Calling notice for a follow-up General Meeting, 20 February 1-2pm, online
8 February 2024
This is a formal calling notice for a General Meeting of UCL UCU which will be held on: Tuesday 20th February from 1-2pm online on Zoom.
This meeting has been called to debate motions submitted to the General Meeting of the 1st February, which were not concluded due to lack of time. These remaining motions are listed in the Appendix below.
All members are very welcome to attend and vote. Information on how to register for this event has been emailed to member.
UCL UCU Executive Committee
Motion 3 - Motion re Comms
Proposer: Neil Davies, Division of Psychiatry
Seconders: Bettina Friedrich, Epidemiology and Health Care; Alinda Damsma, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Vanessa Freedman, Library, Culture, Collections and Open Science; Sonia Gollance, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Lily Kahn, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Jennifer Rode, Department of Culture Communication and Media, IoE; Patty Kostovka, Institute of Risk & Disaster Reduction; François Guesnet, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Pete Duncan, SSEES; Sacha Stern, Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies; Masha Sibiryakova, SSEES
- Recent communications from UCL-UCU on Israel-Palestine have caused major concerns for many members within the branch.
- 50% of the emails sent by the branch since October 2023 have been related to Israel-Palestine.
- The branch’s communications have not contributed to reducing the notable tensions on the UCL campus connected with the Israel/Palestine conflict and have negatively impacted Jewish and Muslim and Israeli and Palestinian students and staff.
- The low attendance at the EGM on 27 October 2023 of around 80 colleagues or just over 2 % of the current membership ca 3,600.
- Our branch must facilitate dialogue and contribute to a balanced, considerate and professional discussion on the topic of Israel/Palestine on campus.
- The branch should aim to try to de-escalate tensions on campus around the Israel/Palestine conflict and ensure that all members from every nation, ethnicity and religion feel welcomed and safe in our branch.
- The branch’s primary objective should be to improve working conditions at UCL and address the ongoing cost of living crisis that staff face.
- To maintain a social media presence that reflects our values of collegiality and professionalism by amplifying the voices of experts, in keeping with UCL’s exceptional reputation in UK higher education.
- To maintain the highest levels of professionalism at all times, especially when interacting with our students on social media.
Motion 4 - Cuba Vive – End the blockade on health
Proposed by Waseem Ahmed
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 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
Motion 5 - Motion of solidarity to staff in Greek universities opposing the bill that permits the establishment of private universities.
Proposed by Ilektra Christidi
- 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.