UCU elections
Taking action in higher education

Martin Ralph (University of Liverpool)

Election address

I am a retired active UCU member and continue as a branch committee member (since 2004 as AUT-UCU) and have been a delegate to many congresses including 2019.  I was a branch committee member (and secretary in some years) in Natfhe and the NUT for over 30 years and helped organise campaigns, strikes and two occupations.

I have been the Vice-President of Liverpool TUC for ten years supporting disputes according to our financial situation. I have helped lead many union and community battles, some successfully, to save libraries, achieve disabled people's physical access in neighbourhoods (supported by DPAC), against racial discrimination, direct financial support to organisations such as in Haiti's struggle against occupation and road safety for pedestrians and cyclists (outside of London Liverpool has the worst record on such matters).

Some of the campaigns raised large sums of money, which always had to be robustly dealt with through transparency, accountability, applying legal requirements and meeting deadlines.

I support the current great UCU campaigns - in the strike office, on demonstrations and in solidarity with pickets. I attend members meetings and, I am up-to-date with the burning issues including pensions, casualisation, equalities, pay and workload.

UCU strikes show that action grows the UCU. Active and democratic participation of the membership and the branches is needed to achieve a strong independent union. Taking more action decided democratically means more members and healthy finance depends on union action and being responsive to the membership. I think the last two years have proved that.

UCU Trustees must robustly defend the union's ability to operate independently and effectively in defence of education, our members and our branches ensuring finances facilitate rather than drive UCU policies.

The highest decision-making body in any union is congress, the central aim of which is to build the union and strengthen the memberships' ability to fight in this time of austerity, casualisation, discrimination and pension attack.

I am a socialist and an independent union left and work with both UCU Left and the UCU Rank and File where I think there is agreement.

The role of trustees is to be stewards of union assets, uphold the constitution and find the most appropriate ways to safeguard and build the union.

A vote for me is a vote for someone, now a retired member, who has a great deal of varied financial experience in seven unions and community organisations. I will do my best on behalf of members to ensure that our union remains in good financial shape to be able to provide the help members need and also to collectively address the threats we face today from neo-liberalism and its representatives.

 

Last updated: 29 January 2020