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Pura Ariza (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Election address

I am currently an elected NEC member (Women's Seat), and I am seeking re-election for a second term.

I work tirelessly to build my branch and am dedicated to my UCU activism at every level. I have served as an elected UCU officer at branch, regional and national levels since 2005 (Branch Secretary for 6 years, currently Equality Officer; UCU NW Secretary for 4 years; National Negotiator 2017-18; active in the LGBT / Women's Standing Committees since 2006).

I am a Senior Lecturer in Education and passionate about the importance of education - not as a performance to satisfy customers, but as a foundation for our society. I believe UCU has an important role to play in defending our working conditions and shaping the education of the future. Marketising education is having a devastating effect on equalities: while employers in both HE and FE pay us lip service, developing audit trails and data for advertising, the reality for women members is still very difficult.  Workload abuses, casualization, downgrading, a bullying atmosphere and manipulated research targets all hit women harder. On maternity, menopause, pensions, the rights of migrants and challenging bullying in the workplace, we have a long way to go. I support the rights of trans women and welcome trans women into UCU's Women Members' Standing Committee.

Gender equality is a key issue for UCU, and we know that our strength in the trade union movement comes from standing together. So I am delighted that current UCU strikes in HE have enabled all members to fight together against the gender pay gap. I take a keen interest in Post-92 institutions, and have worked tirelessly in my branch and nationally to highlight the way in which our rights are breached when workload is intensified and we are forced to surrender research to teaching. Work-life balance is a key UCU issue, but it is a particular issue for women members, many of whom still work a double shift at work and at home.  We need action which unites us all, HE and FE, pre- and post-92 HE, academic and academic-related, in fighting workload abuse.

I am a member of UCU Left because I believe that trade union activity is inescapably tied to broader political issues.

If elected I will:

  • Campaign against the marketization of education and its attacks on equality
  • Support action on pensions and pay, highlighting the equality impact and promoting joint campaigns and action
  • Promote national campaigns and action on workload abuse, casualization, pensions and pay, highlighting the effect on women
  • Ensure equality is fundamental to UCU policies, campaigns, strategy and internal relations
  • Campaign for EU citizens and free movement of labour, highlighting gender issues
  • Promote joint equality campaigns with students
Last updated: 29 January 2020