NUS Reform


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NUS Reform

  1. 2. Introduction <ul><li>What’s been going on with NUS Reform? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the current structures? </li></ul><ul><li>What is proposed? </li></ul><ul><li>How are the proposals different to last year? </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and Comments </li></ul><ul><li>Next Steps? </li></ul>
  2. 3. NUS is changing <ul><li>Over the past couple of years we have been changing to make NUS better </li></ul><ul><li>We are developing a positive, research backed vision for student life and students’ unions in the future </li></ul><ul><li>Student organisations will be representative , relevant, democratic and powerful . NUS will ensure that. </li></ul><ul><li>They’ll also be well run . NUS will ensure that too. </li></ul><ul><li>We have made real progress, but a crucial element is reform of our structures. </li></ul>
  3. 4. A vision for NUS Reform <ul><li>An NUS that is representative of today’s students </li></ul><ul><li>An NUS that is relevant to today’s unions </li></ul><ul><li>An opened up NUS- more accountable and easier to get involved </li></ul><ul><li>An NUS that puts power back in the hands of unions </li></ul><ul><li>Genuinely Democratic rather than bureaucratic or hackocratic </li></ul><ul><li>Simple and easy to understand </li></ul><ul><li>Where real input doesn’t have to mean standing for the NEC or making a speech </li></ul>
  4. 5. The journey we’ve been on <ul><li>What happened? </li></ul><ul><li>April 2007 Conference “a ‘far-ranging review’ of NUS’ governance” </li></ul><ul><li>Steering Group appointed and issues summarised in a ‘Green Paper.’ </li></ul><ul><li>425 FE & HE officers, 120 staff and over 15 external organisations and individuals contributed </li></ul><ul><li>October 07: NEC ‘White Paper’- calls an extraordinary Conference </li></ul><ul><li>December- Extraordinary Conference approves new Constitution </li></ul><ul><li>April 08- Annual Conference discussed plans and got a simple but NOT 2/3 majority </li></ul><ul><li>Wide ranging consultation on how the plans could be strengthened </li></ul><ul><li>NEC have made significant changes that address the real concerns that you had </li></ul>
  5. 6. Vision and Mission <ul><li>The Current Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Constitution last properly updated 1980- 16 aims </li></ul><ul><li>First real strategic plan last year </li></ul><ul><li>Restructured management, finance and staffing </li></ul><ul><li>Created five “Zones” to simplify work into broad categories- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Higher Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Welfare & Student Rights </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Union Development (“Strong & Active Unions”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Society & Citizenship </li></ul></ul><ul><li>3 “nations” (Scotland, Wales and NUS-USI) and International Students, Mature Students, Anti Racism and the Environment. </li></ul><ul><li>The Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Constitution does not reflect or represent this properly </li></ul><ul><li>Support for the Zones and campaigns is uneven </li></ul>
  6. 7. Opening the doors <ul><li>Clarity & Relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Simplified Mission and Vision statement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Representing Students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing and Championing Unions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Projects and Campaigns judged against the benefit delivered to you </li></ul><ul><li>Direct involvement from you in “ zones ” of our work </li></ul>
  7. 8. Getting Involved <ul><li>The Current Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Not many ways of getting involved in NUS… </li></ul><ul><li>“ National Executive Committee” </li></ul><ul><li>Finance Committee, Steering Committee, Elections committee </li></ul><ul><li>“ National Councillor”, Campaign Committees </li></ul><ul><li>The Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Students’ unions have hundreds of volunteers, but NUS’ structures actively prevent all but the most political people from getting involved. </li></ul><ul><li>A culture built on shutting you out </li></ul>
  8. 9. Giving NUS back <ul><li>The Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>A positive culture where NUS’ success is built on your input and involvement </li></ul><ul><li>New volunteer strategy and policy </li></ul><ul><li>New committees for Welfare, FE, HE, Union Development and Society & Citizenship (“Zone Committees”) – officers and staff </li></ul><ul><li>Committees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lead NUS’ work in a particular area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>scrutinise the work of full time officers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>work with unions to deliver campaigns and programmes </li></ul></ul>
  9. 10. The Political Leadership <ul><li>The problem </li></ul><ul><li>Currently a single National Executive Committee </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult to hold the NEC to account </li></ul><ul><li>Role (especially the “Block of 12”) not defined. </li></ul><ul><li>Not holding the right discussions at the right time and too many responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>The proposal </li></ul><ul><li>New National Executive Council </li></ul><ul><li>Reps from across NUS and block of 15 to act as political leadership. </li></ul><ul><li>Resolves competing interests, interim policy, debates and sets the direction and instructs the Board on spending priorities and campaigns </li></ul><ul><li>“ Block of 15” not officers but representatives of NUS’ membership with expenses for visits etc </li></ul>
