Michael McKrell (University of Central Lancashire)

Election address

Michael McKrell - University of Central Lancashire

·       Senior Lecturer in the School of Journalism, Media and Performance

·       Branch Committee since 2007; Branch Chair since 2011.

·       NW Region HE Secretary 2016-17

·       NEC 2015-17

·       NW TUC Executive 2018-19

From 2015 to 2017, I was privileged to represent North West HE members on the NEC and I am asking for your support in representing you once again - for these reasons:

We all recognise the effects of accelerated marketization of our sector: grossly over-remunerated VCs - self-styled 'captains of industry' - plough money into capital projects whilst slashing investment in staff through the use of casualised contracts, intensification of workloads, suppression of pay, attacks on pensions and the threat of redundancies. In our region UCU has a proud record of resisting these threats - most effectively in the USS dispute. However, these attacks will grow unless we build a stronger union which can take the fight to the employers locally and which can develop an effective national industrial and political strategy to defend the values of HE against a government bent on sacrificing Universities on the altar of a failed neoliberal ideology.

As a caseworker, I support members whose lives are deeply affected by excessive workload, stress and bullying and who face a growing sense of de-professionalisation.

As a branch negotiator, I advocate constructive engagement to tackle workplace issues and win real improvements for members collectively.

As an experienced activist who has led successful campaigns against privatisation, inferior contracts and compulsory redundancies at UCLan, I firmly support the use of robust collective action, including industrial action, when it forms part of a well thought-out strategy with clear and achievable aims.

I have for many years stood in solidarity with branches in dispute in and beyond our region, supporting pickets and addressing strike rallies. I have spoken on behalf of the union on a range of local, regional and national campaign issues. Whilst on the NEC I worked with Unison on developing a political agenda for post-16 education in the NW and have helped put HE on the agenda at the NW TUC.

For me the basis of a strong, united and fighting union lies in active and well-organised branches, in which members are encouraged to engage and participate - both 'face to face' through meetings and events as well as by the appropriate use of e-ballots and e-surveys. I am in favour of debate about the democratic reform of our union. However, in these turbulent times we can ill afford to be distracted from the core industrial and political challenges by internal political wrangling. If you agree, please vote for me. Please also support Philippa Browning (NW HE), Adam Ozanne (VP) and Steve Sanguine (Treasurer).

Last updated: 1 February 2019