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Draft Minutes 2022 AGM

Meeting held on 29th June 2022

UCL UCU ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

29 June 2022 
Draft Minutes

Chair: Sean Wallis
Peak attendance: 74
_______________

1) Chair's Business

None

2) Draft minutes of previous AGM on 20 July 2021

Accuracy agreed, no comments made. 

3) Matters Arising

Saladin Meckled-Garcia proposed extending the meeting by 15 minutes (2.15pm finish) to accommodate the number of motions. When put to vote this was agreed 42% for, 37% against, and 21% abstaining. 

4) President's Annual Report

The president’s annual report was circulated prior to the meeting which addressed:

  • The past year has been very different to the previous one - which was dictated by the pandemic and resulting negotiations - whereas this year was focussed on UCL trying to return to ‘business as usual’.
  • We have been balloted by the national union 3 times, resulting in industrial action in support of the Four Fights dispute. However this was the only occasion we managed to cross the 50% threshold and turnout has fallen since. This is a matter of concern as we are the biggest branch in the country and our ability to take action directly affects our ability to negotiate with UCL. 
  • Public mobilisation matters and the president noted their gratitude to everyone who took part in action and supported pickets. 
  • In 2018 we learned that industrial action can stop employers implementing cuts, this year none of the branches that took action over Four Fights and USS with a marking and assessment boycott received a pay deduction which is again testament to the leverage we can yield. 
  • Our current Conservative governments’ attack on higher education by amending the student loan system, with incoming students being £20k worse off over their lifetime as a result, will explicitly benefit wealthier students and affect what and where students choose to study. As a relatively privileged university it is necessary for us to speak out against these changes. 

The full report can be read at Appendix 1. 

5) Accounts for the year ending 31 August 2021

Seán Doyle (Treasurer) presented the accounts and the Chair welcomed questions from the floor. The accounts were proposed for formal adoption and the meeting agreed unanimously, nem con.  Detailed accounts available on request from ucu@ucl.ac.uk.

6) Subscriptions for 2022-2023

To assist with the cost of living crisis Seán Doyle proposed no changes to the local subscriptions, as below:

               

Band

Income

2021-22

2022-23

F6

< £5k

nil

nil

F5

£5k - 14,999

nil

nil

F4

£15k - 21,999

nil

nil

F3

£22k - 29,999

£1.60

£1.60

F2

£30k - 39,999

£2.40

£2.40

F1

£40k - 59,999

£3.20

£3.20

F0

> £60k

£5.00

£5.00

The subscriptions were proposed for formal adoption and the meeting agreed unanimously, nem con. 

7) Elections

Prior to the meeting members were invited to put forward nominations for all Branch Officer positions. There were two contested positions, Secretary and President, but one of the nominations for President was withdrawn. An electronic ballot was held for the contested post of Secretary which opened on 13 June and closed on 27 June.

7.1 Contested election for Secretary - report

John Yandell, the Returning Officer of the election, presented his written report and requested that it be circulated to the wider membership (see text of the report in the appendix to these minutes). 
The election for the post of Secretary had a turnout of 16.6% and the results were:

  • Tony Brown - 186 votes
  • Saladin Meckled-Garcia - 372 votes

Saladin Meckled-Garcia is therefore elected Branch Secretary.

As incoming Branch Secretary, Saladin Meckled-Garcia committed to circulating the Returning Officer’s report. 

John Yandell noted four areas of concern on the conduct of the election:

  1. While statements were available within the Choice Voting software they were not pre-circulated or immediately at hand. 
  2. Candidates should not be involved in the administration of the election. 
  3. Canvassing guidelines are needed for any future elections. 
  4. A hustings would have been very beneficial for both nominees and the branch at large. 

7.2 Formal confirmation of uncontested posts

Officer Positions:

  • President - Sean Wallis
  • Joint Vice Presidents - Holly Smith and Ilektra Christidi
  • Treasurer - Seán Doyle
  • Equality Officer - Victoria Showunmi
  • Anti-casualisation Officer - Matteo Tiratelli
  • Communications Officer - Sonja Curtis
  • Health & Safety Officer - Alun Coker
  • Environment Officer - Anca Tacu

A confirmatory vote for the uncontested Officer Positions was held with 92% for, 2% against, and 7% abstaining. 

Executive Committee:

  • Majella Lane
  • Lily Kahn
  • Bettina Friedrich
  • Nalini Vittal
  • Mark Newman
  • Helen Donoghue
  • Tony Brown
  • Bella Vivat

A confirmatory vote for the uncontested Executive Committee positions was held with 92% for, 2% against, and 6% abstaining. 

Thanks and gratitude were offered to the members of the committee not standing for re-election:

  • Catherine Dale - PGTA rep (joint)
  • Nikhil Venkatesh - PGTA rep (joint)
  • Maria (Masha) Sibiryakova
  • Martin Fry

7.3 Co-option proposal

SW proposed that Richard Pettinger be co-opted to the Branch Committee as he did not submit his nomination in time. When put to vote this was carried with 90% for, 0% against, and 10% abstaining. 

8) Motions for debate

MOTION 1: SOLIDARITY WITH QUEEN MARY UNIVERSITY UCU
  • Proposed by Sean Wallis and seconded by Seán Doyle. 
  • Nalini Vittal raised concerns that the £10000 donation was too high. Seconded by Holly Smith. 
  • A vote was held to amend the donation to £5000 with 32% for the amendment, 63% against, and 5% abstaining. Therefore the motion remained as proposed. 
  • When put to vote the motion was carried with 88% for, 3% against and 9 abstaining. 
MOTION 2: INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY - PAME CONGRESS
  • Proposed by Ilektra Christidi and seconded by Sean Wallis. 
  • Matteo Tiratelli raised concerns that UCU has no formal relationship with PAME and that this sets a concerning precedent. Seconded by Bettina Friedrich who also raised issues with their subscriptions being used towards engaging with an organisation they disagree with. 
  • Ilektra Christidi emphasised that 
  • When put to vote the motion was carried with 60% for, 21% against, and 19% abstaining. 
MOTION 3: SOLIDARITY WITH IN-HOUSING CAMPAIGNS
  • Proposed by Gabriel Bristow and seconded by Matteo Tiratelli. 
  • Concerns were raised that the motion, if carried, would create conflict with UNISON. 
  • As the debate went beyond the agreed end time of 2.15pm a vote was held as to whether to extend the meeting to vote on the motion. This was agreed with 71% for, 26% against, and 2% abstaining.
  • When put to vote the motion was carried with 77% for, 14% against, and 9% abstaining. 

Motion 4 and Motion 5 (including amendment) were not discussed as the meeting was overtime. 

The Chair thanked members for attending and closed the meeting.

*END*