  10. 11. Finance & Legal Issues <ul><li>The Current Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Membership body of unions, guilds and associations. </li></ul><ul><li>“ National Executive Committee” holds the legal responsibility / liability for NUS </li></ul><ul><li>It scrutinises management, fiduciary and legal </li></ul><ul><li>The Problem </li></ul><ul><li>NUS was poorly managed, deficits, culture of waste and poor monitoring. </li></ul><ul><li>“ National Executive” focussed on motions and politics rather than budgets and staffing </li></ul><ul><li>NEC rubber stamped their own managers’ advice. </li></ul><ul><li>Management and finances are in better shape but you wanted to minimise future risks. </li></ul>
  11. 12. A better run NUS <ul><li>We will make it easier for students and unions to get their voice heard and their priorities worked on </li></ul><ul><li>That needs representative and political leadership </li></ul><ul><li>But it also needs sound finances and good management </li></ul><ul><li>So a new trustee Board will scrutinise finances and senior staff to enable the representative parts to do their job </li></ul><ul><li>It’s legally responsible so in extreme cases able to stop things from happening </li></ul>5 Student Officers (President +4) 6 Ordinary Students 4 Lay Trustees By and From Executive Elected by Conference Appointed by Conference
  12. 13. Supported Political Leaders <ul><li>The Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Representative and relevant leadership roles </li></ul><ul><li>Clarity over what they do- represent and lead , not manage </li></ul><ul><li>Real support and proper accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Some work to staff (ie bits of Treasurer and Secretary) </li></ul><ul><li>Some to a new “Democratic” Committee </li></ul>President VP Union Development VP Welfare VP Further Education VP Higher Education VP Society and Citizenship
  13. 14. Making Policy <ul><li>The Current Structure </li></ul><ul><li>Unions send in “motions” in December on issues </li></ul><ul><li>These get published and unions can amend them. </li></ul><ul><li>Representatives from unions meet to shorten the length of the “motions document” </li></ul><ul><li>Debated formally at the Annual Conference. </li></ul><ul><li>The Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Relevant issues to you do not necessarily become policy </li></ul><ul><li>Assumes all unions already have policy development in their unions. </li></ul><ul><li>Some do not- shutting out many from NUS </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the policies submitted come from NUS political groups </li></ul><ul><li>Many things submitted by unions fall off the end of the agenda </li></ul><ul><li>“ Compositing” a nightmare </li></ul>
  14. 15. Making Policy 1. Informal Stage Research Discussion Surveys Hear from Experts Thinking and discussing Creative sessions then… 2. Formal Stage Zone Committee submits a policy report… … and unions submit ordinary motions To be amended debated and voted on by unions at conference
  15. 17. Policy <ul><li>Plus: </li></ul><ul><li>For big issues we want to put power back in your hands </li></ul><ul><li>So there’s a new power to call a national ballot to settle an issue between meetings of Conference </li></ul><ul><li>We’d like your views on how this could work in practice (will be built into the schedules) </li></ul>
  16. 18. Conference <ul><li>The Current Structure </li></ul><ul><li>1400 delegates from unions come to NUS Conference </li></ul><ul><li>Debates policy, elects officers and committees, sets budget </li></ul><ul><li>Delegates from HE elected by “Cross Campus ballot” </li></ul><ul><li>The Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Tiring, inaccessible and confusing </li></ul><ul><li>Agenda dominated by bureaucracy or procedure </li></ul><ul><li>Only confident speakers contribute. </li></ul><ul><li>Low participation in Cross Campus ballot </li></ul>
  17. 19. A transformed Conference <ul><li>The Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Improve and extend policy debates, elections, and accountability </li></ul><ul><li>More time for fringes and discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Simplified procedures and enhanced training </li></ul><ul><li>Shorter days, more accessible </li></ul><ul><li>Criteria for Cross Campus Ballot exemption </li></ul><ul><li>Retains highest power to debate and set the policy and campaigns </li></ul>
  18. 20. Mature, PG and Intl Students <ul><li>The Current Structure </li></ul><ul><li>NUS has a Committee and conference for Mature students and International students. </li></ul><ul><li>At conference we count part time students as a tenth of full time students </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing for Postgrads </li></ul><ul><li>The Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Mature Students have a tiny budget and little staff support. </li></ul><ul><li>Part time students don’t have a defined voice </li></ul><ul><li>Unfair that PT students are counted as a tenth of a full time student </li></ul>
  19. 21. Giving a voice <ul><li>The Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Postgraduate “student section” and engage in talks with NPC over addressing postgrads </li></ul><ul><li>Better funding , staff support and a plan of delivery for each “section” </li></ul><ul><li>A full time International Students’ Officer </li></ul><ul><li>Widen scope of Mature Students to include Part Time Students (huge crossover) </li></ul><ul><li>Increased representation of Part Time students at Conference. </li></ul>
  20. 22. Around the UK <ul><li>The Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Investment in local training and networking. </li></ul><ul><li>A range of less formal networks- like Mission Groups of Universities, or an environmental network. </li></ul><ul><li>National student groups have associate member status. </li></ul><ul><li>Full reviews of Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish devolution to eradicate gaps and overlap. </li></ul>
