Wednesday 20-07-2016 - 10:00
National Executive Council Meeting 1 was held on 18 July 2016. Officers Presented their plans for the year. As time was limited, accountability questions that were not responded to are answered below.
Who's who on the NEC?
The National Executive Council is made up of elected Officers and Councillors. Visit the NEC Hub to find out more about who they are and what they do.
What is Accountability?
Officers gave a report of their work that is avaliable on the NEC Hub. Council members were given the opportunity to ask questions of the officers on work that has taken place since the last meeting in February.
Question From: Charlie Baker, FE Second Place
Question To: Fflur Elin, NUS Wales President
Question: How are you making NUS accessible for FE students, institutions and officers (also including apprentices, part time, mature and distance learners)? SU16s was not inclusive, or representative of OUR student movement, and this inequality is very marginalising for FE unions. What can I expect to see you changing this?
Responce: This year UCMC will be working on developing an inclusive education in Wales and as part of this work we will be looking at how we can ensure that all students are able to shape their education. In particular we will be looking at how we can work with the Welsh government and Colegau Cymru to develop structures within FE to ensure that there is student representation and that students can be active partners in their education. We also wish to ensure that out structures are accessible to apprentices and have just co-opted a member of NSoAW onto our WNEC. We will also be supporting them to lobby the Welsh Assembly to create a working group to tackle gender-defined industries. We are also currently working with one of our WNEC members to try and ensure that in the future WNEC/NEC members will have access to child care.
Question From: Esther Green, Part-Time Students Officer
Question To: Richard Brooks, Vice President Union Development
Question: We've seen a number of disaffiliation referendums across SUs, what involvement did you have in assisting unions through these campaigns?
Building on the experiences of referendums over the past academic term, how do you see your, and NUS', role in the upcoming disaffiliation referendums over this year?
Over the last 3 months there have been 15 referenda in students’ unions around their affiliation to NUS. This is an extraordinarily high number and something like 10% of our HE membership. My role as Vice-President Union Development and as Deputy President at the time, I am the lead officer for membership and therefore was lead officer for membership affiliation. I worked closely with staff team as well as officers and students up and down the country on creating campaigns, visiting the vast majority of campuses we were allowed to, taking part in debates and leading the national campaign in the press. I am grateful for the support of many officers and students during this challenging period, directly after national conference.
NUS’ role has to be one of listening and learning from the referenda; why they were called and how we address those concerns. Calls on reforming NUS’ democracy have to be answered at National Conference 2017. Arguments about understanding the benefit of NUS membership will be addressed by our membership contribution review. The concerns of Jewish students in particular are troubling, and must be addressed for us to have any credibility when we talk of discrimination.
NUS must be clear that the benefits of a strong, collective student voice are massive and that we have a long history of working with students’ unions to make students’ lives better. Not only that, but we hear the concerns of those who say we are irrelevant and too distant from their lives. I implore NEC in particular to think about the impact of the decisions they make.