You and UCU

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I am the ONLY candidate with real experience of HE and FE

Unlike Roger and Sally, I have worked in the post 16 education system for many years. The bulk of my teaching was in Burnley College, Lancashire, where I taught in the Business Studies Department.  I was the co-ordinator of Management and Professional Studies teaching to students at levels 2 and 3, as well as graduate and post-graduate studies. At higher national and degree level, I’ve taught on courses in management, business, tourism, child study, engineering and education. At post-grad level, I’ve taught on courses in management and education. I also designed and delivered training for the commercial wing of Burnley College. My other main teaching area is on the TUC courses (Unionlearn), where I tutor on the Employment Law programme at Deeside College in Wales, having left Burnley in September 2005.  

As you can see, all of my recent teaching experience has been at 18+, but I have taught 16 to 19 as well.  My FE experience includes teaching as a part-time lecturer in the Liberal Studies Section (remember liberal studies?) at Tameside College, in Greater Manchester. That was followed by both part-time, then full-time in the Communication Section, (remember communication studies?) at High Peak College in Buxton, Derbyshire.  

As most of you will know, working in FE gives you a rich and rewarding experience of teaching, and I have taught adults on return to work programmes, students with disabilities and learning difficulties.   I have taught students on courses as varied as catering, engineering, nursery nursing, business, leisure and tourism, sports studies, media and music.  I know what it’s like to be an hourly-paid lecturer, indeed, that is what I am at the moment!  I know what it’s like to be an FE lecturer, that’s what the bulk of my experience is.  I know what it’s like to deliver post-graduate programmes, that’s what I did as a programme leader.  Indeed, I am the only candidate who really knows what it’s like in colleges and universities. 

If you elect me General Secretary, uniquely, it will be those experiences which I will bring to the job.

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August 14, 2006 Posted by | Teaching Experience | Leave a comment

Equality and UCU

A number of members have asked me about my ‘vision’ for the UCU.  My real answer is that whatever we think about the emerging culture of the UCU, the equality agenda has to be in the forefront of our organisation.

If we cannot get the equality systems and structures within the Union right, how can we hope to represent our members in their struggle against employers.

It is right that the UCU has reserved seats for LGBT, Black, Disabled, Women and Part-time Members.  Members who identify with any of these sections might already be feeling marginalised by society and by employers – we must not allow those members to be marginalised by the Union’s structures.

And there are other sections of the Union, too, that we need to pay greater attention to – part-time members, those members who work in prison education, adult education, specialist colleges and in land-based education.

If we look at the Transitional Arrangements Committee (TAC), we can see that the only person who is there with an equality remit seems to be the ex-NATFHE Chair of Equality.

Taking equality seriously, would have meant electing representatives of all those members in the differing equality strands – but no!

No black member there of right!

No part-timer there of right!

No adult educator there of right!

And the same goes for LGBT, Disabled, Women, Prisons, Land-based …

We MUST get our equality structure right – ands it must be done NOW.

TAC has agreed, (as if it could do anything other), to form an Equality Committee of 22 members, 11 of whom will be ex-NATFHE and 11 of whom will be ex-AUT.  This is a start – but let it not be the end.

Given the characters of the members involved, I have every trust and confidence that what will evolve will place the concerns of members at the core of UCU’s activities.

If you elect me General Secretary, I will ensure that equality remains at the heart of the Union.  Because equality is both a moral and employment relations issue, it will be given a status which equals that of the further and higher education departments.  As General Secretary, I would commit myself to being the manager of the Equality Department – trusting in the commitment, expertise and knowledge of those who work in Equality to continue the great work that they have done in the past , and continue to do now.

August 1, 2006 Posted by | Equality | Leave a comment