May 30, 2006

Union EGM: The Motion

Well, the Union still haven't uploaded the EGM policy yet, so here it is in full:

This Union Notes:

1. The current action short of a strike called by the Association of University Teachers (AUT), and their call for better pay

2. University and College Employers Association (UCEA)

3. That University funding will increase by 25% over the next 3 years as a direct result of Top–Up fees

4. The policy passed by Union Council in Term 2 2006, in support of the AUT

5. That the National Union of Students have taken a stance to support the AUT in their call for better pay and in their action, with the exception of the exam setting boycott which the NUS does not support.

6. The considerable amount of extra stress that students are experiencing at an already stressful time of year, as a result of the current pay dispute.

7. That an agreement between UCEA and the AUT will bring an immediate end to the industrial action

8. That Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education, described the state of academic pay as a “very serious and deep seated problem” (noted in House of Commons transcripts – Hansard)

9. Academic recruitment is an international market, and that lecturers in many fields can move away from UK Universities and from academia in general to be paid significantly more immediately

This Union Believes:

1. That the situation where academic staff are forced to withdraw their labour should never have been allowed to arise.

2. That the withdrawal of labour by academic staff is having a devastating effect on students

3. That low pay for staff has a negative impact on student learning

4. If we sort out academic pay now we will prevent action in the near and foreseeable future

5. That students deserve properly paid, better motivated, and more committed lecturers

6. That by paying academic staff competitively, Universities will be able to attract and keep high quality academics

7. That the Universities have to power to end this dispute now and that by using stalling as a negotiation tactic they have harmed students

8. That putting pressure on the Universities, in a coalition with the AUT, is the fastest way to end the dispute

9. That taking action short of a strike was the last resort for the AUT

This Union Resolves:

1. To continue to support students by:

  • Providing the facility for students to complain to the University, to UCEA, and to the government on the Union Website
  • Making graduate recruiters aware of the situation, and seeking their reassurance that students with partial transcripts will not be penalised
  • providing updated information about the dispute as and when it happens, via flyers, posters, leaflets, and on the Union website.
  • Providing specialist support and help for individual students from the Education Officer, the Welfare & Equal Opportunities Officer, and from the Advice and Welfare Service

2. To continue to put pressure on all parties to SORT IT OUT as soon as possible

3. To continue to support the AUT, excluding their exam boycott.

4. To continue to work with the University to limit the damage to current students, especially by doing the following:

  • Making sure that students will graduate, and that they will be provided with as much of a completed transcript as possible when they leave University
  • Calling on Universities to take special measures to meet the specific needs of international students.
  • Putting pressure on the University to make sure that appropriate people mark students’ work and that where necessary this is the academic who set it.
  • Putting pressure on Universities across the world to not penalise students entering PG courses with partial transcripts
  • Making sure that all students effected by the dispute are given a letter from the Vice Chancellor to take to their future employer etc explaining the situation

5. To hold a “SORT IT OUT” demonstration in week 9, not supporting any party, expressing student disgust at the situation!

6. To call on UCEA to put an end to the dispute over lecturers pay and restore the full educational experience that students deserve at this important time.

7. To lapse policy 638 “Supporting the Lecturers Strike”

Note that the policy hasn't been through Steering yet, and so is not final.

- 6 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

[Skip to the latest comment]
  1. Christopher Rossdale

    Very clever from Stark.

    30 May 2006, 15:54

  2. " 9. The Union believes that taking action short of a strike was the last resort for the AUT"
    Erm, the last resort would be an actual strike surely?

    I really fail to see how this policy changes anything at all – we'll continue to support the AUT, but not the exam marking strike? Err, but surely we never supported the exam marking strike to start with – not because we were against it, but because it's impossible. Students can't support the exam marking strike as they don't mark exams. All they can do is support the AUT in principle or not, and withdrawn or extend that support dependent upon what strike action the AUT takes.

    The policy sounds like a whole load of nothign to me…
    (and how can there' be a 'Sort it out' protest that is unbiased and supporting neither side, if it is being run, organised and participated in by a body that is officially in favour of the AUT…)

    03 Jun 2006, 20:23

  3. Yeah I think Kat Stark's very prominent appearance at the AUT rally last week confirms most people's view that the Student Union is almost entirely behind the strike, regardless of the consequences. The policy is just a rewording, and doesn't call on the AUT to end their exam–marking boycott.

    03 Jun 2006, 22:09

  4. Christopher Rossdale

    Kat Stark and all the sabbs were there – under union policy they have to support the strike in action; not being at the rally without very good reasons wouldn't have been acceptable.

    04 Jun 2006, 05:04

  5. Surely a union policy can't compell officers to attend rallys for stuff they don't personally believe in? So if someone got a joke policy passed that said the union would support any action against the existance of David Blaine, and a group then held a rally on campus for just that, the saabs would have to attend? Or more seriously if a policy were passed that went against one of the saab's personal beliefs…
    Or if the AUT decided to hold a 6 hour rally every day for the next week they'd effectively cripple the SU management? The whole concept just seems a little bizzare…

    04 Jun 2006, 15:57

  6. Between this version of the policy and the one linked on the students union website, "excluding their exam boycott" got removed.

    05 Jun 2006, 00:39

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