Thursday 2 May 2019, 1pm – 2pm
Roger Stevens lecture theatre 4 (8.04)
1. Minutes of General Meeting on Tuesday 16 April 2019
2.1 Amendment to EQ17 Gender Identity after the 2018 Gender Recognition Act (GRA) consultation
Line 3: At the end of the first sentence add ‘and modern evidence indicates that neither are binary’.
At the end of the last sentence add ‘and formal recognition of non-binary status for data gathering purposes.’
2.2 Amendment to EQ 18 Respectful dialogue on gender/gender diversity
i. in Congress notes 1, delete from ‘potentially … practices’, add after ‘have’; ‘the potential to significantly improve trans people’s lives’.
ii. in 3. insert ‘trans and other’ between ‘feminist’ and ‘scholars’.
iii.In Congress believes a. add after ‘equality’: ‘under the Equality Act 2010 and other legislation, and supports proposed changes to the 2004 GRA.’
iv. in Congress believes c. delete ‘potential conflicts of’, insert ‘the’ before ‘rights’, and insert ‘of oppressed groups’ after ‘rights’.
v. In ‘Congress calls on UCU to ii; add ‘and trans people’ after ‘academics’.
vi. In final sentence, add ‘underpinned by solidarity with all oppressed groups and promote unity in action of women and trans people in the face of attacks on either group.’
2.3 Amendment to HE7 UCU must remain open to a legal challenge against USS
Add at end:
1. UCU must do work with aligned groups
in pursuit of defending our pensions wherever possible
2. To draw up a full report on legal
options open to UCU, via meaningful consultation with Academics for Pension
Justice (and associated legal advisors), NDC and SWG.
3. This report will make recommendations
which will inform HEC’s consideration regarding next steps in pursuit of any
possible legal challenges over the actions of USS.
3. Emergency motions to UCU Congress
4. UCU Congress business
No further items raised.
5. Non-Congress business
5.1 Motion: Climate emergency
This branch notes:
- That the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming
shows that in order to avoid catastrophic climate change we must drastically
reduce carbon emissions by 2030.
- That there is a growing international movement
of youth strikes demanding urgent action on climate change.
- That Leeds City Council, along with many other
local authorities, has declared a Climate Emergency and has committed to make
Leeds carbon neutral by 2030.
- That a petition has been submitted to the Vice
Chancellor by students and staff calling on the University to declare a
‘Climate Emergency’ and take urgent action to help avert climate breakdown.
This branch welcomes:
- The participation of our students in the youth
climate strikes at Leeds.
- The actions of climate scientists from the
Priestley Centre in running ‘Ask A Climate Scientist’ stalls at the youth
climate strikes in Leeds and online.
- The work of researchers at this University
making a substantial contribution to sustainability, renewable energy
development, and ensuring a just transition to a more sustainable future.
- The University’s pledge to become single-use
plastic-free by 2023.
This branch resolves:
- To write to the Vice Chancellor supporting the
petition from staff and students to declare a Climate Emergency at the
University of Leeds (signed by 1000 people), and in particular the call to work
with staff and students to develop a Climate Emergency Plan to reduce the
University’s carbon emissions and environmental footprint in line with a 1.5°C
- To publicise the youth climate strikes to
members and urge them to support these in any way they can.
- To make a donation of £100 to the Extinction
Rebellion Leeds, to assist student participation in these events.
5.2 Motion: Fossil Fuel Divestment
- The IPCC report (October 2018) on anthropogenic
global climate change outlines the significantly intensified harm likely to
result from a 2°C vs 1.5°C rise above mid-19th century levels, and that global
CO2 emissions need to fall by 45% by 2030 in order to stay within 1.5 degrees.
- That student/staff campaigns have helped push
over 70 UK universities to pledge to divest from fossil fuels.
- That in response to a student campaign in 2015/16,
the Council of the University of Leeds rejected a proposal that the University
divest itself of direct share-holdings in fossil fuel companies (see https://www.leeds.ac.uk/forstaff/news/article/5170/council_statement_decision_on_fossil_fuel_divestment)
- That it is imperative that further fossil fuels
reserves stay in the ground.
- That investing in fossil fuel exploration and
exploitation is unethical and incompatible with the University’s commitment to
socially responsible investment (https://www.leeds.ac.uk/secretariat/documents/socially_responsible_investment.pdf)
- That the University should instead invest in
renewable energy and other initiatives and technologies to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions and reduce the use of fossil fuels.
- To write to the University Council proposing the
University should now commit to fossil fuel divestment.
- To campaign jointly with student groups on this
5.3 Motion: Endorsing Jo McNeill as UCU general secretary candidate
Leeds UCU Branch endorses Jo McNeill in the
2019 UCU General Secretary election.
Proposed amendment 1: add “and recommends a vote for Jo Grady as second preference.”
Proposed amendment 2: add “endorses both Jo McNeill and Jo Grady”.
Motion now reads:
Leeds UCU Branch endorses both Jo McNeill and Jo Grady in the 2019 UCU General Secretary election.
5.4 Motion: Ariel university
Leeds UCU notes that Israeli
settlements in occupied territory constitute a breach of international law,
as is affirmed by (among many others) the British Government, the United
Nations (Security Council and General Assembly), the International Court of
Justice, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the High Contracting
Parties to the Geneva Convention.
Leeds UCU notes therefore that,
because Ariel University is built in a settlement, for the University of Leeds
to recognise degrees from Ariel University, or to collaborate with Ariel
University in any way, would be complicit in the breaking of international
5.5 Emergency motion: new process for appointing Heads of School
This meeting notes the
introduction of a new institution-wide process for appointing Heads of School
and that this process
- was introduced at short notice and without appropriate
consultation across the institution as a whole
- requires the post to be externally advertised,
even when the School has internal candidates willing to take up the role and
who have been approved by their colleagues;
- undermines collegiality and democracy within a
- may over-ride School constitutions that require
such appointments to be made in consultation with members of the School
- may have significant budgetary
This meeting resolves to ask
University management to
- withdraw the current imposed and unnecessary
- initiate discussions with UCU and other
interested parties with a view to agreeing an appointment process that is fair,
transparent and equality tested, that allows for internal appointments to
proceed where agreed by members of the School concerned and that respects the
collegial and democratic environments of individual Schools across the