to progress the Four Fights dispute with a strike, that UCU calls a strike day to coincide with this demonstration.

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21/22/08: Four Fights and USS Future Industrial Action – Passed 17/01/2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. Up to 100 branches could have a mandate for industrial action when results are announced.
  2. The twin disputes strategy is successfully mobilising members across HE for both strike action and Action Short of Strike (ASOS). In addition, UCU is again seeing a new surge in membership indicating growing support for our demands among ever wider layers of HE staff.
  3. Despite the high levels of support for industrial action, including similar proportionate votes for action in branches that missed the anti-union threshold, and three days of action in Term 1, employers in HE have failed to seriously engage in the issues at the heart of the two disputes.
  4. HE institutions have record levels of income but continue to pursue maximising surpluses over student or staff wellbeing and educational quality. At the same time student debt is growing at ~£18bn a year, reaching £160bn by the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. The cost-of-living crisis raises the importance of the Four Fights dispute, and our dispute therefore has new relevance for other trade unions and workers.
  2. The 28th of February deadline for confirmation of the benefit cuts and cost increases in USS makes for urgency in calling industrial action.
  3. Employers are prepared to wait out action which is time limited.
  4. Strike action combined with ASOS provide the union with maximum leverage on employers while limiting the extent to which employers can place pressure on members to reschedule or replace lost work.
  5. The causes of our disputes are not due to lack of funds in the sector, but the use of those funds to sustain a system that treats HE as a profitable market instead of a provider of education and knowledge generation that benefits all. Marketisation, student debt and privatisation, and their impact on staff and students, highlight the broken nature of the model of HE operating across the whole of the UK.

UCL UCU calls:

  1. For future action to be escalating in the three weeks prior to the 28th of February deadline and with further action from from the 28th of February deadline, for both disputes.
  2. For forms of ASOS to be considered and the most appropriate undertaken, and for preparations for a reballot of branches to be made to allow action to be continued into the exam and graduation period, where necessary.
  3. For establishing compulsory levies in non-striking branches to sustain action in the striking branches and for an appeal to the trade union movement to show solidarity by donating to the UCU strike fund.
  4. On branches to organise local/city wide staff student and community assemblies to build support for the defence of our living standards and pensions across the wider trade union movement.
  5. On branches to support, publicise and send delegates to the UCU Solidarity Movement Conference on 29th January.

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21/22/07: Health and safety when working and teaching on campus – Passed 13/01/2022

UCL UCU notes that staff at UCL are expected to teach face-to face this term, without the necessary support in place to maximise the safety of staff and students.

UCL UCU further notes that H&S reps have asked UCL for:

  1. A ventilation audit of all mechanically ventilated rooms to ensure that the air changes are at least 12 litres per second per occupant.
  2. Carbon dioxide monitors installed in all teaching spaces to alert occupants of poor air quality.
  3. A ten minute ‘void period’ between lectures; allowing air change between classes.
  4. Signage indicating the current maximum occupancy for each room & ventilation data, (this was promised for the end of the week ending 12 November 2021).
  5. Signage to inform staff how to report failures of ventilation or issues with window opening (i.e. through the Estates Help Desk).
  6. Signage to explain the role of the carbon dioxide (CO2) monitors and how those using the space should respond if they go into orange or red.
  7. Up-to-date signage about mask-wearing.

These measures have only been implemented in some rooms. Airborne transmission risks and the current high prevalence of the omicron variant means that the risk of infection in many of the current teaching spaces at UCL is unacceptably high.

Until the Omicron wave has subsided, H&S reps are calling for:

  1. Suspension of face-to-face teaching in mechanically ventilated rooms where the ventilation rate is below 12 litres/second/person.
  2. Suspension of teaching in rooms where there are no CO2 monitors – particularly those reliant on natural ventilation.
  3. Suspension of teaching in rooms where reasonable temperatures cannot be maintained – due to failure of heating or need to open windows for adequate ventilation.
  4. Suspension of teaching in rooms where there is no signage indicating the maximum room capacity and ventilation details.
  5. Updating of institutional and departmental risk assessments to take into account the increased transmissibility and prevalence of the omicron variant.
  6. Lateral flow testing for all staff and students on each day that they attend campus until the Omicron outbreak has passed.
  7. A clear instruction to managers from the Provost reminding them that staff who are off sick must not be required to work (including teaching from home).
  8. Teaching staff to be given the autonomy to teach online during the outbreak if they believe the risks of in-class teaching are too high, or, after discussion with students in their class, the class wishes to be taught online.
  9. That workload implications that result from staff needing to change working practises, or cover for colleagues, be recognised and resourced.

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. Forward these demands to the Provost of UCL with a deadline for UCL to provide revised operational guidance to managers and staff taking account of these demands.
  2. If UCL fails to meet this deadline, begin the formal processes in UCU to serve UCL into a formal notice to ballot members to take industrial action in a local dispute over health and safety.

