Clare Hunter led a discussion on the proposed banner motifs and keywords that would best express our aims as key representatives of the University community, championing the concept of a University for the Common Good, working with sister unions and with the wider student community in a challenging environment for Scottish Higher Education.
Local President Douglas Chalmers gave a brief resumé of the year’s work, which had led to our highest ever membership and our strongest financial position so far.
Branch Secretary Brian Pillans reported on current negotiations over the workload model, the anti-casualisation strategy and other ongoing issues, while Membership Secretary and Vice-President Catriona Mowat gave an analysis of our membership – which, at 61 percent female, accurately represented the gender balance at university.
David Anderson, Scottish President, brought the greetings of the Scottish Executive in the form of his Santa’s wish list (which he said was still suspiciously like last year’s). However, he was pleased to say that it was more likely that next year’s list wouldn’t include Governance, as the Scottish Government now seemed to be moving to legislate on it.
The branch discussed and passed three resolutions for our forthcoming UK conference. For our overall conference (HE and FE), we are proposing The UCU in the post constitutional referendum period, and for the HE Sector conference we are putting forward Campaigning for increasing Democracy in the HE Sector and Facing outwards as an Educational Trade Union. These were agreed in principal, although it was noted some needed to be cut down slightly in length.
For the Scottish conference we unanimously adopted four resolutions – The role of the STUC in Scottish Politics and Moves towards better Governance together with Constructing an action plan for growth and Creating a Postgraduate Network in Scotland. For the first time we also elected a postgrad rep onto our branch committee, to join the existing branch committee, which was re-elected.
The branch also elected delegates to the UK and Scottish conferences.