UCL-UCU: Strike this Week and EGM Congress motions for tomorrow

13 March 2023

Information on strike action this week and motions for our Extraordinary General Meeting tomorrow, Tuesday 14 March, 12-1pm.

This message is to remind you of two important things this week: 

  1. STRIKE ACTION is taking place this week on 15, 16, and 17 March, and then again next week. 
  1. Extraordinary GENERAL MEETING tomorrow, Tuesday 14 March at 12.00-13.00 (please note the unusual time).
  • We will be voting on motions and electing delegates to the annual UCU Congress. Motions are in the appendix to this email below. These include decisions on how to continue our industrial dispute. 
  • This meeting is tomorrow Tuesday 14 March, 12-1pm.

Please come to the meeting tomorrow and be a part of UCU’s democratic decision-making, and attend the pickets this week to show the employers that we are resolved to fight for a fair deal for Higher Education and its staff. 

The future of our sector is at stake. 

UCL UCU Executive Committee



UCU Rising

Appendix: EGM Motions

Motions and delegates for Congress and Sector Conference: 

We are entitled to submit 1 motion to Congress on general business, and 2 motions to UCU’s Higher Education Sector Conference for HE-specific matters. All motions must be 150 words or less. 

UCU Congress 2023 will be held in-person in Glasgow from Saturday 27 May - Monday 29 May 2023. We have 8 places for delegates, and anyone who wishes to be a delegate, please email ucu@ucl.ac.uk.  The deadline for nomination of delegates is 25 April and we will have further General Meetings before then.

Congress Motions

Motion 1: Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill

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.

Proposed: Ilektra Christidi

Higher Education Sector Conference (HESC) Motions

Motion 2: For a long reballot over the Summer to permit industrial action at the start of Term

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.

Proposed: Sean Wallis

Special Higher Education Sector Conference (SHESC) Motions

Motion 3: The ever-increasing casualisation and insecurity in HE needs addressing urgently

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.

Proposed: Bella Vivat

Motion 4: Sector Conference Motion: For a UK-wide MAB strategy driven by branches

SHESC notes and reaffirms the core elements of the strategy set out in Motions 5 and 6 carried in both SHESCs in 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)

SHESC calls on HEC to:

  1. notify to the employers a series of weeks of strike action commencing in late April to support the ASOS
  2. fortnightly: call BDMs with voting powers (or national strike committee meetings)
  3. in consultation with branches, call off strike action week-by-week if the employers agree not to make punitive deductions

Proposed: Sean Wallis

Motion 5 & 6 from the April 2022 Special Higher Education Sector Conferences

5. Composite ASOS and strike action

SHESC notes:

  1. the intransigence of the employers over both HE
  2. the growing support for a marking & assessment boycott among members.

SHESC believes

  1. that a marking and assessment boycott can be an effective tactic
  2. branches must not be allowed to suffer punitive pay deductions in isolation.

SHESC calls on HEC to:

  1. initiate a marking and assessment boycott at the earliest opportunity in all branches with a mandate
  2. notify bouts of 10 days of strike action commencing in late May to support the ASOS
  3. call BDMs before notification of further action
  4. adopt the practice of notifying further bouts of action before the previous bout has concluded
  5. make an emergency appeal inside and outside the union to boost the Fighting Fund for branches suffering punitive deductions.


6. Industrial Action Plan

HESC resolves UCU will:

  1. identify summer term dates with each
  2. call a boycott of all summative marking from the start of summer
  3. ask branches to delegate two officers to coordinate with ROs and Head of HE to enact this plan.
  4. call weekly Branch Delegate Meetings with voting powers to continually monitor the UK-wide situation.
  5. ask members not taking ASOS to pledge a day's pay a week to local hardship funds.
  6. call an emergency appeal for the central Fighting Fund.

*Carried without point 3 & 4