There is absolute anger with how this and the preceding government have treated FE, but there is a willingness out there to fight for what we know is a fundamental part of an educated society.
National bargaining has to be reinstated to restore pay and pensions. Our members are struggling with expanding workloads and increased performance management thinly veiled as lesson observations.
We need to prioritise and raise the profile of the ongoing issues our prison educators are facing.
The UCU has a crucial role to play in highlighting the hypocrisy of the government calling on all migrants to learn English after savagely cutting Esol provision.
FE transformed my life as a young mum. If the provision for adult returners had been attacked then as viciously as now, I’d have never contemplated going into higher education. I support the FE Charter backed by Jeremy Corbyn and the call for 15,000 more staff in FE.
Since my election in 2007, I have helped to establish the UCU as the voice of FE teachers. The UCU has been at the centre of campaigns for more FE funding; stood up for prison and adult education; worked to change the debate on lesson observation; fought course closures and redundancies, and worked to limit workload and casualisation.
I am standing for re-election as the independent candidate with a plan for the UCU’s future. I would:
- Recruit additional staff to support members.
- Review the way we negotiate, and develop a twin-track national and local approach to win on pay, workload and casualisation.
- Ensure ballots are backed by well-worked-out plans that convince you to vote.
- Give members more say. Not being at a UCU meeting because of workload pressures should not silence your voice.
- Ringfence money to support young staff – the next generation of UCU members.