This Student Union Resolves:
1. To call a vote of no confidence in NUS President Shakira Martin.
2. To campaign at any extraordinary or national conference for no cuts to be made to NUS democracy, liberation and campaigns, and for a democratic, representative and campaigning NUS that can be a real voice for students.
3. To support candidates running for NUS Officer positions (such as but not limited to NUS presidential candidates) fighting for no cuts to democracy, liberation and representation, and fighting for a truly democratic and campaigning NUS.
Why you think it is important
This Student Union Notes:
1. In a letter released on 1 November, NUS President Shakira Martin and NUS Acting Chief Executive Peter Robertson announced that NUS is facing a £3 million deficit “in this and in future years”.
2. The letter states that “radical reforms to [NUS’s] corporate and democratic structures” will be put forwards “to drastically simplify and modernise NUS”. This process is called NUS Turnaround.
3. These reforms will be presented to delegates at NUS Conference 2019.
This Student Union Believes:
1. Any attempts to undermine democracy, representation and campaigns go against what NUS is for. NUS is nothing if it is not democratic, representative and campaigning.
2. The current NUS leadership have done little to nothing to challenge the privatisation and marketisation wrecking further and higher education and the living conditions of its members. NUS should be leading outward facing campaigns to improve students’ living conditions, fight for liberation and transform our education and wider society. We need an NUS that can be a real voice for students, that links up our activism and campaigns and spreads them across the country.
3. Students have had no say in the NUS Turnaround decision-making process - the reforms will be presented at National Conference for delegates to rubber stamp. These are political, not technical, decisions - it is unacceptable that unelected and unaccountable student union CEOs and NUS management have had decision making power.
4. A leaked official report from ‘NUS Strategic Conversation’, where SU CEOs, Presidents and NUS staff met on 27-28 November, gives a clearer idea of what the reforms will be. The report will form the basis of discussions held by the “Turnaround Board”, made up of NUS and student union staff plus a minority of selected NUS Officers. It looks like the number of elected officers will be cut significantly and like this will likely start with scrapping the liberation officers and nations officers (Officers in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland).
5. Previous years’ NUS accounts show that the financial problems are likely to have come from commercial mismanagement of the NUS Extra discount card, not overspending on campaigning, conferences or officer pay. There was a sharp rise in what appears in the 2017 accounts as “cost of sales”.
6. We have no confidence in the leadership of NUS.
Is there anything else you think we should know?
*If this motion passes in 25 student unions, an extraordinary conference will be called where it will be debated - this is the chance to allow students to present and vote for alternative vision for NUS - to demand no cuts to democracy, liberation and representation, for a fighting, truly democratic and campaigning NUS!*