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Union Organisation, Administration and Finance Policy

EM 21 – 2:   EM 2 Suicide Intervention Training Promotion

Proposed by UCCSU

Council recognises:

That UCCSU organised the ‘Ohana nomination campaign’ in early 2021 which encouraged the student body and wider community to undertake an online 30 minute suicide prevention training course facilitated by Ohana ZERO suicide. The campaign resulted in an estimated 1000 students gaining practical skills and knowledge on how to support a friend, colleague, or stranger in need of intervention.

Council notes:

Although there has been significant work done in the area of suicide awareness, to date there is no mandate that recognises the benefits of suicide prevention training among the wider student population rather than just sabbatical Students’ Union members.

Council further notes:

That the need for students to identify the signs that someone may be suicidal, to employ the correct language in asking the appropriate questions, and to ultimately direct that person to the appropriate help where necessary, is as relevant as ever.

Congress therefore notes:

The Samaritans annual report (published March 11th 2021) states that 73,000 hours worth of calls were made to the support service since the beginning of the pandemic, further indicating that such skills as those listed above are essential in the current climate.

Council believes:

The USI Executive Team is well positioned to raise awareness of such training opportunities and their benefits to a wider level than local MOs could achieve independently.

Council mandates:

The VP for Welfare and the VP for Campaigns to coordinate a national campaign promoting suicide intervention training in conjuction with interested MOs.

Council further mandates:

Each USI Executive Team to undertake the Ohana ZERO suicide training.

[NOTE – the motion was incorrectly phrased.  The motion was put to Congress and passed there)

 

2021 UO NC 1 Regional Leadership & Personal Development Training

Proposed by TU Dublin SU

 

Congress notes

That leadership roles have become a staple demand of job seeking, role pursuing and many other aspects of advancing your personal/professional development. The trials and tribulations associated with this can have quite the heavy toll on people’s work/life balance as well as stress management.

Congress further notes

That running a large scale National event can be difficult to organize and risks excluding attendees due to additional cost associated with travel/accommodation.

Congress recognises

Events such as Pink Training, EMpower, Women in Lead among others which encourage, support and facilitate students to take bold steps into leadership.

Congress therefore mandates

That Regional Officers organize regional leadership training focused on leadership and personal development. Such an event would encourage students from that region to engage, and also have a huge focus on minding yourself when going for leadership roles as well as maintaining healthy boundaries while dealing with the trials and tribulations of leadership.

 

2021 UO NC 3 Regional Training Events

Proposed by VP BMW

 

Congress notes:

Training events for Students’ Union Officers are frequently held within the Dublin Region.

Congress further notes:

That therefore it is not always feasible for officers from other areas to attend these vital training events.

Congress further believes:

During the academic term it can be difficult for SU officers to find the time to travel for required training.

Congress believes:

All training is important to SU officer’s roles. Therefore by making it more accessible through regional training more SU officers will likely be able to attend the training.

Congress Mandates:

USI Exec Team to ensure that when they are organising training events aside from SUT, SUT+ and other events as determined by the Exec Team, that they do so in each region where logistically and financially possible.

Congress further mandates:

The USI Exec Team to clarify and justify to USI National Council and/or relevant officer working groups why it is not possible to facilitate regional training events aside from SUT, SUT+ and other events as determined by the officer board in detail prior to the events being organised.

 

2021 UO NC 4  Remit Specific Training Day for Deputy Presidents/Campus Conveners

Proposed by VP BMW

 

Congress notes:

A number of Students’ Unions have officers with specific or portfolio responsibilities on their campuses that may be additional to all other officers, if any, on that campus.

Congress further notes:

That SUT and SUT+ are already jam-packed with modules, and that there isn’t enough time to provide adequate training in a number of areas relevant to the role of the deputy president/campus convener/VP with responsibility for a campus.

Congress recognises:

The USI Training Policy, and the methodology within it of assessing the needs of a group before providing training, and seeks to uphold this policy when ascertaining the additional training to be provided under the remit of this mandate.

Congress therefore mandates

In line with the USI Training Policy, the USI President to facilitate a daylong training day- to coincide with “Pres Day”, where possible, where training will be provided in essential areas as needed through assessing the needs of the relevant SU Officers. This day is to occur no later than August 30th in any given year.

 

2021 UO NC 5  Casework training day

Property of Congress

Congress notes with concern:

The majority of Students’ Union Officers are presented with casework on a daily basis.

Congress believes:

The training provided at SUT and SUT+ doesn’t meet the full requirements to prepare officers entirely for casework.

Congress mandates

The Vice President for Academic Affairs and Welfare to organise a dedicated training day around casework as informed by the relevant working groups.

 

2021 UO NC 6  Campaigns Directory

Proposed by VP South

 

Congress notes with concern:

Campaigns across different MOs. need support from USI in particular education, welfare and union campaigns.

Congress applauds:

The past directories produced by a previous USI Vice President for Welfare titled ‘Welfare Campaigns Directory’.

Congress notes with concern:

There is a rising need for specialised supports around these campaigns ran across MOs.

Therefore congress mandates:

The Vice President for Campaigns, Academic Affairs and Welfare to produce a joint online campaigns directory to be published no later than SUT+ annually.

2021 UO NC 7  Student Sport Ireland

Proposed by: NUI Galway SU

Congress notes:

USI represents many types of students which include students who play sport and are a part of clubs in colleges.

Congress further notes:

As the governing body for third level sport in Ireland, Student Sport Ireland works in partnership with national and international bodies identifying pathways for college communities to participate, compete and develop through sport and physical activity. Its mission is to promote and develop third level sport in Ireland.

Congress believes:

USI have an opportunity to represent students on many national fronts across Ireland.

Congress therefore mandates that:

USI form a relationship with Student Sport Ireland to ensure there is adequate student representation for sport at a national level.

2021 UO NC 9  Motion on USI support for the Le Chéile Campaign

Proposed by: USI President

Congress applauds:

USI’s proud history of campaigning for inclusion, social justice, and equality for all.

Congress notes with concern:

The increasing activity of the far-right and increased activity of those who are peddling in the development and circulation of conspiracy theories in relation to COVID-19.

Congress welcomes:

The establishment of the campaign group Le Chéile, which is a co-ordinated group of civil society organisations, trade unions, political representatives, and other similar minded groups. Le Chéile objectives are outlined below and align with USI’s core values.

