UCU Preferendum Called

Following the results of the UCU ballot, and in accordance with Byelaw B of the Union’s constitution, the elected sabbatical officer team are calling a preferendum on what stance RHSU should take regarding the ongoing University and College Union (UCU) industrial action.

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It's nearly time to have your say (again) on what stance RHSU should take regarding the ongoing University and College Union (UCU) industrial action.

The UCU recently announced the results of a ballot to renew the strike mandate at UK universities for a further six months. UCU balloted for two separate issues:

As we did in November, we will be holding a preferendum, where you are presented with a range of potential options instead of a simple yes or no vote on supporting the strikes. The result will form a contemporary resolution, a short-term piece of policy that has a defined timescale, which will ensure any result is in place until the end of the current action.

The question we are asking the student body is:

“What stance should Royal Holloway Students’ Union adopt towards the current UCU industrial action?”

The options being put forward are:

  1. To support UCU’s current industrial action and its stance in its entirety, up to and including any further strike action.
  2. To support UCU’s current stance regarding ‘action short of a strike’, but reject the decision for wholesale strikes.
  3. To reject UCU’s current industrial action and its stance in its entirety.

You can read more about the background to the strikes, the rules around the preferendum, and more on our dedicated preferendum webpage.

When is it taking place?

In line with Byelaw B of our Constitution, we must give all members at least 14 days’ notice before the submission of any votes.

Voting for the preferendum will take place alongside the Summer Elections. Voting will open at 10:00 on Tuesday 2 May and close at 14:00 on Thursday 4 May with results announced later that day.

Pensions and pay consultation

In the recent consultation, members voted overwhelmingly by 85% to move forward with pension proposals agreed with employers. However, in the pay and conditions dispute, members voted by 56% to reject proposals agreed with employers. The rejection of the pay and conditions proposals means a marking and assessment boycott will now commence at 145 UK universities on Thursday 20 April, unless employers put an enhanced offer on the table.

If you have any questions or want to know more about how you can get involved with campaigning on this preferendum, please contact voice@su.rhul.ac.uk and we’ll be able to help you.

Why contemporary resolution and not policy motion?

Over the past decade, UCU has been involved with strike action across a wide range of issues affecting their members. A unilateral policy motion would put the Students’ Union in a position where it would support action on an ongoing basis for three years (the length of time a policy motion is live before it comes up for renewal).

By using a contemporary resolution, we can ensure any policy relates to this specific issue for the time it is live e.g. the current action mandate lasts until April 2023. This can be renewed at the end of the time period if further action is taken or the resolution comes to an end and further consultation can be sought e.g. in the event of a marking boycott or strikes that impact assessments which may change the opinion of the student body.