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Kevin Lynch (Sunderland College)

Election address

I have been an active UCU (and NATFHE) member for 21 yearsand previously a member of other trade unions including NALGO and NUPE. I have seen first-hand the great work unions do on a day to day basis, and have continued to campaign for better terms and conditions as well as representing members at appeals, grievances, redundancy consultations and disciplinary hearings. I am a member of the Labour Party.

At Sunderland College we have achieved the decoupling of capability from inspection grades - prior to OFSTED's guidelines about results. Further progress now includes a total absence of any grades including those new to the profession.

I am proud that as Branch Chair we secured our Branch's highest strike vote in its history.

I also ensured our Branch supported the local People's Assembly through contributions and attendance of meetings.

I believe that our priorities in FE are:-

Morale As a qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor I am particularly motivated to address work-based stress and workload. Education should not be classed as a commodity where managers try to squeeze more and more out of an already over-stretched workforce. A better work-life balance is essential for all FE staff.

Pay The disparity in pay between Chief Executives and lecturers is increasing. Workload is increasing. The cost of living is increasing. In real terms, however, pay is decreasing. I believe in negotiations with membership support for industrial action as a strategic choice when necessary.

Build the Union I believe in a representative, inclusive union for all members. At Sunderland, all of our Personal Development tutors are unionised as are the majority of part-time and PGCE placements. Central to this is mobilising members to be reps and recruiting younger members.

Promoting UCU in FE I have previous active experience in community-based education acting as link to FE for adult returners and NEETS. I have been witness to the potential transformational benefits of FE. The professionalism of FE lecturers needs to be recognised more. Attempts to de-professionalise through low-paid precarious contracts and job insecurity should be resisted. Senior managers need to realise they can't do it without us!

If successful, I will aim to be determined and positive in defending AND promoting better working terms and conditions.


Last updated: 30 January 2020