UCU members at the emergency general meeting this Thursday will vote on a motion proposing a further three days of strike action, and another asking UCU to begin its academic boycott, in the dispute over the changes to the university statutes. Full text below.
Only members who attend the meeting are allowed to vote. Please attend if you can.
The meeting is Thursday 14 September, 1pm–2pm, Mechanical Engineering lecture theatre B.
The meeting will also discuss further threats to our pensions, based on what is widely believed to be flawed calculations. (Petition from 38Degrees calling on USS to show it’s workings.)
The two motions which will be put to members on Thursday are:
This meeting notes:
- That UCU is in dispute with Leeds University management over detrimental changes to Statutes, which form academic and academic related staff’ terms and conditions and protections, notably in relation to academic freedom. The deleterious changes are:
- Introduction of the undefined ‘Some Other Substantial Reason’ as grounds for dismissing staff.
- Removal of provision medically qualified chair for panels deciding dismissal for ill health;
- Removal of independent legally qualified practitioner for appeals against dismissal, other than in the University’s new proposed ‘substantial issues’ procedure.
- Removal of all procedures under statute 7 (the relevant Statute pertaining to this issue) into University Ordinances which are procedurally easier for the management to amend
- Members voted for industrial action to defend Statutes and members are currently engaged in Action Short of a Strike, in the form of working to contract
- Members went on strike for a day in June 2017.
This meeting believes it is necessary to escalate our action to win this dispute, along with continuing to campaign on this issue.
This meeting resolves:
- To call three consecutive days of strike on 11, 12 and 13 October 2017.
- To make arrangements for financial support for those members who would suffer hardship.
- To re-ballot members for further industrial action, including further strike action, if the university remains intransigent. Additional forms of industrial action as suggested by members could be included in the ballot e.g. assessment boycott, REF boycott.
This branch notes that:
- The General Meeting on 24 April 2017 unanimously agreed to put a motion to UCU National Congress asking the union nationally to defend academic freedom by moving to the stepped procedure of censure and academic boycott of the University of Leeds, if our dispute was not resolved (motion HE10, text appended below)
- The UCU National Congress on 27 May 2016 passed that motion.
- University management have not changed their position on dismissal for some other substantial reason, or on the chairs for dismissal appeals and ill health dismissals.
This branch therefore resolves to request that the National Executive Committee of UCU formally implements a call for the international censure and academic boycott of the University of Leeds.
For reference: HE10 University of Leeds
Conference notes that UCU has declared a dispute of national significance with the University of Leeds over its proposed new Statutes, and that UCU has balloted its branch membership for industrial action, following an indicative ballot showing a 74% majority in favour of industrial action.
- the introduction of a new procedure for dismissal for Some Other Substantial Reason
- the withdrawal of the right to an independent, medically qualified expert at Appeal stage in Ill-Health procedure
- the withdrawal of the right to an independent, legally qualified expert at Appeal Stage for all other procedures in Statute
Conference resolves that if the University does not reach agreement with UCU, UCU will move to defend academic freedom by moving to the censure, then academic boycott of the University of Leeds.