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21/22/06: Building a campaign over health and safety, and progressing the dispute – Passed 13/01/2022

UCL UCU notes:

  1. that before the Xmas break, UCU representatives wrote to the Provost of UCL formally seeking a commitment that
    1. UCL would permit staff who wished to teach online to do so where it was feasible to do so, and
    2. UCL would ensure that ventilation of teaching rooms was brought up to UCU’s recommended standard of fresh air replacement of a minimum 12 litres of air per person per second.
  2. that UCL met with UCU representatives last week, but declined to make such a commitment, especially with respect to (a).
  3. that the Office for National Statistics estimated the prevalence of Covid in London at nearly 10% of the population over the Xmas period, 70% Omicron/30% Delta.
  4. that flexibility to accommodate student absences due to Omicron and travel restrictions is likely to generate additional workload to carry out ‘blended’ teaching and repeat classes, and that UCU is calling on members to work to contract as part of the national dispute.
  5. Section 44 of the Employment Rights Act 1996 protects staff who decline to work in what they believe to be unsafe conditions, and health and safety legislation (the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, etc) places an obligation on staff towards the safety of others under their supervision, such as students in a class.

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. declare a dispute with UCL over health and safety, alongside a specific health and safety campaign, including a rapid survey of teaching conditions,
  2. approach the other trade unions to join this campaign,
  3. call a staff-student assembly to discuss the developing situation with students,
  4. defend members who are placed under pressure to work in what they believe to be unsafe working conditions.

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21/22/05: Rectifying the ASOS call – Passed 24/11/2021

UCL UCU notes that:

  1. UCU branches which passed the threshold have a mandate for all the elements of ASOS listed on the ballot paper.
  2. UCU notifications of action to employers cite only work-to-contract and refusal of voluntary duties.
  3. UCEA has advised institutions that refusing to reschedule classes or cover for absent colleagues are not covered by the notification.

UCL UCU believes that

  1. No HEC decision dictated the content of the notifications.
  2. This situation potentially undermines our industrial action.

UCL UCU calls on the General Secretary and HEC Officers to immediately rectify the situation by issuing corrected notifications of action to the employers.

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21/22/04: Solidarity with Goldsmiths UCU – Passed 24/11/2021

UCL UCU notes:

  1. That Goldsmiths UCU (GUCU) is in dispute with the Senior Management Team (SMT) at Goldsmiths, University of London over 20 FTE planned redundancies as part of SMT’s Academic Portfolio Review (APR) aimed at reducing staff costs.
  2. That a further 32 redundancies are planned in professional services, directly affecting the working conditions of academic staff and students.
  3. That this restructuring undermines the autonomy of departments, lecturers and researchers, increasingly centralising power over budgets, decision-making, academic portfolios and procedures with SMT.
  4. That moves towards restructuring at Goldsmiths are already having a seriously detrimental effect on the functioning of the university, such that basic services for staff and students are collapsing.
  5. That their SMT has spent over £2.5m in consultants and untold costs on change managers related to the restructuring.
  6. That their SMT has employed union-busting tactics in the past, and is currently delaying payment to key GUCU branch officials for carrying out trade union activities.
  7. The determination of GUCU members to fight for decent working conditions for all staff at Goldsmiths.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That Goldsmiths SMT has not explored alternatives to cuts, including stopping the use of expensive consultants and managers; fundraising; applying for government funds in Arts and Humanities; developing a vision for growth etc.
  2. That the planned cuts at Goldsmiths follow a pattern of financialisation increasingly seen across UK Higher Education Institutions, whereby financial pressures from banking partners are used to justify restructures that prioritise the cutting of frontline staff while increasing managerial costs.
  3. That the battle against redundancies and the financialisation of Goldsmiths make GUCU’s dispute one of national significance.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To issue a public statement of solidarity with GUCU’s dispute.
  2. To make a contribution of £3,000 to GUCU’s strike fund.
  3. To invite a GUCU striker to a branch meeting.
  4. To write to Frances Corner (Warden) at f.corner@gold.ac.uk and wardensoffice@gold.ac.uk and Dinah Caine (Chair of Council) at d.caine@gold.ac.uk expressing opposition to the redundancies and restructuring.  
  5. To actively support and publicise GUCU’s dispute, strike days and campaign events through social media, trade union contacts and beyond.

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21/22/03: Industrial action hardship funds – Passed 24/11/2021

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The National Officers of the UCU have decided that the central UCU Fighting Fund be used to support the forthcoming round of industrial action in pursuit of the USS and Four Fights campaigns.
  2. For eligible members, the sum of £50 can be claimed for the second and subsequent days of strike action for members earning £30,000 gross or more per annum, and the sum of up to £75 for the second and subsequent days of strike action for members earning less than £30,000 gross per annum.
  3. These payments are subject to a cap of 11 days, which will be kept under review.
  4. That the amount claimed cannot exceed loss of earnings.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To use monies in the local UCL UCU hardship fund to support claims for the first day of industrial action, and to pay the same amounts to eligible members as the national UCU Fighting Fund (as set out in ‘notes’ point 2 above) i.e. £50 or £75.
  2. That the eligibility criteria for claiming from the central UCU Fighting Fund apply to the local UCL UCU hardship fund.

