UCU elections
Taking action in higher education

Roddy Slorach (Imperial College London)

Election address

A UCU rep since June 2011, I have been employed as a Senior Disability Advisor at Imperial College London for the last five years, where I have been branch organiser since being elected immediately after the huge and transformative strikes over USS in March 2018.

Many of the new reps at Imperial aso work as academic-related or support staff. The huge growth of our membership during those USS strikes saw our branch extend its base beyond lecturers to other university staff groups. Last year, I helped initiate a campaign against casualisation among research staff at Imperial. I believe that continuing this work at Imperial and elsewhere is crucial to building a bigger and more effective UCU, so I am hugely enthused to see this become a major part of our current national dispute.

As a member of UCU Left, I am passionate about building a member-led union that mobilises its members to fight for the values of a free public higher education system. Many of the problems we face are a direct consequence of the marketisation of education, with employers seeing staff as overheads to be cut and students as customers to be exploited. The result is ever-growing workloads, constant bullying and harassment, and increasing mental distress across the workforce.  We must tackle excessive workloads and defend the post 92 national contract.

My priorities in standing for the NEC include the defence of our pay and conditions, our academic freedom and our professional integrity. I am also supporting Margot Hill for Vice President.

I am proud of UCU's work in promoting equality, which I believe must be central to our concerns as education workers. We must continue to challenge racism on campus and more widely, defending BAME staff and students, opposing the government's Prevent agenda and 'hostile environment' as well as the increasing attempts by the far right to grow.

I've taken an active interest in disability politics, including the UCU Disabled Members Standing Committee, for many years. We need more action to close the gender, BAME and disability pay gaps, as demonstrated in particular by the failure of the Athena SWAN initiative to close the gender pay gap in STEM universities. I stand for everyone's right to choose their own gender identity and to have that identity respected.

The climate crisis is fast becoming one of our most urgent and priority campaigning issues. I recently helped to initiate a new coalition uniting Imperial staff and students which campaigns for immediate action over the climate crisis, building members' involvement in the international climate strikes alongside students while promoting the UCU's policies on climate action. I believe this work to be a vital part of building closer staff and student solidarity.

 

Last updated: 30 January 2020