NEC Elections: Vote Marion Hersh, for representative of women members (HE)

To fight for education, jobs, pensions and equality

I am a senior lecturer in Engineering at University of Glasgow, research assistive technology and disability studies.

Staff in higher and further education are increasingly under attack with threats to jobs, pay and pensions. The government white paper threatens increasing privatisation and marketisation in HE and FE. Failing to fund education or other public services properly is a false economy for which society will pay a heavy price.

The massive industrial action on November 30 shows one of the ways to fight these attacks – collective industrial action together with our students and other trade unions.

We must not forget our vision for education: collectively funded, socially based, focusing on learning and self- development as values in themselves, We need to continue to defend the right to academic freedom and to ask awkward questions in both research and teaching.

Equality Issues

These attacks on education affect all members, but particularly women and minority group members. We should continue to work collectively to promote equality and put it at the heart of UCU activity. Equality is both vitally important in itself and has benefits for all members. We should work together with students and other trade unionists to fight the marginalisation and discrimination of women and minority groups. I am active in the Women’s, LGBT and Disabled Members’ Network, the Women Members’ Standing Committee and the UCU Scotland Equality and Human Rights Network. Through my involvement in both the Equality Committee and the Legal Panel I am working on equality proofing the legal scheme and improving the experience of using it for black and disabled members in particular. I have been involved in the organisation of the UCU Holocaust Memorial Day and proposed the Congress motion that led to UCU commemorating the holocaust.

Casualisation

Education in further and higher education is very casualised, with many members and potential members, particularly women, hourly paid or on fixed term contracts. I have actively supported the anti-casualisation campaign, for instance ensuring representation of hourly paid staff on committees and developing local initiatives for recruiting fixed term staff.

We need to increase recruitment, particularly of people on casualised contracts, younger workers and other underrepresented groups.

Pensions

As a USS negotiator, I am committed to implementing UCU policy on USS , including the recent congress motion on ethical pension schemes. Personally, I believe that we should be negotiating to reverse the discriminatory two tier scheme and that negotiation needs to be backed up by strong industrial action.

An activist and campaigner

I have a long history of activism and am a UCU Left member. For many years I organised a women’s group at Glasgow University and continue to be an active member of the branch committee.
I am active in campaigns for job security and improved employment conditions for casualised staff and against points based immigration. I am actively campaigning against the cuts together with students and other trade unions, previously in the Glasgow anti-cuts campaign, and more recently in the Coalition of Resistance and the Right to Work.

Climate Change

I’ve proposed motions to NEC on climate change and am involved in the Climate Change Trade Union Steering Group.

Racism, Fascism and Points Based Immigration

I am a lifelong anti-racist and anti- fascist and a committee member of Unite Against Fascism Scotland. In UCU I have been particularly active on points based immigration, which I consider inherently racist. I have proposed motions to NEC and Congress on points based immigration.

National and international solidarity

I proposed a motion at Congress on solidarity with women in Tunisia and Egypt. I am committed to and will fight for the rights of asylum seekers.

Biographical information, including Service to the Union.

  • UCU (AUT) member for over 20 years.
  • 2007-09, 2010-12 NEC, Higher Education and Equality Committees
  • UCU Glasgow Committee for 20 years, activist in local branch, regular delegate at UCU/AUT Council/Congress

 

Leaflet downloads are available from here.

STV Voting system

To maximise votes for progressive candidates we ask you to do the following:

Please use your votes to first endorse all UCU Left candidates and only after that use lower preferences for other progressive candidates in each relevant list;

and

Give your highest preferences in the UK-Elected list to UCU Left candidate(s) from your region

 

Elections run from 6 February to 1 March

NEC Elections: Vote Richard McEwan for UK elected member (FE)

Defend Education, Pensions and Jobs.

I am asking you to support my re-election to the national executive. I have been active in UCU for the last six years in various roles including local recruitment and membership, as a branch secretary, as a London Region rep, on the young members steering group, and I am currently on the NEC.

Most recently I was elected Vice Chair of the Education Committee where we are organising a ‘Defend Education’ conference for March.

I originally decided to stand for the NEC after the all-out strike at Tower Hamlets College in 2009. We built a campaign with the community and struck for four weeks to defend jobs and education. We won an important local dispute that helped to turn the tide of confidence in our union.