Click here for detailed guidance on claiming from the UCU Fighting Fund.

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21/22/02: Industrial action next steps – Passed 10/11/2021

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The strong mandate for industrial action, both strike and ASOS, expressed by the latest ballots on the USS and the “four fights” (FF) disputes, both nationally and by our branch.
  2. That this result was obtained under adverse circumstances, therefore several branches that have not achieved the 50% participation threshold required by the anti-workers Trade Union Act 2016 in order to take industrial action could reasonably expect to do so in a re-ballot over a longer period.
  3. That an aggregated re-ballot for the FF dispute, if successful, would bring a large number of branches to take industrial action; however, there is no guarantee that it would be successful, and it would undermine the action in those branches that have already achieved the turnout threshold if it is not successful.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That a mandate for industrial action that is not followed reasonably soon by visible strike action weakens the message sent by the Union and works against its goals.
  2. That re-balloting should not be seen as a prerequisite for taking action, but part of it. This is a proven winning strategy.
  3. That meaningful, sustained action has to be taken as soon as legally allowed, and definitely before the winter holidays, involving both strike action and ASOS. This action must put crucial pressure on the employers now, as well as preparing us for potentially escalating the action.
  4. That the two disputes must be kept together for reasons of principle and tactics: the source of the current situation in HE, which includes all the issues covered by both the disputes, is the result of long-term policies of the current and previous governments that promote marketisation, privatisation and the pursuit of profit, and they have to be confronted as such; and tactically, more institutes can legally take action when the two ballots are combined, than separately.

UCL UCU resolves to express the following as its view in any national UCU decision-making bodies:

  1. The need to re-ballot all branches that didn’t achieve 50% turnout in either dispute as soon as possible. The re-ballot should run until 10 January, allowing the re-balloted branches to take strike action on these mandates from the end of January, and have a second live ballot mandate until 10 July.
  2. To oppose any suggestion of moving to an aggregated ballot over the Four Fights at the present time.
  3. The need to take strike action to start as soon as legal notice can be given, and sustained indefinite ASOS short of a marking and assessment boycott straight afterwards.
  4. Further strike days in the New Year should be considered by HEC in two phases, in part depending on the actions of the Employers.
  5. Before Reading Week (or slightly earlier depending on the reballots), branches can potentially strike under existing ballot mandates. After that point, branches that obtain new ballot mandates can join any further strike action.
  6. That action on the two disputes should be kept together as far as possible, and their goals pursued simultaneously.

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21/22/01: Re-ballot on USS – Passed 10/11/2021

UCL UCU notes that:

  1. The UCL UCU ballot on the USS pension dispute missed the 50% turnout threshold by 0.6% (having achieved 49.4%), which is 17 votes (0.6% of 2,826 ballots sent out = 16.95).
  2. The UCL UCU ballot on the Four Fights dispute achieved the turnout, getting over the 50% threshold.
  3. The 50% threshold for industrial action is due to anti-democratic Tory legislation designed to undermine industrial action and workers’ rights.
  4. Although we can strike over the Four Fights on the same dates, the result for the USS dispute is an obstacle to our branch in joining that fight.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That the USS dispute is of huge importance to our members and should be seen as part of an overall movement to save workers’ conditions, and with them Higher Education in the UK.
  2. The USS ballot result at UCL shows our members’ resolve not to accept the stealing of their pensions through cuts of, in many cases, above 35%, based on a spurious valuation of the scheme.
  3. The fact that 1,395 of our members who voted were disenfranchised (1,082 for strike action and 1,250 for action short of a strike) by the 50% threshold  illustrates how the Trade Union Act 2016 undermines democracy.
  4. UCL UCU’s absence from the USS formal industrial action undermines our solidarity with other branches.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call a re-ballot on industrial action in the USS dispute with the ballot commencing as soon as possible (at least by 29 November) and ending around 10 January.
  2. In the meantime, to show solidarity to other branches striking over USS.
  3. To reaffirm UCU’s policy of joint action, and to call on members to participate in action over the Four Fights dispute on dates aligned with strikes called over USS.

