Informal Resolution 27.02.23

No Sellout

This branch notes that

  1. The employers’ “offers” on pay and conditions and USS are not strong enough to qualify for a pause of action: no improvement with respect to the 5-6% pay uplift, that union members have already rejected, has been offered; vague promises to discuss casualisation and workload frameworks do not constitute an offer; the restoration of our USS benefits and reduced member fees are conditional on the outcome of the valuation; and consulting UCEA members on abolishing “involuntary” zero-hours contracts adds insult to injury, by adding caveats to abolishing the most exploitative form of work contract, even as it claims to be a move of good will from the employers.
  2. Neither branches, nor the Union’s democratic structures (HEC and negotiators) have been consulted in order to pause the action, which is a direct violation of our Union’s rules.

This branch believes that

  1. Pausing the strike action now amounts to a sellout of our struggle. It weakens us in the dispute with the employers and is damaging the prospects of the ongoing negotiations to deliver an outcome to our favour.
  2. We are in this action to win, and the current non-promises are far from winning anything of substance.
  3. The current “offer” is also divisive, by overplaying promises to uplift the lowest paid only, which deliberately creates a rift between the various unions representing university workers.
  4. Members’ control of the dispute is the only way for it to be effective, by uniting members, all campus unions, and students around our demands.
  5. Maximum pressure has to be exerted to the employers now, in order for those negotiations to have any effect. If our leadership is not willing to do this, we are.
  6. Not addressing members’ concerns regarding the pause at the live UCU event by the GS on the evening of 21 February can cause members to withdraw support at a time when unity is of outmost importance.

This branch resolves to

  1. Call upon the UCU GS and HEC members to stop the pausing of strike action, call back the strikes, and contribute in the discussion to find ways to keep up the momentum of our struggle.
  2. To call upon the HEC to give notice to the employers immediately for strike action on 9 and 10 March, including for the 15th of March to be a strike day in order to coordinate with other striking unions on the date the government budget is unveiled.
  3. Continue building our own branch’s organising and membership strength, by focusing on research and academic related/professional services staff and coordination with the Student Union and other student organisations, and other campus unions, including outsourced workers.
  4. Call under Rule 16.11 for a Special Higher Education Sector Conference to debate and direct the future of our disputes. Notice for this SHESC should be issued as soon as the number of branches requesting it reaches twenty.