  1. We commit to building a movement for a society based on the principles of real social solidarity and economic justice and recognise that the unity of working people, the marginalised and oppressed, regardless of colour, creed, gender, cultural background or sexual orientation is the key to achieving a better future for all.
  2. We recognise that a new wave of far-right politics, emboldened by the toxic rhetoric of Trump in the US, Bolsanaro in Brazil, Orban in Hungary, Duterte in the Philippines, is a dangerous threat that, if unchallenged, will divide and weaken working people and all who believe in social justice, equality and freedom.
  3. We pledge to resist the far-right and stand in solidarity with those they seek to target, such as immigrants, refugees, Travellers, women, the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, religious minorities and other vulnerable and marginalised groups. We abhor all forms of discrimination and understand that division will weaken us all. We will make all efforts to include marginalised groups in our movement, and amplify their voices.
  4. We recognise that the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic and social hardship it has imposed, is being exploited by far-right groups who pose as anti-establishment champions in order to gain a foothold and promote dangerous Covid-19 myths and anti-science theories.
  5. We understand that in the midst of the current crisis, many have just cause in not trusting the political establishment and large corporations, and therefore some can be attracted to far-right events while being unaware of their sinister agenda. We take seriously the need to educate people about the far-right and debunk their misinformation.
  6. We understand the failure of the government to address economic inequality and crises in housing, healthcare and social provision creates the conditions in which the far-right can grow. Therefore to successfully oppose their dangerous agenda we must promote a progressive economic and social agenda.
  7. We urge those who have a justified distrust of the establishment not to buy into the false claims of the far-right about Covid-19 or their wider toxic agenda. Covid-19 is a real threat to public health and particularly to our older and more vulnerable people.
  8. We appeal to everyone to show solidarity with the vulnerable and frontline workers by working together to fight the pandemic. We urge all those, regardless of their opinions on the government’s handling of Covid-19, to reject the far-right and avoid events involving these groups.
  9. We call on the public to stand in solidarity with the groups targeted by the far-right to fight together for a fairer and more equal society and to reject the politics of hate and division.
  10. We recognise as a priority that the far-right must not be allowed to gain a monopoly on street mobilisation and commit to prevent this from happening, while at the same time ensuring our actions do not endanger public health.

 

Congress mandates:

The USI President and other relevant USI Executive Team members to actively engage and support the work of the Le Chéile campaign.

 

2021 UO 1      Lobby training

Proposed By ATHLONE IT SU

Congress Notes: That Students’ Unions are inherently political organizations and will lobby elected officials in order to fight for their students on a local capacity.

Congress Further Notes: Lobbying politicians requires an in-depth understanding and breadth of knowledge to lobby effectively.

Congress Regrets: That Elected Officials with regressive policies and anti-student rhetorics, actively rely on lack of understanding/knowledge in order to use meetings as photo-opportunities.

Congress Therefore Mandates: The Vice-President for Equality and Citizenship in conjunction with the USI executive and VP Campaigns to organize “Lobby Training” which will consist of training for officers that has the same spirit as the ‘Casework Training Day’ and is a comprehensive training session that takes the time to explore effective lobbying.

Congress Further Mandates: That the training encompasses effective lobbying techniques, differentiating the roles of Counsellor, TD, Minister, MLA, etc., and that the training is specified to be holistic, and tailored for both sides of the border through working in collaboration with NUS-USI.

Congress Further Mandates: That the USI Executive explores the Program for Government and Election Mandates from the Northern Elected Officials, isolate the student-centric issues, apply accessible language to them and distribute a booklet based on these issues to officers prior to this training event

2021 UO 2      COVID-19 Officer Handbook

Proposed By TUDublinSU

Congress Notes: That the past year there has been a steep learning curve for officers when adapting to changes with remote working, with the Student Movement never before facing an issue this large or pressing previously.

Congress Believes: That it is helpful to have information provided to incoming officers from previous officers, as crossover information is crucial in the development and coordination of officers, Unions and the Student Movement.

Congress Regrets: The limitations placed on Students’ Union across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic with crossover implications, Union planning and managing an effective team, whilst working remotely for the most of the year.

Congress Notes With Concern: That, whilst there is a vaccination programme underway, the fallout and continuity of the COVID-19 Pandemic will be longer lasting that a singular year, and congress believes that furthermore, planning with the COVID-19 virus in mind, is essential to build and re-strengthen the Student Movement.

Therefore, Congress Mandates: The USI Executive Team to develop a handbook on best practice on remote working during the Covid-19 pandemic.

2021 UO 3      REFLECT – Supporting Students’ Union Officers

Proposed by Welfare Working Group

 Congress notes: That Students’ Union Training (SUT) and Students’ Union Top-Up Training (SUT+) are extremely beneficial and useful to Students’ Union Officers before the academic term begins. Sessions delivered during these training days allow Students’ Union Officers to receive detailed knowledge on topics relating to their briefs, gain insight around potential challenges that may arise and focus on what they would like to achieve in the year.

Congress further notes: That all training provided by USI is usually during the summer months or before the academic term commences.

Congress notes with concern: That Students’ Union Officers work in extremely stressful, highly pressurized and intense working conditions to adapt and react to the emerging issues around them.

Congress further notes with concern That due to the nature of the workload many Students’ Union Officers are at risk of experiencing burnout or a loss of motivation.

Congress believes: USI should facilitate and enable Students’ Union Officers to work at their best capacity and feel supported by offering tailored training wherever deemed necessary.

Congress therefore mandates: The Vice President for Welfare, the Vice President for Campaigns and the Regional Officers to organise an event, in person or online, at the start of semester two including the following topics, but not limited to; motivation, leadership, goal setting and re-prioritizing manifesto policies, self-care and wellbeing. The structure of the event should be planned in agreement with Students’ Union Officers of National Council.

2021 UO 4      Support for NUS-USI and MOs in the north/Northern Ireland.

Proposed By Queen’s University Belfast Students’ Union Aontas na Mac Léinn Ollscoil na Ríona

Congress notes: NUS-USI represents 200,000 students across higher education, further education and apprentices. They have 1 elected officer and 3 support staff to represent the needs of 200,000 students.

Congress also notes: The Leas Uachtarán don Ghaeilge is the only policy officer to coordinate a working group to deal specifically with MOs and issues in their remit in the north.

Congress mandates: All USI Policy Officers work with counterparts at NUS to establish and coordinate Working Groups with NUS-USI for their particular area of work, and for these to be open to all FE SUs and Apprentices.

2021 UO 5      Bystander Intervention Training

Proposed by NCI Students’ Union

Note: in a previous version this motion was omitted.  It appears in the text but was not correctly highlighted as a motion.  This was not an error by the proposing MO.

Congress Notes Bystander Intervention is recognizing a potentially harmful situation or interaction and choosing to respond in a way that could positively influence the outcome.

Congress Further Notes That such training is provided, however, it primarily focuses on instances of sexual harassment.

