HEC Motion I

Defending casualised staff during the pandemic

HEC notes

  1. that many HEIs will terminate the contracts of precariously-employed staff (including hourly-paid GTAs/PhD students) during the Coronavirus crisis, who will find it nearly impossible to secure alternative employment;
  2. the #CoronaContracts demand for 2 years secure employment for all casualised staff to ensure they are not left without employment or income during the crisis.

HEC resolves to:

  1. Launch a national campaign to defend jobs.
  2. Circulate the CoronaContracts petition to all UCU branches along with bargaining advice including a reminder that permanent staff should not cover work formerly done by casualised staff;
  3. Instruct the GS to write and circulate an open letter to Vice-Chancellors, UUK and UCEA pointing out the inhumanity of terminating casualised staff contracts during a pandemic, and demanding that they refrain from doing so, and to similarly call on research funding bodies to fund research staff for the next 2 years.

[150 words]


HEC Motion II

HE Casualisation crisis proposed by Christina Paine, seconded by Robyn Orfitelli

HEC notes:

The consequences of the HE casualisation crisis are becoming clearer. The lack of UCU coordination on this has led to several brave campaigns being mounted by the most vulnerable precarious workers (many BAME) in defence of livelihoods, their students, and the future of the institutions.

HEC resolves:

  1. To engage in widespread media campaign to publicise grassroots anticasualisation efforts, including (but not limited to) Precarious@Gold, @EssexGTAs, @KingsGTAs, @CleanersFor, and @CoronaContract.
  2. To encourage members and branches to donate to solidarity funds for such campaigns.
  3. To expand UCU’s anti-casualisation work to support and dovetail with the work of said grassroots organisations, with the involvement of the anticasualisation committee. Said work will include both UK-wide campaigning, and concrete regional support for local branch work, via organisational and collective casework support.
  4. Arrange mass online meeting to organise opposition to casualization in HE, before the end of June 2020. (149)

Amendment 1 proposed by Christina Paine, seconded by Marion Hersh

After HEC resolves: point 3:

  • ‘UCU to equip all members with know your rights training aiding the pushback against covering for casualised staff
  • UCU recruit and support a member, or group of members in a precedent setting case on resisting job loss due to Covid
  • to consult more closely with ACC and coronacontract
  • Jo G will speak directly with casualised organisers from corona contracts
  • to publicise any good practice on retaining of casualised staff’

Amendment 2 proposed by Christina Paine, seconded by Marion Hersh

Insert after HEC resolves point 4

  • ‘Negotiate with UCEA on guarantee of at least two years job security for casualised staff.
  • Develop a section of website on supporting Corona job retention
  • Name and shame institutions that engage in bad practice, by media and articles by sympathetic journalists
  • Defend staff in the workplace who refuse to take on previously employed casualised colleagues’ work.
  • Consult with ACC about ALL actions concerned with casualisation’

Amendment 3 proposed by Vicky Blake

Add new point under resolves:

To reinstate the annual anticasualisation training and organising conference established by Congress 2013 composite motion 9, beginning in summer 2020 with an adapted online programme for the coronavirus context. It will be organised with direct guidance and input from the Anticasualisation Committee to ensure development of targeted, reproducible, confidence-building training to empower and recruit anticasualisation reps, officers and activists vital to the fight for jobs, safe working environments, and secure work.

Amendment 4 proposed by Lucy Burke

Add point 5

  1. Urgently to mount a campaign to call on securely employed staff to defend casualised staff whose contracts have not been renewed or whose hours have been cut by refusing to take on new or additional work produced by redundancies, non-renewal and a reduction of their hours. This shall be accompanied by a strong and regular communications strategy with direct input from the Anti-casualisation committee.