The University and College Union held its annual congress in Brighton on 29 to 31 May. It debated the need to fight for pay, and some delegates recognised that members needed to be involved in any pay struggles.
After a debate on the union’s finances, congress agreed to note “the proposed budget for September 2013-August 2014 and the indicative budget for 2014-2015.” Congress defeated, by 174 to 164, a wrecking amendment to delete “and the indicative budget for 2014-2015”. Delegates agreed to do whatever was necessary to remain an independent union.
It was good that the NEC raised the issue of Britain’s EU membership, bringing on the much-needed trade union debate on the EU. Workers last month noted the NEC motion: “Congress calls on the NEC to join with other trade unions to campaign vigorously on the benefit of remaining in EU membership to safeguard our already diminishing equality and employment rights.”
Fortunately, congress carried, by 137 votes to 130, the Eastern and Home Counties regional committee’s amendment to delete “on the benefit of remaining in EU membership”.
Delegates heard calls to leave the EU, to defend the unity of the British working class and reject separatism, and to reject the anti-union practice of labour mobility. ■