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2020/21


20/21/18: Call on UCL to rejoin the Stonewall Diversity Champions programme – Passed 15/09/2021

UCL UCU notes:

  1. LGBTQ+ people face significant barriers to full participation in public life and many LGBTQ+ people face discrimination and harassment at work (National LGBT Survey).
  2. Trans people report very low life satisfaction scores compared with the UK population (National LGBT Survey) and often face significant challenges in the workplace; in a recent Stonewall survey 1 in 8 trans employees said they had been attacked by a colleague or customer at work.
  3. UCL left the Stonewall Diversity Champions Scheme purely for financial reasons (UCL statement). During the initial wave of the pandemic, when there were serious uncertainties around UCL’s financial position, UCL left the Diversity Champions Programme for one year as part of its drive to conserve cash. Due to under-resourcing in the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group, UCL was unable to enter this year’s Global Workplace Equality Index.
  4. Stonewall is the largest LGBTQ+ rights organisation in Europe.
  5. Stonewall is widely recognised as working inclusively for the rights of all LGBTQ+ people.
  6. Much of Stonewall’s work is focused on improving LGBTQ+ equalities in the workplace and it runs two schemes to facilitate this – the Diversity Champions Programme and the Workplace Equality Index.
  7. UCL has not released the results of it’s entry into the 2020 Stonewall Equality Index but is no longer listed as a Top 100 employer on the Stonewall site.

UCL UCU resolves:

To call upon UCL to demonstrate its commitment to LGBTQ+ equalities by:

  1. Immediately re-joining Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme
  2. Committing to making a submission to Stonewall’s 2022 Global Workplace Equality Index.
  3. Continuing to improve staff training and awareness on LGBTQ+ and intersex equalities.

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20/21/17: Covid 19 Safety & Mitigation at UCL – Passed 02/09/2021

UCL UCU notes that:

  1. Universities across the UK are under pressure from the UK government to start a new academic year “open”, with a default of students being taught on campus, backed up by threats by the government to support fee rebate claims from students if this does not happen.
  2. We are seeing record student recruitment especially among undergraduates, building on student numbers from last year.
  3. UCL official planning is for online lectures but in-person seminars/tutorials, but no social distancing on campus. Initial benchmark room occupancy plan of 30 students has been subsequently revised upwards by managers in the light of the surge in expected student numbers.
  4. The infectivity of Delta is approx. 75% greater than last year’s dominant variant (R0 = 5.08 vs 2.89); vaccines are estimated to reduce infectivity by up to 60%. However, vaccination is not mandatory. Many students will not be vaccinated, either out of personal choice or access. Some staff may also not be vaccinated. Students and staff may live with others who are clinically vulnerable, may be unvaccinated, etc. They may also have lengthy commutes, exposing them to risks on the journey.

UCL UCU believes that:

  1. Campus crowding is liable to be a big problem on current projections.
  2. We need a principled prioritisation of *necessary* on-campus teaching, limits to class sizes and room occupancy. The “lecture” / “seminar” split offers some opportunity for academic discretion.

UCL UCU calls on UCL to:  

  1. build on last year’s model, including department-level planning and respect for members’ personal choices re modes of delivery (such as working from home and online provision).
  2. put in place proper mitigations in the form of masks, ventilation, air filtering, CO2 monitors and social distancing, and updated risk assessments, and ensure that staff asked to teach face-to-face in conditions not meeting these criteria can reasonably refuse until the conditions are changed.
  3. ensure workload is managed reasonably and equitably given the risk that “blended” teaching can lead to spiralling workloads, and/or small-class teaching tutorials are pushed onto (PG)TA’s.
  4. accept that lecture recording must be under control of staff members. This includes whether the lectures are recorded, whether they are made using UCL platforms, whether they are stored on UCL platforms, and any use that is made of such recordings beyond the immediate provision of teaching in the new academic year period.
  5. also accept that the existence of recorded material on UCL platforms will *not* be taken to signal the relinquishing of performance rights with regard to these recordings in this (Covid19 pandemic) period.
  6. provide support for staff (including mental health support).

UCL UCU resolves to put these demands to UCL and to keep up vigilance and monitoring in this period, with the recruitment of more H&S reps where possible, and to establish a clear reporting line for those reps to report breaches.

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20/21/16: HESC Motion 1: Launch the USS ballot now – Passed 12/08/2021

HESC notes that:

  1. June 2021 HESC motion HE12 was passed with amendment 12A.1 committing the union to organise a member-level campaign and ballot members for industrial action over the summer from June to September, should the employers not join UCU in pressuring USS and the pension regulator to cancel the 2020 valuation in favour of a new 2021 valuation using an “evidence-based moderately prudent approach”.
  2. the employers did not do so. But HEC failed to enact motion HE12.

HESC resolves to:

  1. Ensure HEC does not repeat this mistake.
  2. Immediately commence the balloting of members for industrial action to defend the USS DB scheme on its current basis, on a schedule sufficient to enable members to take action in the Autumn Term.
  3. Implement the public campaign among members outlined in the aforementioned resolution.

