Second day of Congress – some highlights

By Tassia Kobylinska and Marian Carty, Goldsmiths delegates

There were no walkouts and no suspensions in the Higher Education Sector conference today! All motions heard are available here and results including amendments here. Nearly all were carried though HE11 (on removal of the USS board of trustees) was remitted.

Points of interest:

The motions discussed gave a broad picture of the state of post-92 university conditions and the need for a serious campaign, a proper strategy and a tool kit in the face of thousands of jobs threatened, workload increases, imposition of teaching only contracts and attacks on researchers and rights to ownership of intellectual property.

We heard some horror stories on the direction of lecture capture (video recorded lectures). An Open University colleague shared that compulsory lecture capture is being imposed this October and will lead to some dystopian scenarios, eg management listening in and, as in the case of another speaker, disciplinary action taken against a colleague on the basis of something heard by management within the recording!  This is frightening stuff – let alone issues around intellectual copyright and GDPR.

Transparency and accountability were words that cropped up again and again. Notable was the carrying of motions HE46 and HE47 on transparency in USS JEP negotiations and the Higher Education Committee.

Motions 10 and 11

This statement was put out by proposers of motion 11 at King’s. Please read if you have not already.

At the close of the day we were handed this agreed statement (see below) from members of the NEC and Unite calling for us to reconsider our decision not to withdraw Motions 10 and 11 under arguments of “due process”

In response, delegates from 18 branches have put together a late motion and so we return to congress business on Friday morning with motions 10 and 11 still to be heard. It looks like an eventful day ahead.

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