The attacks we now face are enormous. The government’s aim is to privatise the welfare state and in so doing reverse the gains of the last sixty years. In education this is driven by the HE White Paper and funding cuts across post-16. Raising tuition fees to £9,000 was a pre-condition to the creation of an education market.

Profit

The attack on our pensions and pay is the key to making post-16 education a lucrative source of profit. There is a similar process underway in health and welfare. We can and must stop this.

That’s why the pension dispute is so important. We are being asked to pay more, get less and work longer. The outcome of the dispute can shape the nature of all the other attacks we face and affect both the confidence of our local employers to attack jobs and conditions and our confidence to resist them.

Solidarity

We should take heart and be bold. The government is nasty, but it is also weak and can be stopped. Last year we saw an incredible level of solidarity and united action with UCU playing a leading role, from our first cross-sectoral strike last March and culminating in 2 million striking in November, a day we will all remember.

In my NEC role I have sought to be accountable, effective and energetic. Since my election I have worked with the successful Action for ESOL campaign and will continue to campaign against the destruction of adult education.

I initiated solidarity collections, visited branches, advised reps in branch building and those facing victimisation.

I helped initiate national petitions of support during the student protests. I supported the Ifl boycott and worked to ensure the union followed this through to victory.

I regularly write NEC reports to help ensure maximum participation and democracy in our union.

I think my experience and my contribution to UCU has been valuable and I ask you to re-elect me to serve another term.

For UK-members (FE) please vote: Richard McEwan 1, Umit Yildiz 2, Steve Boyce 3, Jenny Sutton 4

Biographical Information

I teach full time advanced level Sociology and Politics, entry level literacy, as well as adult numeracy at Tower Hamlets College in East London.

I see the impact of austerity at the sharp end with students anxious about their futures in an area of high unemployment and poverty.

I’m an active campaigner in my community and feel a responsibility to defend it. As teachers we have a big role to play in defending education and creating a more equal society.

I am an active member of UCU Left.
Leaflet downloads are available from here.

STV Voting system

To maximise votes for progressive candidates we ask you to do the following:

Please use your votes to first endorse all UCU Left candidates and only after that use lower preferences for other progressive candidates in each relevant list;

and

Give your highest preferences in the UK-Elected list to UCU Left candidate(s) from your region

 

Elections run from 6 February to 1 March

Organising Conference Report 28th Jan 2012

60 UCU Left supporters attended an enthusiastic UCU Left organising conference on Saturday 28th January.

The conference took place at a crucial moment for both the TPS and USS disputes, with debates going on in branches up and down the country. The recent NEC decision to reject the TPS deal and declare a day for strike action has created renewed momentum among the other rejectionist unions for a resumption of strike action and given new heart to those trade unionists determined to fight any sellout.
The conference was chaired by Liz Lawrence, UCU NEC member, who welcomed a number of guest speakers in the first session before participants broke into separate USS and TPS organising sessions.

John McDonnell, MP

John spoke about the worsening economic situation, saying that we were right a couple of years ago to take an apocalyptic view. Osborne’s plan was to cut the deficit using the claim that the crisis was caused by over-expenditure, cuts were needed in the public sector and manufacturing would rise to meet the gap. This hasn’t happened. Manufacturing is on its knees, with very limited new jobs.
The Government can only see new cuts, and is panicking. The Euro is probably collapsing, by Autumn the government will come back for more cuts. While the Government has the Olympics and Jubilee distractions till then, we will see more cuts, and a further onslaught on the poor.  In Greece people on the margins are people like us, families handing over children, we are going to degenerate into this. He predicted that things will get far worse than we have seen so far, the government is desperate.

Levels of resistance in the last 18 months are higher than for a long time, more momentum than in eighties: November 2010 the student march, June’s industrial action, Nov 30th was almost like a general strike in some parts. The role of individual unions and activists is to recognise that the TUC are not part of our resources but our rank and file base is. So prepare people for what we have to face and that there is a resource capable of confronting the situation. Jobs, pensions, civilised society were built over last 150 years and are now under threat. It means recognising we have a consolidated demand of bringing this government down.