Congress Believes It would be very beneficial that Bystander Intervention Training is provided to all Sabbatical Officers and places focus on positive intervention where appropriate and needed.

Congress Therefore Mandates The Vice-President for Welfare to organize Bystander Intervention Training for all Sabbatical Officers before September of each year.

2021 UO 6      Running for Election

Proposed By Presidents’ Working Group

Congress applauds The efforts made to increase engagement with elections at both a local and national level.

Congress notes There are different election processes within different member organisations and a single location to highlight the processes within Students’ Unions would be useful to help promote elections on a national level.

Congress believes It is important to make sure students understand the processes of running for election within their local Students’ Union but also within USI.

Congress further believes It is important to have an easy to follow website that provides all relevant information to students.

Congress Mandates The USI President and Executive Team to develop campaigns encouraging members to run for both local Students’ Union elections and USI Elections. These campaigns should include but are not limited to tips for running for elections and outline processes for running for election.

2021 UO 7      Making USI Accessible

Proposed by the Equality and Citizenship Working Group

Congress recognises The important work that USI has undertaken focusing on highlighting issues for students with disabilities and supporting students with disabilities within our membership. The Power of Disability conference and establishment of increased links with disability related organisations has supported USIs work in supporting and representing students with disabilities across the island of Ireland. USI had made a conscious effort to ensure our events, campaigns and work is accessible as possible.

Congress notes The effort which has been made to ensure USI is accessible for members at events and outward communication but a focus on ensuring internal communication with members is accessible is needed.

Congress mandates The USI President, Vice President for Equality and Citizenship and Vice President for Campaigns in conjunction with USI staff to conduct an audit on the accessibility of USI promotion and work including events, campaigns, marketing and promotional content to ensure USI is accessible as possible.

Congress further mandates A training event to be held for Students’ Union Officers and student leaders to support MOs ensure their activities and content is as assessable as possible for all students. Along with a toolkit for MOs to support increased accessibility across our HEIs.

2021 UO 8       Comprehensive Training for Officers With a Remit for Ent’s, Marketing and Commercial Activity

Proposed by MTU Kerry SU

Repeals: UO 19 – 10 Accommodating for Ent’s, Marketing andCommercial during SUT+

Congress Notes: Training for officers with a remit for events, marketing and RAG is provided by USI at SUT and SUT+ during the summer. This is an important time for MO’s to plan their events and campaigns for the year, with a particular focus on freshers/welcome week.

Congress Believes: USI should, to the best of their ability, book instructors who have experience running successful events and campaigns with Students’ Unions in the past and can offer real life, relevant advice to current officers. They should have knowledge of the gaps and barriers to engaging students and how to address them, and encourage officers to work together, share resources, and come up with new initiatives in this area.

Congress Mandates:   USI executive to organise training for officers with a remit for Ent’s, Marketing & Commercial that include workshops where officers can brainstorm events and fundraising ideas together and formulate plans for their year ahead. Where possible, the facilitator should be someone who has experience running successful events and campaigns within a Students’ Union.

 

2021 UO 10     Pre-Budget Submission

Proposed By Presidents’ Working Group

Congress welcomes The annual publication of the USI Pre-Budget Submission

Congress believes That this document is a useful lobbying tool that can be used throughout the year to lobby for increased investment but also legislative changes that are required.

Congress mandates The USI President to ensure the publication of an annual pre-budget submission that includes budgetary asks and legislative asks so the document can be used throughout the year to support Students’ Unions when lobbying members of the Oireachtas.

Congress repeals 2018 UO15 : Pre Budget Submission (Had no effect as the policy had not been renewed in an earlier session)

2021 UO 12     Motions Collaboration

Proposed by WIT Students’ Union

Congress notes Each Member Organistaion of USI may bring a maximum of 5 motions to USI Congress each year. With this, many motions have duplicated over the years.

Congress further notes USI holds Motions Collab Days, however there is no policy on this at the moment and is at the discretion of the USI Exec Team each year.

Congress Mandates: The USI President to organise a Motions Collab each year with input from Presidents’ Working Group on how this shall be run. This should be done no later than December every year.

2021 UO 13     Review of Regional Officer Roles & Remits

Proposed By ATHLONE IT SU

Congress Notes: Institutes of Technologies are merging to become Technological Universities across the island of Ireland, spanning cross-county campuses, and larger student bodies.

Congress Recognises: Technological Universities (TUs) have unique needs, as with the formation of TUs, Students’ Unions are merging, which requires a huge amount of resourcing, experience and advice.

Congress Regrets: That while the current USI Regional Officers are absolutely integral to providing local support, their role will not be tailored to fit USI’s requirements from Member Organizations when it comes to Technological Universities, and will not be able to represent all TUs coming down the line, for example; The Athlone-Limerick Consortium, which span 2 different regions.

Congress Further Recognises: That future mergers may also incorporate cross-regional Students’ Unions and the National Union must adapt to suit those structures as the Higher Education Landscape adapts also.

Congress therefore mandates the USI President to institute a review into the best method to reflect the changed circumstances. This review to propose an appropriate constitutional amendment for USI Congress 2022.

Congress therefore mandates the USI President and regional officers serving MOs across regions to collaborate and co-ordinate their engagement until such times as such an amendment to the USI Constitution can be effected.

Congress additionally mandates the USI President to see to it that these interim arrangements are agreed and implemented by the time of the August 2021 National Council or sooner

This policy to expire upon the coming into force of such a constitutional amendment.

2021 UO 14     Ents Marketing and Commercialisation Working Group

Proposed by WIT Students’ Union

Congress Notes: Many Students’ Union’s across the country have Officers that have responsibilities for Ents, Marketing, Communications, Engagement etc. These Officers do not have a specific Working Group under the USI National Council structure, and so would fall into the Ents, Marketing and Commercialisation (EMC) Working Group. Officers with remits of Presidents’, Welfare, Academic Affairs, Equality and Citizenship etc get an opportunity at every National Council to have a space to chat to the Officers in similar positions. There are many benefits to this and that can be seen by the strength in these Working Groups and the bonds built.

Congress Further Notes: Many Mandates have been passed by Congress in the past to relieve the pressure on these Officers and include them in USI. However, as each year the role of Chair of the EMC Working Group is delegated to an Officer, there may not always be a key focus on EMC in USI. Particular times that the EMC Working Group would be pre-September and pre-February for both Freshers’ and Raise and Give weeks. This works, however Officers in these remits have constant events/campaigns throughout the year and having more meetings may aid these Officers.

Congress Recognises: Over that past number of months, digital meetings and learnings have become very useful. The EMC Working Group could decide that it would rather meet online rather than in person should this suit Officers within this remit more.

