Three sample motions. Please edit as appropriate.
No return to unsafe workplaces; no face-to-face teaching unless educationally necessary.
[This Branch] Notes:
1) GS’s call for all universities to teach online in Term 1 at least.
2) UCU’s five tests.
3) Official figures record 43,000 deaths from Coronavirus. Excess deaths are at least 60,000.
4) Government calls for a return to workplaces.
5) Independent SAGE, SAGE and WHO believe social distancing, test, track and isolate and the use of PPE are central to control pandemics.
[This Branch] Believes:
1) The GS’s call on universities and colleges is correct.
2) UCU’s five tests have not been met.
3) The Government’s call to return to offices is motivated by business concerns rather than public safety.
For a sector-wide fight over jobs
Conference notes the successful mobilisation of members in the ‘Four Fights’ campaign and the fact that the existing 2020-21 claim builds on it.
Conference calls for a new claim building on the existing joint union JNCHES claim. There should be no retreat on pay, while at the same time we should build a serious, detailed fight on jobs.
Conference resolves that the new claim should include the following concrete demands:
- Minimum standards for local policies including redundancy collective and individual consultation, redeployment and other forms of redundancy avoidance, extending minimum notice periods from three to six months, enshrining equal treatment for fixed term and hourly paid staff, and building in thorough equality monitoring.
- A sector-wide agreement for redeployment between universities and colleges facilitated by the current online working conditions, with a JNCHES consultative subcommittee to oversee it.
Attacks on casualised staff by employers during Covid
UCU notes –
- Precariously employed staff make up 37% of teaching staff in UKHE,
- The spate of redundancies of staff employed on FTC/casual staff across the sector.
UCU believes the impact of these redundancies will be unprecedented leading to –
- a generation of early career academics unemployed during a recession,
- an increase in the already unbearable workload amongst all staff,
- threats to range and quality of courses offered, consequently job security.
UCU resolves to launch a national campaign to –
- end casualised contracts so that at the very least, by 2021 universities should replace hourly paid and temporary contracts with permanent fractional contracts as the norm,
- fight for fair institutional pay ratios by capping unfairly inflated management salaries at the top,
- address the disproportionate impact of precarious employment amongst BME staff through fighting for better employment conditions including closing the race pay-g gap.
(title 8 words, motion text 147 words)
4) The likelihood of a second wave is increasingly likely.
[This Branch] Resolves:
1) To call on members to refuse to teach face-to-face and to work remotely until UCU’s tests have been met. Exceptions for face-to-face teaching are where absolutely necessary, i.e. to ensure disabled students are able to participate, or for lessons which strictly require students to be present, such as surgery.
2) To call on UCU to organise a series of sector-based “No return to unsafe workplace” online meetings.