Goldsmiths UCU Emergency General Meeting minutes, 31 March 2011

Apologies: ED, VO

1) Feedback on last week’s action and next steps:

According to the latest list from HQ, 47 people have joined the union this month.

The Students’ Union reported only 4 complaints as a result of the strike, and said that their overall impression was that students are quite supportive.

The short timeframe of the ballot, and the fact that it took place during reading week meant that some people were not able to return their ballot papers in time.

Sally Hunt  has called on the Employers’ Pension Forum (EPF)  for talks at ACAS, which we have refused. JW emailed the Warden asking him to call on the EPF to join the union for talks at ACAS.

There have been some emails from SMT with misleading information (such as the requirement for people to report directly to HR in advance of taking strike action).

Implementation of the USS changes is on hold at the moment.

Next steps:
HQ has emailed us asking to feed back on where to go next.  People felt that a national day of strike action would be the most effective, which would include both HE and FE and would involve action on the USS, TPS and pay and jobs disputes, possibly with a march or rally to finish.  People felt that the regional days of action were less effective, and that action in individual institutions would be even less so.

We could also take part in of action short of a strike to cause disruption. We should also discuss this with students to hear their views on what types of action, which would disrupt the institution, they could support.

People discussed the need for communication that is simple and clear and which links the USS dispute with the pay and jobs dispute and contextualises them in terms of cuts to HE and public services. People also discussed the need for case studies, which would make it ‘real’.

Action points:

KF has written HQ explaining our position and asking them to produce campaigns material which links all issues together.
KF has contacted the SU.

A communications subcommittee was set up to plan and produce campaign material (including print, online etc). The first meeting is next Thursday, 7 April (time tbc).  Email if you’d like to volunteer.

Set up a pensions clinic to answer people’s questions, with someone from HQ  to answer questions.

JW to draft an open letter to CP countering the misleading information, and also querying the Warden’s £305,000 salary.

2) Congress delegates

First delegate: Des Freedman
Proposed: Duncan Branley ; seconded: Kalbir Shukra.
Second delegate to be shared between Clare Kelly and Maggie Pitfield.
Proposed: John Wadsworth; seconded: Duncan Branley.