[133 words]

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20/21/15: HESC Motion 2: Ballot members over the 2021-22 pay round – Passed 12/08/2021

HESC notes:

  1. that the 2021-22 pay round has resulted in UUK recommending employers impose a 1.5% increase, and no progress on casualisation, equality, workload or redundancies
  2. the success in increasing GTVO turnout in 2019 by placing both ballot papers in the same envelope

HESC resolves:

  1. to ballot members over the 2021-22 pay round, in the same envelope as USS where possible

[61 words]

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20/21/14: Support the call to ‘crowd fund’ a legal challenge to USS launched by KCL UCU – Passed 12/08/2021

UCL UCU notes the campaign launched from KCL to raise £50,000 to take USS trustees and managers to court for (a) negligence with respect to the pension assets, (b) self-serving negligence by inflating personnel costs, (c) discrimination by failing to consider discriminatory aspects of proposed pension changes, and (d) negligence and failure to act in beneficiaries’ best interests by not divesting from low-performing and climate threatening fossil fuels.

UCL UCU resolves to pledge £2000 to the legal fund, and to encourage members to make donations.

More information: https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/save-pensions-and-planet/

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20/21/13: Support the University of Liverpool UCU industrial action – Motion passed 10/06/2021

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The disgraceful decision by the University of Liverpool to make Health and Life Science teachers and researchers redundant
  2. The detrimental effect this will have on student learning
  3. The devastating impact on staff of losing their jobs during the pandemic
  4. The determination of UCU Liverpool members to fight for their members

UCL UCU further notes:

  1. Managers at other universities want to exploit the pandemic to make cuts
  2. This makes the battle for jobs at Liverpool a dispute of national importance
  3. It is in the interests of all workers, including us, that UCU Liverpool wins its dispute

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To send a message of solidarity to UCU University of Liverpool
  2. To donate £3,000 to their strike fund, and to call on members to make donations or pledge a regular amount
  3. To actively support and publicise their strike days and events

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20/21/12: Amendment to Congress Motion EQ12 on the IHRA working definition

Add to Congress resolves section:

“e. to dedicate resources to, and support, individual members (and their branches) where the IHRA definition is being used to attack their legitimate free speech on Israel or Palestine”

Motion EQ 12 (as amended)

Congress notes:

  1. Williamson’s letter threatening universities unless they (a) adopt the “IHRA working definition of antisemitism”, and (b) implement it in staff and student codes of conduct.
  2. UCU’s policy opposition to the definition.
  3. only a quarter of HEIs have adopted; of these many have ‘adopted’ but refused to implement.
  4. the Report of the UCL Working Group on Racism and Prejudice.
  5. the risk that FE will be next.

Congress resolves to:

a. condemn Williamson’s intervention as an attack on institutional autonomy, on academic freedom and freedom of expression.

b. call on the General Secretary to speak out.

c. call on branches to organise against the adoption, and to develop a briefing document for branches, drawing on the UCL Report and BRICUP briefings.

d. organise a grassroots campaign on academic freedom and free speech on Israel, with a dedicated web page and resources on the UCU website.

e. to dedicate resources to, and support, members (and their branches) where the IHRA definition is being used to attack legitimate free speech on Israel and Palestine

Purpose: to provide specific additional support to branches in addition to the above.

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20/21/11: Amendment to HESC Motion HE1 on Pay – Four Fights

Add at end, “Where possible, to coordinate this campaign with ongoing national HE dispute(s) over USS to maximise unity and organisational efficiency, and ballot and call action according to this principle.”

Motion HE1 (as amended)

HESC notes:

  1. The continued support for a focus upon the four fights (pay, pay inequalities, casualisation and workloads) in our pay claim among members as witnessed by the branch delegate meetings in 2020.
  2. HESC believes standing committees of UCU should continue to have input into the demands in each of their respective areas.

HESC resolves:

a. To continue to ensure that the four fights, informed by the decisions of the equalities standing committees and anti-casualisation committee, should remain a central element of our claim in 2021.

UCU commits to re-launch a campaign over the four fights among UCU members with publicity and social media prior to balloting for industrial action up to and including strike action where these are not met.

Where possible, to coordinate this campaign with ongoing national HE dispute(s) over USS to maximise unity and organisational efficiency, and ballot and call action according to this principle.

Purpose: commit to joint action where possible

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20/21/10: Amendment to HESC Motion HE11 on USS

Insert before “invite speakers” in point b. “and encourage branches and Regions to”

Replace point e. with “If the employers have not joined UCU to pressure USS and the pension regulator to cancel the 2020 valuation and use an evidence-based moderately prudent approach in 2021, ballot members from June to September 2021 for escalating industrial action in the Autumn, using the full resources of the union to deliver a resounding Yes vote and a high turnout.”

Purpose: set a timetable for ballot

Motion HE11 (as amended)

HESC notes:

  1. The 2020 USS valuation, claiming a very large projected deficit due to ‘de-risking’. Yet in reality, assets have grown to ~£80bn. 100% DC or swingeing cuts are likely to be re-imposed.
  2. Strikes in 2018 stopped a similar attack. Now USS and the employers are attempting to repeat it.
  3. Pension cuts affect those beginning their careers the most.
  4. We will likely need to take industrial action to stop the attack, potentially as early as Autumn 2021.

