Juliana Ojinnaka

UCU NEC elections: 
Vote Juliana Ojinnaka for Black Members

Representing Black members

Hello everyone, my name is Juliana Ojinnaka and I am asking you to vote for me for one of the seats for Black members on the NEC

 Why should you vote for me? 

We need members like me who will work tirelessly in the interest of members who been marginalised because of structural inequalities. We know that in times of economic down turn and astronomical rise in costs of living standards as we have now, we know it is no surprise that these members in all sectors of our institutions are likely to suffer most because of their historical experience of higher levels of casualisation, disciplinary and suspension, low pay, they face micro aggression and management, most likely to be made redundant. According to Recent tribunal cases, they are least likely to be promoted and most likely to be displaced in their departments. 

Vote for me and we will ensure that Black members are actively represented at the table and their interests protected. Whilst you are voting for me, vote for Maria Chandrogani for Vice President and see post 16 education rise to a union that represents all its members. 

  • UCU-Equality Committee: 2015-2020
  • UCU-Branch Health and Safety: 2019-2020
  • UCU-Black Members Standing Committee: 2017-present
  • UCU-Women’s Standing Committee: 2019-present
  • Yorkshire & Humberside BME: 2016-present
  • Chair, UCU-Black Members Standing Committee: 2021 – present
  • Vice-Chair UCU-Women Member’s Standing Committee: 2020 – present
  • Chair, UCU-Yorkshire and Humber Regional Committee
  • UCU Left

I have been a lecturer and union member at Sheffield College for over 34 years. My UCU activity at all levels is motivated by my commitment to fighting racism and all forms of oppressive practices in the workplace. I have credible grassroots links and have always remained active in community issues and politics. Teaching in FE has enabled me to pursue my passion of encouraging ethnic minorities and marginalised groups to develop their post-16 education up to HE Level and thereby enhance their prospects.

I am committed to the attainment of equality of opportunity, and genuine diversity and inclusion for all in the workplace and wider society. Most institutions do not currently meet reasonable aspirations regarding the diverse communities they serve. This is particularly pertinent for members with protected characteristics, for example, minorities and women.   UCU must force our Institutions to develop strategies to deal with this. The impact of the cost of living crisis is felt more acutely by these groups, who are at frequently the lowest paid and casualised.

I have hosted effective webinars on decolonising the curriculum/institutions and systemic racism in education. I have organised workshops around Black women and the gender pay gap, women, race, class, BHM and intersectionality. I have spoken on issues concerning Black women and Black girls’ Education, the child Q case, asylum, the hostile environment and refugees at the TUC and anti racist conferences.

Black people and women’s daily existence are still blighted by discrimination and oppression. The positive impact of Black Lives Matter needs to be experienced sooner and stronger.  FE/HE institutions are still haemorrhaging Black staff. Black staff and students continue to experience racism, including lacking promotion and progression. Black lecturers face casualisation and are frequently the first to be made redundant or suspended from work if they call out racist actions from students, colleagues or management. We are often stereotyped with accusations of aggression when refusing to sweep workplace racism under the carpet.  I want to open up the discussion on Black women and their specific needs in the union and continue being involved in decision-making, developing policies and actions to tackle this discrimination.

Elect me to NEC to continue working within UCU to address the acute problems for Black lecturers of casualisation, the disproportionate impact of COVID and long-COVID and poor promotion/progression, often with higher qualifications but lower pay. Solidarity to the HE-strikers fighting pay-gaps.