You should shortly receive ballot papers for the UCU election for Vice President and LGBT+ NEC vacancies. I am writing to ask you to vote for me. I have a strong record as a hard-working UCU activist. I pledge to continue to work on behalf of all members of UCU working in post 16 education. The savage attacks on HE and FE in recent weeks have sent shockwaves across the sector. We have to come together to resist cuts to both jobs and our terms and conditions. Proposals by what were once rogue employers such as Coventry University to increase workloads, extend working hours, and end casual contracts summarily have extended across the sector, and are doing so daily.
At the time of writing universities facing savage attacks include:
in addition, there are more universities these cuts. News not yet public but a number have been subjected to notices of intention to make staff redundant. Job losses could number many thousands. Bradford College is also one of the latest FE to suffer a similar fate. In some cases threats to dismiss and rehire all staff on inferior contracts have been made. Managements at Lancaster, Herriot Watt, Salford and Durham Universities (amongst others) are proposing extended working days, up to 22:00, to include Saturday working. It’s unclear whether students have been consulted about these long hours and lengthened weeks.
As a union we have to fight back.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the climate crisis and the most progressive anti-racism movement in centuries, the trade union movement has an important role to play. I am standing for the role of Vice President of UCU because I believe we need to adapt quickly within the current context to mobilise our membership for the many fights ahead.
Currently a National Negotiator in the 4 Fights dispute, I am one of four who believed we should reject the offer. The offer does not end precarity, overwhelming workloads, nor does it address the BAME pay and promotions gap.
Casualisation and increasing workloads are rife in all sectors, regions and nations. Our employers are using the pandemic as an excuse to implement their neo-liberal agenda.
HE faces its biggest crisis as casualised members are hit first in response to the pandemic. UCU needs a UK-wide campaign to defend each university, the breadth of provision, jobs, pensions and conditions.
FE faces reorganisation and a new funding model. Indications are of a restitution of state control, but the detail is unspecified. UCU needs to mobilise from the ground to lead through these changes
Tackling violence against members is a priority, as is health and safety, particularly ensuring safe staffing levels.
With 45% funding cuts since 2010 and the wide second chance curriculum being viciously cut, there is a crisis in Adult Education. Members there need more support.
Marketisation of HE persists in Scotland despite the lack of tuition fees in the chase for international student income. In NI there are many challenges due to the political instability of an absence of government for three years. Implications of Brexit are complex and there is a mental health crisis among students. In Wales there are major issues with governance among other things. I commit to visiting the devolved nations, listening to members and ensuring their concerns are given full attention.
I am a Senior Lecturer in Learning Development at Bournemouth University. My work includes analysis of education policy, support for widening participation and researching transformative education and the neoliberal HE landscape. I was first in my family to attend HE after completing an FE Access course as a mature student.
Currently elected to the roles of:
- National Pay Negotiator
- Co- Chair, Bournemouth University UCU and Health and Safety officer.
- Southern Region Chair
- Disabled Members Standing Committee Member
- Women Members Standing Committee Member – I support trans equality
I believe UCU should be a democratic, accountable, member-led union, committed to the vigorous defense of contractual conditions, courses and jobs. I am the UCU Left candidate in this election. Vote Marian Mayer.