Therefore, Congress Mandates: The USI Exec Team to ensure that the Ents Marketing and Commercialisation Working Group meets as regularly as other Working Groups. This should be in line with National Council, where possible, to allow for a meeting to happen before September and early in the second Semester. The first meeting of the EMC Working Group to coincide with SUT. This meeting should allow for Officers to specify what training they require

Congress further Mandates: The USI Exec member with responsibility for Ents, Marketing and Commercialisation to work with EMC Working Group to schedule training for these officers on a needs basis.

Congress Repeals:

17 UO11 (Had no effect as no such policy existed at the time of Congress)

UO 19 – 11

UO 19 – 10

2021 UO 15     Student Affairs Ireland Engagement

Proposed By USI President

Congress notes Student Affairs Ireland is a group that represents many of the Student Services within Higher Education Institutions across Ireland.

Congress believes That there are times where SAI and USI have similar goals such as increased funding for student supports.

Congress recognises Where appropriate, USI works with other organisations with similar groups to achieve a common goal because we recognise the benefits of working together. Congress therefore mandates The USI President along with the relevant Executive Team members to meet with the SAI Executive at least 3 times per year to discuss shared goals and potential joint activities, where suitable. These meetings should take place at the following times of the year: post-Congress to discuss motions passed and introduce Executive Team Elect, one in the first 6 months of the term and one pre-budget lobbying.

2021 UO 16     Edit to Student Accommodation Position Paper 2019

Proposed By USI VICE PRESIDENT Campaigns

Congress notes: The passing of the USI student accommodation position paper 2019 at USI Congress 2020 Congress proposes:

The edited Student Accommodation position paper identical to the one passed at last year’s congress with the two changes;

On Page 7, Replace Paragraph 3 Line 2 where “an artificial price cap” exists with “market rates”.

On Page 7, Remove “Ending artificial price caps and building affordable student accommodation” as title and replace with “Building affordable student accommodation and defining a fair price”

Congress accepts: The edited student accommodation position paper 2019 as amended and circulated.

2021 UO 17     Reporting On Campaigns and Events –

Proposed By Proposed by NCI Students’ Union

Congress Recognises That campaigns and events are an integral part of USI’s functions and the core part of educating their members on different topics and issues faced by the students on the island of Ireland.

Congress Notes It is highly important that we learn from each campaign and event organized by USI so that engagement continues to grow and brings further benefits to its participants.

Congress Further Notes That currently USI does not reflect and record events and campaigns which take place during the year and it is also unclear at times who are the target audience for each campaign/event.

Congress Therefore Mandates The executive to complete a detailed report after each campaign/event that they organize, which includes feedback from participants, and their reflection on the campaign/event and record this on their officer report and present it to their respective working group for consultation.

Congress Further Mandates The Vice-President(s) to bring their detailed report and present it to National Council for noting.

2021 UO 18     Tool-Kit for Constitutional Amendments

Proposed by NCI Students’ Union

Congress Notes The effectiveness of the Union relies heavily on robust Constitutions, which are an integral part of Union structures and democracy. Constitutions set out the rules and regulations of how Students’ Unions function and hold Officers accountable.

Congress Further Notes That Officers do not receive training and may lack knowledge when it comes to the process for constitutional amendments and referenda. Due to the nature of annual Union Elections and the fast-paced environment, we recognize the need for further learning in this regard.

Congress Recognizes That many Colleges involved in Technological University mergers will be undergoing constitutional changes for the merged and newly formed Unions. Other Union’s also undergo Constitutional amendments, based on the reason that they are looking to add more governance and transparency to their structure.

Congress Believes That it would be very beneficial that a Tool-Kit is created in order to aid Officers in structural and Constitutional changes. This ‘Tool-Kit’ should guide Officers through this process and enhance engagement with their members

Congress Therefore Mandates The President to create a Tool-Kit for Union officers to prepare for constitutional changes and holding a referendum. This should be completed by January 2022.

2021 UO 19     Planning Submission Fees (Amendment of the USI Student Accommodation Position Paper)

Proposed By MAYNOOTH STUDENTS’ UNION

Congress notes The current USI Student Accommodation Position Paper as an all encompassing position paper on Student Accommodation issues.

Congress applauds The role of the USI Student Accommodation Position Paper in guiding USI’s lobbying efforts in the area of Student Accommodation.

Congress further notes The challenges Member Organizations face in making submissions on planning applications.

Congress therefore mandates Insertion of the following into the USI Student Accommodation Position Paper:

Other Positions>   Planning submission fees   Anyone can make a written submission supporting or objecting to a planning application to a Local Authority or An Bord Pleanala. A fee has to be paid when making a submission, ranging from €20 for most applications to €50 for submissions on Strategic Infrastructure Project applications. This is not affordable to most students and as such, student views are not represented on planning matters, while the wealthiest and most privileged have a disproportionate influence. A number of organisations such as An Taisce and Fáilte Ireland are exempt from submission fees.   In the past, planning applications for buildings to house student disability & health services and student accommodation were rejected due to concerns about their visual characteristics. The planning process should recognise students as key stakeholders when considering planning applications which will have an impact on nearby HEIs.

USI position:

USI is to lobby the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to be exempt from planning submission fees.

USI is to facilitate Member Organisations to make submissions through USI once USI’s no submission fee status is granted by the Minister.

Link to the USI Student Accommodation Position Paper

 

2021 UO 20     Best Practice at Council 2021

Proposed by The USI Vice President for the Border, Midlands and Western Region

Congress Notes:

The importance of running appropriately structured councils where both officers and class representatives are informed on the correct council procedures so that student issues can be forecast and discussed within a clear, constructive, and efficient manner.

Congress further notes:

That council structures can vary across SUs and that students and exec officers within each Union serving their first terms may not be adequately versed in the most efficient council proceedings. This may hinder this vital process of dialogue within the movement on both a local and National level.

Congress believes:

That an update on the current mandate for best practice in council would be beneficial to both academic reps, its equivalent and the MO’s. By providing MOs with information and resources to run efficient councils, this in turn may increase the level, and quality, of participation that takes place. By supporting MOs in further establishing a good foundation and structure to council, this will ensure a consistent space for informed discussion and debate.

Congress Mandates:

The VP for Academic Affairs and the VPs for the Regions to work together to develop resources that support MOs in the training and running of Councils, or equivalent structures.

Congress further mandates:

The regional VPs to compile a list of essential resources such as contacts for qualified external chairs in order to ensure that MOs in each region are equipped with the appropriate tools and knowledge to run optimally structured councils.

