*reminder* Extraordinary General Meeting, Fri 6 Mar, 1-2pm, Archaeology LT + final list of motions

5 March 2020

This is a reminder that we have scheduled a UCL UCU Extraordinary General Meeting which will take place tomorrow, Friday 6 March, 1-2pm

EGM 6th March 2020

EGM Friday 6th March 2020, 1-2pm in the Archaeology LT, Gordon SquareThe Archaeology LT is an accessible venue.

We have received two further motions for debate: an additional rule change motion (for UCU Congress) and a motion concerning our industrial action.

For clarity we have grouped the motions in two appendices:

There is a limit of one ordinary motion per Branch for Congress and two motions for the Higher Education Sector Conference but no limit to the number of rule change motions that can be submitted to Congress.

Members should also consider putting themselves forward as delegates to Congress, which will be in Bournemouth from 27-29 May. UCL UCU is entitled to submit one motion to Congress and two motions to Higher Education Sector Conference. Motions must be 150 words or less.

If you are interested or have any enquiries about this process please email ucu@ucl.ac.uk.

The meeting will also be an opportunity to discuss the progression of our USS and Four Fights campaigns.

UCL UCU Executive Committee

Appendix 1 - motions intended for debate at UCU Congress

1.1 - Trans solidarity motion

Congress notes:

  1. Reported transphobic hate crime in the UK and elsewhere has risen steeply recently as the right and far-right have grown;
  2. The parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee made 30 recommendations in 2016 to improve trans rights and trans people’s lives, including self-identification under the GRA to obtain a gender recognition certificate and a new birth certificate;
  3. The Tory government’s consultation on these has not reported despite closing in October 2018.

Congress condemns transphobia in education and elsewhere and reiterates its solidarity with trans and non-binary people, and resolves to:

  1. Call on the government to immediately publish the consultation report;
  2. Support calls to implement all of the Women and Equalities Committee’s recommendations;
  3. Support lobbies and protests to ensure this happens, which will also be a way of uniting all those who oppose transphobia.

(139 words)

1.2 - UCU rule change: General Secretary (GS) term of office

Congress approves recommendation 3 of the democracy commission's final report, Rule change: GS term of office.

Rule 28.1, delete 'five years' and replace with 'three years'.

Purpose: To reduce the term of office of the general secretary from five years to three years.

Amended rule 28.1 will read:

28.1 The General Secretary shall be the chief executive of the Union, responsible for duties specified by the Rules and Standing Orders of the Union, and duties allocated by the National Executive Committee, and shall be elected for terms of three years by the membership of the Union, under procedures agreed by the National Executive Committee.

[Background briefing: UCU rules & final report of the UCU Democracy Commission]

1.3 UCU rule change: add gender identity to list of personal characteristics in rule 6.1

Congress resolves to add "gender identity" after "sexuality" to the list of personal characteristics listed in Rule 6.1.

The new rule 6.1 will read:

6.1 All members and student members have an obligation to abide by the Rules of the University and College Union, and shall refrain from conduct detrimental to the interests of the Union, from any breach of these Rules, Standing Orders or directions (properly made in accordance with these Rules or Standing Orders) and from all forms of harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination whether on the grounds of sex, race, ethnic or national origin, religion, colour, class, caring responsibilities, marital status, sexuality, gender identity, disability, age, or other status or personal characteristic.


  1. Trans, intersex and non-binary members are not explicitly protected from harassment, prejudice and unfair discrimination under current UCU rules.
  2. UCU rule 6.1 (above) offers this protection to other personal characteristics.

Appendix 2 - motions concerning current industrial action

2.1 - Industrial Action in Term 1 of Academic Year 2020-2021

UCL UCU notes:

  1. Following 8 days of strike action in Oct-Nov 2019, UCU members are currently undertaking 14 days of strike action in furtherance of the USS and Four Fights disputes.
  2. While strike participation by both staff and students has been substantial, employers have been unwilling to make any meaningful concessions, requiring a fresh mandate to continue action after April, when the current ballot expires.

UCL UCU believes:

  1. The future of Higher Education in the UK depends on further concessions by HEI employers in respect of the USS and Four Fights disputes, which may require further industrial action;
  2. It would be most beneficial to the success of the dispute if future action did not involve any significant disruption of the summer assessment period in the form of a ‘full marking boycott’.
  3. It would be most beneficial to the success of the dispute if future action focused in particular on the opening weeks of the new academic year 2020-2021.

UCL UCU resolves:

  1. Should the current strikes not lead to further significant concession from UCEA and an offer that is acceptable to members, UCU should focus its future industrial action on the first three weeks of Term 1 of the academic year 2020-2021.
  2. Such industrial action should include at least 8 days of strike action over a period of two weeks, early in Term 1.

2.2 Planning Strike Action in the Summer Term

UCL UCU notes that UCU policy regarding strike action in the Summer Term is framed by the first and third bullet point of Amendment 4A.4 of the Higher Education Sector Conference, submitted by our branch following our eight-day strike period in December.

That policy resolves that "USS branches are reballoted for summer term action from mid-February to mid-late April, creating a strike mandate as far as late October." and "branches be encouraged to set up 'summer term strike task groups' to identify dates for the most effective strike action to hit examinations, marking and exam boards."

UCL UCU notes that branches in Northern Ireland and those that successfully balloted a second time in January/February are free to participate in that action, but we are obliged to reballot members from 17 March to 28 April. As part of that balloting process we will need to be specific with members about the purpose and focus of action to be taken.

UCL UCU therefore resolves to enact our current policy, setting up a task group to identify dates, which will meet following strike meetings next week. As a first step, members across Divisions and Schools are invited to make proposals for key dates on which striking is likely to have the greatest impact.

[See UCL UCU amendment 4A.4 to December 6 Higher Education Sector Conference]