Thank you to all the FE and HE branches that have supported getting the vote out for the UCU and VP elections over the last few weeks.
Please use your vote. Turn out is traditionally low in these elections yet we can make such a difference to the type of union we have by choosing candidates who will fight to defend the sectors and protect members. Only 15% of members voted in the last General Secretary elections.
It is often the case that HE members do not realise they are able to vote in the Vice President (FE) elections. The VP will also be the President of the union so all members in both sectors can vote for VP.
It has never been more important to vote. Further and Adult Education is on its knees and what happens to FE is making its way towards HE. Privatisation, fearful measuring and league tables, and further increases in workload.
The reason I am standing in the elections is because I have had first-hand experience of successful campaigning through my involvement with Action for ESOL, the fightback at Lambeth College over contracts, and recently the lobbies and marches in London I have helped to organise, which has raised the profile of Further and Adult Education. I have seen how well organised campaigning can work. When we organise together, we can overturn government decisions, change policy and push back attacks.
The candidates I am recommending have an excellent track record of campaigning for members in their respective sectors and for Equality.
If we bring more knowledge and experience of successful campaigning and generalise this across the union then we will have more chance of defending both the HE and FE sectors from further erosion of courses, student places, funding, lecturers’ jobs and worklife balance.
I encourage HE members to register a delegate for the HE Convention on 27th February to discuss the Green Paper. You can register here.
And to send a delegate to the upcoming Pay Briefings. More info here:
I encourage FE members to register now for the Defend Education Conference on 5th March. Confirmed speakers include Shadow FE and Skills Minister Gorden Marsden, NUT Deputy General Secretary Kevin Courtney and Shakira Martin, VP FE NUS. Register here.
There are six days left to post your ballot paper. I urge all members to take part.
Who I’m voting for:
Rhiannon Lockley from Halesowen College whose blog you can read here: https://100milesfromthesea.wordpress.com/
Elaine White from Bradford College whose blog you can read here: https://elaine4ucunec.wordpress.com
Julia Roberts from Lambeth College
Sarah Foster from Adult and Community Education in Brent
Sean Vernell from City and Islington College
Margot Hill from Croydon College
Mark Campbell from London Metropolitan University
Dawn Livingstone from Lewisham Southwark College
Lee Short from Barnsley College
Sean Wallis from University College London
Sue Abbott from Northumbria University
Sara Weiner from Liverpool John Moores University
Ioanna Ioannou from University College London
Pura Ariza from Manchester Metropolitan University
Allister MacTaggart from Chesterfield College
Rachel Cohen from City University London
Julie Hearn from Lancaster University
All candidate materials are available on the UCULeft website.