Endorsements For Marian Mayer


A Very Special Endorsement

I’m deeply honoured to receive this message from my dear sister Nita’s family. We lost Nita far too soon and miss her every day. I promise to keep Nita’s glorious flame burning. Peace and Love Nita, rest in power:

So the UCU Vice President election is now underway, a position that our darling Nita held. It brings a tear to our eyes thinking about this, but as Nita would say ‘we cannot sit on our laurels, but need to continue to move forward to achieve the best for all our members’. As a proud UCU left activist, Nita would be fully supporting and endorsing her friend and fellow activist Marian Mayer.

Good luck Marian. The Sanghera family. 


Sol Gamsu: BA, MPhil, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Durham University

I am delighted to be backing Marian Mayer for UCU VP. She understands how our struggles as education workers across sectors are connected. Whether we are prison or community educators, FE lecturers, professional services staff or university lecturers – we are all education workers working in an unequal, exploitative, neoliberal education system. Marian understands this and has the experience that we need to face the deep crisis that covid-19 has brought to education. What matters most right now is experience and commitment to building a radical and fighting union that will face down our employers and a hostile government. Marian has a committed record as an activist within the union.

We do not need ‘smile strikes’ but experience and knowledge of the hard graft of branch and regional organizing. Vote Marian for VP!


Rahul Patel: Associate Lecturer, Central Saint Martins, UCU Member


Angelina Mighty Dwyer: Goddaughter and Artist Extraordinaire

Marian Mayer is a very kind women and is always fair, and she always chooses the best sweets. Vote for Marian! 


Gbola Gbadamosi: Associate Professor in Organisational Behaviour and HRM

Marian Mayer is like an open book. With her youknow what you get upfront – transparent and affable. You have in Marian a collegial, warm and efficient representative. She is always fair, firm and courageous. I have seen her operate under the most challenging circumstances and representing well, and fiercely. She always makes one reflect on what best practices in representation means.

Marian always stands by all colleagues and with her you never have to look around feeling alone, you will always feel the positive and robust energy she brings to her work. Vote Marian Mayer for VP!


Miss N Chung: Bournemouth Alumni

I have known Marian since I was a student.  I had a lot of personal issues during my studies. However, I was very grateful that I had her support during my study. She has constantly given me helpful guidance and professional advice. As you can imagine, she also had a lot of lectures and tutorial appointments with other students. Sometimes when we have encountered issues in life, the emotional supports are more important than ever. When she couldn’t physically be there to support, she will also try her best to find me, provide the resources that can help or even introduce me to her supporting community – she has really dedicated her time to listen and I can’t thank her enough for all her support and love throughout my entire journey at the university.

Marian has always been there to stand up for others who are struggling to defend themselves. Her support can give someone the message that they are worthy of support and helping them to believe in themselves again. She has been leading a lot of meaningful projects with deep purpose. I believe her work and support can help make a change. Marian, people may forget what you said, people may forget what you did for them but people will never forget how you made them feel when they needed it most.

We need a leader who brings in positivity and impactful events but also responding to the world with kindness – You are the one!

Please vote for Marian as the Vice President for UCU!


George Farquhar: Labour Group Leader BCP Council

I met Marian Mayer for the first time on the UCU Picket Line for the Four Fights. Not just any Picket Line but one in the middle of a howling gale with torrential rain and buffeting wind. Marian Mayer is campaigning to become the Vice President of the Universities and Colleges Union. She is standing on a ticket of the UCU becoming a ‘fighting Union’ a Union that fights for the rights we all deserve and have been eroded more and more in a cruel hearted neoliberal world. I do not lend my endorsement lightly but for a fighter with the heart of Marian I lend it gladly. Not only does Marian lead from the front on getting things done she has the organisational ability and collaborative working with not only representatives such as myself of the Council and local Labour but also across the spectrum of trade bodies.If you think it is easy to set up and execute a Strike Picket Line with creative energy that members came back day after wet day then think again. That sums up Marian the ability to galvanise members beyond words and into action. And that ability is testament when after days attending, I was gladdened to be there to see management descend from their offices to hear what the members had to say on the Picket.

