Dharminder Singh Chuhan

UCU NEC elections: 
Vote Dharminder Singh Chuhan for UK-elected FE

It’s time for change in FE

I have been an ESOL Lecturer at Sandwell College since 2004.   My approach to unionism is based on building up teams of activists and a strong local branch. Local branches need to be in touch via Regional Committees with other branches.  We face the same problems and can support each other in our campaigns and struggles. My work as a branch organiser has given me an insight in to the needs of the rank-and-file membership.  With this experience my aim is to work constructively to make the union 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.

As branch chair at Sandwell I bring experience from a branch which has had successes through a number of disputes to

  • Remove walk-in observations
  • Introduce increments
  • Win 3 weeks of extra holiday and a sector-leading pay deal.

In the wake of Coronavirus FE is needed to train workers as the job market changes and workers enter new areas of employment.  The sector could make a major contribution to a green industrial revolution, preparing workers for climate change jobs. If all students regardless of class, race, gender, disability and sexual orientation are to have access to education, as is their right, it is essential that we keep that provision universal and inclusive. For this FE needs funding, which comes from a union prepared to take action for education.

I started my career as a field archaeologist. 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.

I am actively involved in anti-racist campaigning and have helped organize a number of events in the West Midlands including an anti-racist evening 50 years after Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech. Previously, I chaired the West Midlands Black Members Network. I believe there is important work for UCU to do in supporting the growth of Black membership and leadership in our branches.

It is vital in the current climate that the concerns of members are at the centre of the work carried out by UCU:

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

As a UCU left backed candidate, I am committed to a branch-led approach to trade unionism: it is at this level that members must be equipped to defend our jobs and post-16 education provision itself. 

Trade union/Service:

  • Anti-casualization officer, FE secretary (West Midlands regional committee).
  • Equality Officer
  • Branch Chair

Leaflet for download