  21. 23. Elections <ul><li>The Problem </li></ul><ul><li>Few rules or restrictions on campaigning. </li></ul><ul><li>Regular complaint that people don’t know how to stand, information is scarce, and there is no support for candidates </li></ul><ul><li>The Proposal </li></ul><ul><li>Regulation of campaigns and financing, </li></ul><ul><li>Package of enabling measures to make it easier to run a campaign. </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas included: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An elections micro-site </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity to send an election address via email </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hard copies of the manifesto document to delegates at the conference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional hustings before conference, which should be filmed and made available to all delegates via e-mail </li></ul></ul>
  22. 24. national conference NUS Reform | Opening the Doors board national executive council
  23. 25. NUS Reform | Opening the Doors national conference National Conference Composition Delegates from unions from across the UK Role The vibrant heart of NUS, setting the agenda for the year ahead, electing new leaders and acting as the NUS AGM
  24. 26. national conference NUS Reform | Opening the Doors board national executive council Zones HE, FE, Unions, Welfare and Soc Cit Better leadership, more direct involvement from you, evidence led campaigns and programmes, focussed on the benefits to and involvement from unions
  25. 27. national conference NUS Reform | Opening the Doors board national executive council
  26. 28. national conference NUS Reform | Opening the Doors board national executive council National Executive Council Does what it says on the tin Reps from nations, liberation, student sections, the Pres and VPs (Zones) and 15 political diversity Non voting reps from partner student organisations Sets interim policy and directs the Board
  27. 29. national conference NUS Reform | Opening the Doors board national executive council <ul><li>The Board </li></ul><ul><li>Appointed by and accountable to Conference, the board handles the administration of NUS, enabling the political and representative parts to do their job better. It scrutinises senior staff and handles detailed finance and legal stuff </li></ul><ul><li>Composition: </li></ul><ul><li>Elected officers (including the President) </li></ul><ul><li>Ordinary elected students </li></ul><ul><li>Lay Trustee Professionals </li></ul>
  28. 30. national conference NUS Reform | Opening the Doors board national executive council
  29. 31. national conference NUS Reform | Opening the Doors board national executive council
  30. 32. What’s changed from last year? Postgraduate Students Language You said The Result “ You are not doing enough to address Postgraduate Representation within NUS” <ul><li>Proposals on Postgraduate Representation </li></ul><ul><li>Talks with the National Postgraduate Committee (NPC) on closer collaboration </li></ul>You said The Result “ Some of the terms you used for new bodies or committees are confusing or misleading” <ul><li>The “Senate” is renamed the “National Executive Council” </li></ul><ul><li>The “Congress” is renamed the “National Conference” </li></ul><ul><li>The “Board” is renamed the “Trustee Board” </li></ul><ul><li>“ National Office Bearers” are renamed “Full Time Officers” </li></ul>
  31. 33. What’s changed from last year? Annual Conference/Congress You said The Result “ Conference should still be the highest political body. And it should not become a 1 day celebration but be the place to hold real debates” <ul><li>Any references to Conference being a “celebration” have been removed </li></ul><ul><li>It will still be at least a three day event </li></ul>“ Cross campus ballots should remain as the way that unions elect their delegations” <ul><li>Default and standard requirement for HE elected by Cross Campus Ballot </li></ul><ul><li>Exemptions will be stricter than previously; </li></ul><ul><li>(for example ability to reserve places for a particular campus) </li></ul>“ Conference just is not accessible” <ul><li>Democratic Procedures Committee responsible for accessibility </li></ul>
  32. 34. What’s changed from last year? Mature, Part Time & International Students The National Executive Council “ We want to make sure that there is representation from both EU and non EU students- not all their issues are the same” <ul><li>Two International Students on the National Executive Council- 1 EU, 1 non EU. </li></ul>“ We want to make sure there is representation from both Part Time and Mature students- not all their issues are the same” <ul><li>The “Mature and Part Time Students” student get two places on the NEC </li></ul>“ It looks like a powerless talking shop” <ul><li>NEC’s role clarified as the representative council of NUS </li></ul><ul><li>Holds critical executive policy powers </li></ul><ul><li>Clarified role in interim policy making and policy interpretation </li></ul><ul><li>Clarified power to direct the Trustee Board to carry out its duties in accordance with its interpretations of policy </li></ul>“ It needs to better hold officers and senior staff to account on behalf of us” <ul><li>We will establish a power to form scrutiny committees that can question and scrutinise both Full Time Officers and Senior Staff Members </li></ul>
