UCU elections
Taking action in higher education

Ariane Bogain (Northumbria University)

Election address

I am a senior lecturer in French and Politics at Northumbria University, where I have taught since 1997. I have served as a departmental representative, assistant branch secretary, vice-chair and I am now its membership secretary. I have been on the NEC since June 2016 where it has been my utmost privilege to represent women members. I am now standing to represent members in the North East region.

I have experienced the brutal climate we all face in Higher Education, with course closures aplenty, including my own, the fetishisation of crude KPIs, transformed into tools to instil fear, capability procedures on the rise, record-high stress levels, woefully inadequate workload models and management teams eager to impose their visions at all costs.

I believe passionately in justice and equality. I am clear that UCU's priority is to work with and for members on jobs, pay, pensions, conditions of service, and inequalities. UCU has to combat the damaging policies confronting Higher Education, in particular casualisation and its rampant culture of low-paid zero-hour contracts, the constant attacks on our terms and conditions, the real threats to our pensions, widespread marketisation, and the lack of dignity at work through being reduced to a mere unit of labour.

Our Union has to tackle in a robust fashion the structural and intersectional inequalities in Higher Education, including the gender and BME pay gap, the structural barriers to promotion, the number of women being disproportionally employed on casual contracts, the blatant gender and BME imbalance in management structures and at professorial levels.

Our Union needs to help us reclaim our universities as institutions of learning, where education and not profitability is the driver, where academic freedom is protected, where inequality is actively tackled and not ignored or reduced to the last item of any agenda. We need to build strong branch membership, and involve members at all levels so that the voice of every member can be heard, so that every member can have a say in our union  and so that strong support can be mobilised to fight and stand up to university managements.

I would like to represent others in shaping this fight by serving on the NEC. I am not a member of any political party, and I focus on approaches that enable members to be protected, defended, and be involved at levels of our union. I know that UCU members hold different political views and am happy to work with anyone who strive to defend our hard-fought post-92 national contract, our pensions, our pay, our terms and conditions and to implement our equality agenda. In voting for me, you would be supporting a candidate who puts the Union and its members first.

 

Last updated: 31 January 2020