Ian Bradley, a rank and file electrician in UNITE, described their dispute. The eight biggest contractors want to pull out of agreement, cut pensions, travel and lodging allowance, 25-30% pay cuts. Eventually pressured UNITE to  ballot, 80% for all out stay out, but Balfour Beatty threatened injunction, UNITE caved, but the rank and file electricians organised independent  unofficial strikes with 3,000 out anyway. Another ballot result is due this Thurs, they plan to bring everyone out.

Gopal Pryamveda spoke on the HE White paper. The White Paper has been indefinitely postponed, which shows that action can stop the government. However, they may not be doing it so overtly but we will not have the same opportunities for scrutiny of what they will now try to get away with more covertly. They will try to argue that our side is only interested in maintaining the status quo, preserving the interests of the elite, and that the White Paper ‘opens up opportunities’. However, the threat from the private education sector will continue even if the HE bill does not go to parliament.

Susan Matthews

spoke on behalf of Defend the Right to Protest. She is the mother of Alphie Meadows who was seriously injured, hit on the head by police and then charged with violent disorder during the student protests.

Alfie will stand trial. Nothing happened about the police hitting him despite him needing brain surgery.

UCU must stand with students, she said, who stood with UCU from the beginning and are still campaigning.

Sean Vernell,

UCU NEC said that the NEC decision of 20th Jan had created the potential for the rejectionist unions to reignite the strike action and stop the pensions attack. We must not delay or wait until more cuts come through in October: the fight is on now. We must fight to sustain and continue to deepen campaign. 100,000 had joined TUs in last 6-8 months. Dec 19th TUC had met, Unison, Unite and the GMB had sold out their members. Others including the NUT have rejected.

Sally Hunt  argued the government’s TPS offer is a significant improvement, but no-one else says that. Still increase in contributions, £20-£80 deducted; change from RPI to CPI indexation; increase in pension age to 68; and CARE not Final Salary. The accrual rate has changed but that gets lost. As Mark Serwotka says, there are some people in the TUs who don’t think they can win. N30 frightens some people. There is an acceptance by them and by Ed Miliband and Ed Balls of the parameters that there is not enough money to go around etc. There are alternatives – eg taxing the rich.

Members are not fatigued and we do not need a fresh mandate at this moment of time.  We have been arguing for escalation. However, some TU leaders want instead to manage a decline of the dispute. A ballot would take weeks. It would put us in danger of putting our members out of the potential to join with others in taking action over TPS. No other rejecting union is balloting its members. If we had done so it would have given credibility to a rubbish offer and put us in conflict with our partners in the coalition that we have so carefully created over the past year.
On March 24th 2011 UCU took strike action and broke the logjam. This led to the June 30 strike and then to Nov 30. The NEC decision on 20th Jan broke the logjam again. The NUT will meet other unions who have rejected the deal to discuss taking further industrial action in March.

Jim Wolfreys, NEC

USS special conference will discuss negotiators’ recommendation to suspend dispute so negotiations on designing a new CARE scheme can take place, and consideration of the concession made for those made redundant at 55 or over. The danger is we would never see dispute again if we accept the negotiators’ view.
He said Malcom Povey had done a brilliant job of the report on USS.  Whether to reject CARE was only defeated by 30 votes at Congress, so we can win at the Tuesday HE conference on not suspending USS dispute. We should tie it to TPS dispute.

Separate meetings of USS and TPS members then took place.
USS members reported back from their branches on the mood of members and decisions taken to support or reject the negotiators’ recommendations.
It was agreed that there would be a meeting organised on Tuesday at the Conference for delegates from rejectionist branches. Model motions and amendments have been circulated, as well as Malcolm Povey’s briefing paper on the USS situation. A UCU Left flyer will be produced for the day.

TPS members discussed feedback so far from branches and reactions to the survey on ‘readiness’ for industrial action which had been sent to branch secretaries last week along with a very restricted timetable for completion. NEC members reported back to those present the latest situation from other unions and the potential for strike action, including rolling action. A number of speakers stressed the urgency of the situation given that the rises in pension contributions were to be imposed on April 1st.

It was agreed to produce a set of Frequently Asked Questions and a new model TPS motion for branches and regions.
Elections

The conference heard from both Angie McConnell and Mark Campbell (candidates for VP and GS respectively). Both described being enthused by the conference and by the potential which clearly existed to resist a sellout in the TPS dispute and the lasting impact from the N30 strike.

