Phil Wilson

UCU NEC elections: Vote Phil Wilson for South FE

Rediscover our collective strength

Image of Phil Wilson

The choice in front of us is to either accept continued austerity and pay restraint or in the aftermath of the pandemic to unite with our fellow key workers and together resist further attacks on our pay, jobs, pensions and services.

For far too long further education has been underappreciated, undervalued and underfunded. We urgently need a stronger voice for FE, not just within our own Union but also in the national conversation about how our sector can, once again play its unique role in supporting any post-pandemic recovery.

We need to strengthen our Union in the FE sector, and not just in the South. We face a generational crisis and desperately need to recruit a younger layer of members who often don’t see the need for or in many cases haven’t actually witnessed the work of trade unions in the workplace.

It is these workers who are most likely to be casualised, low paid and often face the unacceptable practice of delivering teaching on non-teaching contracts.

The fight against austerity over the past decade has taught us of the necessity for a unified response, working alongside other FE unions on campuses, and with those who are taking action to defend their jobs and services.

Continued pay restraint and adequate public service funding are issues that we must take up collectively. In the current economic crisis, we simply cannot allow any one group of workers to fight alone: providing practical support for those in dispute and where intersectional disputes arise, weshould look to broaden out and co-ordinate action.

As a NEC member my five priorities would be:

•  Workloads

Fight to win localised workload agreements where they have not yet been won.

•  FE Pay

Oppose any further pay restraint and seek to recover as much of the 30% real terms cut, we have seen since 2009.

•  Strengthen the Union

We need a real push to recruit new, as well as younger members to the Union but especially in further education.

•  Challenge further mergers

Avoid further standardising down of pay, terms and conditions hard fought over years.

• Put further education back onto the agenda

Speak out for a sector which is often forgotten and underappreciated.

Biographical information including trade union experience

I have worked in further education for over ten years in various support and now teaching roles.

I am currently a Student Tutor as well as Lecturer of A Level Politics at Chichester College. I am also studying towards my PGCE alongside.

My trade union experience has been of rebuilding union organisation from a low base and often with hostile management through a greater visibility, winning key victories that have then led to greater recruitment.

  • Re-established Trade Union presence at East Surrey College increasing membership through increased visibility in the workplace.
  • Won a local pay increase above the public sector pay cap while at East Surrey College.
  • Helped to revive Chichester College UCU and led a recruitment campaign which has seen a dramatic rise in membership.
  • Member of UCU Left