Ann Gow (University of Glasgow)

Election address

I am Senior Lecturer in Information Studies at the University of Glasgow.  I have been active in the branch since joining the university, and have performed several roles on the committee including Secretary (for 10+ years), Casualised Staff rep and Treasurer. 

I am currently UCU Scotland President (2017-19), previously UCUS Vice-President (2015-17) and UCUS Treasurer (2009-2015). As UCUS President, I played a significant role in organising the 2018 USS strike, leading rallies across Scotland and visiting many of the fantastic picket lines. I met with politicians & student groups to seek their support for our action.  I have visited numerous branches and am continually overwhelmed by the dedication, resilience and commitment of UCU members and activists.  I have been an active member of the Scottish Government Working group, Equally Safe in HE, a highly effective group working to raise awareness of and reduce gender-based violence in our colleges and universities.

At Glasgow I have been involved in many collective campaigns and have led successful negotiations.  This has included a collective grievance over a performance management scheme, a local dispute against job cuts (which resulted in a commitment to no compulsory redundancies) as well as leading the negotiations that led to the university removing zero hours contracts and developing our Extended Workforce policy.

As an active caseworker, I have seen first-hand the impact on UCU members of overtly managerial approaches to teaching and research.  A spurious focus on financial targets and performance management has increased workloads, stress and resultant ill-health.  Career development is stifled while casualisation makes it difficult for individuals to take a stand over discrimination and unfair treatment, particularly for women.  By collectivising issues where possible, and encouraging a broad range of members to become involved in campaigning it is possible to mount an effective defence.

The collective involvement of members is the lifeblood of UCU.  During my previous term on NEC I have committed to reflect the issues faced by members. I have encouraged colleagues to work together in campaigning effectively in the defence of members' interests.  I have also made it a priority to highlight the positive role further and higher education should play in a progressive society.

I am aware of the challenges members face in participating in union activity and I want NEC to do more to facilitate the involvement of members. My role on the Democracy Commission will enable me to bring these views to the table. By engaging with and involving members I believe UCU can maximise participation and make meaningful progress in the issues members face daily, including equality, job security, workload, pay and pensions.

Twitter: @UCUSPresident

I am supporting Adam Ozanne for VP and Steve Sangwine for Treasurer.

Last updated: 1 February 2019