Closer Working with Students’ Unions

Conference notes the vital importance of expanding the spirit and ethos of trade unionism amongst students. To this end, as a highly politically sensitive area of the union, we need to foster closer relations with students unions through the UK. Students, as a group of ‘consumers’, need to realise that with increased tuition fees, they […]

Age Discrimination in Higher Education

With rising pension ages both in the State and Employers Pension Scheme, Higher Education will see an increase in the age of its workforce. The Equality Act 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees because of their age. Age discrimination can impact on someone’s confidence, job prospects, financial situation and quality of life. Older […]

Information Is Power

This Conference believes that the growth of privatisation and outsourcing in Higher Education presents a major challenge not just to the provision of services, but also to our ability to organise the workforce effectively. This Conference believes that the service group’s response to this challenge must be to support branches seeking to resist privatisation and […]

Control of Risk and Hazardous Substances in Higher Education

Conference notes that Health and Safety has not been exempt from the government’s austerity cuts agenda. The continued drive to “cut red tape” has brought changes to both the way work environments and hazardous substances are classified. Conference welcomes the initiative to standardise substance labelling worldwide and agree that when it comes to health and […]

Equality rights and collective agreements in higher education

Conference notes that it was our union’s national collective bargaining that established many equality protections long before they were enshrined in law. For example, our predecessor unions secured recognition of same sex partners for the purposes of workplace benefits before workplace discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation was banned and many years before the first […]

University wholly owned subsidiary companies

Conference, higher education employers are increasingly using the creation of wholly owned subsidiary companies to transfer support staff to deliver services. This is being used as a way to externalise staff for the purpose of creating a two-tier workforce to undermine the terms and conditions of new workers and placing the pensions and other contractual […]

“Impact of Trade Union Bill on Higher Education”

Conference notes that the Trade Union Bill currently going through Parliament is the biggest attack on workers’ rights and civil liberties in a generation. The headline requirement of a 50% turnout for a strike ballot is well known but there are other more insidious and pernicious sections that will fundamentally affect the way that Trade […]

Assessing the value of the Race Equality Charter Mark for Black staff and students in Public Services/Higher Education

Conference, the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) piloted a Race Equality Charter Mark with the aim to inspire a strategic approach to making cultural and systemic changes that will make a real difference to Black staff and students. The Charter covered: a)Professional and support staff b)Academic staff c)Student attainment, diversity of the curriculum and progression of […]

Higher Education deserves Fair Pay

Conference notes that Higher Education pay and conditions continue to erode following the year on year meagre pay offer from UCEA (Universities and Colleges Employers Association). We know that Universities budget for a figure higher than what is eventually offered by the UCEA negotiators. UK Universities have been described by the Tory Chancellor as the […]

New ways of working and reasonable adjustments

Conference notes that government cuts mean employers are looking for new ways of working to save money without cutting jobs. Often referred to as Lean or Agile Working, these methods were developed by Toyota and are predominantly used in manufacturing industries. If implemented correctly they can bring financial savings and improve working conditions. While we […]

Defending Trade Union Rights in Higher Education

This conference notes: 1)The current political climate makes trade union activists more vulnerable to victimisation. 2)The Trade Union Bill being presented to parliament in autumn 2015 represents a significant attack on trade union rights. 3)That there is no longer a legal right for employees to be accompanied by a trade union representative at flexible working […]

LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) staff working overseas

Conference recognises over the last 10 years there has been a massive growth in UK University’s opening overseas facilities, UK Universities are also increasingly involved in offshore campus partnerships. Conference believes that working overseas can be beneficial, both professionally and personally, for the members involved and can provide a new and challenging context for teaching, […]

Higher Education as a Service Group

Conference notes that: 1)The Higher Education (HE) Service Group is one of the seven service groups of UNISON. (The website quotes “Higher education – including teaching and support staff” 2)Members of HE within UNISON have a proud record of sharing experiences and learning the lessons of victories and defeats, despite some historic differences between pre […]

Reinvigorating Recruitment through Positive Policies on Free Education

Conference notes that: 1)The recent Labour leadership campaign, as a result of Jeremy Corbyn’s inclusion in the ballot and overwhelming victory, provided fresh opportunities for the labour movement and progressive forces to debate the way forward. 2)Central to the Corbyn campaign was a commitment to free education and abolition of higher education tuition fees. 3)This, […]

Voter Registration – Don’t let Students lose their Voice

Conference notes the following: 1)That the previous coalition government passed the Electoral Registration and Administration Act 2013, which made provision for Individual Electoral Registration (IER). This will replace the previous electoral registration system, whereby one person was responsible for registering the entire household. 2)That the Tory government elected in May 2015 intends to pursue boundary […]