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Anya Cook (Newcastle College)

Election address

I am seeking re-election to a second term on the NEC.

Employed as Mentor at Newcastle College, I deliver academic study skills and pastoral support to FE and HE students.  I have 12 years' experience of working across Entry 3 - Level 7 programmes of academic and vocational study.

I am lead caseworker and negotiator and was elected to Branch Chair in 2014 at a time of serious mistrust between UCU and the organisation, and to Secretary in 2017: in this time our branch has worked together to rebuild relationships with the organisation and has achieved re-recognition and reinstatement of facilities.

Trust is key and it is, I believe, through developing trusted working relationships, that positive outcomes can be reached.

In 17/18 we were named the "biggest growing" FE branch in the UK; increasing our membership by recruiting actively and particularly to UCU's priority groups of precariously-employed and teachers new to the profession.

We are a very active branch  convening a number of events throughout the year,  communicating regularly with our members on social media platforms and email.

Branch strength has been built on solid and consistent casework, alongside successful campaigning locally, nationally and within NCG's group structure:

·       Progression Coach salary uplift with narrower remit

·       Adult Maths and English staff £3k salary uplift plus increments

·       Regrading Instructor 2s to Lecturer with 12 extra days' holiday

·       Workload limit of 3 hours maximum cover for maximum 6 weeks

·       Sector-leading agreement on precarious contracts - maximums of 8 weeks zero hours contract, 2 years fixed term contract

·       First college in England to launch a Period Poverty campaign - and secured support from the Pastoral Team and funds from Principalship

We have had the most success in our campaigns when we have included our members and taken them with us.  Our Workload Working Group model was rolled out nationally last year in the national workload campaign "It's Your Time".

In driving UCU's broader values of anti-facism, anti-racism and inclusion of marginalised groups, our branch supports three community groups: NE Solidarity with Rohingya, Newcastle Unites, Peace & Unity.

As a leader in my branch, community and nationally I am aware that I am a role model and, as such, a symbol of trade unionism, representing and working to uphold, those core values of trust, integrity, camaraderie, unity and equality.

I am a feminist, socialist and independent candidate with a strong sense of fairness and justice.  I believe in collective responsibility and of acting in the best interests of all staff and students.

I am supporting Dr Adam Ozanne as I believe he will lead with heart and with integrity in the best interests of the whole membership, regardless of their political alliance.

Facebook: Newcastle College Branch
Twitter: @nclcollucu

Last updated: 1 February 2019