Each described how they would do their best, if elected, to ensure that the union campaigns and fights as hard as possible using all the means at our disposal to defend education and our members’ jobs, pay, pensions and conditions, and to resist attempts by the current GS to curtail democracy in the union and bypass elected bodies in favour of email plebicites.

Mark talked about his main differences from Sally Hunt. Mark thinks we can fight and win. But Sally seems to think we can’t win so doesn’t want to fight. He talked about fighting the White paper – UCU has not been putting all its resources in. UCU Left has done a lot.

He argued that it is right to use the word ‘political’ in post-16 education. Some think TUs are only interested in economic issues – jobs, pay, pensions. But the two are connected. And our values are crucial, the value of education as liberation. For example, we should defend the opportunities for people who didn’t get exams earlier, very often the sort of people who come to his institution, London Met. He is now involved in a major battle to defend hundreds of jobs under threat there, caused directly by the cuts and tuition fee rises.

We have to defend students, be together in collective action. They had been right to protest. Nov 11th 2010 we split from Sally when she attacked students for a few broken windows at Millbank.

Mark urged people to collect further endorsements for his campaign. The online endorsement link.

Campaign materials for Mark and Angie and the other candidates were available from the conference and people were urged to hold local and regional meetings to plan the distribution of leaflets and detailed campaigning work to get the vote out in the elections which run from February 6th to March 1st. (These materials are also available here.

Congress

A team of supporters was elected to coordinate preparations for the Annual Congress in June: the writing of motions (lots of people volunteered to prepare particular topics relevant to their branches), booking rooms for fringe meetings, and so on.

NEC elections: Vote Jenny Sutton, UK elected member (FE)

Defend Education – for a campaigning union.

I have been teaching at the college of North East London since 1993, first as an HPL and from 1996 as a permanent lecturer. I have been branch secretary at CONEL since 2008, and chair of London Region UCU (FE) for 2 years. I am in UCU Left.

I want to contribute to the development of our union as a campaigning organisation that connects the fight for jobs, pay and employment rights with the fight for inclusive, free, progressive, high-quality education for all.

Equal

I have led our branch in tough and successful battles against compulsory redundancies, for equal treatment for HPLs, for implementation of the 8 point pay scale, against punitive observation regimes and against cuts in education.

As chair of London Region, I have worked for collaboration between colleges across the capital against increasingly aggressive managements.

If you elect me I intend to:

  • Listen to, and be accountable to, members on the ground through regular written reports and attendance at regional meetings and activities
  • Reach out to support and help build weaker branches
  • Foster greater collaboration between branches through existing regional structures.
  • Encourage the active participation of women and hourly-paid staff in the union
  • Work to secure equal rights for hourly-paid staff
  • Work to reclaim further education from the bean-counters in control who know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

 

In the UK-elected members (FE) election please vote: Richard McEwan 1 Umit Yildiz 2 Jenny Sutton 3 Steve Boyce 4

I also urge you to vote for Mark Campbell for General Secretary and Angie McConnell for Vice- President (FE)

Leaflet downloads are available from here.

STV Voting system

To maximise votes for progressive candidates we ask you to do the following:

Please use your votes to first endorse all UCU Left candidates and only after that use lower preferences for other progressive candidates in each relevant list;

and

Give your highest preferences in the UK-Elected list to UCU Left candidate(s) from your region

 

Elections run from 6 February to 1 March

NEC Elections: Vote Jane Hardy UK Elected Member (HE)

Pension, Job and Pay: The Frontline.

I am currently a Higher Education representative on the NEC for London and the East region, and I am asking you to reelect me.

We must fight alongside other unions to reject a pension deal that makes us work longer and pay more for less.

We must fight to defend the final-salary scheme. We cannot agree to anything which leaves younger members with a raw deal.

The magnificent strike on 30 November shows the potential for us to win. Defending the TPS will make it easier to overturn the imposed USS changes.

A pay freeze and a one percent pay increase for two years with rising inflation equals a pay cut. Decent pay must stay on the agenda.

We must fight for every job. Casualisation is the scourge of the sector. We need to organise against the proliferation of precarious work.

The White Paper on Higher Education: ‘Defend Public Universities

This is an unprecedented attack on Higher Education. It opens the door to privatisation and elitism and threatens courses and academic freedom.
The UCU needs to be at the centre of the fight against this legislation linking with the widest possible constituency.

