Anthony O'Hanlon (University of Liverpool)

Election address

I am an academic-related member of staff and UCU member who was inspired to become more active during the USS dispute of 2018. Since the strike action I have become an elected officer within my branch at the University of Liverpool and represented the branch at Congress as well as Special Sector Conferences.

While the USS dispute was based on pensions, the conversations that took place on picket lines galvanised our membership in pre and post-92 institutions and also our colleagues in FE. This dispute exposed an energy and enthusiasm to push back against the aggressive marketization of Higher Education and the sustained attacks on the Further Education sector which have a devastating impact on our communities.

To successfully defend our FE and HE sectors UCU needs to be an active, campaigning union that is prepared to resist attacks on our working conditions and fights proactively to bring about the pay rise we all deserve as well as stamp out inequalities and precarious employment that are symptomatic of a neoliberal consensus our employers abide by.

It is crucial that our campaign strategies are shaped by our membership with rank and file participation encouraged at every level. I am a firm believer of organisations being led by the grassroots and support all attempts within our movement to make UCU a member-led trade union that seeks to bring about full democracy, transparency and accountability in our national decision making.

In order to achieve that we need to open out discussions on policies and strategy beyond Congress and Special Sector Conferences. While these undoubtedly play a vital part in our decision making process it is also my belief that NEC members should be visible to the members they were elected by. If elected I would always make myself available to branches within the North West region and be an active voice for them.

Last updated: 1 February 2019