Sean Vernell

UCU NEC elections: 
Vote  Sean Vernell for UK-Elected FE

We won’t pay for their crisis

My branch delivering their solidarity
message to striking Nurses and Postal


GCSE English lecturer at City
and Islington College


  • Manifesto for Further Education 2006
  • Don’t get young in the third millennium 2007
  • Further and Adult Education: responding to a new social and economic climate 2008
  • Fight the anti-union laws – no to austerity Yes to workers organisation 2015
  • Reconstructing Further and Adult Education in a post Coronavirus world 2020

UCU positions

  • Branch Sec City and Islington College 2003 – 2007, Coordinating Secretary 2007-
  • London Regional Council 2003 –
  • LR NEC member 2007- 2014, 2016 -21
  • VC FEC 2007- 2014, 2016 – 21
  • National negotiator 2007-22
  • A Founder member of UCU Left since 2007

 Why I am standing

I’m standing for the NEC to ensure that the voice of FE is heard and listened to and that our union places itself at the forefront of the resistance to the economic and environmental crisis.
A vote for me is a vote to fight to end the marketisation of the sector and for fully funded Further and Adult Education.
The Further, Adult and Prison Education sectors have risen to the challenges of austerity and the Coronavirus pandemic. Our reward – the worst cost of living crisis for over 50 years.
Many employers are blaming the failure to recruit sufficient 16-18-year-olds as the reason for more cuts. This is nonsensical. FE, traditionally, has always attracted more students when there is an economic and social crisis. The IFS found that by 2024 there will be an extra 200,000 16-18-year-olds.
But we are being asked, once again, to pay for the crisis through cuts in our wages and increase in workload.
UCU members are fighting back and we are winning. Where branches have taken action, they’ve been able to win some significant pay rises and better terms and conditions.
We need a national mobilisation that focuses on the AoC and government for more funds. With the announcement that FE and adult education is to be reclassified as part of the public sector this makes prioritising a UCU national campaign of strikes even more pressing.
Inequality is rife throughout our sector. BAME, disabled, women and LGBTQ + colleagues are more likely to be on HP contracts. The fight for equality must be central to all our campaigning work.
We are not alone in resisting the governments attacks. Higher Education members are striking over the ‘four fights’ and pensions. We need to build solidarity and follow their example by organising an aggregated national ballot. Teachers, Nurses Civil servants, Postal and rail workers are all striking to defend their sectors.
We must be a part of this resistance to fight for the soul of FE.