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AGM Minutes 2018

Birkbeck UCU AGM Minutes: Thursday 14 June 2018.


Mike Berlin chaired the meeting. There were approximately 50 attendees



Item 1  and 2: Minutes from the last AGM

The minutes from 2017 AGM were agreed. There were no matters arising



Item 3: Report from 2018 Annual Congress

Andy Fugard reported back on Congress:


He gave his perspective on events leading to the suspension of congress noting that much has been written elsewhere about the exact order and causes. In summary, the current state is that congress got stuck at Motion 10 (calling for the General Secretary’s “immediate resignation”) and 11 (calling for “censure” of the GS) after delegates voted again on Friday to keep them on the agenda. An “Our UCU” movement formed and agreed a statement:


The Higher Education sector conference went ahead on Thurs with nearly 50 motions debated and carried, including in relation to the pension dispute, gender pay gap, and staff. See


AF took questions and was thanked for his report. 



Items 4: Motion

Christina Delistathi proposed the following:


Motion - A democratic UCU


Branch notes
1. the closure of Congress 2018 when delegates repeatedly accepted the advice of the Congress Business Committee (CBC) that motions 10 and 11 relating to censure or no confidence of the General Secretary were in order and voted to hear them.

2. the assertion that the Gen Sec of the union is an employee like all others and that motions 10 and 11 were an attack on staff terms employment rights.

3. Congress voted for a recall congress to conclude its business.

Branch believes that
1. As the General Secretary is a unique role among union staff as an elected position, motions 10 and 11 are in order.

2. We have the right to hold elected officials to account whilst recognising the valuable work of UCU staff.

3. The Congress rules were broken in closing Congress

4. The right to dissent is necessary to achieve unity in our union

Branch resolves
1. We have confidence in the CBC rulings at Congress 2018 that motions 10 & 11 were in order and the Congress vote to debate the motions at the recall Congress.

2. Not to let this distract us from organising to defend pay, jobs and conditions.


John Kelly proposed an alternative motion:


Motion 2


This branch believes that:


1. The walkout by UCU officials and the premature suspension of Congress violated the rights of delegates to hold union officials to account.


2. The motion from Exeter calling for the immediate resignation of the General Secretary violated the rights of members and of the General Secretary by seeking to remove the General Secretary without an election.


The branch therefore resolves that the newly established Commission on Union Democracy should consider how the rights of members, delegates and officials can all be protected. It proposes that a vote of no confidence at Congress should be permitted but if passed, it should trigger an election for the post of General Secretary, not a resignation. 


The AGM discussed both motions and it was agreed  that  CD and JK to meet to join the motions together and recirculate for approval from membership.


Item 5: The President’s report



MB congratulated membership for their commitment and turnout during industrial action.  Branch officials engaged successfully with management regarding deductions due to strike action. A large increase in branch membership was reported, well in excess of the target membership for the year 2017-2018. Ther are currently 539 members of BBK UCU. MB stressed the importance of maintaining the level  of activism experienced during the strike.


MB outlined the issues to be aware of in the future: especially college proposals for workload models, academic expectations, teaching only contracts, and ongoing negotiations of Teaching and Scholarship contract. Documents relating to these issues have been circulated to members in order to keep members informed and engaged.




Item 6: The Treasurers report


JK reported 2016/2017 there was a small drop income due to a change in composition of membership. More senior better paid staff were leaving. There is a small deficit after £4000 transferred into the hard ship fund. JK proposed a modest increase in local subs by 2-3p per week.


AGM discussed and suggested a higher rate of 10p per week and with the lower rates kept low with at 3p a week.


Those present voted to agree the increase





Eleni Liarou and Paddy McDaid: T&S staff

Simon Deville: Secretary

Andy Fugard and Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormmick: Welfare

Christine Delistathi: Vice –President  

John Kelly: President

Rebecca Gumbrell McCormmick: Equality

Kerry Harman: Learning

Richard Carabine: Health and Safety

Nick Pronger: Pensions


Brad Baxter, Mike Berlin, Monish Bhatia, Alex Colas, Sophie Hope, Eleni Liarou, Linda Milbourne, Paul Watt: Committee


Mike Berlin stood down as joint president and was thanked for his many years of commitment to the branch