Victoria Showunmi (University College London (IOE))


Election address

I am pleased to be standing for re-election as a woman representative of Black members on our NEC, seeking the chance to make use of my enthusiasm for and experience of equality work within UCU. As a Lecturer (fractional post)at the Institute of Education/UCL,my research and teaching on gender, race and leadership, and on young black women's experience of British education, gives me good knowledge and understanding of the importance of gender pay inequity and of the double detriment faced by women of colour, who all too often take disproportionately lower paid, lower status roles across the economy. It has also given me a grasp of the role of casualised and precarious work in shaping these inequalities. My pastexperience on NEC has enabled me to represent the voices of diverse women, including the most vulnerable and marginalized, across a range of UCU work on equality, education and pay, and to contribute towards making our union one which genuinely strives towards equality.

As concern with sexual harassment and gender based violence gets sharper, and the April 2018 deadline for employer reporting on the gender pay gap approaches, it is vital that UCU continues to be at the forefront of work on these issues. We need to work closely with all UCU members to implement ourpolicies in these areas, and to affirm the importance of interlinkages between different kinds of discrimination and unequal power whether gender, race, sexuality, disability, or insecure casual employment.

Beyond that I would focus on the following priorities:-

·       building understanding of and commitment to UCU policies among all UCU members not just enthusiastic activists;

·       focus on shared aims and concerns (equality and inclusiveness, decent pay and conditions, education as a public good ) rather than sectional agendas;

·       the need to support diversity while encouraging maximum unity among our members, progressing the particular interests of specific groups while also uniting to pursue common concerns about our jobs and workplaces

I believe in working with members of all political views on the basis of our common commitment to these priorities rather than to agendas or organisations based outside our union.  

UCU members are facing tough times, whether the marketisation of HE, gender inequity, attacks on our pensions, or rising levels of stress, management pressure and workloads. We need careful planning, strong determination, and maximum grassroots involvement to ensure that all members can join in making effective challenges to these problems. If elected I look forward to contributing to that work.

Last updated: 1 February 2019