HESC resolves to:

a. Organise a member-level campaign to stop detrimental USS changes.

b. Develop campaign materials, and encourage branches and Regions to invite speakers and call meetings to demystify the valuation and projected deficit.

c. Call on university leaders to support UCU’s position in negotiations with USS and lobby to adopt a more credible valuation methodology.

d. Support initiatives to build the campaign, alongside organisations including USS Briefs, HE Convention and UCU Solidarity Movement.

e. If the employers have not joined UCU to pressure USS and the pension regulator to cancel the 2020 valuation and use an evidence-based moderately prudent approach in 2021, ballot members from June to September 2021 for escalating industrial action in the Autumn, using the full resources of the union to deliver a resounding Yes vote and a high turnout.

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20/21/09: Congress Late motion on USS “SWG Principles”

(Note: this is classed as a “late” motion because it would be submitted after the normal Conference deadline for motions. It is justified because the document referred to was published after this deadline. “SWG” is the Superannuation Working Group, a committee of the Higher Education Committee.)

HESC notes:

  1. HEC’s proposed “SWG Principles” for negotiation with UUK over USS.
  2. That exploring Conditional Benefits represents a new policy – which is the role of HESC to determine, not SWG.
  3. That we need a solution to the 2020 valuation, which could include it being cancelled, or we will be faced with unaffordable contributions and smaller benefits than contributions.
  4. That negotiations around additional Covenant Support require a similar high level of care.

Notwithstanding the importance of keeping open negotiations with the Employers, HESC believes that issuing these two “Principles” at this time sends the wrong message to the Employers and union members.

HESC therefore resolves to withdraw them and instruct negotiators to focus on clear demands to set aside the valuation and to preserve members’ benefits and contribution levels.

(133 words)

Click here for the full list of Congress and Sector Conference motions.

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20/21/08: Support of University of Leicester UCU – Motion passed 29/04/21

UCL UCU notes the:

  1. Crass actions taken by the University of Leicester (UoL) Senior Management in deciding that certain subject areas are not academically valuable
  2. Redundancies of accomplished and respected academic staff that will result from this decision
  3. Absence of proper consultation or engagement with staff on this matter
  4. Vote of no-confidence in the UoL Senior management, passed in the Leicester Students’ Union Referendum
  5. Overwhelming vote of no confidence passed by UoL UCU Branch members
  6. 56% turnout in an industrial action ballot of UoL UCU members: 69% in favour of industrial action and 81% in favour of ASOS
  7. Call by UoL UCU branch for an ‘academic boycott’ of Leicester University

UCL UCU believes:

  1. The above actions by UoL Senior Management constitute an unacceptable attack on academic freedom
  2. That this attack represents one of the more extreme examples of a pattern of Senior Management behaviour developing in the sector

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call on our members for an ‘academic boycott’ of Leicester University, as requested by UoL UCU, and to call on UCU nationally to initiate a national academic boycott campaign
  2. To make a pledge of £1000 to the UoL UCU strike fund

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20/21/07: Responding to the organisational change proposal in ISD – Motion passed 25/03/21

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The publication by UCL ISD management of an organisational change proposal that:
    1. deletes 42 posts, threatening staff with redundancy;
    2. creates 56 posts, most of which will not be suitable redeployment opportunities for at-risk staff;
    3. proposes the closure of the Health Creatives and Digital Media groups, outsourcing the majority of the work;
    4. is “cost-neutral”, meaning that no new investment is forthcoming at a time when ISD services have never been more important.
  2. There are some welcome additions to sections that support online learning, and information security areas.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That the change proposal is driven by outsourcing, both directly, in outsourcing two groups, and indirectly, in preparing ISD for further outsourcing of services.
  2. Declaring work done by groups ‘no longer part of the ISD mission’ is not sufficient justification to threaten academic related staff who provide a valuable service to the UCL community with redundancy.
  3. Just 30 days cannot be meaningful consultation on such wide-ranging changes.
  4. UCL should be increasing ISD funding.
  5. UCL should not prioritise accruing a ‘surplus’ (profit) over maintaining and enhancing in-house service provision.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call on UCL ISD management:
    1. to rule out compulsory redundancies in the reorganisation of ISD;
    2. to cancel plans to outsource the work performed by the Health Creatives and Digital Media groups, and to keep the work in-house;
    3. to extend the consultation period to 90 days.
  2. To encourage colleagues to lobby UCL in support of the work done by staff threatened by this proposal.
  3. To strengthen the Organisational Change Procedure so staff can give early, formative input in the change process.
  4. If management refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies, to declare a local industrial dispute and to ballot members on industrial action.