If you have a vote, give it to Marian Mayer for a fighting VP.


Rutherford: Co-Chair BU UCU

In her roles as Co-Chair, H&S representative and caseworker, in 15 years here at Bournemouth University, Marian Mayer has been a veritable force of nature in advancing the cause for social justice as well as defending the rights and interests of all members of staff — not only academic and Academic Related and Professional Support members of the local UCU branch. She has supported ‘outsourced staff’ as ‘friend at work’. Marian has provided strong, empathetic and supportive leadership to the branch through some very difficult circumstances. As a direct result of her ability to engage and inspire others to the cause, we have a strong, dynamic and democratic branch.

Vote Marian Mayer for VP!



Steph Allen: BU UCU Branch Secretary

Marian Mayer is well known for speaking out against both hidden and overt discrimination on and offline. She is a staunch speaker who supports those from different class, race, religion, and ethnic backgrounds, promoting a common understanding to make academia a sustainably safer and healthier place to work. I have known Marian Mayer stand up to racism, sexism, discrimination, injustice and fight for democratic processes for over 18 years, and always admire her continued perseverance when addressing the issues that should, and must not fall on selective hearing ears. I have seen her stand up to management and ‘authorities’ in order to protect our members, and also students who have benefited from her inner strength, logic and reasoning.

I am proud to support Marian Mayer and I urge you to as well. Marian Mayer is the no.1 choice. Vote Marian Mayer. Now!


Dr Carlo Morelli: Senior Lecturer, University of Dundee School of Business and UCU Scotland President


Dr. Ben Goldsmith: Post-doctoral Researcher in Education, Bournemouth University

I am very happy to endorse Marian Mayer for UCUVP

I have worked with Marian and seen at first-hand how hard-working she is in standing up for members rights.  She fights for members in our branch successfully, and that strive for member success should be carried to and continued at a national level.

Marian has the personality and capacity to work with everybody in a meaningful and positive way. She inspires confidence, gives voice to the members, and delivers on her promises.

With those strengths, Marian will make an excellent UCU VP.


Sue Abbot: Chair of the UCU Women’s Standing Committee and the Equality Committee

I first met Marian about 3 or 4 years ago. I had heard of her through her reputation as a fantastic union activist but first met her at Congress. I was at a fringe meeting about action happening in one of our Universities. I was lucky enough to be sitting next to her and got introduced. I soon realised why she had such a strong reputation. Marian is a passionate and committed speaker who got the whole room supporting the injustices that were occurring. Marian was sending a strong message for collective support to be given. The applause showed how in tune with the union membership she was. Marian has influence in many areas. She is an amazing negotiator. No employer or manager would want to face Marian in union negotiations. She is determined and unrelenting on behalf of UCU members.

This year she has done a brilliant job as a negotiator in the ‘four fights’ campaign. Marian is very dedicated to equality areas. I was so pleased that Marian brought her skills and passion to the Women Members Standing Committee(WMSC) which I have Chaired for several years. It was brilliant to see her determined in so many areas that looked to improve situations for women members. It was so good that she was able to join some of the WMSC at this year’s Women’s TUC. We all loved having her company and hearing her speak to the 500 strong conference. Marian is also very committed to disability rights. I know she is also a leading member of the Disabled members standing committee where again she looks always to push for improvements.

Working with Marian is a joy. Although strong and determined, there is also a genuineness and empathy to Marian. She is very popular up and down the country and asked to speak on every campaign platform. Marian never lets anyone down and always brings expert knowledge on the topic that engages and inspires the audience.

Vote for Marian as VP. She will be wonderful.


Alan Whitaker: UCU President 2011, former Trustee, current Vice Chair South Region

Marian will be an excellent VP. She is warm and caring, and thoroughly committed to the principles and practice of equality. She has been an excellent chair of South Region for the last two years, chairing meetings in a fair minded and inclusive manner. She has in addition restored stability to the Region after a somewhat turbulent period. She has also been instrumental in delivering a positive result in ballots for industrial action in Bournemouth University.