Congress Repeals:

AA19 – 9

(Enacted)

 

EM 20 (UO) 5, COVID-19 Monthly Forum for MOs

Proposed byTUDSU Congress Notes:

That the COVID-19 global pandemic has completely stunted some of the movements of the local students’ Unions and acknowledges that there are huge engagement challenges coming up from September on that will not only affect engagement but will also significantly damage the commercial activities of our local Unions.

Congress Applauds:

The proactive work done by the National Union and officers on the ground in juggling through an unprecedented case.

Congress Notes with Concern:

Many colleges are not responding to the Union in such a way and with a recession coming and commercial growth being slowed down, the collective organization needs to be proactive and ahead of the curve.

Congress Further Notes:

That while National Council, Congress, Etc can be held online, the agenda for the next while will be dominated by COVID-19, possibly stunting further developments in other areas of the movement.

Therefore, Congress Mandates:

That the Executive Team sets up a monthly COVID-19 forum so that MOs may feed into, work on solutions and problem share.

 

20 UO 6Constitutional Review

Proposed by NCI Students’ Union

Congress recognises

The democratic review undertaken by USI this year which has brought a Constitutional amendment for a new governance structure for the organisation.

Congress notes

 

Article 10.9 states that there shall be a complete review of the Union’s Constitution every

five years effective from the date at which this Constitution was passed by Congress.

Congress further notes

In light of the new governance structure being proposed, it is necessary that the whole Constitution is up to date and cohesive to this new structure.

Congress therefore mandates

The President to set up a working group that will oversee the process of the review of the USI Constitution. This Working Group shall be made up of Sabbatical officers and seek external expertise as deemed necessary.

Congress further mandates

That the Working Group should provide updates at each National Council with a view to providing the proposed amendments to the December meeting for consideration before going to Congress 2021.

 

 

20 UO 8Multi-campus support

Proposed by the Vice President for the Border, Midlands and Western Region

Congress notes

Nationally there are a number of multi-campus Higher Education Institutions and these campuses provide vitally important education to regional communities.

Congress further notes

With the planned designation of additional Technological Universities and the continued merging of Colleges into Universities in the coming years, the number of multi campus HEIs is set to increase.

Congress mandates

The USI President, Vice President for Academic Affairs and other relevant members of the executive team to lobby the Government to prevent the closure of satellite campuses where the Students’ Union is against the closure and highlight the value of multi-campuses and satellite campuses and the need to support these campuses during mergers.

Congress therefore repeals

17 AA8

 

 

 

20 UO 15 Panel of External Members

Proposed by NCI Students’ Union

 

This motion was submitted in accordance with rules and due to a technical issue was excluded from the pre-clár. As a result it has been assigned an automatic prioritisation.

Congress Notes

That some MOs have it as part of their democratic structures the need to appoint external members to their boards and committees, such as an Independent Chairperson.

Congress recognises

The importance of governance and accountability in Students’ Unions to ensure the Union

is run effectively and efficiently for the benefit of students.

Congress believes

That through USI and other MOs, there would be a wealth of past Sabbatical officers that would have the knowledge and interest to serve as external members of boards and committees of Students’ Unions.

Congress mandates

The President to provide a contact list of external contacts which could act as external members for MOs committees and boards. This list should be updated on a yearly basis and provide details of their experience and involvement in Students’ Union.

 

 

UO 19 – 1 USI Strategic Plan 2020-2025

Proposed By Trinity College Dublin SU

Congress notes:

The cyclical nature of student representative terms leads to a regular change in priorities and shifts in focus of the national movement. This often weakens the ability for the movement to gather momentum on the issues which lie at the core of the student movement.

Congress further notes:

Changes made to Union structures are often made without strategic forethought.

Congress understands:

Strategic planning is an organisational management activity that is used to set priorities, focus energy and resources, strengthen operations, ensure that employees and other stakeholders are working toward common goals, establish agreement around intended outcomes/results, and assess and adjust the organisation’s direction in response to a changing environment.

Congress therefore mandates:

 

The VP Campaigns and the President, in consultation with National Council, devise a strategic plan for the Union of Students’ in Ireland to run from 2020-2025, and for this plan to be ratified by Congress 2020.

Congress further mandates:

A working group of National Council be established to oversee and inform the development of the strategic plan.

Congress further mandates:

The President to publish an annual progress report on this Strategic Plan and present it to annual congress.

UO 19 – 2 Governance training modules

Proposed By Waterford IT Students’ Union

Congress notes:

As sabbatical officers, we are expected to sit on a number of academic and governing boards within our HEI’s and much of the discussion at these meetings can contain language that is new or uncommon for officers to have consistent knowledge of.

Congress therefore mandates:

The President to introduce new governance training modules for SUT and SUT+ which cover business and legal terminology, negotiation skills and top things for SU Officers to look out for and query during meetings. More detail on the contents of this training can be covered in the SU Officers Handbook.

 

 

UO 19 – 3 Regional Officer Support with Mergers:

Proposed By IT Tallaght SU

Congress notes:

There are a number of mergers that are either prior or post designation in many MOs across the country.

Congress further notes:

The merging of different MOs can be a difficult and an overwhelming process. The transition from being a single entity to becoming a part of a larger establishment can be daunting not just for the overall union but the officers involved.

Congress mandates:

The regional officers to liaise with the MOs involved in mergers to ensure that each of these MOs (and officers) feels represented, well-equipped and supported going through this transition.

 

Congress further mandates:

The regional officers to establish a working group for MOs involved in a merger process. This would provide a space for the MOs to give advice on how they dealt with going through a merger.

 

 

UO 19 – 4 Sponsorship Agreements and Commercial Partnerships

Proposed by Presidents Working Group

Congress Notes

USI may wish to work alongside companies throughout the year based on shared interests or common goals. This can sometimes take the form of a partnership agreement between the employer and the USI which identifies their common interests and objectives. USI voted through UO5 USI Commercial Strategy last year, and this motion would add to that strategy.

Congress Further Notes

USI has engaged increasingly with commercial organisations for sponsorship of USI events and support for venue hire, catering and materials.

Congress supports and encourages

USI in seeking sponsorship in order to reduce costs and add value to events for members.

Congress Understands

That the ability to seek out and secure sponsorship offers varies depending on the project involved and the financial benefit offered and is regularly time sensitive.

Congress mandates

The USI President and VP Campaigns to create a policy regarding commercial partnerships, following consultation with MO sabbatical officers and USI Officerboard. This policy would cover how partnerships are sought out, agreed upon, and the length of time they are active for.

 

 

UO 19 – 5 Strategic Review of USI

Proposed By Dublin IT SU

Congress Notes:

USI has not undertaken a strategic review of the organisation since 1999. In 2015, USI adopted a Union Development Strategy 2015 – 2020, which outlines a vision and strategy for developing not only Students’ Unions but also USI as an organisation. This has yet to be fully implemented.