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20/21/06: The current UCL workload crisis and planning for 2021/22 –  Motion passed 25/03/21

UCL UCU notes:

  1. Incomplete consultation in 2019-20 between UCL and trade unions through Health and Safety Committee prior to the pandemic, reviewing workload models. This built on other initiatives, e.g., the IOE standardised workload model used to plan staff allocation and workload. With a majority on part-time contracts, Teaching Fellows and PGTAs have built up expertise in monitoring workload hours.
  2. In 2020/21, UCL recruited 3,000 additional students (~8%) above 2019/20 levels. Mitigations were limited to:
  • Course rationalisation
  • Teaching (primarily) online
  • Express de-prioritisation of research duties
  • Limited additional recruitment (the initial recruitment freeze was partially lifted)
  1. Cases of UCL managers responding to student demands by simply seeking additional unpaid workload from staff, e.g., extra ‘non-core’ teaching, blended learning, more face-to-face tutorials etc.
  1. UCL’s financial position has changed from a large projected deficit to being on course for >£50m surplus this year.
  2. UCL has made some additional offers to staff, including 4 additional leave days in 2020/21 session, and a ‘do what you can’ policy for home working.

UCL UCU further notes that workload is:

  1. A contractual issue. Full time staff on standard UCL contracts are entitled to limit their workload by contract to 36.5 hours a week (7.3 hours a day during weekdays), and to take 41 weekdays off a year as leave (including closure days), equivalent to 1,604 hours a year. Part time staff are entitled to the same rights pro-rata.
  2. A health and safety issue. Stress is the single largest cause of death and serious injury among university staff, negatively impacting on physical and mental health. Chronic excessive workload is a major source of long-term stress.
  3. An equalities issue. Expecting some staff to work in excess of their contract may be discriminatory. If staff with health or caring needs are not enabled to work to their contracted hours, then UCL cannot claim to be carrying out reasonable adjustments.

UCL UCU believes that we are facing a workload crisis at the very point that UCL needs to engage with staff in forward planning for 2021/22. UCL simultaneously wishes to consult staff about new ways of working for a return to campus.

  1. Many members: teaching fellows, professors, and administrative, Professional Services, and research staff, from a wide range of departments, have reported that they are simply unable to manage their current workload within their contracted hours. Many have not taken leave entitlements and working days have extended beyond 7.3 hours.
  2. Lockdown has complicated the situation, managers and staff have often been separated, and both groups have been home working for all or part of the year. Periods of home schooling have also had a severe impact on staff with school age children in their household.

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. Develop a workload campaign among staff to:
    1. Ensure that staff know how many hours they are working, and are expected to work by contract, and what their rights are to decline unreasonable demands
    2. Share workload data between staff in departments
    3. Encourage new union representatives to come forward
    4. Build a network between departments to share models and data
    5. Take collective action should it be required
  2. To demand that UCL SMT:
    1. Issue a clear statement recognising the scale of the workload crisis, both at the present time and in forward planning for 2021/22, accepting that more teaching staff will need to be recruited to match student number growth.
    2. Negotiate with UCL UCU and other campus trade unions and staff representatives to align workload with contractual obligations as part of staff allocations for 2021/22, and institute forward monitoring arrangements.
    3. Renegotiate local workload models and institute further monitoring arrangements.
    4. Instruct HoDs not to place additional demands on staff in the meantime.
  3. If UCL does not agree to negotiate, to call another EGM in Term 3 to discuss next steps, including moving towards a trades dispute.

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20/21/05: USS – Build the Resistance – Motion passed 11/03/21

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The new USS valuation for 2020/21 asserting simultaneously that assets have increased to nearly £80bn, even during the Covid-19 crisis, but claiming a very large projected deficit.
  2. This deficit is entirely due to assuming low future asset growth, because of ‘de-risking’ the scheme (disinvesting from the stocks and shares that have expanded the assets).
  3. Unless stopped, USS will increase total contributions from 30% to 56% of salary, making the Defined Benefit ‘CARE’ pension unaffordable for both employees and employers.
  4. The admitted long-term plans of employers and some politicians to abolish the Defined Benefit pension and replace it with a Defined Contribution scheme.
  5. Industrial action in 2018 stopped a similar attack being implemented at the time, but now USS and the employers are attempting to repeat it.
  6. The USS scheme was the brainchild of our union, not the gift of employers. Our members won it by a hard fight over many years. We will not be able to replace it once lost.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. The fight for pension provision is not simply for current members of USS but for future members – the largest cut in pension will be to those beginning their careers
  2. We will likely need to take industrial action to stop the attack, potentially as early as Autumn 2021.
  3. We need to organise now to challenge both the propaganda that the scheme is in deficit from USS Ltd and the myth that changes are inevitable.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To organise members to develop a grassroots campaign to stop this pension theft.
  2. To develop campaign materials, invite speakers and call meetings to demystify the valuation and the projected deficit.
  3. To call on UCL Council and Provost to support UCU’s position in negotiations with USS Ltd and to adopt a more credible valuation methodology.
  4. To support initiatives by UCU, nationally, regionally, and locally to build the campaign, alongside organisations and groups including USS Briefs, HE Convention and the UCU Solidarity Movement.
  5. When a ballot for industrial action is called, to organise to win that ballot.
  6. To submit a motion to the forthcoming HE Sector Conference based on the above.

