Model motions to pass in your Labour Clubs and Student Unions.
Support a ‘Yes’ Vote in the UCU reballot for strike action!
This Student Union notes
- UCU announced on 26 November 2019 that members in colleges and universities will be re-balloted for strike action. The ballot will open on Monday 14th January 2019 and will close on Friday 22 February 2019. Any strike action that takes place will have an effect on teaching, marking, and other student services.
- The dispute is over a real terms decrease in pay of 21% since 2009 in higher education and a decline of 25% over the last decade for college staff. During this period there has also been a rise in precarious contracts, increased workload and the gender pay gap has gone unaddressed. On average, universities use hourly-paid staff for 27% of their teaching, academic staff work an average of 50.9 hours FTE per week and for academic staff, men on average earn 12% more than women.
- The Universities and Colleges’ Employers Association (UCEA) made a final offer of 2% at the final pay talks in May 2018.
- In order to catch up and keep up with the value of pay since 2009, 7.5% is needed.
- Any strike action would be taken as a last resort due to the UCEA’s unacceptable final offer during pay talks.
- There is an open letter signed by hundreds of students, alumni and workers in support of a ‘yes’ vote.
- Polling during the UCU strike over the pension dispute in 2018 showed a majority of students supported the strike.
This Student Union believes
- Staff in our universities and colleges should be properly supported, since they are the backbone of our educational system.
- Students will benefit from the pay dispute being resolved, since it will help continue to attract high-profile staff to our university and other UK universities, as well as making sure that they are motivated and happy – which will have a positive impact on their teaching.
- Staff have the right to challenge unfair practices, including the right to industrial action – which is a legitimate means of raising concerns about the enormous effect that the pay dispute will have in the financial futures of education professionals.
- UCEA have proven to be unreasonable throughout pay talks and industrial action is now required for this dispute to be resolved and for staff’s concerns to be addressed.
- [University] SU have an important role in helping students understand why this ballot is happening.
- By supporting industrial action amongst staff, [University] SU would pledge its support to its Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs), some of which are already teaching and may go on strike or may be affected by the changes in the future.
This Student Union resolves
- To write a letter to the Vice-Chancellor, demanding an improved pay offer of 7.5% to be made by UCEA and for a framework for action to close the gender pay gap and reduce precarious contracts to be produced.
- To publicly support a ‘yes’ vote on this ballot and support and publicise any upcoming strikes, and all future strikes for the next three years irrespective of duration and not limited to pay.
- To speak out on behalf of Postgraduate Research Students (PGRs), in order to defend their interests.
- To run a campaign working with materials provided by UCU, both physically and digitally about a ‘yes’ vote, educating students and encouraging them to get involved.
- To assign funds for student led initiatives in support of a ‘yes’ vote of up to £350 per initiative e.g. for leaflets.
Free our unions – repeal the anti-union laws
This Labour Club notes
- The increasing number of trade union struggles scuppered by the anti-trade union laws, including recent national ballots over pay by UCU and PCS.
- That the anti-union laws – not just the 2016 Trade Union Act, but multiple laws going back to 1980 – continuously undermine workers’ ability to organise and campaign. They mean the labour movement is fighting challenges of low pay, insecurity and lack of rights with our hands tied behind our backs.
This Labour Club further notes
- That the conference 2017 conference voted unanimously to “repeal the Trade Union Act, but also anti-union laws introduced in the 1980s and 90s”. Labour Conference 2015 voted unanimously for the introduction of strong workers’ rights including “strong rights to… strike, picket and take solidarity action”. Conference 2018 voted for the next Labour government to “abolish anti-union laws”.
- That these policies have not yet fed through into the party’s campaigning.
- The statement and campaign initiated by Lambeth Unison and supported by a growing number of union branches and organisations, endorsing and elaborating our conference policy and calling for it be put into action. (See below.)
This Labour Club resolves
- To call for party policy on repealing all the anti-union laws and introducing a strong right to strike to be reflected in the party’s campaigning, and write to the NEC, Leader’s Office and Shadow Chancellor’s Office.
- To add our endorsement to the statement initiated by Lambeth Unison.
- To invite a speaker from the campaign.