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Margot Hill (Croydon College)

Election address

Two years ago, UCU members in our Universities and our FE Colleges began a strike wave that transformed our union. The first USS pensions dispute saw exponential growth in membership that continued through FE pay and conditions disputes and the current HE disputes on Pensions, pay, workload and casualisation. Members have put clear demands across all sections of the union to take up the fight against marketisation. We experience the damage it does to the lives of those who work in education and the life chances and opportunities for the many whose right to learn, study and discover is denied. This has driven demands to change the structures and democratic processes of our union and empower the membership to determine how disputes are shaped and directed. The Democracy Commission and the election of a rank and file member as general secretary are expressions of this and I fully support these developments.

I am a lecturer at Croydon College employed since 2007. As Branch Secretary, I have led strikes on pay and anti-casualisation. I am an NEC member and Secretary for London Region. I am proud to be a member of a union that joined school students' strikes on 20 September, and marched and rallied in November for Planet, Pay and Pensions.  I have supported and developed initiatives to kick racism off campus and defend migrant workers' rights. I am a socialist and standing as part of a slate of UCU Left candidates.

If elected to serve as your Vice President I would seek to ensure that UCU develops and sustains campaigns and actions that include

  • Full employment rights for all regardless of nationality. End precarious contracts. End the gender pay gap. 
  • Dismantle structures that trap women, disabled, LGBT+, Black and Migrant workers on the lowest pay and with the least security
  • National pay awards above the rate of inflation
  • Full support for Branches when they take on employers. Democratic structures that empower branches to direct disputes
  • Build branches that are active, inclusive and anti-racist.
  • Re-invigorate political campaigning for quality publicly funded free education. Reclaim the curriculum for progressive education.
  • Work in solidarity with the movement to Stop Climate Change to initiate and promote campaigns for climate justice.
  • Tackle institutional bullying in all its forms and work with the equalities strands to identify and challenge discriminatory practices. 

Ours is a worthwhile and important profession. If elected, I will see it as my duty to seek to promote the importance and value of what we do and what we can be and create as trade unionists and educators. Solidarity.

Last updated: 29 January 2020