The Fight of our Lives – Defend Education
The Adult and Further Education sector is facing tough times. The Tory-led Coalition’s austerity measures have led to our jobs, pensions and wages being attacked.
At the same time as employers and government ask us to tighten our belts principals’ pay has risen to at least 4-5 times greater than that of a main grade lecturer, more billionaires are created daily and bankers bonuses spiral upwards.
Our students too are under attack; one in five 16-25 year olds are unemployed, the EMA cut has led to over 60,000 students not being able to attend Further or Adult Education and university fees raised to £9,000 is pricing working class people out of Higher Education.
I have been honoured to represent London and East region on the NEC for the last five years. In that time I have played a part in fighting to build action that has managed to stop compulsory redundancies, defend educational provision like ESOL and taken numerous initiatives putting forward alternatives to market driven education.
At the moment the fight to defend our pensions is the one that has taken centre stage and has managed to unite millions of public sector workers. I believe that we need to escalate this action as quickly as possible if we are to win.
The battle over pensions acts as a lightning conductor for all the other issues that we are concerned about.
If re-elected I will campaign for:
- An alternative view of adult and Further Education as outlined in the UCU’s new pamphlet, Jobs and Education: regaining the trust of young people
- £6,000 London weighting allowance in line with other public sector workers.
- A significant decrease in workload especially contact hours
- Staff to have an equal say in the running and structures of their courses and colleges
- An end to casualisation
- Stop the cuts in ESOL and Adult Education
- Opposition to all redundancies
- To protect and enhance a genuinely democratically run union by giving more control to all members
We are in the fight of our lives – but united we can win
Biographical information including service to the union
I teach GCSE English at City and Islington College. I am the author of A Manifesto for Further Education; Further and Adult Education: responding to a new social and economic climate, of Don’t get young in the third Millennium, Capitalism and the demonising of the young working class and of Defending the Welfare State – the case for public services for all
- Branch Secretary City and Islington College (2003-07)
- Coordinating Secretary City and Islington College (2007-)
- London Regional Council member (2003-)
- Elected NEC member for London region (2006-)
- Vice chair Further Education Committee (2006-)
- National negotiator (2006-)
- Recruitment Organising Campaign Committee member (2006-09 and 2011-)
- Education Committee member (2009-11)
- UCU observer to NUT NEC (2008-)
- Founder member of UCU Left (2006)
- NATFHE/UCU conference delegate (2005-11)
- TUC delegate (2007-10)
For London and the East (FE) please vote Sean Vernell 1 Mandy Brown 2
Leaflet downloads are available from here.
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Elections run from 6 February to 1 March