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UCU NEC elections:
Vote Khizer Saeed for Migrant Members
Fighting to Restore Migrant Workers’ Prestige and Services in Education Sector
I am a Principal Lecturer in Engineering at University of Brighton. For a number of years, I have been a UCU branch secretary and Equality Officer for Brighton UCU. I am a member of UCU Left.
Last year, I was elected as a NEC member for migrant workers in the mid-term election. This has brought me in direct contact with the life changing issues migrant workers have been facing in different UK universities. I can relate to these issues because as a migrant worker myself, I have personally experienced bullying and racism during my initial years in the job. I fought this successfully and restored my prestige with the unwavering support from UCU. Therefore, I feel confident to fight for the causes of migrant workers in the wider UK universities.
Migrant workers contribute enormously to the UK education. However, they suffer from the direct racial and religious discrimination, bullying and abuse, contract violations, employment difficulties. Recently, this has been made worse by government hostile attitude towards immigrants. Migrant workers tend to be in more insecure employment in HE and are under-represented in senior positions. Most migrant workers and their families, due to their university dependent visa status, suffer these indignities silently.
Representing migrant workers
From the day of my election as a NEC members’ representative, I have been fighting vigorously for the cause of migrant workers in UCU and outside. I have taken up the case of the migrant workers from the University of Wolverhampton, who have suffered the worst form of bullying, racial and religious discrimination leading to constructive dismissal. I have consistently raised their case for discussion in the migrant committee, black member committee, equality and diversity committee and NEC meetings. I moved the motion in the 2022 congress for wider discussion. On the ground, I have personally helped and guided them to fight their cases in the employment tribunal.
I believe that racism and anti-migrant sentiment have no place in education or society. As UCU branch secretary at Brighton, we established a joint “UCU/University Working Group” to examine the gender, race and disability pay gaps among academic staff, to review the existing actions to reduce them, and draw up concrete action plans and targets to eradicate these pay gaps. I believe UCU should fight to establish these joint groups in every university.
We need strong union organisation to defend migrant workers and their suffering. Please vote for me to continue to fight for the migrant workers issues at UCU.