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Saira Weiner (Liverpool John Moores University)

Election address

Branch Secretary Liverpool John Moores University 2016-2017, 2018 - present

Elected member of Democracy Commission

LJMU Faculty Representative 2013 - present

Past

Women's Standing Committee 2016 -2018

Chair of Women's Standing Committee 2015-16f

Joint NW Regional Secretary 2016-17

NEC Women's Representative 2014-2016

 

I am a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at LJMU. I am seeking  election to represent the NW Region on the National Executive Committee.

I believe the key issues for Universities in the North West are unmanageable workloads,  justified by competition between Universities and the neoliberalisation of the sector. The post 92 academic contract is under attack with bosses trying to increase the workload of already stressed staff.  We are seeing the closure and suspension of courses reducing the quality of education we provide. We must resist those who seek to pit us against each other in the mad dash for student numbers. Students deserve a decent education - HE should create critical students, not compliant work horses. Our Regional structures must be strengthened so we can work together in the North West rather than retreat to our individual silos.

Our pay in real terms has decreased year on year. Those who particularly suffer are women, Black staff , disabled members and the disgracefully casualised lecturers and researchers. Equality needs to be at the heart of every campaign.

The strikes in the pre-92 Universities over their USS pensions show us that collective action can work - no more two hour, or one day strikes - sustained strike action wins!  As I write, the Magnificent Six FE Colleges striking over pay are seeing revitalised and new members on the picket lines. This is how we build our union, from the bottom up. 

There is a real danger of racism and fascism on our campuses. We need to ensure we Stand Up to Racism in every form, including towards immigrants and those seeking sanctuary. We must ensure that our Universities are safe environments not only against racism but also for women, members of the LGBT+ equality groups, the disabled. Wherever bigots such as Generation Identity raise their heads we must chase them back into the sewers. I am proud to have been an instigator on NEC of our members work in refugee camps in Calais and beyond.

I was elected to Democracy Commission on the promise that I would ensure that Our UCU must never again be in a situation where our officials cannot be held to account for their actions. We need a union which is fit for the struggles ahead, with a leadership that supports us at every level and is accountable to its members.

I am a member of the UCU Left.

Last updated: 1 February 2019