Alternative Financial Strategy

The following motion on UoN Finances was passed at the branch meeting on 10 March 2021

This meeting notes:  

  • The document by the UCU committee on UoN finances An Alternative Financial  Strategy: Establishing Sustainable Finances at University of Nottingham.  

This union branch believes:  

  • That UoN’s ‘lean financial management’ with its focus on profitability and maximizing  annual surpluses has put the University at great financial risk, as evidenced by the  panic-driven cuts in response to the pandemic; 
  • That UoN’s ‘lean financial management’ fails to live up to the requirements of a  public, charitable non-profit higher education and research institution;  
  • That UoN’s ‘lean financial management’ has undermined staff’s working conditions  and students’ educational experience;  
  • That the UCU’s proposal as set out in the Alternative Financial Strategy document  provides a concrete and feasible alternative.  

Therefore, this meeting resolves:  

  • To demand that UoN abandons its ‘lean financial management’ and replace it with a  strategy based on careful, long-term borrowing for key infrastructure projects,  supported by broad consultation amongst staff and finalised in a democratic decision making process. This should involve the University agreeing a budget for 2021-22  that reflects the principles and approach set out in the Alternative Financial Strategy. 

This meeting asks the branch committee to develop a campaign strategy along the following  lines: 

  • That immediately after this branch meeting: a) request a meeting with the 15%  savings group for a detailed discussion of the alternative finance proposal; b) request  a meeting with Council to present and discuss the UCU document An Alternative  Financial Strategy;  
  • To campaign for the AFS among UCU members and the wider University staff  community. This campaign to include locally organised Town Halls and relevant  publicity materials. The campaign to also focus on explaining the case for the AFS to  Heads of Schools and Departments through specially convened meetings; 
  • To work with the Students’ Union, and sister campus unions, to win support for the  AFS, and to organise practical campaigning activities jointly with the SU, Unite and  Unison;  
  • Approach public stakeholders including local councillors and MPs in support of the  campaign;
  • Acknowledging UCU’s commitment to work beyond the union’s membership, and to  provide everyone with an opportunity to show their support for the alternative strategy  being proposed, the Branch instructs the Committee to establish a ‘Statement of  Support’ for the AFS and to secure the maximum number of signatories among staff,  students and the wider community. 
  • Finally, the branch instructs the committee to keep members fully informed of the  campaign and the progress of discussions with University management. At the  branch meeting on 14 April, the committee reports on the outcome of discussions  with management and plans to escalate the campaign should this be necessary.