Marking Boycott Starts 28th April!

Image

UCU’s marking boycott is due to start on 28 April. This is the latest part of our national dispute with the employers in response to their 1% pay offer which is on the back of a 13% pay cut over the last 5 years. We are reluctant to take this course of action but feel that we have little alternative if we are to drag the employers back into serious negotiations.

The boycott will involve not marking work, not circulating marks, not providing feedback to students and not taking part in administrative duties that pertain directly to processing marks.

There are some excellent FAQs from UCU at http://fairpay.web.ucu.org.uk/instructions-for-the-marking-boycott/#.Uy2821wQfHg and Goldsmiths Students Union (http://www.goldsmithssu.org/news/article/6013/Marking-Boycott-101/

An action committee to coordinate preparation will meet on Friday, 28 March at 1pm RHB 139. All are welcome to join.

Agenda for Today’s Meeting

General Meeting today at 12pm, RHB2017
 
1. Motions for congress
 
The branch will vote on the following motions for UCU congress:
 
i. MOTION ON OUTSOURCING OF EMAIL
 
Congress notes
 
•       The signing in May 2013 of a cloud computing deal between the Janet network and Microsoft 
•       The increased use of outsourcing by universities of email facilities to private systems such as Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google
•       The participation of Microsoft in NSA surveillance operations 
•       The inadequate privacy provisions of private cloud data storage services
 
Congress believes
 
That university staff should have the right to exercise real choice about how they access and store data locally 
 
Congress resolves 
 
•       To call on branches to urge institutions to review their contracts with Microsoft for the MS Office 365 Cloud Email and Calendar services in light of the recent NSA revelations and to seek alternative and viable provision when the contracts expire
•       To urge institutions to adopt, wherever possible, open access and open source software services for email and data.
 
Proposed by Marianne Franklin
 
ii. THE PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY
 
Congress notes:
 
•       David Cameron’s Guildhall speech in November 2013 in which he said that austerity should be ‘permanent’
•       That the majority of public sector cuts have yet to be put in place
•       The success of the People’s Assembly in uniting people in action against austerity from across the trade union, labour, progressive and anti-cuts movement.
 
Conference believes:
 
•       That an effective anti-austerity movement can facilitate the revival of workplace confidence and increase the possibility of coordinated action by trade unionists against austerity
•       That a weak recovery that does not raise working class living standards or stop the cuts is likely to increase anger at the government.
 
Conference agrees:
 
•       To confirm its support for the People’s Assembly Against Austerity
•       To support and actively encourage members to attend the national anti-cuts demonstration called by the People’s Assembly and the NUT on 21 June 2014.
 
Proposed by Des Freedman
 
2. Marking Boycott
 
Following a series of two-hour strikes and one-day strikes, the next stage of the pay dispute will take the form of a marking boycott in effect from the 28th of April.
Motion from Des Freedman:
This branch resolves to requisition a recall Higher Education Sector Conference under rule 16.10. This sector conference should be called to discuss the conduct of the current pay dispute, including preparation for the marking boycott that starts on 28 April, the union’s national response should punitive pay docking occur as as reaction to the boycott, and a demand that any offer from the employers should be considered by members.
 
3. AOB

Branch Meeting, 12/03/14

Our next branch meeting takes place on Wednesday 12/03/14 at 12noon in RHB2107.
 
This is a very important meeting as we will be voting on our motions for UCU congress. Members are invited to submit motions (at this late stage they will be ’emergency motions’).
 
Please do join us to discuss and vote on these motions, one of the branch’s key opportunities to influence national UCU policy.
 
The following motion has been submitted by Des Freedman, branch secretary:
 

The People’s Assembly

Congress notes:

•       David Cameron’s Guildhall speech in November 2013 in which he said that austerity should be ‘permanent’
•       That the majority of public sector cuts have yet to be put in place
•       The success of the People’s Assembly in uniting people in action against austerity from across the trade union, labour, progressive and anti-cuts movement.

Conference believes:

•       That an effective anti-austerity movement can facilitate the revival of workplace confidence and increase the possibility of coordinated action by trade unionists against austerity
•       That a weak recovery that does not raise working class living standards or stop the cuts is likely to increase anger at the government.

Conference agrees:

•       To confirm its support for the People’s Assembly Against Austerity
•       To support and actively encourage members to attend the national anti-cuts demonstration called by the People’s Assembly and the NUT on 21 June 2014.