  33. 35. What’s changed from last year? Elections and Democratic Procedures NUS Finances “ I don’t want to see student factions regulating elections” <ul><li>The Democratic Procedures Committee (DPC) no longer have a direct role in running, regulating or supervising elections </li></ul><ul><li>Conference will appoint a Chief Returning Officer and three deputies to form an elections committee, who will not be ordinary (student) members, must have relevant professional experience, and will be responsible for the conduct and good administration of elections. </li></ul>“ I want NUS’ elections to be better regulated” <ul><li>A timeline for bringing forward proposals on elections regulation should be established for the new elections committee to follow. </li></ul>“ Budgets are political and so Conference should set the Budget- the most important political policy there is” <ul><li>National Conference will set the budget that will be developed and proposed jointly by the NEC and Trustee Board </li></ul>“ I want to ensure there is an officer I can hold to account for Finance” <ul><li>As the chair of both the NEC and Trustee Board the National President will be clarified as being chiefly politically responsible for Finances </li></ul>
  34. 36. What’s changed from last year? Zones and Policy Making <ul><li>We have simplified and published revised proposals to achieve the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More opportunity to discuss relevant issues to students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunities for evidence based policy making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Speed up approval of non controversial issues on National Conference floor because the current process wastes time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unions have greater ownership of policy generation and policy making </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Retain the opportunity for a students' union to get their issue on National Conference's Agenda </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve Accountability of Officers </li></ul></ul>“ The policy process looks very confusing” “ National Conference should be the only body that makes policy- it’s the most representative body” <ul><li>Zone Conference will not have any policy setting powers. Any policy discussions will be purely consultative/informal. </li></ul>“ Why can we only send one delegate?” <ul><li>There will be no formal limit on the number of delegates that can attend a Zone Conference. The voting power for electing Zone Committees will however remain at one union one vote </li></ul>“ How does this improve accountability?” <ul><li>The VP/Zone Committee will be required to submit a report & plan to the Zone Conference for discussion/accountability, and the Presidents Priorities Report and Plan will go to each Zone Conference </li></ul>
  35. 37. What’s changed from last year? The Trustee Board “ The board will meddle in politics” <ul><li>We have restricted the role of the board in the document to focus on administrative and regulatory matters </li></ul><ul><li>It can be directed on policy and budget matters, and we have strengthened the reporting and accountability measures for it at National Executive Council and Congress </li></ul><ul><li>If it does overstep the mark the NEC will have the power to remove Trustees </li></ul>“ The board will be able to cut spending on campaigns” <ul><li>We have clarified the respective roles of the NEC and Trustee Board to ensure that the power to set campaigning and other budgets lies in the hands of the elected bodies. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition the budget will have to be approved by both the Board and the National Executive Council before being presented to Conference by the President </li></ul>“ The elected senate should be able to overturn decisions of the board” <ul><li>The new proposals grant power to the National Executive Council to refer back, in part or full, the report of the board at its meetings; we have also simplified and clarified the accountability procedures for the board at Annual Congress </li></ul>“ The way lay trustees will be selected is a total stitch up” <ul><li>The new proposals ensure that the nominations committee is broader and that there are proper arrangements for voting on their appointment at Conference </li></ul>“ The board will not be diverse enough” <ul><li>There is now an explicit responsibility to manage the diversity profile of the board given to the nominations committee </li></ul>The board will be full of “student movement cronies” <ul><li>There is now a detailed clause ruling out anyone with a direct financial or legal relationship with NUS from becoming an external member of the board </li></ul>“ The board could veto changes to the constitution on “financial” or “legal” grounds” <ul><li>The new proposals reflect that the board will not have the right to veto constitutional or schedules changes </li></ul><ul><li>Nor will it have any right to comment on or “veto” beliefs of the national union or any matter resolved which does not have direct practical financial or legal implications </li></ul>
  36. 38. Resources <ul><li>There’s </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A model motion and calling notice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The leaflet in your pack </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A powerpoint presentation online </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Model text for student media </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A leaflet explaining the changes to students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The full core constitution </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All on </li></ul>
  37. 39. So what next? <ul><li>The NEC is encouraging you to call an Extraordinary Conference </li></ul><ul><li>It would encourage your union to hold a cross campus ballot for delegates </li></ul><ul><li>You can submit amendments to the proposals if you want to change something </li></ul><ul><li>The proposals need 2/3 majority twice- the NEC is not taking a view on when the second vote (“ratification”) should be and wants your views </li></ul>