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UCU National Website General Meeting 12 February 2009 National Campaign
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GUCU Officers

present: 45 members total

Apologies: Duncan Branley, Tim Valentine, Lucia Boldrini, Ben Levitas


1. Motion on Twinning Campaign with Al-Quds University

Proposed: Bart Moore-Gilbert

Seconded: Executive

Discussion: The gesture of solidarity is important. We acknowledge that the actions of the Israeli state (such as the invasion of Gaza) could lead to an increased climate of anti-Semitism. However, it should also be pointed out that anti-Semitism is a separate issue than support for twinning with a Palestinian university and these issues should not be conflated.

Amendment (that the Twinning campaign should declare its opposition to anti-semitism) – defeated.

Motion (as unamended) - Passed.

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2. Motion on Support of Student Occupation of Deptford Town Hall for Two Palestinian Scholarships

Discussion: The Students Union is officially twinned with Al Quds Open University and are in occupation at Deptford Town Hall, with the demand of two Palestinian scholarships. Management is proposing two Palestinian scholarships (out of a total four) but on a time-limited basis; the students are calling for the scholarship to be offered on an ongoing basis. The Student Union is also organising a visit to Palestine in April; if anyone is interested they can contact them.

Passed

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3. Motion on Home Office Regulations

Proposed: Alberto Toscano

Seconded: GUCU Executive

Discussion: New rules on monitoring attendance of international students are due to start next month, but we haven't been specifically been told what form the rules will take. There is a College working group on this issue. Concerned was expressed that opposition is too late and this places us in jeopardy of losing our sponsorship of international students. However, we have still to receive clear information from UKBA about how to implement the rules or what counts as attendance. This is part of a larger shift which includes the monitoring of non-EU staff in workplaces. There is a video on the UKBA website about the new regulations at this link.

Passed. The motion will be sent to national conference.

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4. Pay Forum (Natalie Fenton)

Negotiations on key issues are proceeding very slowly. We still have not received any paperwork on promotions (although they have told us this will be coming), but weren't given a definite timeline. The next Pay Forum is 10 March; hopefully they will give us something by that point. Management need to provide profiles for both academic- and academic-related posts, with clear and objective criteria. There is nothing yet on hourly-paid staff. There is also a JCNC in next couple of weeks.

Action point: The exec will write a model email that members can adapt and send out, asking the Warden for assurances that these issues will be addressed. If nothing happens after 10 March, we will call for for a vote of non-confidence in management’s handling of this issue.

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5. National Pay Claim

Meetings at ACAS are continuing but some were postponed because of the snow.

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6. Registry Restructuring

In October, Hugh Jones drew up proposals to restructure registry-related roles, involving the collapse of some roles into two separate departments, potentially affecting jobs. A revised proposal went to SMT and was approved in principle but with some alterations. We have still to receive answers to our questions raised in the UCU response to the original proposals.

Action point: We will circulate information about the proposals, as not all members are aware of the situation.

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6. Performance and Development Review

HR has a form on their website about the PDR process which has been interpreted by some in a problematic manner and using it in relation to promotions criteria. Members are urged to be vigilant about the PDR process and to ensure that it is about development issues and to feed back to the Executive if there are any problems.

7.Elections to NEC

Members are urged to take part in the elections to the UCU’s NEC which are going on until 10 March.

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8. Academic-Related Staff and Anti-Casualisation Meetings

We can send one more delegate to the academic-related staff meeting (11 March), and we also urgently need a delegate for the anti-casualisation meeting (27 February). Any help with this would be greatly appreciated. If you'd like to attend, please contact Kirsten at gucu-admin@gold.ac.uk.

9. Support for Amanda Sackur

Amanda Sackur at London Met is supposed to have a disciplinary hearing on Monday, although there is a possibility this might postponed. Stay tuned for details of the hearing (a protest is planned), and don't forget to sign the petition at:

http://www.petitiononline.com/defendas/petition.html

update: this has been resolved and the disciplinary has been dropped!

10. Upcoming Workshop on Marketisation

There is an upcoming workshop on the marketisation of education, to take place at University of East London on 6 March. You are all welcome to attend; details to follow. For more information check this link:

http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm?articleid=3688

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For an archive of older meetings, look here.

Any questions? email us at gucu-admin@gold.ac.uk.

 

 
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