Global judgements and ideas.
I am running for the UCU National Executive Committee, UK-elected NEC member HE. Please vote for me!
Voting starts 1 Feb and you will get the ballot in the mail!
I am a Senior Lecturer in International Politics at Middlesex University. I have been a UCU member since 2005 and support UCU left. I have been a UCU Health and Safety representative for seven years.
I am running for the Executive Committee for the UCU because we are facing a very serious moment in the history of higher education with the HE Bill, TEF, Brexit and the TU Act. Our sector and the trade union movement have been under sustained attack for decades and we must organise effectively. Without a strong, democratic, member-led trade union, we will see further weakening of our position as professional educators to positively contribute to society and to the lives of the next generation of workers, our students.
The June EU referendum result has brought further insecurity to the sector and the union must defend workers’ rights. I have been actively campaigning by co-organising the Campaign for Free Movement of Labour Post-Brexit campaign, arguing that mobility of labour is inherent to workers’ rights.
I have conducted a recent speaking tour about what is at stake for British workers and for trade unions if we lose the defence of EU labour law. We stand to lose out in the areas of discrimination, fair contracts and collective consultation. Casualisation and the gender pay gap led us to recent industrial action. We must agree an effective strategy and continue this fight.
TEF and HE Bill
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the Higher Education (HE) Bill encourage privatisation of Universities and competition between providers.
The requirements for metrics driven standards setting, competition and market driven judgements of performance will destroy the provision of education as a public good. The TEF’s suggested link to the NSS will lead to raised fees in universities where students already struggle.
The false measure of ‘social mobility’ in the HE Bill will exacerbate inequality, lead to intensified marketization of education and shifts blame onto education institutions and individuals in areas over which they have no control. The Bill will also erode our employment rights. Private providers will increase casualization and introduce inferior terms and conditions and are unlikely to recognise Trade Unions.
Recent leadership in industrial action was unsuccessful in challenging pay inequality. Universities increasingly rely on highly skilled casualised workers. Casualisation disproportionately impacts women, young and near retirement workers. Even those in secure contracts are not paid in line with inflation. I will fight for better action to resolve this.
UCU members want to resist the worsening of our working conditions. As a member of the NEC, I will coordinate campaigns and initiatives to end the insecurity that faces our sector and our lives.