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Richard McEwan (New City College Tower Hamlets [Poplar])

Election address

Vote for Richard McEwan #1 UK FE Elected

I teach GCSE mathematics fulltime at New City College, Tower Hamlets.

I am the Branch Secretary of Tower Hamlets Poplar Branch.

I am a UCU Left member.


Union service:

  • FE National Negotiator.
  • UCU FEC Vice Chair 2014-16.
  • UCU NEC 2010-2016.
  • London Region Recruitment Organising and Training Officer.

Why I am standing

In the ten years of austerity, rationalisation and mergers, further and adult education has been savaged. We have lost 24,000 jobs, over a million adults places and seen workload soar while our pay has fallen by 25%.

However, in the last few years the national campaigns, lobbies and demonstrations organised around coordinated strikes have helped us turn a corner and offer hope for the future of our sector.

We have won the argument that further and adult education are vital and requires more funding. All major political parties regularly include further and adult education in their speeches and are promising further funds. Labour put forward a radically transformative programme for further and higher education, much of which is inspired by policy put forward by UCU.

College Principals have joined lobbies calling not just for more funding but for our pay.

We have seen amazing successes at places like CCCG winning contracts for hourly paid staff and a 5% pay award. Lambeth members won a pay award after a decade without pay rises and won improved contracts. Croydon Colleges strikers won improved contracts for learning support workers. Hugh Baird College awarded some workers 6%. Everywhere we have fought we have won more than we lost.

Nottingham College branch members were able to beat back savage attacks on contracts and pay.

My own branch has taken 8 days of strike action in the last year in a dispute on pay, workload, and the imposition of inferior contracts.

We have launched a Charter for additional learning support #Love_ALS on the Disability Day of Action. Many of these workers in this section are women and BAME members working on zero hour agency contracts without salary assessment.

The bigger campaigns have helped us to win improvements for members locally and in turn create more momentum for transforming further and adult education.

We have won the case for more funds for further and adult education. A debate has opened up that goes farther. That incorporation and the market is failing our sector and alternatives are necessary and possible.

If elected I will regularly report back to members and fight for:

  • More funding and alternatives to the market model
  • Decent permanent contracts for all: improved pay and reduced workload
  • Equality in the workplace
Last updated: 30 January 2020