Defending Higher Education Pensions

Conference condemns the ongoing attack on our defined benefit (DB) pension schemes. Pensions are deferred pay and any cut to our pension schemes is a direct attack on terms and conditions. Conference notes the variety in pension schemes in the Higher Education section. Multi-institution, large scale schemes such as Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), Teachers […]

Promoting Transgender Equality in Higher Education Institutions

Conference will recall carrying the motion ‘Trans inclusion in higher education workplaces’ in 2017 welcoming trans members’ active participation in UNISON and accepting that trans equality must be addressed in all workplaces. This motion also endorsed the recommendations of the Parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee Inquiry into Transgender Equality, which called for higher education institutions […]

Black Lives Matter – A higher education trade union programme of action

Conference, the international outrage following the death of George Floyd, saw the Black Lives Matter movement take centre stage. Having suffered years of marginalisation, entrenched barriers, structural and institutional racism – people across the world came together to say enough is enough. The worldwide protest of predominantly young, multi-racial people, demanding justice, and an end […]

Flexible working and hybrid working

More than four in five workers in Britain want to work flexibly according to a Trade Union Congress (TUC) report on The future of flexible work published in June 2021. Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was inequality in access to genuinely flexible working. As the TUC report notes, “Too many people in working-class occupations […]

Higher Education Service Group Executive Pay Motion 2022/23

The past few years have been turbulent for everyone working in higher education due to the precariousness and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. The past couple of years have seen an unprecedented attack on higher education pay – with the national higher education employers not making a […]

Single Parents Rights Campaign: Supporting Single Parent being added to the Equality Act 2010 as a protected characteristic

Conference notes that within the UK approximately a quarter of families with children are headed by a single parent and of those single parents 90 % are female. Historically single parents have been demonized and discriminated against in a systemic way. This has led to a situation where single parents will face difficulties in work, […]

Wholly Owned Subsidiaries

“Conference notes the now well-established practice of Universities utilising various spin-off companies, single purpose vehicles and wholly owned subsidiary companies (WHOs) for a variety of different purposes, including cost saving measures. For example, a University may use a nominally separate company for some of its activity on a small scale to exploit intellectual property, on […]

Universities must take practical steps to support victims of domestic violence

Currently in the UK, almost one in three women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, while two women a week are murdered by a partner or ex-partner, usually after a sustained period of suffering abuse. The vast majority of the victims and survivors of domestic abuse are women and children, and women are also […]

Devolution Matters!

Conference acknowledges that there are four nations within the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), with each legislature having autonomy over Higher Education. This has meant that our Higher Education (HE) committees in those nations are more often than not negotiating directly with relevant devolved governments on a range of issues such as […]

Scottish Bargaining & Higher Education Pay

For many, many years New Joint Negotiating Committee for Higher Education Staff (New JNCHES) has failed to deliver pay outcomes that improve or protect our members’ living standards. The employers’ approach to this negotiating forum has not reflected a commitment to genuine negotiation or collective bargaining, and despite the best efforts of our negotiators, New […]

Tackling structural racism in higher education

In 2019, the Equality and Human Rights Commission launched an enquiry into racial harassment into public funded universities in Britain to examine staff and student’s experiences of racial harassment and the effects they might have on their education careers and wellbeing. The report highlighted that racial harassment is a common occurrence for many students and […]

Greater Support for Frontline Workers

Conference recognises the immense contribution our members working on campus have made throughout the coronavirus crisis. These members are often the lowest paid and had little choice but to return to campus even if they felt anxiety about doing so. While branches worked hard to ensure workplaces were as safe as possible and Risk Assessments […]

Childcare Post Pandemic

“This conference welcomes: The Government’s proposals to extend the right to request flexible working to workers from day one of their employment. This will benefit many women with caring responsibilities. The move of many employers to introduce hybrid working for many office-based staff allowing women to work from home and the office. However, this Conference […]

A Buffer Zone To Protect Patients And Workers

“This Conference notes: Across the country there are services offering pregnancy advice and terminations. These types of medical centres attract protesters who hold vigils, hand out leaflets and intimidate those on their way to access services. This has an impact on the wellbeing of those women accessing this type of service and also has a […]

Home Working And The Impact On Women

“This conference notes: That because of the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns, home working increased in the UK from around 5% to around 30%. Research carried out in the US identified that women were three times more likely to be the main care giver in the pandemic and that only 37% of women had a […]