In Solidarity with Palestine

The following motion was passed at GUCU’s EGM on June 12 2018

In Solidarity with Palestine (161 words) Passed unanimously 

The branch registers

  1. The intensified slaughter of Palestinian civilians since 30 March (over 120 death and 13000 injured)
  2. The absurdity of claims of the ‘only democracy’ in the region which denies the right to protest and has turned Gaza into the biggest open prison
  3. The spirit of Palestinian resistance demonstrated in the Great March of Return

The Branch

  1. Condemn Israel’s inhumane and unacceptable response to protestors, continuation of colonisation of Palestinian lands and expulsion of and systematic discrimination against Palestinians
  2. Urges UCU members and students to boycott companies and corporations complicit in financing and aiding Israel’s military
  3. Seeks assurance from college that we do not employ, work or collaborate with companies that facilitate Israel’s military capacity
  4. Mandates the GUCU executives to collaborate with other recognised unions at Goldsmiths and coordinate a day of action to commemorate UN Palestine solidarity Day on 29 November and to affiliate to Lewisham PSC.

Proposed: Gholam K. Seconded Dan McQ

GUCU motions on USS for HE Special Sector Conference

The following motions were passed at GUCU EGM to forward to the HE Special Sector Conference on USS.

MOTION 1 Passed unanimously 

Casualised Staff pensions (73 words)

Conference notes casualised staff:

  1. Are often barred from the right to join USS by their employer.
  2. Have poor pension prospects

Conference resolves:

  1. To ensure all grades of academic related, teaching and research staff have access to the USS pension scheme.
  2. To put a rule change through the JNC to ensure that casualised staff retain existing pension rights during periods of a break in service without needing to make contributions.

Proposed: Mijke v d D. Seconded: Nicole S

MOTION 2:  Passed (1 abstention)

Dispute Committee terms of reference (150 words)

This Special HESC notes the passing of HE13 on 31 May 2018 that resolved to establish a national USS dispute committee (USSDC) composed of HESC delegates from USS branches in order to empower members in strategic discussions.

HESC believes that membership of the USS dispute committee should be based upon the membership criteria used for the recent Industrial Action Commission (but for USS institutions) and reflect the diversity of perspectives taken by branches in relation to employer offers in the dispute thus far.

HESC further believes that any proposed ballot text on a future employer offer concerning USS has to be approved by the dispute committee before it is put to members.

HESC mandates the HEC when it meets on 29 June 2018 to agree a provisional timetable of meetings commensurate with the meetings of the JEP and communicate this, and the election procedure, to USSDC branches within 14 days.

Proposed: Des F. Seconded: Marian C

 

 

UCU Congress 2018: Report

Congress

On the first day of Congress delegates were met by members of the UCU UNITE staff branch (UCU officials and admin staff) distributing leaflets, which expressed their concern about the content of four of the motions tabled to be debated in Congress. The UNITE members believed that these motions undermined their employment rights, making them inappropriate for debate at Congress. The statement made clear that, should congress choose to debate them, the UNITE staff branch would walk out, effectively shutting down congress.

The first two motions that were objected to, called for a democracy review, in the light of how the USS strike action was paused, despite many branch representatives voicing their opposition to putting the UUK ‘offer’ to a ballot. The contentious part for the UNITE branch was the demand to review the status of unelected officials and a call for UCU officials to be elected. This was considered to be an attack on their terms and conditions, and ultimately, the jobs of UCU officials who, throughout the history of the UCU, have been appointed. The Sheffield delegates who had sent in the motion, agreed to delete the controversial part. This motion went on to be passed. The final two motions (motions 10 and 11) called respectively for the General Secretary’s resignation with immediate effect and her censure, due to her conduct of the USS dispute. The movers of the motions asserted their view that the majority of branches wished for the strike to continue into the summer term and that this was ignored and overridden by SH in her address in the e-ballot email. The UNITE branch considered that these motions were unacceptable as the GS is an employee of the UCU and has a right to due process according to employment law.

There were discussions between UNITE and the branches, which had voted for and sent in the motions, these delegates insisted that the motions did not intend to sack Sally Hunt but to hold her to account for decisions taken during the dispute. There was no agreement reached. Congress voted overwhelmingly to debate the motions, and there followed a walk out of the UCU UNITE branch, who were joined by all the elected officers on the platform and some of the congress delegates.

The majority of congress remained in the room. This happened on three occasions.

Before the third walk out congress passed a motion calling for a recall of congress in order that to discuss these issues as well as all the motions that were not addressed because of the walk outs.