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20/21/04: Avoiding Redundancies in the Reorganisation of IOE Initial Teacher Education – Motion passed 12/02/21

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The decision of UCL IOE management not to bid on contracts for Teach First, School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) and School DIrect (Salaried) programmes.
  2. That Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) student numbers are up 20% this year
  3. IOE staff report that workloads have been unmanageable for at least four years, with no action from management despite them admitting the need for workload reform
  4. That academic staff and a small number of administrative staff are being subject to compulsory TUPE transfer or at risk of redundancy

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call on UCL management to rule out compulsory redundancies in the reorganisation of ITE, and to engage with UCU to ensure that staff who do transfer, do so voluntarily.
  2. If management refuses to rule out compulsory redundancies, to declare a local industrial dispute and to ballot members on industrial action.

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20/21/03: Solidarity with UEL #SaveUEL – Motion passed 17/11/20

UCL UCU agrees to support UEL staff in resisting the changes that are currently being forced through:

  • UEL put 441 staff at risk of redundancy, and lost 100 staff with Voluntary Severance
  • Union victimisation – the 12 compulsory redundancies include 4 UCU activists, including the Chair and V/Chair
  • Unnecessary job losses have left staff with unsustainable workloads
  • Cuts have damaged world-class programmes and research & the university’s capacity to carry out its basic functions.
  • Increased money wasted on top management and consultants
  • Top-down management, squashing internal scrutiny

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. Send a letter of solidarity with UEL academics to UEL UCU – protesting attack on critical scholarship, attack on union activism.
  2. Write letters to Individual members of UEL Board of Governors and University Executive Board – The University Executive Board and the Board of Governors need to hear voices of resistance to these ongoing and proposed changes. Many of them may have real reservations about this brutal and unnecessary process. Hearing from members of UCU UCL might just help persuade them to act. Any letters should be sent to all members of the Board of Governors, and to all members of the University Executive Board (see UCU UEL branch statement for more information about who to contact).
  3. Use its own social media to send support and request its own members to do the same e.g Tweet your support! Please also tweet your support, and the link to this letter, tagging @UEL_news, @EastLondonUCU, and #SaveUEL.
  4. Donate £1000 to the UEL Strike Fund.

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20/21/02: Support the UCU Activists Conference and Staff/Student Assembly – Motion passed 17/11/20

UCL UCU notes: 

  1. that Covid-19 and lockdown conditions have not prevented UCU branches from organising online
  2. that Further Education has not been permitted to switch to wholly online teaching and has seen Covid-19 cases rise
  3. the success of industrial action ballots in stopping redundancies at Heriot-Watt University, and new ballots elsewhere opposing redundancies
  4. growing student anger over dishonest marketing of “open” campuses, with initial protests turning into a rent strike movement
  5. the impact of Black Lives Matter campaigns in wider society raising radical demands for access and decolonising curricula
  6. the unfortunate postponement of UCU Congress
  7. the success of the UCU Solidarity Movement, organised as a network of UCU branches, in bringing staff and student activists together

UCL UCU resolves:

  • to support the UCU Solidarity Movement activist conference and student/staff assembly on Saturday 28 November, to organise a delegation and to encourage members to participate.

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20/21/01: No return to unsafe workplaces; no face-to-face teaching unless educationally necessary – Motion passed 15/09/20

UCL UCU notes:

  1. The General Secretary’s call for all universities to teach online in Term 1 at least.
    UCU’s Five Tests* for a safe return to campus.
  2. Official figures record 43,000 deaths from Covid-19. Excess deaths since March 2020 are at least 60,000.
  3. Government calls for a return to workplaces.
  4. Independent SAGE, SAGE and WHO believe social distancing, test, track and isolate and the use of PPE are central to control pandemics. 

UCL UCU Believes:

  1. The General Secretary’s call on universities and colleges is correct.
  2. UCU’s Five Tests have not been met.
  3. The Government’s call to return to offices is motivated by business concerns rather than public safety.
  4. A second wave of Covid-19 infections is increasingly likely.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. To call on members to refuse to carry out face-to-face teaching and/or extra-curricular activities unless educationally necessary, and to work remotely until UCU’s tests have been met.
    Exceptions for face-to-face teaching and other working are where the affected staff judge it absolutely necessary and H&S reps approve arrangements, i.e. to ensure students with additional communication needs are able to participate, or for lessons which strictly require students to be present, such as surgery.
  2. To call on UCU to organise a series of sector-based “No return to unsafe workplace” online meetings.

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