Mark Campbell works as a lecturer in computing at London Metropolitan University. He has been on the UCU Co-ordinating Committee at London Met for the past ten years, where he has played a central role in the many battles that UCU has fought alongside the other campus unions and the student body to defend jobs and course provision.
Mark has served on the National Executive of UCU for the past four years, and has played a prominent role in helping to develop active campaigning strategies for the union. He has also represented UCU at successive TUC Congresses.
As an active socialist Mark has pledged that if elected he will only draw the salary he currently receives at London Met with any increases that the union wins for its members. The remainder of the General Secretary salary will be donated to the union’s strike fund
This election takes place against the backdrop of the greatest assault on living standards and public services that we have faced in generations.
Our union faces a huge challenge to defend post- 16 education and we need to ensure that we are ready for the fights ahead.
30 November showed the potential to win on pensions. However, the latest offer on TPS still leaves us paying more to work longer for less.
Our NEC rightly voted to reject the offer alongside our sister unions the NUT and PCS, and agreed to make firm proposals to other public sector unions for more co-ordinated action, with a UK wide strike in early March..
✪ achieving fair funding – opposing the HE White Paper, fees policy and privatisation threat, resisting similar threats in the devolved nations;
✪ protecting Adult Education, defending ESOL provision, restoring the Educational Maintenance Allowance;
✪ defending pensions and resisting real terms pay cuts across FE and HE;
✪ defending jobs, reducing workloads, and resisting the ‘audit culture’;
✪ ensuring employers deliver genuine equality for women, black members and all facing discrimination;
✪ replacing the discredited Institute for Learning (IfL) with a voluntary member-led body;
✪ defending our most vulnerable members – Hourly Paid Lecturers, Graduate Teaching Assistants, junior researchers;
✪ reforming governance – we are educational institutions, not businesses.
To address these issues we need to look to our organising and industrial strength. It follows that we need a strong and democratic union: well- organised branches, and well-trained officers.
We need as many members as possible involved in the union’s democratic structures – from local branch activity to attending regional committees, Congress, and our HE and FE Sector Conferences. Our National Executive Committee must reflect all of the union’s constituencies fairly and equally.
I am standing for General Secretary because I believe we can fight back, and we can win. We need an alternative vision of the privatised, market- led system that the current government wants to impose on education and society as a whole.
A vote for me is a vote to build a union that can meet these difficulties, a union that is representative of all the diversity, talent and strength of our membership.
This is taken from marks election leaflet which can be found here, a number of people have already endorsed Mark as their preferred candidate in the up coming election, you can see what some of them have said here and endorse Mark’s candidacy here.
3 Replies to “Mark Campbell for General Secretary”
Is Mark Campbell a member of the SWP, or of any other political party? ‘An active socialist’ sounds like code for those in-the-know. Come clean please.
Robert, the fact that I’m a member of the SWP is not hidden, and never has been. Unfortunately, this is more than I can say for the party political affiliations of those who try and denegrade the UCU Left. For your information, this is the full quote that I gave to the Times Higher Education at the beginning of the election process in October 2011 (http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=417629):
“This election is a critical part of developing a strategy for the union in the face of the biggest attack post-16 education has ever faced. Our members face a huge battle to defend their pensions while institutions like London Met, Middlesex and Croydon face immediate threats to jobs and courses. We need to unite with students, champion the values of post-16 education and back this up with effective and resolute action.
All this flows from a coherent strategy and that can only be produced by open debate. To be perfectly frank, that requires an adult attitude to the fact that most of the current UCU leadership belongs to some kind of political party. My candidacy is the result of an open, democratic process organised by UCU Left that has involved ordinary members from across the union. I am a member of the SWP, which backs the 30 November strikes in defence of pensions.
Some may find amusement in obsessing over the political affiliations of UCU candidates but let me say from the outset that I am not going to make an issue of Sally Hunt’s membership of the Labour Party. I wouldn’t care if UCU’s general secretary were a member of the Monster Raving Loony Party as long as they were prepared to provide forthright leadership and unstinting practical support to members on the frontline of these attacks”.
In my days as an active socialist rather to the left of the SWP (not hard, to be honest) I had plenty of opportunity to observe its activists, and was underwhelmed. The party line always came first, and speakers and delegates plainly read from party-prepared statements. Back in the day it was closer to a personality cult of Tony Cliff than a proper socialist party. Basing its ideology on a genocidal war criminal from the 1920s is unedifying, and leads to some very strange positions. Maybe it’s distanced itself from doctrinaire Trotskyism in recent years, though a reading of Socialist Worker is still like a trip back to the 80s.
I’ll probably vote for Mark Campbell in the ballot as, although Sally’s done a good public job, her support for one-member-one-vote on everything is worryingly reminiscent of Thatcherite anti-union strategy in the 80s, and this union, petit-bourgeois though it is, needs to fight Thatcherism Reloaded. However, I’ll be holding my nose when I do so, and if yer man’s elected I’ll be watching closely to see how independent he is.