Solidarity with the Civil Disobedience Movement in Myanmar

This Motion to Congress was passed at the branch meeting on Wednesday March 10th

Congress notes: 

  1. That the military in Myanmar have seized power and are conducting mass arrests of activists across the country. 
  2. That part of the Civil Disobedience Movement is organised from university campuses, involving student-led protests and strikes by academics. 
  3. That the military is brutally suppressing this resistance, arresting at gunpoint a union leader at Yangon University, Professor Arkar Moe Thu, on 2 March 2021.

Congress resolves:

  1. To extend our solidarity to the Civil Disobedience Movement, and to demand the release of Professor Arkar Moe Thu and others held by the regime. 
  2. To negotiate for students applying from Myanmar to be allowed to use alternative criteria to the IELTS exam due to internal restrictions in the country. 
  3. To demand that universities audit their investments and partners to sever connections with organisations and individuals that are linked to the Burmese military. 

Motion on Health & Safety

The following motion was passed at the Wednesday 3rd February branch meeting.

This meeting notes:

  • the emergence of new, more infectious variants of the coronavirus.

This union branch believes:

  • The UK’s awful record in relation to Covid-19 deaths is directly attributable to the government’s mishandling of the pandemic, with national guidance marked by u-turns, slow responses, and the erroneous belief that economic health could be prioritised over human health. This has been experienced very acutely in the higher education sector where the drive for face to face provision has contributed directly to infection surges among students and the wider community.
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Motion on in Person Activities

The following motion was passed at the Wednesday 3rd February branch meeting.

This meeting notes:

  • In separate surveys 60% of University of Nottingham UCU members reported they felt unsafe undertaking work on campus, and 72% identified current workloads as unsustainable.

This union branch believes:

  • That the UK’s awful record in relation to Covid-19 deaths is directly attributable to the government’s mishandling of the pandemic. This indecisive ‘too little, too late’ approach has not only caused unnecessary deaths but has contributed to a continuous state of chaos and uncertainty.
  • That UK death rates are so high partly as a consequence of a second wave which the higher education sector made its own disastrous contribution to by prioritising a return to campus in September, despite warnings of the consequences.
  • That the repeated failure of University management to respond proactively to the crisis has resulted in increased workloads and intolerable pressure, and that the continuing lack of clarity about plans for teaching for the remainder of the academic year is now adding to already dangerous levels of anxiety and stress and negates the possibility of planning appropriate mitigations

Therefore, this meeting resolves:

  • to urge the University of Nottingham to declare that all, but essential activities will remain online for the remainder of the academic year, or until infection rates are minimal. Making this decision now will allow staff to plan work adequately and avoid needless uncertainty and stress.

Motion on Higher Education Sector Finance

The following motion was passed at the Wednesday 3rd February branch meeting.

This meeting notes:

  • the lack of leadership from the University of Nottingham in publicly lobbying the government for a sector wide deal.

This union branch believes:

  • Whilst other sectors have had success in openly challenging Government to step in and support them, the only defence of HE has come from unions, whilst UUK has remained mute. Financial losses incurred by universities due to the pandemic should not be borne by staff who have been working under immense pressure to continue to deliver high quality education to our students.
  • that without a sector wide deal financial losses will be unsustainable and the damage to the sector irreversible.

Therefore, this meeting resolves:

  • to urge the University of Nottingham to use its weight within UUK and the Russell Group to publicly lobby the UK Government to provide adequate financial support.

Motion on online teaching as default during pandemic

The following motion was passed at the Wednesday 14th October branch meeting.

Over the past few months, University of Nottingham staff have been consistently reassured by senior management that the question of “face to face” (f2f) teaching would be handled in a flexible and safe manner. However, facts on the ground have contradicted this. ​Many schools across the University report that they are still being forced by senior management to push staff into f2fteaching against their wishes​. The Motion passed by the Sept general meeting sought to address this by recognizing management’s assurance that no member of staff would be “compelled” to teach f2f.It has since become apparent this assurance has not been kept by management, who have refused to clarify what this phrasing actually means. This ambiguity has resulted in individual members of staff having to negotiate their way out of f2f with their line managers. Consequently, many staff continue to feel they are being compelled to deliver f2f teaching.

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