I strongly endorse her nomination and urge all of you to vote for her.


Mark Farwell: Regional Secretary (USU South), and Chair of Solent University UCU

Marian Mayer is a highly experienced trade union activist and leader who has consistently demonstrated her commitment and dedication, professionally and personally, to fulfilling our collective ambitions of achieving ‘democracy in trade unions’ (UCU as a democratic and member led union), and ‘democracy through trade unions’. Marian has not only made an outstanding contribution to the work of the Democracy Commission, but brought her professionalism and passion to grassroots activism as a Branch Chair/Secretary; and Chair of Southern Regional Committee (UCU South). As Chair of Southern Regional Committee she has consistently impressed with her attitude, deep knowledge and understanding of process; and her dependability.

She is a person of the highest integrity. Marian is friendly, approachable, helpful and understanding, and brings unrivalled professionalism and passion to every challenge. There are very few activists in the labour movement capable of bringing such qualities and competences is such a positive to every issue and challenge.

Marian is highly recommended; and gets my vote!


Professor Megan Povey: UCU Women’s MSC and UCU LGBT+ MSC

Marian Mayer is the best possible candidate for Vice President of the University and College Union. She has 15 years of experience of fighting for HE Staff, for equalities and for all sections and all members of the union. In the time I have known Marian she has been a tireless and energetic agitator for democracy in the union. for women’s rights, for trans-rights, for BAME rights and Black Lives Matter. Marian is the candidate who can unify our union and lead us to more success.

I am proud to endorse an amazing Women who can make us all proud of our union.


Dr Elizabeth Lawrence: Secretary UCU Yorkshire and Humberside Retired Members’ Branch, UCU National President 2014-16

I will be voting for Marian Mayer for UCU Vice President. I invite you to do the same. Marian is a committed and hard-working trade unionist, with substantial negotiating experience at workplace and UK-wide levels. Marian values the contribution of the Further and Higher Education sector to society. As Vice President she will play an active part in campaigns to secure funding for the sector, including UCU’s Fund the Future Campaign and the Convention on Higher Education. As an elected National Negotiator for the Higher Education sector, Marian has shown persistence and resilience in the Four Fights Campaign. She appreciates the importance of achieving justice for casualised staff, of stopping unmanageable workloads, of ending the gender and race pay gaps, and of winning a decent pay rise for all university staff.

Marian is deeply involved in Health and Safety issues, a very necessary qualification at the time of the current pandemic, which has so impacted on education in universities, colleges, prisons and adult education. Marian has always championed the equality agenda. She currently serves on the Disabled Members’ and Women Members’ Standing Committees. She is prepared to stand up for the rights of members in casualised employment.

As a Senior Lecturer in Learning Development, Marian’s work is all about promoting education and equal opportunities. She understands the case for Higher Education as a public good, the need to defend academic freedom, and the real difference educational opportunities can make to individuals and to society.

I believe that Marian will make a dynamic and energetic President. She has the relevant experience and commitment to serve members well as UCU Vice President and as a member of the Presidential team. Please give her your support.


Catherine Gutmann Roberts: Postdoctoral Researcher In Migration Ecology

I first met Marian when I wanted to increase the voter registration of students on campus. Marian was quick to offer her support for my quest and was knowledgeable about the rules of what we could and couldn’t do on campus. She put me in touch with the right people to make it all happen. Marian is fiercely compassionate, hard working and dedicated. She manages to be incredibly friendly and caring despite being involved in such large and draining endeavours. Marian is knowledgeable and fair in any negotiations but she knows the red lines that she is not willing to compromise on and I think these qualities of understanding and compromise yet having principles is the balance we need.

Marian is always keen to make sure that those with the quietest of voices get represented and that those who need the help have access to it. Marian understands the difficulties of those of us on fixed term and casualised contracts and is always there to fight our corner.


