Boycott Leicester

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Dr Chris O'Donnell (University of the West of Scotland)


Election address

I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and the Branch Secretary at UWS. UWS is a post 92 University, as an institution we educate and impact in our local community, with many of our students coming from Scotland's most deprived areas.

I lived and was educated on a "council scheme" in Glasgow.  I went on to be a first in the family University student.   I also grew up as a "trade unionist", I stood on picket lines with my father during the 1980 Steelworkers strike. On those lines I experienced defiance, commitment to a vision and each other, great humour, acts of support and kindness, I am a working-class academic and someone proud of their heritage, its impact on my commitment to fairness, equality in gender, race, role, and the right to be valued. 

The HE sector I work in is continuously vulnerable in so many ways, not least with the political economy of UWS' reliance on Scottish Government funding. This backdrop means that I have experience of building in hard places and representing the sometimes distinctive post '92 interests at a local and national levels.  I am driven by a desire to deliver a vision of academia that reclaims the University as a workplace that happens to deliver learning.  It should be a workplace free from, unfeasible workloads, precarity, racism, inequality, bullying, harassment, abuse, and fear etc.  I am sure we can agree that we are the University, we create, deliver and care about the university experience, and our vital role in it.   

Our Union is undergoing a process of profound transformation. The voice of academics like you and I must be represented during this period of change. I am deeply committed to providing effective representation on our behalf, I have a reputation as an active and engaged member of our union committed to defending effective governance, accountability and equality. I am also an effective communicator and will foster two-way dialogue between the members and NEC to shape a strategy that supports our mission and principles. With your support, I will build on my experience constructively to protect and promote our interests within the Union. 

Thank you for reading.




Last updated: 31 January 2020