Patricia Hornby Atkinson (Edge Hill University)

Post-92

Election address

I have been an active member of UCU since 2006, trade unionist for 30+ years.  I've held various branch, regional and national positions, over the years.  I am an elected member of NEC and HEC and, this year, elected as Vice Chair of the HEC, as TPS advisory, HEC and a member of the Democracy Commission.  I represented UCU as a lay officer for the national consultations on Qualified Teacher Status. Working jointly with the other teaching unions, we saw off government attempts to undermine the status of the profession and HE and FE involvement in Initial Teacher Education.  As a member at a University, Edge Hill,  with a long and impressive history in ITE, I took a proactive lead from the start.

I am a new member of UCU's national pay negotiations team, having just attended my first joint negotiating (JNCHES) meeting with the employer.  A major priority is to ensure as much flexibility as possible in the mechanisms associated with pay negotiation.  Pay is a major issue for members and the erosion of pay in both HE and FE must be overturned.  Currently we are tied into joint negotiating machinery that is not fit for purpose.  It ties your negotiators hands in relation to the timing of 'talks' and the taking of industrial action.  UCU has commissioned an investigation into pay mechanisms and will be acting to ensure that they are modified so as to optimise our capacity to take effective industrial action when necessary.

The government has recently announced an increase in TPS contributions from our employers which is already being used by the employer as an excuse for further attacks on members' pay.  One of the main drivers of the increased cost of the TPS pension on the employer is their own year on year below inflation pay awards.  It is a fact, that under-inflation pay awards are directly linked to the requirement on employers to increase their contributions to TPS.   The employer, by restricting pay, has created the circumstances in which they now find themselves and, to add insult to injury, is now seeking to further abuse members by using this as an excuse to hold down pay.  It is difficult to imagine a more perverse set of circumstances.  We know from the outstanding achievements of the USS dispute, that UCU activists and officials working together can achieve great things.  If you elect me to office I will ensure that employers are held properly to account and that fair pay is central to our activism.

You'll find more of my ideas at: http://ucuagenda/elections

I would also like to offer my endorsement of Adam Ozanne for VP and Steve Sanguine for Treasurer.

Last updated: 8 March 2019