All members general meeting, 29 September, 1pm – 2pm, Michael Sadler Building, lower ground floor, seminar room LG15.
- Minutes and matters arising from previous meetings
- EU and Brexit
- Free movement motion –University of Leeds UCU local association
This UCU local association notes that existing UCU policy on migration and labour markets recognises the social, cultural and economic value of migration and opposes all forms of racism and the Points-Based Immigration Scheme. This policy was strongly condemmend by the UCU Congress 2009’s resolution as “discriminatory and an attack on the civil liberties of international staff and students”; “likely to lead to draconian absence and sickness policies being introduced”; “likely to severely damage the international status, and quality of education and research in institutions due to the loss of overseas staff and students”; “counter to our core values of academic freedom and equality”; imposing extra duties including the monitoring and surveillance of international staff and students (Link to UCU guidance). This policy, however, does not explicitly refer to a commitment to defend the free movement of labour, including for all workers in higher education.
This UCU local association further notes that the existing free movement of labour within the European Economic Area (EEA) is seriously threatened by the EU referendum vote to leave. If this is ended, EEA staff will be drawn under the Points-Based Immigration Scheme, meaning that they will be subject to the same continual visa restrictions, employer-sponsorship arrangements, and monitoring mechansisms that our international colleagues already face. Similar barriers will likely be placed on UK nationals living in or moving to the EEA.
This UCU local association believes that the end of freedom of movement of labour would represent a significant worsening of the condition of present and future EEA staff in the UK. Any restrictions on freedom of movement of labour, and our right to work without discrimination based on nationality, will put increasing competitive pressure on EEA staff, and thus affect staff as a whole and weaken our union. It will also have a detrimental effect on the educational experience and academic life, which are critically enriched by the intelectual and cultural contribution made by the international staff and students on our campuses.
This UCU local association therefore agrees that, while continuing to campaign against the Points-Based Immigration Scheme, we must defend existing free movement arrangements, both within and without the EEA.
This UCU local association resolves to urgently:
- campaign for free movement of labour and opposition to the Points-Based Immigration Scheme
- campaign for an up-front guarantee for existing EU/EEA citizens in the UK to stay
- campaign for protection for EU research funding and EU students
- campaign for full recognition of workers’ rights throughout EU withdrawal negotiations, including for non-academic staff
- promote planned solidarity activity with non-EU colleagues at campus level to demand improvement of immigration support for all non-UK staff
With regard point 1 and our engagement in the Campaign to defend freedom of movement across Europe post-Brexit this UCU local association further resolves to lobby our Vice Chancellor to commit publicly to:
- Permanently guarantee that for the indefinite future there will be no change in the employment or student status of any current EU/EEA Member State and Candidate Country staff and students arising from any change introduced as a consequence of the initiation or outcome of Brexit negotiations.
- Permanently guarantee that for the indefinite future this university/college will not implement any changes in the academic qualification, residential or fee conditions concerning students applying from EU member states and Norway or Switzerland, whatever the results of the Brexit negotiations.
- Campaign as a major European country to maintain free movement of labour and people across all 28 current EU Member States.
- Meet with the UCU, UNISON and other trade unions within the university/college to discuss the most effective ways of jointly campaigning for the right to remain for all EU workers and students living in the UK and to maintain Freedom of Movement of Labour across the current 28 EU Member States.
This UCU local association also resolves
- to publicise the fact that this motion has been passed and encourage other UCU branches to do likewise
- to submit this motion, when passed, to the National Executive Committee of UCU
- to liaise with other branches regarding submitting a version of this motion to UCU Congress 2017
Submitted by the committee, to be moved by Gabriella Alberti
- IT restructure
- Pay dispute
- Motion: pay campaign
Leeds University UCU branch notes:
- the most recent ‘final’ unsatisfactory offer (1.1%) from the employers body UCEA.
- the fact that the employers have made another ‘final’ offer, when they said they could do nothing on the gender pay gap and casualisation shows that our industrial action so far has had an effect. The very small and totally inadequate movement to talks on these issues indicates that we need to step up the action.
- our pay demand was made on the basis of addressing the continued drop in real pay, rises in National Insurance contributions, rises in pension contributions and cuts in pension provision.
- members have been inspired by the desire of UCU to place equality issues, specifically, the gender pay gap and abuse of casualised contracts, as central components to our pay demands.
- UNISON has recently voted to take industrial over the claim; this is a great opportunity for us to coordinate our action to have maximum effect. Unite is also currently engaged in balloting members on joining the pay action.
Leeds University UCU branch believes:
- UCEA’s latest pay offer fails to satisfy any of the elements of the pay claim. We require the employers to demonstrate action to end the gender pay gap and the abuse of casualised contracts rather than to merely talk about it.
- we will need to escalate our industrial action including strike action to ensure a fair settlement of the pay demand.
Leeds University UCU branch resolves to:
- reject the ‘latest’ offer from the employers.
- call on UCU to restart the pay campaign with new publicity and material focusing upon the continued discrimination faced by women and casualised staff in Higher Education.
- mandate our national Higher Education Committee (HEC) to organise an escalation of the pay campaign with a return to industrial action including strike action leading to action short of strike this semester.
- ask HEC to coordinate action with the other campus unions where possible.
Submitted by the committee, to be moved by Lesley McGorrigan
- Any other notified business