 

Congress Notes with Concern:

That USI is not performing to its fullest potential and is becoming an organisation in desperate need of reform. Member Organisations continue to be frustrated at the lack of support from USI and question the value of being a member.

Congress Mandates:

The USI President to carry out a robust strategic review of USI including, but not limited to, areas of governance, finance, democracy, political lobbying and campaigns. The review should be undertaken by an external consultant and must take into account the opinions and concerns of all current Member Organisations, as well as potential candidate Member Organisations where possible.

Congress further Mandates:

That the USI President ensures that the strategic review considers the 2018 motion on USI Commercial Strategy. (2018 UO5) The review should provide a report to the December National Council in 2019 with a list of recommendations in which USI must adopt no later than July 2020.

Congress therefore repeals 17 NC UO 7

UO 19 – 6 USI in the North

Proposed By Ulster University Students’ Union (UUSU)

Congress Notes:

The long-established trilateral agreement which entitles students, studying in Northern Ireland to be represented by NUS UK and USI, through its’ principal representative body NUS-USI, with the former acting as managing partner for NUS-USI.

An estimated 200,000 of USI’s 374,000 members are NUS-USI members of which approximately 160,000 come from FE colleges. The Further Education & Training Strategy, passed by Congress in 2018 sets out a direction of how USI ought to interact with FE members in the North.

Despite this, there is a lack of consistency in how USI engages NUS-USI members in its’

work with FE members rarely being included in USI campaigns.

Congress Further Notes:

Recent changes to NUS UK’s operations have resulted in a reduction in staff support for NUS-USI, with representation now being provided by one full-time officer, supported by two full-time staff members.

Congress Believes:

The reduced staff support puts significant strain on the NUS-USI President’s capacity to

represent and campaign on behalf of their 200,000 members in the North.

 

In light of this, it is imperative for USI to recognize its’ role in supporting the interests of its’ NI members.

Congress Mandates:

USI Officer Board to consult with NUS-USI to further extend its’ engagement with members in the North, with each portfolio officer aiming to incorporate NUS-USI and its’ members in at least one relevant campaign per year.

USI Portfolio officers to work collaboratively with the NUS-USI President and their counterpart members of the NUS-USI REC (Regional Executive Committee), where applicable, to support campaigns and events being run by NUS-USI.

USI Officer Board to consult with NUS-USI in extending its prominence within NI student affairs more generally.

UO 19 – 7 Regional Officers

Proposed By Athlone IT SU

Congress notes

The benefit of having Regional Officers on campus.

Congress further notes

The experience and direction regional officers can give to local MOs is of great benefit.

Congress mandates

The Vice Presidents for the Regions to work with MOs before the beginning of the academic year to schedule at least four visits per semester.

 

 

UO 19 – 8 Media Training

Proposed By Athlone IT SU

Congress notes

Students’ Union officers are regularly sought for interviews with local and national media outlets.

Congress further notes

That training for all sabbatical officers is expensive and that Students’ Unions may have to

subsidies such training.

Congress mandates

The VP for Campaigns to provide opportunities for Media Training to officers who wish to avail of such.

 

 

UO 19 – 9 Progress Report on mandates

Proposed By IT Tallaght SU

Congress notes:

USI officer board has been mandated to take on a large number of motions. It is not realistic to complete all of these mandates in one year.

Congress recognizes:

The hard work being put in by officer board to complete a large amount of motions.

Congress regrets:

There is no transparent indicator of how far along these mandates have gotten.

Congress mandates:

All officer board to produce a progression report in their officer report of the development of these mandates at each National Council.

 

 

 

UO 19 – 12                   Re-think Campaign

Proposed By President, IT Carlow Students’ Union

 

Congress notes:

That the USI have and will continue to do incredible work on behalf of the students across Ireland. That valuable work that is performed by officer board in conjunction with MO’s can easily go un-noticed by the students that the USI represent.

Congress Further notes:

That a campaign to reconnect the USI with the students that it represents is greatly needed to bolster the great work that both officer board and local Unions do.

Congress therefore mandates:

The VP Campaigns to develop a campaign to reconnect the national union to the students that they represent.

 

 

UO 19 – 16                   Part Time Officer Training

Proposed by the Southern Regional Working Group

Congress recognises

The importance and value of having part-time officers and executive members trained in skills that will help them to achieve their goals within their local Students’ Union and on a National Level.

Congress values

The training possibilities within USI and external organisations that are offered to

Students’ Union part-time officers and executive members.

Congress understands

That each Students’ Union team may have different part-time officers and executive positions and that these may require different training to ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills to carry out their role.

Congress therefore mandates

The Vice Presidents for the Regions to carry out a needs-based assessment of training required for each Students’ Union part-time officer/executive member and provide training in the manner which best meets those needs.

 

 

UO 19 – 17                   Students’ Union Officer Handbook

Proposed by the Vice President for the Southern Region

Congress recognises

 

The role of a Officer within a Students’ Union is a unique role. It is also very important to have a well-rounded understanding of how to approach your role as an Officer within a Students’ Union and that a well-developed crossover is extremely valuable for newly elected Officers.

Congress understands

It can be helpful to have a source of information provided to Students’ Union Officers that cover areas they may find useful throughout their term in Office such as effective communication, event organisation, useful contacts and a jargon buster.

Congress mandates

USI Officer Board to publish a Students’ Union Officer Handbook before SUT each year to

support newly elected officers.

 

 

UO 19 – 19                   Give Us the Night Campaign

Proposed by Ents, Marketing & Commercial Working Group

Congress notes

The Give Us The Night is an independent volunteer group of professionals operating within the night-time industry, campaigning for positive changes to nightlife in Ireland, with particular regard to music venues. They endeavour to highlight the contribution of the night-time industry to culture, community and the economy in Ireland, and to raise the quality of nightlife to international standards. Their ongoing aim is to create debate and discussion about the licensing laws in Ireland, with a view to influencing legislative changes.

Congress notes

The importance of such a campaign to students and Students’ Unions who often play a part

in an active nightlife on and off campuses.

