Ethical issues

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1. Living Wage Policy

2nd November 2017 (432nd Union Council)
Primary Officer: Community
Secondary Officer: All Officers

What is the Policy?

Officers must support the implementation of the Living Wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation, at the University and lobby the University in the following ways (but not limited to) until the University agrees to become accredited:

The President must bring up implementation of the Living Wage at his termly meeting with the VC.

Officers must bring up implementation of the Living Wage when presenting their objectives to UEB yearly.

The Community Officer and ESJ Officer must commit to organising at least one protest or action, in whatever form they deem appropriate, per year alongside a statement/ or attendance by the rest of the Officer team in support of the protest or action.

All Officers must support/ publicise/ attend where possible events organised in support of the Living Wage Campaign.

Why?

The University does not currently pay some of its cleaning, catering and estates staff the Living Wage, as defined by the Living Wage Foundation, for the whole calendar year.

This results in financial vulnerability, anxiety, and low staff morale.

The Living Wage Campaign believes that with an annual surplus last year of £53.8M, the University is well within its means to start paying these staff the Living Wage.

2. Support Repeal the 8th

10th May 2018 (434th Union Council)
Protected Until 10th May 2020
Primary Officer: Education
Secondary Officer: All Officers

Why?

Pregnant people in Ireland still do not have access to safe and legal abortion. Any individual who procures an abortion within the country risks a 14-year jail term - including the doctor(s) who perform the procedure or assists it. Everyday an approximated 12 people in Ireland will have an abortion – between 9- 10 will travel to the UK whilst 3 will risk a 14-year prison sentence by taking illegal abortion pills. People have already died in Ireland having been denied life-saving abortion procedures – including Savita Halappanavar. Thousands of people are unable to travel for abortion services due to family, legal status, financial situation, health or in abusive relationships. All of this is a result of the 8th amendment in our constitution, which states:
"The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right."

As a result of this amendment, reproductive justice is denied.

In September 2017, the Irish Government announced a referendum to change the country’s laws on abortion. The government has confirmed this will be held on May 25th, 2018. On this day, the people of Ireland will vote to determine whether the 8th Amendment will be repealed.

There are currently 110 Irish citizens registered at the University of Nottingham. It is important that these students are supported and encouraged to inform themselves about this debate, to register to vote before May 8th, and to go home to vote on May 25th. The NUS has already expressed support and solidarity with the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment in the Republic of Ireland and have a listed a number of actions member unions can take to support this. I hope that our SU at UoN will work with us (East Midlands Together for Yes) on this. We need free, safe, legal and local abortion access in the Republic of Ireland now.

What?

We are asking UoN SU to launch a Home to V8te campaign on campus to raise awareness and encourage students to register to vote by May 8th. We also ask UoN SU to set up a travel fund to assist students to get home to vote on May 25th. We also hope UoN SU will help fundraise for Alliance for Choice and the Abortion Support Network. We have an extensive information at hand to provide UoN SU with and are more than happy to work with and advise you on this campaign.

Evidence:

The UN has ruled numerous times that Ireland’s abortion laws have subjected those women and other pregnant people to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment. In 2017, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights published a report that singled our Ireland as an as an example of a country with highly restrictive abortion laws which “can have a broad range of physical, psychological, financial and social impacts on women, with implications for their health and well-being.

Support:

Our Head of State Leo Varadkar and Minister for Health, Simon Harris, is backing the repeal of the 8th amendment. The National Women’s Council of Ireland is campaigning for Yes. As of April 25th, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, which trains and accredits most Irish obstetricians, expressed its support for the repeal of the 8th amendment. Adoption Rights Alliance have endorsed a Yes vote. Disability organization Inclusion Ireland is advocating for a Yes vote. Our Union of Students in Ireland (USI) is endorsing a Yes vote, and the National Union of Students UK, the National Union of Students Scotland and the National Union of Students Wales are all standing in solidarity with this, too. We are also happy to add that Pro-Choice Nottingham also stands in solidarity with our East Midlands Together for Yes.

*East Midlands Together for Yes is made up of Irish citizens studying and working at universities in Nottingham. We are working to inform Irish citizens here in the East Midlands about the 8th amendment, its impact and why it is important to go home to vote Yes on May 25th.