UCU elections
Taking action in higher education

Alan Barker (University of Nottingham)

Election address

I am standing for the Midlands seat on the National Executive Committee as a member in Higher Education.

Employment History

I have worked in both sectors as a teacher of mathematics. In FE, I taught at all levels from Entry Level 3 to A-Level Further Mathematics and in HE I currently teach mathematics to Engineering undergraduate students. I am employed in this role at the University of Nottingham.

Service to the Union

I have been a member of UCU since its formation and was a member of one of its predecessor unions. In that time, I have taken a number of roles:

  • Branch Secretary (Bishop Auckland College)
  • Regional Committee member (Northern Region FE)
  • Regional Treasurer (Northern Region)
  • Branch Chair (New College Nottingham)
  • Regional Secretary (East Midlands Region)
  • Branch Committee Member (University of Nottingham)
  • Congress Business Committee member
  • National Executive Committee Member
    • Education Committee
  • Chair of Congress Business Committee
  • Member of Democracy Commission

Why I am standing

I have been a member of UCU Left for many years and I believe that their commitment to a number of principles and values is important in leading a modern trade union, especially in a sector that has seen a number of threats, some of which have been clear attempts to undermine the very fabric of our education system. These principles include a staunch defence of our basic terms and conditions but alongside a recognition that this is also a defence of the rights of students to a good quality education. UCU Left has also clearly understood the way in which education sits within the bigger picture intellectually, culturally and politically. In my time on the NEC in the past, I have always tried to do the same and see our union as a proponent of many of the ideals that inspired me to become an educational practitioner in the first place.

I have also served on the Democracy Commission and Congress Business Committee (including as its chair) for a number of years. During that time I have always tried to defend the sovereignty of Congress as the supreme policy making body of the union and have been highly critical of attempts to undermine that. I intend to uphold this standard as a member of the NEC if elected.

Conclusion

As the principal union presence in Further and Higher Education, UCU has a unique responsibility in our society. That responsibility is rooted in our members' concerns but UCU has always had the ability to see a wider perspective and has acted in the interests of our whole society. I have been proud to be a member of this union and would be delighted to take a seat on our National Executive Committee.

Last updated: 31 January 2020