Steve McCarten: BU Lecturer in Media Production


Laura Miles: former UCU Trustee and NEC member

Post-16 education is now embroiled in potentially our worst crisis in decades as a result of the Covid19 emergency. Employers and managers want staff and students to pay for the crisis in terms of lost jobs, pay cuts, pension cuts, worse conditions and course closures. We need to stand up for our casualised staff especially and bring the fight against the gender and BAME pay gaps to the fore in every institution. In times like this we need clear, consistent and robust union leadership, leadership that is not afraid to encourage and lead collective national and local resistance to these assaults. I’ve known Marian for some years as a principled negotiator and activist, someone who will always put members’ interests first and will defend and promote the educational principles we need.

Marian would be a fantastic President for UCU and I encourage everyone to vote for her.


Martin Giddey

Marian is a dedicated trades unionist whose commitment to the principles of equalities, democracy, social justice and good employment practices is clearly evident in all her work for UCU. She is an articulate and effective communicator who uses her interpersonal skills to support and enable others. Marian is clear-sighted in determining her goals and flexible in her approach to achieving these. In fulfilling key roles at branch, regional and national levels in our union she demonstrates obvious leadership potential. I have no doubt that Marian’s perceptive intelligence, capacity for hard work and productive collaboration with others will be a great asset.

I am pleased to offer my strong support for her candidacy


Gordon McKelvie: Branch Chair of Winchester UCU (personal capacity)

I am not a member of any ‘faction’ and the only vested interest I have is to Winchester UCU. It is for that reason that I fully endorse Marian Mayer for the NEC. Marian is an excellent trade unionist. She is pragmatic, has a clear track record of getting things done and is a key member of one of the few post-92 branches to get over 50% turnout in the autumn 2019 ballot. Her advice was important in helping Winchester beat the 50% threshold for strike action in January 2020 and she took time to attend a branch meeting in the build up to the strike. Marian also understands the critical situation currently facing post-92 institutions which should be an essential criterion for anyone wishing to serve on the NEC.

I have no hesitation in voting for Marian!


Dr David McQueen: Lecturer In Advertising and Media at BU

I have been lecturing at Bournemouth University since 2009 (and a UCU member since then) and was aware of Marian Mayer’s excellent work for our UCU branch for many years. In the last two years I have been working more closely with the branch as joint UCU Environment Rep and have been able to see Marian working, campaigning, and negotiating at first hand and have been completely in awe of her energy, enthusiasm and determination to get the best outcome for UCU members. Marian is a tireless and inspiring champion for the staff of Bournemouth University and has won countless concessions from a hard-nosed management because she does not buckle and will not be fobbed off with vague promises.

Marian is an exceptional union leader, campaigner and negotiator and would be a massive asset to UCU as Vice President of the UCU (national).


Bee Hughes: Interdisciplinary Artist and Researcher

I was introduced to Marian at the beginning of lock-down in the UK, as university and college campuses across the country were closed. Throughout this time her dedication to our union, and to fighting injustice has been matched by her warmth and support. She has welcomed me to national UCU activism, and always offers thoughtful advice and constructive feedback. Through our many recent conversations, Marian has been consistent in standing with casualised workers, speaking out against inequality, and speaking pragmatically and passionately about how we can continue defending the conditions and health and safety of post-16 education staff.

Marian Mayer has the knowledge, skills, patience, and enthusiasm needed to keep building what we do as a union, and I trust her to continue to fight for all of us, alongside our individual branches, and at a national level.


Rhiannon Lockley: Trade Unionist and Foundation Year Lecturer

Marian Mayer came into education through an Access FE course. She understands the barriers that shut the most marginalised out of education & the ongoing fight to defend FE from being dismantled by those who judge education to be a privilege rather than a right. I have seen how determined Marian is to rebuild a union which values & fights for all of our sectors including ACE, prison Ed & FE, post & pre-92.

Vote for Marian for a member-led fighting UCU!


Graham Goode: BU UCU Treasurer

I’ve known Marian since I joined UCU in 2009 and have worked closely with her as BU branch treasurer for the last 12 months. Marian is a dedicated and determined fighter for the causes of social justice and for all members of staff at the university, whether UCU members or not. She leads from the front in building support for her ideas and vision with persistence and empathy. Marian shows no fear in tackling difficult issues with management to protect the rights of members, the discriminated and the disadvantaged.

