Congress 2017 – our recommendations

To help colleagues decide on what can sometimes seem to be an overwhelming amount of business, we offer below what we think are sensible recommendations on Congress business, based on the 2nd report of the CBC.

We think these recommendations would lead to useful policy that would strengthen the union over this coming year. But of course – we haven’t yet heard the debate – so like everyone else we’ll be listening to the arguments and voting accordingly!

Anyway – here’s what we recommend. (EP) stands for ‘existing policy

Business of the Strategy and Finance Committee (Motions 1-20)

SFC1 (EP) UCU’s international campaigns and solidarity work   National Executive Committee – for
SFC 1A.1 amendment – for
SFC 2. Oppose Trump’s Visit – for ,
SFC 2A.1
‘This amendment is a response to serious divisions between different elements of the anti-Trump campaign, in particular opposition (from some) to Stand Up to Racism and Stop the War.  This amendment will make it easier for those with different views to support this motion, and we advise you to support it.’
SFC 2.A.2 – for.
SFC 3. Lambeth College motion – for.
SFC 4. Turkey and academic freedom  – for
SFC 5. – no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly. 
SFC 6. opposing violence against gay men in Chechnya  – for
SFC 7. French elections – for
SFC 8. CEU in Hungary – for
SFC 9 Brexit – for
SFC 9A.1 NEC amendment  – for
SFC 10 – Composite on legal protection – for
SFC 11 EU nationals residency – for
SFC 12 Brexit and NI – for
SFC 13 Free movement of Labour – for
SFC 14 Composite on free movement – in general fine. Credentials of ‘Free movement of Labour organisation would need to be checked out

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SFC 14A1 – for
SFC 14A.2 – for
SFC 14.A.3 – for
SFC 14.A.4 – for
If passed this would have to be ‘advisory’ as wants the motion to be proposed to TUC – which only the NEC can do.
SFC 15 Free movement and women – for
SFC 16 Just transition low carbon – for
SFC 17 Climate change – for
Again, if passed,  would have to be ‘advisory’ since want motion proposed to TUC – which only the NEC can do
SFC 18 Air quality – for
SFC 19 National Pensioners Convention – for
SFC 20 Job sharing – for
SFC 21 Auditors  – for
SFC 22 Audited financial statements – for
SFC 23 Budget – for
SFC 24 Subscription rates – for
SFC 25 and 25A. (Subscription rates) – for (with amendment 25A)
Amendment 25A gets rid of the technical barriers to implementation
SFC26 – Subscription rates and ARPS – for
SFC27 Union Mergers – for
Worth noting that this only asks to ‘explore the possibility’ so no commitments
SFC28 TU Victimisation – for
SFC 28A.1 – for
Worth noting that the tone of this amendment is unfortunate as it implies we don’t pull the stops out already in this area, (which is nonsense)
SFC 29 and 29A.1 TU victimisation – for (with amendment 29A.1 and opposing 29A.2)
SFC 29A.2 – oppose
This creates an unhelpful binary between welfare and caution. We also need to note that sometimes legal channels are not as effective as industrial action
SFC 30 – Legal support for race equality cases – for (but with amendment 30.A.1)
SFC 30.A.1 – for
The amendment is important, since it’s factually correct

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Section 3 Rule changes (taken in private session)
SFC 31  Embedding Equalities Congress motions – for
SFC 32  Local Branch Association Rules – for
SFC 32A.1 – no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly
SFC 33  Qualifying period – for
SFC 33.A.1 – for
SFC 34 – New Political Fund Rules – for

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Business of the Education Committee (motions 35 – 45)

35 NEC motion – for
36 Institutes of Technology – for
37 Apprenticeships –for
37A1 professional staff – for
38 Marking – for
39 adult social care – for
40 Academic freedom – for
40A.1 – for
40A2 – for
This amendment is helpful as it softens the absolutes in motion 40
41 NEC post truth narratives  – for
41.A.1 – for
42 Prevent  – no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly
(Some colleagues may have concerns with the specific mention of Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND))
43 Prevent – (EP) – for
44- Anti-Racist Education – for
One point that needs borne in mind about this motion however, is the commitment to organising a ‘national’ conference which may be a serious resource question. Also ‘National’ presumably means UK? Could do better – this ought to be made clear.
45 – Decolonise kyriarchal education – for

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Business of the Equality committee (motions 46 – 61)

46 Anti Trump – for
46A.1 – for
47 DDA – for
Only comments on this are that it’s not clear how to implement it exactly
48 Disability pay gap – for
49 Life affirming education – for
Only comment on this is the commitment to the day of action – again a possible resource issue?
50 – Women’s work – for
50.A1 – for
Comment here is that amendment seems blind to devolved nations. Regions are England only. Could do better.
51 Equality – for
52 Dying to work – for
52.A1 for
53 (EP) Abortion – for
54 non-binary facilities – for
55 Gender identity – for
56 Sex work – no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly 
57 IHRA – no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly.
Worth thinking whether an e-mail to all members is ‘overkill’ on this issue
57A1– no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly. Having said that, the amendment is probably the best approach to the issue
58  Equality reps – no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly
58.A.1 and 58.A.2 – no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly
59 LGBT terminology – for
60 racism against elected members – for
61 reorganise equality campaigns – for

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Business of the Recruitment,  Organising and Campaigns Committee (Motions 

62 NEC – (EP) – for
62A1 -for
Sloppy wording from the NEC – refers to ‘national’ demonstration, when presumably they mean UK wide. Could do better.
63 Staff subsidising employers – for
64 Bilingualism in Welsh UCU documents  – for
65 Union training – for
See comments on 69 below which somewhat undermines this
65A.1 – for
66 support for newly joined members –no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly
67 Anti-casualisation – for
Only comment on this is whether an anti-casualisation road show is the best mechanism?
68 Zero hours (EP) – for
69 TU education – no advice. We advise colleagues to make their mind up after debate and vote accordingly. Worth noting however, that this somewhat contradicts motion 65, as it assumes on-line training is inferior.
70 Electronic meetings and videoconferencing – for
71 Recruiting H&S reps (EP) – for
72 Stress -for
72A.1- for
73  Retired members –  for
74 Exec pay (EP) – for
75 Bursaries for nurse training – for
75A.1 – for
76 Early retirement – for
77 Open space – for
78 Election – we suggest voting in parts following debate, and opposing point 5.
Points 1-4 seem fine (although strange that Stand Up to Racism is elevated above other organisations). Point 5 is inoperable due to our rules, and, whatever the merits of Labour may be – which colleagues will all have an opinion on,  is blind to the situation in Scotland with 1 Labour MP, and Northern Ireland where Labour does not organise)

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