Stress, bullying and Managerialism

Cost cutting and redundancies are increasing workloads. Stress and bullying are a major concern for members.

Research and teaching are increasingly tied to a narrow agenda of competitiveness and skills.

The language of the market and the increasing role of business in universities are undermining collegiality.

What Kind of UCU?

A democratic, member led union l Branches and regions are the fora for discussion and decisions not plebiscitary consultation. l A National Executive Committee that provides strong leadership and operates in a transparent way.

Working with other trade unions in the university sector and the wider movement to take industrial action to defend public services

Biographical information including service to the union

  • Since 1977 I have worked as a teacher (seven years) and in Further Education (six years). In this period I was a local activist in both the NUT and NATFHE.
  • I have worked in Higher Education for twenty years and was elected to the NATFHE National Committee in 2004.
  • NEC member since 2006. l I am on the UCU Committee at the University of Hertfordshire.
  • I have attended national congress every year since the UCU was formed (except for one).
  • I am a member of the UCU Education Committee and have recently edited the UCU Left publication Another Education is Possible.
  • I am the UCU HE representative on the Working Group of the Teachers Pension Scheme.

Vote Jane Hardy 1, Jelena Timotijevic 2, Lesley McGorrigan 3

I urge you to also vote Mark Campbell for General Secretary and Angie McConnell, Vice-President (FE)

Leaflet downloads are available from here.

STV Voting system

To maximise votes for progressive candidates we ask you to do the following:

Please use your votes to first endorse all UCU Left candidates and only after that use lower preferences for other progressive candidates in each relevant list;

and

Give your highest preferences in the UK-Elected list to UCU Left candidate(s) from your region

 

Elections run from 6 February to 1 March

 

The TPS situation – Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is available online here, along with a model motion in support of the NEC, and a number of other useful resources about the TPS dispute.

FAQ 1. Why did National Executive members reject the Heads of Agreement government proposals?

  • There is very little extra on offer compared to pre-November 30
  • The proposals dump our current Final Salary scheme in favour of a Career Average Revaluation Earnings scheme
  • The minor improvement in the accrual rate and transfer rate would still leave the vast majority of non-protected members worse off and having to work longer to get the same pension (up to age 68 for many)
  • The proposals offer minimal reductions to the financial penalties for retirement earlier  than the State Retirement Age, which the government is increasing
  • The sliding scale of pension contributions increases from 1st April refer ONLY to the first year of three years of increases –  a pay CUT – which will hit the vast majority of TPS members in a few weeks’ time. The average increase after three years will be 50%
  • The proposals say nothing about the shift from RPI to CPI indexation of pensions in payment, which will lead to the progressive reduction in pension payments costing retired members many thousands of pounds.

In short, the HoA proposals will still leave members paying more, working longer, getting less.

FAQ 2. How will the government proposals affect me?

To see how these proposals will affect you go to UCU’s pension calculator.  It only takes a few minutes and will tell you exactly how much you will be losing.  Click here if you joined the scheme before 2007 and here if you joined the scheme after 2007

FAQ  3. On January 20th, the NEC voted to take further industrial action on March 1st. Does this mean we will be fighting alone?

No. A number of unions such as NUT, NASUWT, PCS, UCAC, Nipsa and Unite in Health and the Civil Service have not signed up to the December19th proposals. There are growing efforts by many members in the unions whose leaderships have signed up to overturn those decisions. The British Medical Association has also recently voted not to accept the pension proposals.

However, because none of these unions had named a day before UCU’s National Executive meeting on 20th January your Executive decided to get the ball rolling by naming a strike day and asking the other unions to join us.

Since our decision to propose a named strike day the NUT Executive has met and called for further strike action in March. The NUT thought that our proposal of March 1st was too soon and therefore is organising another meeting with all those unions that have not signed up to the deal to agree a day. Other unions are now moving in the same direction; last Saturday the EIS Council (Education Institute of Scotland) unanimously decided to join UCU and NUT in seeking further nationally coordinated strike action.  The NASUWT also are making positive noises about further action. See here.

Discussions are continuing between various unions about the best day for united strike action and about further action. Click here for TES article

FAQ 4. When will this date be decided?