After the third and final walk out by the staff, the elected offers on the platform and some delegates, the head of legal services (not the president) returned to the hall to announce that the staff would not return to the congress floor until the motions were withdrawn. The majority of delegates remained in the hall and held a meeting to discuss where to go next. A statement was discussed and amended by a number of delegates (many first time). The meeting agreed on a statement to be circulated to the membership. The statement urged branches and regions to meet as soon as possible to discuss these developments with their members.

Prior to the first walk out important 3 motions were debated relating to conduct of non-statutory ballots (motion 7); UCU structures and decision making: democracy, transparency and ‘plain English (motion 8)’; Union transparency and accountability during disputes. They were all passed by congress.

Sally Hunt’s address emphasised the highly successful USS national dispute, which inspired local action in FE over pay. She highlighted repeatedly how this year had been a turnaround year for the union and how we had defeated the anti trade union laws. She spoke of the 16,000 increase in membership, winning a variety of local disputes and of UCU’s growing political influence and all of this a tribute to the hard work of members in the branches.

HE conference

The HE conference experienced no disruption and a number of key issues were debated, including following: the Pay campaign and industrial action; demand for USS negotiators to restore status quo and government protection for USS; USS dispute: National Dispute Committee; campaigning on VC and SMT pay ; gender pay; precarious contracts and fixed term contracts; workload campaign; ; Redundancies and South Bank University and other post 92 institutions; HESC monitor JEP; Transparency and confidentiality of JEP ; the University is Ours ; instructional racism and recruitment, retention and promotion of BAME staff; recruitment, retention and promotion of BAME staff; recruitment, retention and promotion of LGBTQi staff, and we also heard concerns around Lecture Capture at Open University and its use across the sector.

Many of the proposers of motions were first time delegates and many of these were young or new activists, who had become involved as result of the USS dispute

Report by Goldsmiths Delegate Marian Carty

CLEANER’S TESTIMONIES “Cutting down on shopping would mean one meal a day” BRING OUR CLEANING STAFF BACK IN HOUSE NOW!

Read these testimonies from our cleaning staff at Goldsmiths collected by their union UNISON and WEEP. This is how the staff who keep our college clean every day are being treated and how they will be affected by changes being proposed by private employer ISS. Read these testimonies and SUPPORT our cleaners. Read these testimonies and get ORGANISED behind their campaign – LETS BRING OUR CLEANING STAFF BACK IN HOUSE.

Please read every single one of these twenty testimonies:

Cutting down on shopping this would mean one meal a day”

“The changes make my life hell and depressed”

“My rent and my bills take more than half of my wage, with this situation, I do not know if I will be able to pay rent and bills on time and help my family overseas.”

“Please think with your heart not your brain”

“I have children, my husband only works nights so I am unable to work evenings.”

“I would have to cut off my family overseas”

“I am on the morning shift and I also do care for my disabled sister”

“I will have to look for extra jobs to pay rent and bills”

“My future is in doubt and I start already to look for another job to survive”

“I will have to move”

“Being a single parent, my children will be affected in a way that their demands, ambitions will not be fulfilled. For instance clothing, shopping, accommodating them, outings to take them for fun etc. “

“I hope these changes are reconsidered, as they will have grave impact on my family and its quality of life and comfort”

“I have been treated very badly with no consultation or information about this autocratic imposing of the restructure…..This has bought sadness into my family and this is affecting my kids and partner”

TESTIMONY ONE

My family is in Africa, I have to send money every week so if you give me the 8 hours or 4 hours I still have to pay rent £450 per month. I think the easiest way is to leave this job. ISS they don’t appreciate. Am not happy at all with their decision. Am waiting for the final day and say bye bye. God bless you.

TESTIMONY TWO

  1. The change is going to affect my income.
  2. This will lead to failure to fulfill my financial obligations.
  3. It is going to affect my time with family since I only have between 19.00 to 22.00 to be with them.
  4. I cant continue servicing my mortgage with little salary.
  5. Transport from work at midnight is almost impossible.

TESTIMONY THREE

How can I feel about it??? Shame we all gonna lose half our wages. Take £600 a month, that is not gonna be enough for me, and the bad thing is I’m a woman and it’s not safe for me to leave home at midnight. I’m expecting a child so I have to leave on maternity, so I am working saving some money for my baby. I wish them all the best but they have to think of us, of our budget and our family. Thank you.

TESTIMONY FOUR

I feel very demoralised as is my only source of income. This change will drastically affect my wages as I will lose 15 hours per week. Having an overall effect on my expenditure for my home. I have a daughter that I support and family overseas.

TESTIMONY FIVE

I feel so bad. I’m not happy about the changes because it is the only job I have.

