UCU NEC elections:
Vote Carol Cody for North West FE
Fighting for Fair Pay in FE
I have been a lecturer at City of Liverpool College since 2007 and involved in UCU in various roles since then. The importance of unionism, for me, is to ensure that branch members have a say in how the union focuses on issues the branch considers paramount. It is also important that branches create links throughout their regions, to support each other in their struggles. It can be very isolating, as a branch, when you feel you are campaigning alone on issues, the recent strikes actions across the region have shown that our strength lies in unity and when we act together, we are stronger together. My experience as a UCU rep has demonstrated the need to keep the union democratic and accountable to its members.
Our struggles over the last year or so are not, as the media would like the public to believe, the jumping on a bandwagon for higher pay, but the culmination of years of Tory austerity, underfunding and continued pay cuts in real terms for teachers. As past Liaison Secretary, I have had my fair share of negotiating with intransigent SMT’s who cry crocodile tears and are happy to make misleading promises about pay rises, when they themselves continue to enjoy generous pay increases. Enough is Enough!
FE at the heart of communities
The work of the union and the reps that defend it are ongoing, wins in the past, such as those won in City of Liverpool College, previously: No notice Observations for example, continue to require addressing as management work to undermine any gains made in the improvement of our working terms and conditions. As NW FE Rep for the NEC, I would ensure that the concerns of FE branches in the region remain at the forefront of UCU policy and decision making. We need to ensure that the presence of the union makes a real and significant difference to our members in the workplace.
FE is always the poor relation in the educational sector, but FE has always ensured that students from all backgrounds, regardless of class, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability have equal access to education. As someone who returned to education as a mature student, I understand fully the importance of FE in the lives of the communities in which they serve, providing that second chance opportunities and that step up on the ladder to education. As a union we need to guarantee that funding continues to be available for those opportunities to continue, we need to guarantee that we have a union prepared to fight for that too.
As a union rep, I have served in several roles, Liaison Secretary and Chair, Treasurer, and Equality Rep. I have also been Women’s Rep for the NW; this enabled me to make connections not only across the NW region but nationally too. It made me aware of the many issues affecting the different equality strands and I have always felt that UCU was strong in its support of Equality issues, however, we must never become complacent about such issues either and must continue to support all the strands of Equality.
As a UCU left backed candidate, I am committed to supporting branch led unionism. We are not only supporting our members but the FE sector itself; protecting members terms and conditions; ensuring fair pay to keep teachers in the sector and safeguarding the provision for the communities that depend on it.
Leaflet for download