UCU elections
Taking action in higher education

Annie Goh (UAL Central Saint Martins)

woman

Election address

I joined the UCU in 2015 as a PhD student. I have worked for four years as an hourly-paid lecturer on fixed-term contracts. In 2018-2019, I was Goldsmiths UCU's Anti-Casualization Representative and a member of the branch executive. In this capacity I was involved in reviewing the implementation of agreed contracting regulations for HPLs at the college with HR/senior management, resulting in a number of recommendations for substantial improvements proposed to the Joint Negotiating Committee. I also organized regular meetings with hourly-paid staff across the university and ran awareness campaigns about unjust contracting and working conditions aimed at salaried staff, students and fellow hourly-paid staff.

I am now a part-time (0.5) lecturer at UAL, Central Saint Martins as well as an hourly-paid fixed-term associate lecturer at UAL, London College of Communication. I became CSM-UCU's Equality Rep shortly after joining UAL in September 2019. I was certainly one of the very lucky ones to land an open-ended salaried position (albeit part-time) upon completion of a PhD. Nevertheless, the prevalence of fixed-term contracts in HE as a phenomenon is ever-growing and the scandal of casualization features prominently on my list of priorities and concerns.

I am committed to fighting inequalities in education. The lack of diversity in HE, particularly in the most senior and highly-paid roles lays bare the challenges we face today. The current system exacerbates these inequalities; marginalized workers in the sector especially women, migrants, BIPOC, LGBTQI+, the working class, disabled people are disproportionately affected by an under-funded and increasingly marketized sector. Casualization is making the situation untenable for many and the growing staff mental health crisis is unsustainable.

At Goldsmiths I was an active campaigner in two successful in-housing campaigns for cleaners and security guards respectively. I feel passionately about workers' rights and confronting all forms of precaritisation within HE. Outsourcing of low-paid facilities roles to predominantly BAME and migrant workers and their consequent mistreatment brings shame to our sector.

I believe a union should be led by its rank and file members. With Jo Grady as our General Secretary (a campaign I supported at a local level), this is the time for a new phase of the union which is invigorated by grassroots campaigns.

If elected my priorities will be:

  • Organizing actively nationally and regionally to tackle casualization.
  • Making the UCU more democratic and transparent.
  • Fighting the hostile environment at our institutions & standing up for migrant rights.
  • Combatting transphobia and standing in unequivocal solidarity with our trans and non-binary siblings.
  • Tackling sexual harassment.

I am an unaffiliated candidate and therefore not aligned to any faction within UCU. I support the candidacies of Claire Marris and Stan Papoulias for NEC London and the East seat.

 

Last updated: 30 January 2020