I lose £612 a month.

To and from work the travel expenses I will spend £102 monthly.

I have my father and mother who live in Africa  as well.

It is going to affect the rent because the pay is lower. I wont be able to pay the rent.

It is also going to affect weekly shopping because the pay is lower I might not be able to pay for food and clothes for the family.

TESTIMONY SIX

The changes make my life hell and depressed. I am going to lose £700. Travel card expense to and from work costs me £98. No childcare. I support my three children back home (overseas). It will affect my family here badly. I can’t afford rent and bills with this change. Weekly shopping will be difficult.

TESTIMONY SEVEN

  1. Very bad
  2. Lose about £600 a month.
  3. Spend £81.50 a month on transport.
  4. Childcare – will have to look for someone to take them and pick them up to look after them.
  5. I will have to look for extra jobs to pay rent and bills
  6. Shopping is another thing especially having kids

TESTIMONY EIGHT

  1. The change is not appropriate
  2. I will be losing £612 a month
  3. It’s going to affect my travel expenses
  4. I do support family overseas
  5. I twill stress me up
  6. I will not be able to make up my rent
  7. It will affect my weekly shopping

TESTIMONY NINE:

I don’t feel content about the recent changes. As a single mother taking care of three children the time changes would prevent me from taking care of my children; abandoning them would be heart breaking for both me and them. Additionally the time changes can be quite dangerous as the night crime rates in South East London are high. Without their mother, my children would possibly be sent back to my hometown. So I need this job. I support my mother back home, plus my rent is extremely expensive (£1,300). The change in the hours could force me to quit, doing so would make me and my children homeless. So please think with your heart not your brain!

TESTIMONY TEN:

I took this job because it fitted into my daily life. Now the change means it will affect my family life, child-care and travel. I am on the morning shift and I also do care for my disabled sister. I have been working over 10 years and I feel energetic to come in the morning – changing the shift pattern will cost me more in travel after work and bills.

TESTIMONY ELEVEN:

It’s really bad. Because of the starting time and finishing time.

Travel in the night is expensive and dangerous.

Paying more for child care – because I support them every month.

Very difficult and hardship for my family

Won’t be able to pay my bills

Not really.

TESTIMONY TWELVE:

The change is going to affect my family, my rent and bills. My life will change and this is going to be a problem for my health. So I say NO. Thank you.

TESTIMONY THIRTEEN:

I am unhappy about the proposed changes in working hours, the changes will affect my personal life negatively. Working less hours in the proposed change will mean a reduced income for myself. This coupled with household costs and housing costs will mean I lose the ability to pay my mortgage and affect how much money I can spend on my childcare. I am unable to choose any of the shifts (working hours) advertised as I have children, my husband only works nights so I am unable to work evenings. This will make life very difficult for my family. I hope these changes are reconsidered, as they will have a grave impact on my family and its quality of life and comfort.

TESTIMONY FOURTEEN:

I am worrying about these changes because I will lose 15 hours per week which is like £105 a week.

My rent and my bills take more than half of my wage, with this situation, I do not know if I will be able to pay rent and bills on time and help my family overseas.

My weekly shopping will also be affected because I will not have enough money to buy what I usually buy for my house.

My future is in doubt and I start already to look for another job to survive.

TESTIMONY FIFTEEN:

Am not very happy with the changes that ISS want to make due to the following reasons:

  1. First of all there is nothing that I am going to gain, rather I will be losing as my wages will go down by almost 50%. These wages won’t even be enough to cover even my monthly rent. Hence my household will suffer.
  2. The four hour suggested shift starting at 20:00 hours – 00:00 hours will have impact on my childcare, as I will have to spend on childcare as my wife comes home at 22:00 Monday – Friday.
  3. The loss of wages will not be enough to cover bills and rent.
  4. It will not be feasible for me to come to work for fours hours as wages will be spent on transport.

TESTIMONY FIFTEEN:

I do not agree with the change. How much money I will lose will be £600 plus. What will with the overtime hours? I have two children to support. Some of my family back home in my country rely on me helping them each month £300. My rent will be affected. I will have to move to find a cheaper area – not easy in London. Cutting down on shopping this would mean one meal a day.

TESTIMONY SIXTEEN:

For me I don’t agree at all. I feel it’s betrayed my hard work. I will lose out about six hundred pounds. It will be hard for me to travel to work because I have a family to look after putting food on the table. I would have to cut off my family overseas. My rent will be affected – will be hard to pay. I would have to move. Shopping I would have to cut down on groceries.

