Motion Passed: Vote No, Call HE Sector Conference

voteAt EGMs held both in the central campus and at Kings Buildings yesterday (5th April), both resolutions in the motion below were passed.  There was a healthy debate at both which could have gone on well beyond the time available.

  • Firstly, the branch now commits itself to campaigning for a ‘No’ vote in the current ballot but fully recognises and remains sensitive to other opinions expressed.
  • Secondly, we call for the convening, at the earliest possible opportunity, of an HE Sector Conference within UCU, to debate strategy around the USS dispute.



Proposer: Grant Buttars

Seconder: Shereen Benjamin

This branch notes:

  1. the decision by the majority of UCU’s Higher Education Committee to ballot UCU members on the proposal from UUK;
  2. that a majority of UCU branches meeting on 25 and 26 March wanted to ‘Revise and Resubmit’ this proposal and many took a clear position of ‘No Detriment;
  3. employers such as Liverpool University and the Open University are already announcing redundancies

We believe that:

  1. accepting the proposal as it stands will demobilise our highly-successful campaign of strike action at a point when we are making serious gains;
  2. seeking further clarification and assurances on the ambiguities presented by the proposal does not necessarily imply taking a ‘No Detriment’ position;
  3. we need to maintain maximum momentum to defend Defined Benefit pensions, pay and jobs.

We therefore resolve:

  1. that the branch will campaign to urge a ‘No’ vote in the ballot;
  2. to call for an emergency Higher Education Sector Conference to debate strategy around the USS dispute.

For reference

Extract from UCU rule book

16.11 Special meetings of National Congress or the Sector Conferences shall be convened, by giving at least three working weeks’ notice, when it is so resolved by the National Executive Committee or in the case of the Sector Conferences, the relevant Sector Committee, or following receipt of a requisition from quorate general meetings in 20 branches/Local Associations from separate institutions across the Union, or for Sector Conferences, in the Sector, or bearing the identifiable signatures of not less than one tenth of the members of the Union. Such resolution or requisition shall specify the intended business, and only that business may be transacted at the special meeting.

16.12 Requisitioned special meetings shall take place within five working weeks of receipt of the requisition by the General Secretary. Where branches/local associations have passed motions requisitioning a meeting, but the total is not yet deemed sufficient to trigger the requisition, up-to-date information regarding progress of the requisition, including the particulars of its business and the number and names of branches/Local Associations deemed to have passed the appropriate requisition motion, will be available to all members on request.