The Caledonian University branch of the UCU held its AGM this week, with elections of a new President, Vice-President and new Membership Secretary, and thanks given to its outgoing and remaining officers for their work over the last, ‘rather eventful’, year.
New President Douglas Chalmers said he was looking forward to representing members' interests over the next year
Thanks were paid to retiring Present Vince Mills, stepping sideways in terms of responsibilities (see below) while new faces to the branch executive were Douglas Chalmers, unanimously elected as branch President for the next term, and Catriona Mowatt, also elected unanimously as the new membership secretary of the branch. Douglas is a senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences, Media and Journalism, and Catriona is head of the Universities Positive Living team. Moving sideways to Vice-President (but still promising to be just as active) was former President Vince Mills from the Scottish Centre for Work Based Learning, while the meeting welcomed the decisions of Branch Honorary Secretary Brian Pillans of the Law Department and Treasurer Caroline Tuff (also from the SCWBL) to continue in post.
New Membership Secretary Catriona Mowat 'welcomed the challenge of continuing to build UCU at Caledonian'
Retiring membership secretary John Biggam (who ironically missed the start of the meeting as he was active representing a UCU member) was applauded for his work on membership which it was felt had led to a notable increase in the UCU’s effectiveness over the last year. He was also applauded when he was revealed to be one of the hidden faces behind the mysterious Fat Cats who had appeared on campus last year. The identity of the other Fat Cat is yet to be revealed however……
Members were particularly pleased to hear that membership of the branch had shown its greatest increase in any one year since the creation of the branch, and despite the heaviest spending in any comparable period, Branch Treasurer Caroline Tuff was also able to report that the Branch ended the year in a healthier financial position than it started.
Revealed - one of out-going membership secretary John Biggam's 9 lives
The AGM discussed the next steps in the on-going pensions dispute, with a report from Tony Axon from the UCU Scottish Office, and the meeting also passed resolutions for the forthcoming Scottish Conference of the UCU on topics such as INTO, GCU London, on University Governance and on future action following the Staff Survey.
Finally, it agreed to continue the series of ‘lunchtime bites’ meetings for all staff, whether UCU members or not, and also to extend the meetings for new activists and those members of the union wishing to be trained up as branch reps or interested in further work on equality and green issues.
Closing the meeting, new President Douglas Chalmers thanked the outgoing members of the executive for their work on behalf of University staff, and promised that given the perilous state of so many aspects of University life ‘the UCU wouldn’t be going out of business any time soon….’