I strongly endorse Marian Mayer as the choice for UCU Vice President and urge you to vote for her.


Adam Wright: UNISON

I have been working for the university for 20 years, my most recent role as a demonstrator. I joined UNISON 3 years ago and became active immediately. After some initial training, I was introduced to the world of Joint Negotiation Committees, H&S committees, and a large number of other sub-working groups within BU where I first met Marian who was representing our sister union on campus – UCU.

I immediately took to Marian. I was left feeling very inspired and empowered upon attending the various management meetings with her. She has been the ideal role model, I am very grateful for this. I’m currently H&S officer for Unison BU branch and find it a pleasure to work alongside her. As a result of both recognised trade unions working closely together, we ensure that all concerns raised are supported by a much wider membership. Her tenacity and persistence in negotiation meetings illustrate her dedication to the cause and the UCU membership. Consequentially policies are improved, staff are safer at work, working life balance is being improved, the gender pay gap, racism, and equality matters are bought to the fore…too many to mention.

I do not doubt that Marian is the ideal candidate for the position of Vice President of UCU, and as a workplace rep and H&S officer for UNISON BHFE, I fully endorse her.


Rehan Zia: Senior Lecturer in Computer Animation at BU

I have known Marian since 2006 when I was studying for my Masters course. She was a great help as a learning support tutor. In her UCU role, she has been a tremendous help to me in times of crisis and I have great respect for the sincerety, empathy and dedication with which she has supported me – as well as a number of other colleagues – during difficult times. Over the years, I have witnessed her determined stance and active role in advocating for a number of key issues such as gender and racial equality, casualisation of staff, and, workload and pensions. Her passion and dedication inspired me to initially join the UCU and subsequently, to get actively involved as the faculty and health and safety rep for the UCU.

Having witnessed her negotiating skills first hand and I can honestly say she is one of best and I wholeheartedly support her for the UCU Vice President role


Lesley McGorrigan: Regional Secretary, UCU Yorks/Humber Region

In the middle of a pandemic in which bankrupt market forces are dictating the fate of our education system, we need forthright and strong union leadership. This is what Marian represents; she understands that our universities and colleges are nothing without us and that, consequently, we have great power if we use it collectively. This is so important right now as our employers are responding to the crisis of student fees by slashing jobs when they should be seizing the opportunity to call for the government to scrap the failed fees project and fund education publicly. Marian has demonstrated she can lead at all levels within our union.

She stands in the tradition of Nita Sanghera who was due to be president this year when her untimely death so sadly stole her away. I hope you will join me in voting for Marian Mayer to continue working for all that Nita stood for.


Anneyce Knight: Associate Dean Global Engagement HSS (Interim) BU

Marian is a strong leader who is knowledgeably, skilled and fair.  She a supportive, passionate and courageous leader on behalf of the members.  Marian actively promotes exclusivity and equality and colleague.  Her positive qualities and strengths are many, which make her both a supportive colleague and potentially an excellent Vice-president. 

Vote for Marian.


Mike Finn: Higher Education Policy Analyst, Former UCU Branch Secretary, Author of British Universities in the Brexit Moment

I’ve known Marian for several years through UCU activism and I’m delighted to be able to endorse her candidacy for Vice-President (HE). Marian is an experienced and committed campaigner, and UCU needs her experience, insight, and courage now more than ever. In this COVID crisis, the government is enforcing a shock doctrine on higher education, trying to remake the university out of all recognition. The fight against that is going to need experience, commitment, and a keen awareness of the needs of the whole of the sector, three qualities that are central to Marian’s candidacy.

