SAUWS will continue its work on democratising UWS by lobbying to further extend the proportion of trade union members and students elected onto university committees, such as senate and court.
As noted below there are many committees all at various levels with no student representation at all. Powerful university committees such as audit and risk committee, the salary committee, the remuneration committee, the vice chancellors executive group, university leadership team and the leadership forum have no student representatives as members.
To note that the new higher education governance act sets out the bare minimum standards of democracy in higher education and its up to bodies such as SAUWS along with trade unions to strengthen democracy inside UWS further.
Therefore the aims of this campaign is to:
Significantly increase the proportion of students and trade union members to committees such as court and senate above the requirements of the Higher Education Governance act.
More student and trade union representatives should have the opportunity to chair important committees when appropriate.
Implement student representation on the following but not limited to audit and risk committee, the salary committee, the remuneration committee, the vice chancellors executive group, university leadership team and the leadership forum.
As usual SAUWS must act as a critical friend and lobby senate and court in a respectable way to secure the three aims above however failing to do this has a negative impact on the student voice itself. If university management honours the partnership it has with both workers and students then it should no doubt have members who are representatives of students and trade unions on powerful committees. However if the university decides not to honour the importance of the voice of students then the student association should resort to stronger methods of campaigning such as direct action (occupations, walkouts, etc...)
Why you think it is important
Universities are a force for social good which benefits Scotland and beyond. This is why it is important to have proper scrutiny, transparency and accountability of University committees, the work of these committees have a direct impact on your student learning experience. The work of committees also drastically shapes work conditions from employed staff. Bad working conditions, such as staff having their salaries frozen as management's spike, lay offs, and an ever increasing workload has a knock on effect to the student experience. Therefore listening to and working closely with both recognised and unrecognised UWS trade unions is key in democratising UWS to secure an improved student experience and improved working conditions.
UWS will be changing how it appoints students, workers, management and others onto committees and their composition due to the creation of the HE Governance Scotland act a couple of years ago. UWS management were against the development of the bill however student unions and trade unions around the country backed it due to its aspects of democratisation. As the university was publicly against the creation of this law, this suggests that UWS may only be willing to make the bare minimum changes to stay in a positive legal area whilst still giving University management huge amounts of unchecked control. Students and workers should have more representation in committees were there is none at the present moment like court sub committees such as the salary committee or remuneration committee. The student association is not allowed to sit on the salary committee and remuneration committee despite the vice chancellor being on a salary of over £227000 and is asking for even more whilst overseeing cuts to staff.
Unlike other court sub committees there is no student representation on the audit and risk committee, the salary committee or the remuneration committee. Additionally there are senate committees that have no student representation as well. These are but are not limited to vice chancellors executive group, the collaborative forum, school plagarism panels, subject panels, progression and award boards, school ethic committees, school international forum and school leadership team and although there is a presence from SAUWS representatives at university leadership team and at leadership forum meeting they are not full members.
Is there anything else you think we should know?