Our members can see these effects in many areas including but not limited to;

  • Organising events: SUs liaise with promoters/venues for events who are directly affected by these
  • Venue closures: Many students’ unions have expressed concerns with their local nightclubs/late night venues closing in the recent year, this may be due recent to recent increase in costs in
  • Staggered closing times: after large events, safety issues can arise due to venues all closing at the same time – we would benefit from a staggered closing time and later opening
  • Employment: According to the USI survey conducted relation to the hospitality sector, 70% work in Food & Beverage and a further 7% in

 

  • Graduate employment: Many students who study courses such as music, sound engineering course would benefit from the employment opportunities that would result in the core aims of the campaign being
Congress mandates

The USI Officer with responsibility for Ents, Marketing & Commercial activity to support

the Give Us the Night Campaign who’s core aims are the following;

  • To support, nurture and reframe the conversation around nightlife and the night-time economy in
  • To highlight the economic value and societal benefits of a diverse and vibrant Irish night-time
  • To contribute to the creation of jobs and sustainable indigenous businesses within the night-time industry, and to broaden employment opportunities for those operating in the creative
  • To ensure that Ireland adopts a more progressive European approach to nightlife, that reflects the wide range of lifestyles and working hours
Congress further mandates

The USI Officer with responsibility for Ents, Marketing & Commercial to lobby relevant people to ensure the student perspective is heard in the campaign.

 

 

UO 19 – 20 Student Activist Groups

Proposed by the Vice President for Campaigns

Congress notes

The importance of students at the core of the success of USI campaigns.

Congress commends

The hard work of student activists throughout the year.

Congress further notes

That students engaged in activism reap educational benefits such as developing a greater sense of social responsibility and identity. It is also important for teaching students about the importance of democratic participation, leadership and the ability to build coalitions amongst a wide variety of individuals on campus. (Barnhardt, Reyes, 2016)

Congress mandates

For USI Officer Board to engage with student activists and grassroot campaigns, where possible, in the running of their campaigns and to actively seek out opportunities to engage with established student activist groups.

 

Congress further mandates

The Vice President for Campaigns to set up Facebook Groups for students who share common interests from all over Ireland to facilitate opportunities for networking, sharing information and easily mobilising students.

Congress further mandates

The Vice President for Campaigns to where possible, attend events and support the work of (what is currently known as) the All Ireland Student Activist Network and similar groups like it.

Congress further mandates

The Vice President for Campaigns to run non-violent direct action training, which is open to students, each year.

 

 

UO 19 – 21                   Trade Unions Partnerships and Workers’ Rights

Campaign

Proposed by the Union Development Working Group

Congress Regrets:

That there are incidents where abuses of workers’ rights are leaving students concerned about whether they will have enough work or finances to afford attending third-level or afford to live once they graduate.

Congress Notes:

That there is a need for students to become aware of their rights as workers. Students should have the opportunity to work enough hours to be able to afford a decent standard of living.

Congress Welcomes:

The SIPTU-USI Agreement, previously approved by the Executives of both Unions in 2013.

Congress Further Notes:

That the knowledge and resources available from SIPTU, such as the Worker’s Rights Centre, and the Irish Congress Trade Union (ICTU) are valuable resources and partners to draw upon.

Congress mandates:

The Vice President for Campaigns to work towards an update of the SIPTU-USI partnership as needed and promote it to members.

Congress further mandates

 

The Vice President for Campaigns to work towards building alliances with trade unions, similar to the SIPTU-USI agreement, in as many sectoral trade unions as possible with the aim to gain benefits for students. These partnerships should have a particular focus on free/reduced cost membership to access to the services of those trade unions that match their area of study or part-time work while studying.

Congress also mandates

The VP for Campaigns to advocate for elected Students’ Union officers and their staff to

become members of a union.

Congress also Mandates:

The USI Vice President for Campaigns and USI Officer Board to endeavour to work with the relevant trade unions, and other organisations, to assess the issues that may exist and to further mobilise students on a campaign on the issues of: pay, work, and recognition of the sector.

Congress Mandates:

The USI Vice President for Campaigns to roll-out an evidence-based Workers’ Rights

Awareness Campaign for students in conjunction with SIPTU and other trade unions.

Congress Also Mandates:

The USI Vice President for Campaigns and USI Officer Board to ensure that disputes, negotiations and political lobbying is inclusive of the student perspective.

Repeal

16 UO 12 Worker’s Rights Awareness Campaign

 

UO 19 – 22 the use of technological development to allow MOs to join national council

Proposed by Limerick IT Students’ Union

Congress notes

There is an appreciation for USI’s ethos of inclusive and rotary locations for their events. The various locations allow MOs to build informed comparisons to their own Institute or University.

Congress further notes

In some cases, it can be difficult for MOs to travel to every location- particularly for the non-centralised MOs.

Congress mandates

The USI President to thoroughly investigate an allowance for MO Representatives to join USI National Council events through technology, on giving notice.

 

This technological development should offer a capped number of times per year, for MO representatives to join same- in keeping with the benefits of face-to-face interactions at National Council events.

This capped number of times per year would be based on the Presidents’ agreed schedule

of National Councils

 

 

 

 

2018 UO22 : An Coiste Cultúrtha a chruthú mar Fho-Choiste- An Coiste Cultúrtha as another Subcommitee of NC

Rúin an LU don Ghaeilge

Reapproved 2021

Tugann an Comhdháil faoi deara

Gur éirigh leis an Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge Choiste Cultúrtha a thoghadh i mbliana, tar éis easpa fada.

Tuigeann an Comhdháil

Gur éirigh leis an Choiste sár-obair a dhéanamh agus naisc luachmhaire a chruthú idir gaeilgeoirí agus lucht suime na Gaeilge.

Anuas air sin, sainordaíonn an Comhdháil

Gur cheart an Coiste Cultúrtha a chruthú mar ‘ad-hoc Fho-Choiste’ den Chomhairle

Náisiúnta agus go mbeadh na baill tofa ag an chéad Chomhairle Náisiúnta achan bliain.

Congress notes

That the Leas-Uachtarán don Ghaeilge succeeded in electing thefirst Coiste Cultúrtha this year, after a long absence of such.

Congress understands

That the Coiste succeeded in doing good work and creating new links between Irish speakers and those interested in Irish.

Therefore, Congress mandates

That An Coiste Cultúrtha would be created as an ad-hoc subcommittee of National Council, and elected at the first National Council of the year, every year.

 

 

17 UO1             Independent Students’ Unions

Congress notes with concern

The creeping intrusion on students’ union democracy and independence occurring around

the country.

 

Congress believes

The backbone of the student movement is for students’ unions to be allowed to

democratically self-govern, and to be free from interference by outside bodies.

Congress further notes with concern

The attempts to censor some students’ unions, and encroach on their freedom of

association.

Congress mandates

The President to have the Independent Students’ Union campaign as a priority campaign for the year, and to form a Committee, made up of the President and members of national council, and any external bodies that National Council see fit. This Committee is to report back to each National Council.

Congress further mandates

The President to undertake an annual dossier of the current situation within individual students’ unions, so as to keep a national record of developments and changes as they occur. This dossier is to occur no later than September 30th to allow for adequate time to analyse and respond to issues as they arise. The information provided within the dossier is to be kept confidential, and is only to be used as part of the Independent Students’ Union campaign.

