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UCU NEC Elections:
Vote Sunil Banga for North West HE
Stop attacks on workers, fight racism, protect our pensions
I am a Teaching Fellow in Lancaster University Management School, and currently Lancaster University UCU (LUCU) branch president, having previously served as VP, Pensions Officer and Treasurer over a number of years.
In my other branch roles, I co-convene the LU Race Equality Network, chair the pensions working group, and co-convened the working group for international staff. I’m an active caseworker, with extensive experience of negotiations with the employer in local JNCC and CCM. I have been an active member of UCU structures regionally and nationally, and over the last few years I have brought a number of motions to Congress and HESC to influence national policy.
I have considerable experience in mobilising members, on issues such as casualisation, lecture-capture, support for GTAs/PGRs, redundancies and H&S. As president, I’ve led the negotiations with university management on these issues, including negotiating the voluntary severance scheme, a fixed-term contract policy, and serving a notice of unsatisfactory working on H&S issues. In addition, we were able to negotiate an agreement to put all restructures on hold. As a co-convener of the LU Race Equality Network, I have fought against the entrenched structural and institutional racism that BAME colleagues and students face. I hope to further this work at national level to fight the current re-legitimation of racism on our campuses and in society in general, and give voice to those students and staff who are marginalised, trivialised or silenced.
I want us to be a strong trade union. It was a privilege to lead the strike action at Lancaster in 2018, that saved our defined pensions; and again in 2019/20 on the four fights dispute, where I helped put together the critical HEC motion from Lancaster that allowed USS and Four Fights disputes to be balloted together and fought concurrently, a strategy that has allowed all workers from all parts of the union to come together. I would like the union to take a strong line on USS, and I would also like to strengthen our national and regional democratic structures.
The Covid pandemic has exposed the underbelly of the marketized system of HE. We are under attack from all sides, our jobs and working conditions under constant threat, particularly for those on precarious contracts. We have seen our wages and pensions being eroded over the last few years. Equally, equality matters have never been more important. I will work hard to make sure we are a strong union that can hold the employers to account.
I am a member of UCU Left, and I am transparent about my voting record with members, so they can see the positions I have taken. Thank you for considering voting for me.