Dr Steve Sangwine (University of Essex)

Election address

Senior Lecturer, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, University of Essex since 2001. Lecturer, University of Reading 1985‑2000. I teach electronics; I research image and signal processing, and computational mathematics. As an engineer and computer scientist I am highly numerate, and I have experience with complex legal and financial matters.

Member of AUT and UCU since 1985.

Branch service, University of Reading: Secretary (1995‑1997), President (1997‑1999).

Branch service, University of Essex: Vice-President (2005‑2008), President (2008‑2010 and 2014‑2015). I led a successful grassroots campaign in 2008 against the private company INTO which would have outsourced English language teaching.

I have supported many members as a caseworker at both universities.

National service: currently Honorary Treasurer (elected 2017).

Elected to the NEC in 2010: re‑elected in 2012 and 2014.

As Treasurer I have had to learn in depth about the union's finances and assets, and present the budget to NEC and Congress. I am currently in the middle of a long‑term review of our subscription rates agreed by Congress in 2018.

If re‑elected, I will work to safeguard the long‑term future of UCU, as well as its immediate financial health. I will seek to use the union's financial strength to support its members, as we did so effectively in the 2018 USS dispute, getting the statutory vote over the 50% threshold in almost all institutions, and supporting striking members with over £1M in 'strike pay' from our Fighting Fund. USS was a very special dispute with massive potential losses to members' pensions which motivated them (and me) to strike and strike hard. However, all disputes have to be treated case by case.

While on the NEC  I have served (at various times) on the Legal Support Review Panel, the Education Committee, the Stress and Bullying Working Group, and the National Council of Teacher Support Network (now Education Support Partnership). My work with elected lay officers, NEC colleagues, and many UCU staff, has given me a good understanding of how to work effectively within UCU.

Position Statement: Successful disputes need wide membership involvement. I have backed both HE and FE industrial action when well‑supported by members in an indicative electronic ballot. I strongly support consultation with members before expensive statutory ballots (which by law must be postal).

I believe in a member-led UCU, which means engaging with the members at large in our branches, not just with the activists who attend meetings. Wide membership involvement builds the understanding and commitment which delivers results.

I am not a member of any political party (mainstream or otherwise). I am committed to working with all those who put UCU's interests first.

I support Adam Ozanne for Vice‑President.

For more see: http://ucuagenda.com/elections

Last updated: 1 February 2019