TESTIMONY SEVENTEEN:

I am saying “no” to the change in working hours because it will affect my life in different ways. I have small children, so me and my wife have to create a schedule in order for us to be at home with the children. My wife works in the afternoon so she takes care of the children in the morning and I spend the afternoon with them. So if my working hours will change it will affect my life as my children will have to stay alone at home. Bills and rent and shopping – £2,400 so working hours will be inconvenient for us and we will struggle financially.

TESTIMONY EIGHTEEN:

I disagree with this because of the emotional and discriminational stress involved. I have been treated very badly with no consultation or information about this autocratic imposing of the restructure. I had to change my shift to suit my family – my partner who works days and I work nights. That enables us to care for our children. Financially this is going to paralyse my family both here and abroad because any house rent and transport cost a lot not including bills. When we had the restructure just last year it took us over six months to think and get over it, but this present administration thinks so low of us and believe we don’t have rights, but I would like ISS to know that even animals have rights. I totally disagree with the impartial test system which people took again and again with applicants supervising applicants. This has bought sadness into my family and this is affecting my kids and partner.

TESTIMONY NINETEEN:

Changes affect me due to the time in that I can’t make it because I take children to school. If you change it even the transport will be more difficult at night as they are not running in the normal time as during the day time. If you change hours it is also going to be a problem to my family which will be affected because of me doing 7 hours a day.

TESTIMONY TWENTY:

I disagree with these current changes based on the following grounds:

  1. My expenditure exceeds my income, as the cost of living the UK is high
  2. I reside in rented accommodation thus when hours are deducted that will automatically reduce my wages and I cant wait to be homeless
  3. Thinking being a single parent, my children will be affected in a way that their demands, ambitions will not be fulfilled. For instance clothing, shopping, accommodating them, outings to take them for fun etc.
  4. My entire family will also be affected because I have got extended family and always support them by sending them money for sustenance.
  5. I have got 2 children who are at University and I have to pay their school fees together with other requirements
  6. Commuting from home to my workplace, I use the train, which is expensive. Therefore when the working hours are reduced, I wont be able to cover the transport cost too.
  7. I have got a medical problem that is life threatening and I always pay for my medication. Sometimes go to private hospitals for more diagnosis or examination. Once my wages reduced I will be left in a dilemma

GUCU Extraordinary General Meeting: MOTIONS

We Are the University GUCU EGM. Tues 12 June, 1pm, RHB 144. The following motions will be discussed:

MOTION 1

Casualised Staff pensions (73 words)

Conference notes casualised staff:

  1.   are often barred from the right to join USS by their employer.
  2. Have poor pension prospects

Conference resolves:

  1. To ensure all grades of academic related, teaching and research staff have access to the USS pension scheme.
  2. To put a rule change through the JNC to ensure that casualised staff retain existing pension rights during periods of a break in service without needing to make contributions.

Proposed: Mijke v d D. Seconded: Nicole S

MOTION 2

Dispute Committee terms of reference (150 words)

This Special HESC notes the passing of HE13 on 31 May 2018 that resolved to establish a national USS dispute committee (USSDC) composed of HESC delegates from USS branches in order to empower members in strategic discussions.

HESC believes that membership of the USS dispute committee should be based upon the membership criteria used for the recent Industrial Action Commission (but for USS institutions) and reflect the diversity of perspectives taken by branches in relation to employer offers in the dispute thus far.

HESC further believes that any proposed ballot text on a future employer offer concerning USS has to be approved by the dispute committee before it is put to members.

HESC mandates the HEC when it meets on 29 June 2018 to agree a provisional timetable of meetings commensurate with the meetings of the JEP and communicate this, and the election procedure, to USSDC branches within 14 days.

Proposed: Des F. Seconded: Marian C

MOTION 3

In Defence of Palestine (155 words)

The branch registers

  1. The intensified slaughter of Palestinian civilians since 30 March (over 120 death and 13000 injured)
  2. The absurdity of claims of the ‘only democracy’ in the region which denies the right to protest and has turned Gaza into the biggest open prison
  3. The spirit of Palestinian resistance demonstrated in the Great March of Return

The Branch

  1. Condemn Israel’s inhumane and unacceptable response to protestors, continuation of colonisation of Palestinian lands and expulsion of and systematic discrimination against Palestinians
  2. Urges UCU members and students to boycott companies and corporations complicit in financing and aiding Israel’s military
  3. Seeks assurance from college that we do not employ, work or collaborate with companies that facilitate Israel’s military capacity
  4. Mandates the GUCU executives to collaborate with other recognised unions at Goldsmiths and coordinate a day of action to commemorate UN Palestine solidarity Day on 29 November

Proposed: Gholam K. Seconded Dan McQ