Dave Muritu (Sandwell College)

Election address

Main-grade FE Mathematics lecturer Sandwell College
Member of UCU and previously NATFHE since 1996
Branch Secretary Sandwell College.
NEC 2015-present
Member UCU Left

I have represented black members on the NEC for 4 years. Since I joined the branch committee at Sandwell College 5 years ago the membership has grown three-fold. In that time, through collective action I have led a fighting branch to achieve:

·      Reinstatement of annual incremental pay increases
·      Increase in holiday by 3 weeks
·      An ungraded observation scheme
·      Gaining the top point on the 8 point pay scale
·      A 3 year pay deal worth 6.25%.

During my time as Chair of the Black Members Standing Committee I have:

·      Worked to support establishment of regional black members' networks
·      Set up the annual Day of Action against workplace racism and mobilised UCU around this
·      Played a key role in documenting and magnifying black members experiences across all sectors as part of our 'Witness film'
·      Worked within UCU and other unions and student groups to challenge the racist Prevent strategy
·      Supported the project to decolonise the curriculum and the 'We are all immigrants' themed learning weeks

As the twice elected Chair of UCU's Equality Committee I have worked to facilitate, amplify and give solidarity across the equality strands and their intersections. We must fight the many barriers to equality faced by members and students:

·      Inaccessible and exhausting workplaces
·      Misuse of capability procedures
·      Pay inequality
·      Bullying and harassment
·      Casualisation

One of the biggest challenges is defending members and communities against increasing attacks on freedom of movement and an escalation of street fascism. Now more than ever UCU must meet the challenge of providing the necessary mass mobilisation of solidarity on our streets. We must work to dismantle the structures of racism in our classrooms and across our institutions and replace these with hope and unity.

I firmly believe that to progress equality issues we need a fighting union which takes action to win. I seek re-election to continue supporting the expansion of the regional and national black members' networks, to build black activism that is rooted in our branches and to ensure the structures are in place for self-organisation so that black members can access all levels of UCU. My experiences gained from being active locally, regionally and nationally have made it clear that we need to place equality at the heart of our industrial strategy. At a time when UCU is in transformation, following the magnificent USS dispute, and there is a new wave of mobilisation and hunger for democracy, as a black activist who has led action and fought for representation I will use my energy, skills and experience to continue to build the union our members deserve.

Last updated: 1 February 2019