At the last NEC, where the motion was passed to name a day for the next round of action, the NEC also agreed to call another special NEC on the 10th February to review progress and to gauge the response to our decision.  That week other NECs meet to discuss the same issue. So hopefully a final decision could be made at this meeting.

FAQ 5. Are there any other plans for further action beyond a day in March?

Yes. The NEC passed a motion unanimously before Xmas to put some proposals to the other unions. The motion stated that UCU should propose a programme of rolling action across the country creating a ‘Mexican wave effect’ followed by further nationally coordinated strike action.

Rolling strike action is where one region comes out on one day then another and another and so on. For example all schools, colleges and universities come out together in London on one day followed by the North West, then the North East etc.

FAQ 6. Will we be balloted on the final offer?

Yes. At the last NEC the motion passed said this,

“While agreeing that there should be a ballot on any genuine ‘final’ offer the NEC believes there has been no significant improvement at this point (see FAQ 1 for reasons). We further believe that any formal ballot should only be conducted in conjunction with our sister unions (a position supported by our last NEC).”

Whatever genuine final offer the union gets will be put to a full membership ballot alongside our sister TPS unions, as promised and as required as part of union democracy. We balloted to decide whether we would go into dispute, as legally required, and we should ballot to decide whether to end the dispute.

However, just because an employer or the government says that an offer is ‘final’ doesn’t mean we have to believe them! It would be naïve in industrial relations to adopt such a position. Disputes often involve a multitude of ‘final offers’. If the union were to ballot on every offer the employer claims is final we would be (a) constantly delayed in action and (b) bankrupt quite quickly.

FAQ 7. Are other unions balloting their members on the governments offer?

Only one and that is the ATL who have signed up to the deal. None of the other TPS unions (nor Unite or PCS) is balloting. They have not signed up to the proposals and have been taking membership soundings by various means: branch surveys, reps meetings, limited e-surveys and so on. Here is the link to the NUT survey.

NEC Elections: Vote Jim Wolfreys for Londond and the East (HE)

 

Fighting to Defend Public Education

I have been a lecturer in French and European politics at Kings College London (KCL) since 1994, and President of the Local Association since 2005.

In 2010 KCL UCU was engaged in a high profile and successful campaign against compulsory redundancies that united university staff, students and the wider community around resolute action in defence of education.

Since then I have played an active role on the National Executive Committee, arguing that UCU needs to repeat this kind of local experience nationally in order to protect our pensions, pay, jobs and conditions and to oppose the consequences of the government’s HE White Paper.

Hands

Our employers’ attacks on job security, pensions, pay and conditions play into the hands of the government’s generalised assault on the public university. Their antics in the USS dispute, imposing their diktat on staff, mirrors the shift away from democratic governance taking place in virtually every university.

Although the government has shelved plans to debate a Higher Education Bill in parliament, the agenda outlined in its HE White Paper is being implemented anyway: marketisation, casualisation and privatisation. This will create a highly stratified university sector, where resources are directed away from teaching and research towards auditing and branding. Some universities, as the government has made plain, will be allowed to go to the wall.

Market

The new market for student places puts a premium on AAB+ grades, disproportionately achieved by those from private or selective schools. This despite the fact that state school pupils with lower grades perform to the same level as these students once at university.

Across the board, the government, aided by servile university managers, is rewarding privilege rather than ability, and fostering all that undermines public education, from elitist traditionalism to market fundamentalism.

In universities as elsewhere, the pressure to cut costs is disproportionately affecting those colleagues who are already discriminated against, through gender, sexuality, ethnicity or disability. Conditions for hourly paid staff are also under threat.

UCU was the first union to take national action against the effects of austerity. Local branches, working closely with regional and national officials, have mounted strong resistance to compulsory redundancies. Further robust campaigning and resolute action will be required over pensions, pay and conditions but also against course closures and other consequences of the government’s HE agenda. These campaigns will need to involve close cooperation with students and local communities and workplaces.

Our universities belong to the whole of society – we need to involve everyone in defending them.

Please vote Mark Campbell for General Secretary, Angie McConnell for Vice President

In the election for London and East HE seats please vote for Mark Campbell, Jane Hardy and myself.

Leaflet downloads are available from here.

