General Meeting reminder - Congress business and USS dispute motions for debate - Tue 10 April

9 April 2018

This is a reminder that we have scheduled a General Meeting for tomorrow, Tue 10 April, 13:00-14:00, in the Gustave Tuck LT.

Congress business

This year UCU Congress and Sector Conference will run from Wednesday 30 May - Friday 1 June 2018 in Manchester.

We have received a late motion to debate for submission to UCU's Congress and Higher Education Sector Conference (HESC) - see Appendix 1 below. Congress and Sector Conference are the bodies of the union that meet annually to make union policy. Decisions are made by elected delegates from each branch, elected on the basis of 1 per 400 members or part thereof. We are entitled to five delegates all of whom are entitled to paid time off and will have their transport and accommodation expenses paid by the UCU.

At our General Meeting tomorrow any colleague interested in standing for election as a delegate can put themselves forward. If you are interested and would like to know more, please email ucu@ucl.ac.uk.

We have a further motion for debate concerning the development of our USS dispute - see Appendix 2 below.

PS. For new members: General Meetings are open to all UCU members and every member gets a vote (but you have to attend to vote). They are our principal democratic body.

UCL UCU Executive Committee

Appendix 1 - late motion to Higher Education Sector Conference: 'To create a National Strike Committee for the USS dispute'

HESC notes:

  1. the reaction of USS branches to the March 12 'agreement' demonstrated that members want a resolution which protects Defined Benefit pensions now and in the future;
  2. members feel dis-empowered nationally, compared to the high level of ownership they feel in relation to the dispute locally;
  3. while some aspects of negotiations are confidential, to maintain a sense of ownership of the dispute among the membership and to maintain members' resolve to take industrial action, members must know how negotiations are progressing.

HESC resolves:

  1. a National Strike Committee composed of HESC delegates (or substitutes) from USS branches will be formed, to which national negotiators and UCU Independent Expert Panel members will report, and which will give a representative steer to the dispute for the current valuation round, including during any suspension or re-ballot.

Appendix 2 - branch motion: '#RejectUUKdeal - rejecting a bad deal and winning the dispute'

UCL UCU notes:

  1. the support and energy of our membership during the course of the fourteen days of strike action in defence of our pensions;
  2. the branch delegates meeting (held on the 28th March at UCU HQ, London) on the USS dispute where last-minute evidence was tabled, on which delegates had no opportunity to consult their members;
  3. that at the conclusion of the branch delegates meeting no vote was taken on what was clearly the crucial issue the Higher Education Committee (HEC) were going to decide on afterwards - whether to send the UUK offer as it stands to a ballot or not;
  4. the HEC meeting decided by a narrow majority of 10-8 to ballot members on a proposal from UUK whose wording was not the outcome of a formal negotiating process between the properly constituted UCU negotiating group on USS and UUK.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. That UCU negotiators should return to UUK and seek improvements to the 23 March proposal taking into account the many concerns that branches have raised about its implementation and contents;
  2. The strikes planned for 16 April and after must not be suspended while either these negotiations or consultation with members are ongoing.

UCL UCU resolves to:

  1. Recommend to members to vote against the UUK proposal in the consultation;
  2. Circulate this petition to members along with other materials urging a vote against the UUK proposal: https://goo.gl/forms/jpuLLPtkgLOigF2O2
  3. Call for a Special Meeting of UCU Higher Education Sector Conference to discuss the USS dispute under Rule 16.11. If possible this Special Meeting would be held immediately prior to or following Congress;
  4. Publicise and support the UK wide activist meeting called by UCU London Region on Saturday 28th April.https://uculondonregion.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/ucu-a-union-transformed/