UCU elections
Taking action in higher education

Linda Moore (Ulster University)

Election address

I am Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Ulster University. I have been an active trade unionist throughout my working life, including as NIPSA representative in both voluntary and statutory sectors. I am co-vice president of Ulster UCU branch committee and equality officer of Northern Ireland region.  I played a key role in the UCU tribunal case that resulted in Ulster University having to pay over £1million to 143 staff unlawfully made redundant.

We face significant threats within the HE sector, including outsourcing; casualisation and precarity; equality pay gaps; increased managerialism; reduced relative spending on staffing. The gap between VC and senior leadership pay and that of lower paid workers is scandalous. 

Academics face pressures of the REF yet are given insufficient research time with ever-increasing administrative burdens and large class sizes. Academic-related staff experience an absence of any meaningful career path and few promotion opportunities. 

Human rights are pushed aside as universities compete within the global market. Yet international students are treated as 'suspect' through Tier 4 monitoring which staff are expected to enforce. 

As branch caseworker, I am routinely confronted by the damage caused by cultures that encourage bullying and excessive workloads resulting in stress and sickness; cultures that threaten collegiality.  As caseworkers we support individuals, but the problems within higher education are institutional and structural, requiring collective action to transform our working lives, and therefore student learning conditions.

We are at a pivotal time for UCU and for the future of higher education. Since the strike of winter 2018 when we stood 'frozen but solid', UCU has begun a transformation towards a more democratic, participative organisation. Industrial action has been powerful in protecting our pensions, and as a reminder of the importance of defending education as a public good and not a commercial product. It is no coincidence that UCU membership soared, including in Northern Ireland, during the previous and most recent strikes.

If elected, I will: continue to build our union across NI in cooperation with our sister unions; further the democratisation of UCU; promote a strategy of strong industrial action to protect our pensions and improve pay and working conditions.

I will work on issues shared in common with England, Scotland and Wales, but will also raise specific challenges for NI including: the absence of government which has exacerbated financial challenges for HE; lack of scrutiny of our institutions; Brexit-related challenges for migrant staff and higher levels of student mental health needs. 

Current Service to the Union:
Northern Ireland representative on National Dispute Committee
Equality Officer Northern Ireland Region
Co-Vice President Ulster University UCU
Health and Safety officer UU UCU

Previous Service
NI representative Industrial Action Commission
President NI region
President Ulster University UCU

 

Last updated: 31 January 2020