STV Voting system

To maximise votes for progressive candidates we ask you to do the following:

Please use your votes to first endorse all UCU Left candidates and only after that use lower preferences for other progressive candidates in each relevant list;

and

Give your highest preferences in the UK-Elected list to UCU Left candidate(s) from your region

 

Elections run from 6 February to 1 March

 

NEC Elections: Vote Mark Campbell for London and the East (HE)

Mark Campbell

Defending the Public University

s a member of the UCU Coordinating Committee at London Met for the last ten years I have been in the forefront of our continuing fight to defend jobs and courses and played a significant role in our successful 18-month contract dispute, and union recognition dispute.

An active and committed trade unionist all my working life, I joined NATFHE in 1997 whilst hourly paid at the University of East London.

UCU has a key role to play in mobilising an effective defence of publicly-funded, socially inclusive, higher education. To do this we need to:

Defend pay and pensions, resist job losses and increased workloads. The employers aim to roll back wages and pensions, shed staff in subjects that don’t fit their market priorities, and intensify the workload for those left to pick up the pieces. UCU need to reject attempts to make our members pay for an economic crisis we are the victims of.

Be prepared to take effective, coordinated, industrial action to defend our universities from Government austerity measures and local management cut-backs and ‘restructuring’.

Defend academic freedom by using the union’s power to defend members’ academic independence from the strictures of the REF and from the ‘pedababble’ of academic audits.

UCU must defend our members’ freedom to set their own research agendas and disseminate results in ways they deem appropriate, to design and implement teaching free from the interference of employer-led boards. We must reassert collegiality and democracy in university governance.

Value all our members and campaign hard for our most precarious – hourly paid lecturers, Graduate Teaching Assistants, and junior researchers – all currently on a variety of exploitative casual contracts.

Build strong, democratic, member-led branches that reach out to all our potential allies on campus and across society for whom the Government’s assault on post-16 education, and education’s reorientation toward business training, is a betrayal of hope and an assault on an inclusive and democratic society.

Have a union leadership that is fully accountable to members and which actively implements democratic decisions taken at our branch-based delegate Congresses and HE Conferences.

Biographical Information, including service to the union

  • I am Chair of the UCU Coordinating Committee, London Metropolitan University, where I work as a Senior Lecturer in Computing.
  • I am a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Higher Education Committee (HEC) representing London and the East.
  • Prior to joining the NEC I was HE Secretary for London Region UCU.
  • I am currently UCU London Region Rep on the South East and Eastern Regional TUC (SERTUC), and Vice-Chair of its Public Services Committee.
  • I am a founder member of UCU Left.

In this regional election please vote Mark Campbell 1; Jim Wolfreys 2; Jane Hardy 3

Please also vote for me for general secretary, and for Angie McConnell for Vice-President (FE)

Leaflet downloads are available from here.

STV Voting system

To maximise votes for progressive candidates we ask you to do the following:

Please use your votes to first endorse all UCU Left candidates and only after that use lower preferences for other progressive candidates in each relevant list;

and

Give your highest preferences in the UK-Elected list to UCU Left candidate(s) from your region

 

Elections run from 6 February to 1 March

 

NEC Elections: Vote Sean Vernell for London and the East (FE)

Sean Vernell

The Fight of our Lives – Defend Education

The Adult and Further Education sector is facing tough times. The Tory-led Coalition’s austerity measures have led to our jobs, pensions and wages being attacked.

At the same time as employers and government ask us to tighten our belts principals’ pay has risen to at least 4-5 times greater than that of a main grade lecturer, more billionaires are created daily and bankers bonuses spiral upwards.

Our students too are under attack; one in five 16-25 year olds are unemployed, the EMA cut has led to over 60,000 students not being able to attend Further or Adult Education and university fees raised to £9,000 is pricing working class people out of Higher Education.

I have been honoured to represent London and East region on the NEC for the last five years. In that time I have played a part in fighting to build action that has managed to stop compulsory redundancies, defend educational provision like ESOL and taken numerous initiatives putting forward alternatives to market driven education.

At the moment the fight to defend our pensions is the one that has taken centre stage and has managed to unite millions of public sector workers. I believe that we need to escalate this action as quickly as possible if we are to win.

The battle over pensions acts as a lightning conductor for all the other issues that we are concerned about.

