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Naina Kent (Hackney Adult Education)

Election address

I am a student counsellor in Hackney specialising in progression to further and higher education for those most disadvantaged in education.

Experience in the union

UCU Branch Chair 2013 Hackney Adult and Continuing Education.

Co-Organiser, Save ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Demonstration London 2007

Part of organising the Save ESOL Parliamentary Lobby, 2007. Over 1000 students and teachers attended.

Founding member of North East London Save ESOL Campaign and Adult Education 2007

Chair, Campaigning Alliance for Lifelong Learning (CALL) London 2008

Part of organising several Parliamentary lobbies on Adult Education FE with MPs on ESOL and Adult Education since 2007

Founding member of Action for ESOL. Contributor to Action for ESOL Manifesto

Founding member of Black Members' Network London 2016 - present

London Regional Committee Equalities Representative

Black Members' standing Committee, 2017 - present

Member of UCU Left.

Equality Campaigns

The magnificent industrial action this year by members in universities and colleges shows that a serious fightback can deliver.

I want to establish campaigns that promote the fact that workplace racism can be tackled by the membership collectively. Too often Black members are left to challenge racism individually, by overloaded case workers and proving a case is difficult without collective support from the union. If elected I would support challenging employers directly for allowing policies that have a detrimental impact on all equality strands including Black members.

We still do not have enough Black professors and it's 2018! This has to end. I would hope to give confidence to both Black members and branch officers to raise incidents of racism in their branches, and involve Black members more in the union structures so our concerns are effectively and collectively bargained for.

Equality for All

All equality areas need to be protected and fought for. In the era of austerity, anti Muslim racism, Trump, Grenfell, #metoo, Windrush and the growth of the far right, this is becoming increasingly urgent. We need to fight not just on bread and butter issues but on all areas. 

A campaigning UCU - if elected I will:

·           Campaign to end precarious employment that disproportionately impacts on Black and Women members. Permanent contracts for all casualised staff. End excessive workloads.

·           Work with all in order to end austerity and defend the whole of post 16 education, involve the community to participate in advancing a vision of reversing discrimination.

·           Make sure Black members issues become more central in the union.

If we are to address the challenges UCU faces, and defend educational access and progressive educational principles, we need to build strong branches and elect leaders who will fight to restore our pay and conditions, including a progressive Equality Charter to end unfair discrimination.

Last updated: 24 September 2018