Congress further mandates

The President to seek legal counsel in relation to proposing changes to Irish legislation to protect students’ union independence, and to report findings and recommendations back to both National Council and the Independent Students’ Union Committee.

 

 

17 UO14 USI Calendar

Congress notes:

USI organise a number events over the course of the year.

Congress recognises:

The dates and volume of events organised by the organisation may need to be adapted from time to time.

Congress believes:

Students benefit from attendance at USI events.

Congress further believes:

 

If students had sufficient notice in regards to the timing and location of events, attendance at these events would be increased.

Congress mandates:

The USI President in conjunction with the Officer Board to develop a set calendar of USI events and activities, including the location when known/available, for their term of office

Congress further mandates:

The USI President to make this calendar available to Member Organisations and students via the USI Website and other mediums they feel appropriate.

 

 

17 UO15 Comparative Research Manual

Congress Recognises:

Students’ Union Officers sit on a number of boards and committees within their respective

institutions.

Congress Notes:

Students’ Union Officers roles on these boards and committees is to represent students

and to defend their rights predominantly.

Congress Believes:

Students’ Union Officers need at their disposal statistics and figures from other member organisations to strengthen their arguments on a number of issues, for example but not limited to library opening hours, on campus catering prices etc.

Congress Therefore Mandates:

The Regional officers of USI to compile together a comparative research manual following a consultation process with students and the USI National Council in terms of which areas should be covered within this manual.

 

 

17 UO18   Secretary for standing committees and action points

Congress Notes

that fluent discussion can come from standing committees of National Council.

Congress mandates

USI Officerboard to ensure that as part of standing orders for Committees, a secretary should be elected to take minutes and action points are created from these minutes, which track the work of these committees in an effective manner.

 

15 UO3 Students’ union staff training

REAPPROVED 2018 – UP FOR RENEWAL 2021

Congress notes:

The unique work that is done by Student Union staff on a daily basis in each Students’

Union in Ireland.

Congress further notes:

The high standard of training provided by USI for Students’ Union elected officers.

Congress mandates:

Officer Board provide a training programme for MO staff. The aim being to strive for best practice; enable networking; champion equality and inclusion; and create a platform for the staff to understand thus communicate the benefits and supports provided by USI.

 

 

 

 

 

ADMINISTRATION & FINANCE

 

20 AF 1Affiliation Fee Review

Proposed by the President

Congress notes

That affiliation fees for USI are currently based on registered students in each member organisation as agreed by the Higher Education Authority as outlined in the USI Constitution.

Congress further notes

The need to undertake a full and broad review in relation to the affiliation fee charged by USI and that this review should be ongoing so to ensure it is reflective of the current and future landscape

Congress recognises

The work currently ongoing by the USI Executive Team to develop a Student Partnership Agreement and Framework for Students’ Unions with the Department of Education and Skills which aims to incorporate legal recognition and funding for Students’ Unions.

Congress further recognises

 

This is a key development in relation to the affiliation fee for USI as it will have an impact on the funding provided to Students’ Unions and also may impact how that fee is paid to USI by member organisations.

Congress understands

The impact of a change to the affiliation fee will have on USI and wants to ensure the decision that is taken will not negatively impact the work of the organisation.

Congress therefore mandates

The USI President to set up a working group to include sabbatical officers of USI member organisations and members of finance committee and the USI President to develop a long term impact analysis of a change to the USI affiliation fee in line with the following suggestions:

  • Incremental cap on the affiliation fee
  • Link affiliation fee with inflation (based on the average of 2018 – 2020)
  • 30% reduction in affiliation fee

The working group will develop a terms of reference which will be brought to National Council no later than the September meeting.

Congress therefore repeals

AF 19 1

 

 

20 AF 3Financial Reporting & Accountability

Proposed by the President

Congress notes

Every year; the USI operates from a budget derived from the membership fees of the individual Member Organisations.

Congress further notes

USI runs many large scale events throughout the year which are accounted for through the USI budget.

Congress recognises

USI Congress approve USI financial accounts as proposed by Finance Committee each year.

Congress mandates

That at every National Council financial statements showing cumulative income and expenditure from 1st July each year are presented up to the time of each meeting. These statements should be presented by a member of the Finance Committee or the President as an item for discussion.

 

Congress further mandates

That the President present a projected budget for large scale events and campaigns to the National Council prior to the event and an actual budget for those large scale events and campaigns to the National Council just after the event as an item for discussion.

Congress also mandates

The USI President to ensure that financial accounts are uploaded to the USI Website no more than 5 working days after being approved by Congress each year.

Congress therefore repeals

17 NC/AF

14 AF 1

17 AF1

 

 

16 AF 1 Solidarity Fund

Proposed by the President, USI

Renewed 2019

Congress notes:

The Union of Students in Ireland has actively sought to expand its membership in recent years with a particular focus on postsecondary inclusion.

Congress further notes:

Participation from new unions is significantly curtailed by a lack of funding. This essentially means that certain student groups are still unrepresented despite being members of USI.

Congress recognises:

Solidarity is the cornerstone of unions and that every effort should be made to ensure our Union is as inclusive and engaging as possible.

Congress mandates:

The introduction of a solidarity fund to allow for broader participation of underfunded unions in the national movement. This fund would operate on a voluntary basis and be used to allow for engagement in key national activity such as national council, congress and other decision making or training exercises organised by the union.

Congress further mandates:

That the fund would only be available to unions that fulfil the following criteria:

Have a total annual budget of less than €18,000 per year.

 

Have less than two paid sabbatical officers.

It is the view of the National Council that they are not in a position to participate in the work of the national union due to financial constraints.

Congress further mandates:

The introduction of a levy on Students Unions of not more than 14c per student per year to finance the fund. The contribution of individual Students’ Unions would be voluntary.

Congress further mandates:

Fees applied by USI for training, conferences etc be reduced, as appropriate, to allow participation in such events

Congress further mandates:

The President, and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Quality Assurance to seek alternative funding for FE colleges as soon as practicable.

 

 

16 AF 2 Living Wage

Proposed by the President, USI

Renewed 2019

Congress recognises:

The definition of the living wage as “a wage which is high enough to maintain a normal

standard of living.”

Congress recognises:

The value of leading by example and the existing motion 14 NA 1 which outlines our comprehensive policy on the issue.

Congress notes:

The work undertaken by various representative groups, including USI, and some employers to ensure that workers be paid the living wage in order to maintain a decent standard of living.

Congress further notes:

That USI has a number of staff and officers working full time for the organisation.

Congress mandates:

That USI becomes a living wage employer and that Officer Board encourages other

Students’ Unions to do the same.