If re-elected I will campaign for:

  • An alternative view of adult and Further Education as outlined in the UCU’s new pamphlet, Jobs and Education: regaining the trust of young people
  • £6,000 London weighting allowance in line with other public sector workers.
  • A significant decrease in workload especially contact hours
  • Staff to have an equal say in the running and structures of their courses and colleges
  • An end to casualisation
  • Stop the cuts in ESOL and Adult Education
  • Opposition to all redundancies
  • To protect and enhance a genuinely democratically run union by giving more control to all members

We are in the fight of our lives – but united we can win

Biographical information including service to the union

I teach GCSE English at City and Islington College. I am the author of A Manifesto for Further Education; Further and Adult Education: responding to a new social and economic climate, of Don’t get young in the third Millennium, Capitalism and the demonising of the young working class and of Defending the Welfare State – the case for public services for all

UCU roles:

  • Branch Secretary City and Islington College (2003-07)
  • Coordinating Secretary City and Islington College (2007-)
  • London Regional Council member (2003-)
  • Elected NEC member for London region (2006-)
  • Vice chair Further Education Committee (2006-)
  • National negotiator (2006-)
  • Recruitment Organising Campaign Committee member (2006-09 and 2011-)
  • Education Committee member (2009-11)
  • UCU observer to NUT NEC (2008-)
  • Founder member of UCU Left (2006)
  • NATFHE/UCU conference delegate (2005-11)
  • TUC delegate (2007-10)

 

For London and the East (FE) please vote Sean Vernell 1 Mandy Brown 2

Leaflet downloads are available from here.

STV Voting system

To maximise votes for progressive candidates we ask you to do the following:

Please use your votes to first endorse all UCU Left candidates and only after that use lower preferences for other progressive candidates in each relevant list;

and

Give your highest preferences in the UK-Elected list to UCU Left candidate(s) from your region

 

Elections run from 6 February to 1 March

 

NEC Elections: Vote Mandy Brown for London and the East (Further Education)

Defend jobs, pensions, pay and conditions.

I am currently employed as an ESOL teacher at Lambeth College, where I have taught ESOL and Numeracy to young people and adults for the last 8 years, working as both an hourly paid and permanent lecturer.
At Lambeth College I have held joint Branch Secretary position since 2010 and been on UCU branch committee since 2008.

I attended UCU Congress as a delegate in 2011, I’ve been on London Region Executive Committee since 2011 and am a member of UCU Left.

Pressure

UCU members are currently under huge pressure from all sides. Workload continues to increase with more forceful tactics being used against already over-worked staff to work even more, for less. Cuts to education funding mean more courses being closed and jobs lost. And while the coalition government is attacking pensions and freezing pay, costs of living are also rising.

We must defend jobs, pensions, pay and conditions to secure the future of Adult and Further Education.

As joint Branch Secretary and a representative at London Region, I have played a part in building a strong branch which has collectively resisted compulsory redundancies and worsening terms and conditions, built solid strikes over pensions in June and November, and delivered overwhelming support for the IfL boycott.

Impact

Government cuts have a devastating impact on poor and vulnerable community groups. I have been a key organiser in the Action for ESOL campaign, which in August saw a massive government U-turn on plans to change funding eligibility for those on benefits. This would have meant up to 70% of learners, mostly women from black and minority ethnic groups, being unable to afford to learn English to improve their lives.

As a campaigner, I worked alongside students, trade unionists and practitioners to raise awareness at local and national level through speaking about ESOL and multiculturalism at meetings and UCU Congress, letter-writing campaigns and organising protests, which resulted in the partial U-turn success.

If elected as an NEC member I will campaign for:

– workload reduction

– fair working conditions for all staff, including hourly paid

– democratic governance of colleges

– Adult and Further Education to remain free and accessible, especially for those who need a second chance

– an end to marketisation, student fees and loans

In London and the East please vote Sean Vernell 1; Mandy Brown 2

Leaflet downloads are available from here. Mandy has her own blog here, and a campaign twitter account here.

STV Voting system

To maximise votes for progressive candidates we ask you to do the following:

Please use your votes to first endorse all UCU Left candidates and only after that use lower preferences for other progressive candidates in each relevant list;

and

Give your highest preferences in the UK-Elected list to UCU Left candidate(s) from your region

 

Elections run from 6 February to 1 March