Dharminder Chuhan

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UCU NEC elections: 
Vote Dharminder Chuhan  for Midlands FE

Defend education: fight for every job

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I started my career as a field archaeologist where I was casualised on predominantly weekly contracts. I entered teaching because I enjoy supporting students’ learning. However, it took me 8 years of working precariously before securing full time employment. So, I have personal experience of the problems of casualization and strongly support the struggle for job security for all UCU members.

In addition, I am actively involved in anti-racist campaigning and have helped organize a number of events in the West Midlands such as an anti-racist cultural evening 50 years after Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech. I chair the West Midlands Black Members Network.

I am committed to a branch-led approach to trade unionism and it is at this level that the members must be equipped to defend their jobs and post-16 education provision itself.

It is essential that we keep that provision universal and inclusive, if all students regardless of class, race, gender, disability and sexual orientation are to have access to education, as is their right.

We must also campaign strongly for adequate funding for the Further Education Sector.

In the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic the FE Sector will be needed to train workers as the job market changes and workersenter new areas of employment.

The FE Sector could also make a major contribution to a green industrial revolution, preparing workers for climate change jobs.

My work over a number of years as a branch organiser has given me a real insight in to the needs of the rank and file membership.

With this experience my aim is to work constructively within the union to make it work for you and keep it democratic and accountable.We need to demonstrate that the presence of a trade union makes a real difference in the workplace.

It is vital in the current climate that the concerns of members are placed at the centre of the work carried out by UCU. These issuesare the traditional trade union concerns faced by all the membership:

  • Health and safety
  • Marketisation of education
  • Casualisation
  • Redundancy and Pay freezes
  • Workload
  • Bullying and harassment

My approach to unionism is based around building up teams of union activists and a strong local branch. Local branches need to be in touch via Regional Committees with other branches. Often, we face the same problems and can support each other in our campaigns and struggles.

Trade union service:

  • 17 years main grade lecturer in the FE sector
  • Black members and anti- casualization officer at regional level.
  • Equality Officer and currently Branch Chair
  • Member of UCU Left