24 May: branch meeting to discuss UCU Congress motions


At 12.30pm on 24 May (room TBC), we are holding a branch meeting ahead of the UCU Congress 2018.

UCU Congress 2018 will be held in Manchester between 30 May and 1 June 2018. Our chair Tim Hall will attend the meeting on behalf of the branch. This branch meeting is an opportunity to look at some of the motions being considered by Congress this year and provide Tim with your views in advance of the event.

A summary of the agenda and motions are available to view here.

What is UCU Congress?

An annual event where branches come together to discuss matters of importance. In the absence of an official definition though, take a look at the standing orders of last year’s event.

Showing solidarity with outsourced workers at Senate House this week

We passed a motion at our branch meeting on 19 April 2018 to show our support for bringing workers currently outsourced back in-house. The motion suggested what UCU members could do if they want to show solidarity with outsourced workers taking strike action on Wednesday and Thursday this week (25-26 April). Colleagues should remain aware of the rules around secondary action.

Here are some things that UCU branch members wishing to show solidarity CAN do:

  • Go outside and mingle with colleagues at lunchtime on Wednesday and learn more about some of the problems with outsourcing. You can do this during your lunch or join some of us at 1pm…look for the UCU banner on the Russell Square side of the building;
  • Join a planned protest outside Senate House after work at 5pm on Wednesday;
  • Donate directly to the IWGB strike fund.

At last week’s branch meeting, UCU members were also briefed on the remit of the FM Services Review Steering Group. Membership of this group includes UCU, and we remain committed to furthering our aim of bringing all workers back in-house through this mechanism.


Update following 10 April branch meeting

At the meeting we did not reach and, indeed, did not seek to reach a ‘branch position’ on whether members should vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in the ballot. You’ll see that some UCU branches have done this. We maintain that it’s very much up to individual members to make a decision themselves based on the information available. From the discussion today, it’s clear that members hold different voting intentions.

We did however identify an opportunity for us to use of our collective voice as a branch. Many branch members remain unhappy about the level of detail contained in the ‘offer’ and feel that voting ‘yes’ or ‘no’ today fails to convey what they think about the proposal and the onward direction of the dispute. It was therefore agreed, by a majority show of hands at the meeting, that we would compose an open letter to UCU leadership expressing these views.

A draft letter has been circulated to members by email. Please send in your comments by 9am on Thursday 12 April.

We’ll publish the open letter here.