Bristol Students Union has made payments to the NUS in years in which they have not held votes on their continuing affiliations, in apparent contravention of the 1994 education act. That is around £50,000 of your money per year!
On the 14th of January I asked UBU officials for the dates and results of their votes on affiliation to the NUS and the results of those votes. I asked this as under section 22 of the 1994 education act unions must give full details of affiliations annually 22(k(i)) and hold annual votes on said affiliations 22(l(i)). On that day I was told that votes have been only held in 2006 and 2011. I asked for that assertion in writing and immediately sent of emails. The request was made in front of sabbatical officers as was a reminder on the 16th. On the 24th I spoke to the President of UBU asking him to ensure that I was sent the paperwork (simply the dates and results of public votes – something that ought to be available to members) who assured me that he would remind the relevant officials.
A UBU official who insisted on remaining nameless told me today that
“the last time we held a vote on NUS affiliation was 2011″
thus confirming what we already knew, that there was no vote in 2012. The Union’s payment to the NUS appears to be in contravention of the 1994 education act.
I am still working on obtaining the dates and details of votes in previous years.
Update: The union “believed that student policy for three years and as such covered the period from 2011 to 2014″. They may want to seek better legal advice in future.