Motion on Negotiating and Organising for Recognition

Cambridge UCU notes that:

    1. Recognition would give the branch the legal right to: 
      1. Collective bargaining on behalf of the staff groups (academic, academic-related and research) it represents; 
      2. Consultation on changes to contracts and working conditions; 
      3. Registering and resolving disputes with the University of Cambridge, according to an agreed process; and
      4. Facilities time for union representatives;
    2. The University of Cambridge is the only public university that does not already recognise UCU;
    3. The branch was invited to submit a formal claim for voluntary recognition by the Vice Chancellor on 9 March 2020;
    4. At a branch meeting the same day, members unanimously passed a motion instructing the Executive Committee to lodge a recognition claim as soon as possible;
    5. Following this motion, a claim for voluntary recognition of Cambridge UCU was formally submitted on 11 March 2020.

Cambridge UCU further notes that:

    1. Progress on the University’s side was slowed down by the need to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic;
    2. At a meeting on 7 October 2020, the University put forward its opening offer for voluntary recognition for academic staff only, claiming that the union had insufficient membership among academic-related and research staff to qualify for recognition;
    3. Representatives for the branch rejected that position, and restated our demand for recognition for all relevant staff categories: academic, academic-related, and research;
    4. As a result of this discussion, the University agreed to negotiate on a preliminary agreement for academic staff, and on the process by which Cambridge UCU could achieve recognition for academic-related and research staff;
    5. The process suggested by the University may include a poll of all academic-related and research staff to assess their willingness to be represented by Cambridge UCU in bargaining and negotiations;
    6. At a meeting on 4 November 2020, the Executive Committee reaffirmed the branch’s commitment to full recognition, and mandated the Regional Official to meet once more with the University before providing a report to members at the 2020 Annual General Meeting.

Cambridge UCU demands that:

    1. The University commit to voluntary recognition for all relevant staff groups;
    2. Negotiations with the University should begin in earnest to work out how this can be achieved;
    3. Negotiations should be conducted by a Negotiation Committee:
      1. Led by the UCU Regional Official:
      2. Including members of academic-related and research staff, who should be:
      3. Elected by the branch membership, and subsequently co-opted as Ordinary Members to the Executive Committee (if they are not already on the Committee); who should
      4. Report regularly on the progress of these discussions;
    4. Alongside these negotiations, the branch should launch a major organising drive, focusing on academic-related and research staff, to boost the visibility and membership density of Cambridge UCU;
    5. Together, these efforts should continue until Cambridge UCU is granted voluntary recognition on behalf of academic, academic-related, and research staff together.