Ryan Burns

UCU NEC elections: 
Vote Ryan Burns for South HE

For a member-led union that organises to win

I am a lecturer in Media Studies at the University of Brighton, a post-92 University. I joined UCU as a PhD student in 2013 and have been an active member in my current branch since moving here in 2015. I am a member of UCU Left and proud to be part of a fighting, member-led union.

 Union roles

  • Branch Chair, University of Brighton/Moulsecoomb (2019-present)
  • Co-Ordinating Committee Secretary and Communications Officer, University of Brighton (2021-present
  • Branch Membership Secretary (2017-18) and Secretary (2018-19)
  • Caseworker (2018-present)
  • Elected branch delegate to Congress and to Branch Delegate Meetings for each of the last three years
  • UCU Rule 13 Commission elected member for the South East (present)

As a union rep I have a track record of supporting members with individual cases, organising within my local branch and affecting national union policy by taking motions to Congress. I have organised pickets, rallies and marches during industrial disputes including Four Fights and UCU Rising and a successful local dispute to fight redundancies of IT staff.


 My branch was one of those which participated in the Marking and Assessment Boycott in 2022 as part of the Four Fights dispute. I played a key role in organising this boycott and supporting members to hold the line until our victory. Through that action, we won several concessions from the employer including improvements to workload allocation and a reduction in casualised contracts. 

I have undertaken negotiations with employers, for example gaining a commitment to reduce the use of Hourly Paid Lecturer contracts by 33% in 2022-23 and participating in ongoing negotiations to support the employment of PGR students on proper lecturer contracts. 

 Supporting every member

These examples demonstrate my commitment to supporting every member: fighting to defend jobs and improve working conditions for academic-related and professional services members and academic staff from PGRs to Professors.
Building on this local work, in the last few years I have become more involved in UCU’s national structures. I have been an elected delegate to Congress and branch delegate meetings in each of the last three years. At Congress I have moved motions on trade union coordination, strike pay and industrial action strategy. I am part of the Rule 13 Commission established at Congress 2022, where I am vice chair and the elected member for the South East.
If elected to NEC, I will continue to fight for the interests of every member and to ensure that the UCU remains a member-led, fighting union.