On union democracy Marian’s credentials are impeccable, and as someone who has been involved in attempts to democratise the union over the past several years I can say I can tell the difference between someone who talks a good game and someone who lives it. Please vote Marian Mayer for UCU VP


Ali Ebrahimi-Sabet: UNISON Branch Secretary Bournemouth Higher and Further Education Branch

As UNISON Rep and Branch Secretary I have worked with Marian as a trade union colleague for the past 4 years and have come to respect her commitment to protecting the employment rights of all members of staff at Bournemouth University. UCU and UNISON now work together collaboratively to further the interests of all employees  at Bournemouth University and this partnership has only been possible through Marian’s tireless work. She is a formidable negotiator in meetings with management and working with her has strengthened both trade unions’ ability to influence how the university addresses the important issues for our members.

Marian brings a passion and energy to everything she does; she is a dedicated trade unionist and activist who stands up to all forms of discrimination. She is also friendly and approachable and prepared to go the extra mile to support all trade union members.

I strongly endorse Marian’s nomination and urge you to support her in the VP election.


Ian Crosson: UCU Membership Secretary, Poplar Branch

I would fully recommend and support Marian as VP for our union. She has been a fantastic campaigner over equality issues, for casaualised staff, for women members, disabled members. She is a warm, caring person who is also determined and resolute. Marian will give the union the kind of leadership it desperately needs at this crucial period. We need strong national campaigns, national strike action coupled with a clear vision of what we want HE and FE to look like for our members and for our students.  I have seen Marian speak at many meetings and have been impressed by what she says and does. Please vote for Marian so we can get the union we need and deserve.

We need a new kind of leadership to deal with the new normal.  Vote Marian Mayer!


Jo McNeill: Chair Liverpool University UCU, Vice Chair HEC and National Negotiator

I fully endorse Marian Mayer in the UCU Vice President election campaign. Marian is tireless in her fight for workers in all of the sectors UCU represent. She is indomitable, a trait vital to a trade unionist, and after working with Marian for many years now, I know how caring and empathetic she is to all who need support.   The Vice President role is the most senior elected Lay Officer role in our union, this roleholder becomes Chair of our National Negotiating teams. I’ve worked alongside Marian as a National Negotiator for over a year and I cannot think of anyone more qualified to take the Chair role on. 
Marian is solidly on the left. Her belief in a member led union goes beyond words and election promises. Her own branch, Bournemouth, is a testament to her organising skills and all of her decisions centre on what members tell her they feel is the best way forward.

Marian is very vocal about the fact that all communications from the center should go both ways. Member voices have not been given an equal platform recently, Marian will fight to ensure this changes.  Marian is a strong and experienced advocate for equalities with women’s rights being one of her main focuses. She is actively anti-racist and is pushing the black lives matter agenda locally, regionally and nationally to effect the long term change that is necessary. She is leading on a project at Bournemouth Uni to de-colonize the curriculum. As an openly disabled woman herself, she has fought for rights for the disabled for decades. 

Marian supports trans rights and will fight to ensure all women/trans women are treated equally in UCU policy and practice as well as within our workplaces. Marian has negotiated a policy to convert part-time staff to fractional contracts in her branch. One of the first branches to do that. She is also pushing for the end of fixed term and part-time hourly paid contracts via a collective grievance.  When Covid19 hit, Marian was at the forefront negotiating locally for the health and safety of members. Her approach to negotiating a safe return to work at Bournemouth goes above and beyond UCU’s five tests. 

Marian understands the meaning of solidarity. She works day in and day out with her sister unions on campus to build a collective approach to the struggles all of our workers face.
On a personal level, I can guarantee that Marian is one of the most trustworthy people we could hope to have in such a senior role in our union. She is a force to be reckoned with and she always puts members first, always has done for as long as I’ve known her. 

We need someone that we know will stand up and fight our corner in every forum. Marian is that candidate. Vote Marian4VP


Caroline Mighty Dwyer: Unite, Bristol 

I am a member of Unite. If Marian was standing for office in my union I would endorse her campaign – she would get my vote. She is steadfast and passionate about people and will fight for what is right for her members. Her integrity know no bounds. 

If you want action, vote Marian  Mayer for VP! No. 1. 



If you would like to add your endorsement for Marian, please contact us here >

Visit the UCU South Region Site Here >

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