Branch motion: Deductions for ASOS, Four Fights and USS disputes

Motion passed at quorate general meeting, 1pm Monday 17 January 2022

CUCU notes:

1. That CUCU members responded positively to the national strikes last term – many members signed up to picket and we were joined by large numbers of student supporters organised through Cambridge Defend Education and the Cambridge Student Union.

2. That nationally up to 90 UCU branches will have a mandate for industrial action by 14th January.

3. The twin disputes strategy is successfully mobilising members across HE for both strike action and Action Short of Strike (ASOS). In addition UCU is again seeing a new surge in membership indicating growing support for our demands among ever wider layers of HE staff.

4. That Cambridge University management has responded to our strike action and ASOS by threatening to make punitive deductions of 25 percent of salary “for each day that a staff member chooses to not reschedule lectures or classes disrupted by the strike and/or remove uploaded materials related to, and/or not sharing materials related to, lectures or classes that will be or have been cancelled as a result of strike action.”


CUCU believes:

1. The University’s claims that this divisive policy is there to protect students contradicts the position taken by the Cambridge SU in support of our strike. It is also clearly not targeted at minimising disruption since only one day of teaching was actually affected by strike action last term and rather shows their backing for a coordinated attempt to break our strike.

2. The University’s use of this union-busting tactic shows that we need stronger and harder national strike action to win this dispute.

3. The 28th February deadline for confirmation of the benefit cuts and cost increases in USS makes for added urgency in calling further industrial action.

4. Our disputes are not due to underfunding in the sector but the misuse of the funding in the sector. Marketisation, student debt and privatisation and their impact on staff and students highlight the broken nature of the variety of marketised models of HE operating across the whole of the UK.

 CUCU resolves:

1. To develop a local action plan to support members targeted for deductions as a result of not rescheduling. This should include:

a. A public campaign condemning the University for its policy; we will seek support from the SU and Cambridge alumni for this.

b. A voluntary levy of members and supporters to make up any pay deductions incurred as a result of not rescheduling.

c. Coordination with other branches facing similar policies to develop a national response to ASOS deductions.

2. To call on HEC to:

a. call escalating strike action throughout February, in order to maximise national action whilst accounting for the need to support the important ongoing strikes at Goldsmiths, in line with the deadline in USS and commit to renewing with further action from the 28th February deadline, up to indefinite action. The Four Fights dispute should follow the same timetable

b. build support for the national action including: further balloting of the next group of branches closest to the anti-union threshold, establishing levies in non-striking branches and calling on the trade union movement to show solidarity by donating to the UCU strike fund.

c. urge branches to organise local/city wide staff student and community assemblies to build support for the defence of our living standards and pension rights across the wider trade union movement.

d. ensure that a reballot of branches is organised this term to allow the extension of our industrial action mandate permitting further strikes and ASOS covering a marking and assessment boycott in Easter Term.

3. To support, publicise and send delegates to the UCU Solidarity Movement Conference on 29th January