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UCU Scotland election manifesto launched ahead of education hustings

23 March 2021

UCU Scotland will tomorrow hold an election hustings where the union's members will quiz the politicians who are bidding to have responsibility for higher education and universities after the Scottish Parliament elections.

The live event will be broadcast at 1pm and can be followed on YouTube.  Members are expected to question politicians on topics including university funding, staff working conditions and workload, and the use of precarious contracts in the sector.

The hustings will hear from politicians* from the main parties contesting the election.  The hustings comes as the union launches its manifesto for the election, calling on the next Scottish government to take actions including fully funding Scottish higher education to include the full cost of teaching; cutting the use of precarious, casualised contracts in the sector; and taking action on excessive levels of principals' pay.

The union is also calling for universities to sign up to fair work practices and the Scottish Government's Fair Work Agenda, and to reassess how quality in universities is measured.

Mary Senior, UCU's Scotland official, said: 'This election comes at a pivotal moment for the country and the higher education sector, with the pandemic still ongoing and the economy in a perilous position. Universities are unique in being central to addressing both these challenges.  Universities and staff have been integral to the medical and public health response to Covid and higher education is a key driver in economic recovery. 

'Our manifesto sets out clear steps for the next government to get us through the pandemic, provide an education-led recovery, and ensure universities deliver quality learning, research and student support. We're looking forward to quizzing politicians from Scotland's parties on their plans for the next five years.'

*Participating candidates confirmed are:
Carol Monaghan MP (SNP) Spokesperson for education, armed forces and veterans in the House of Commons
Jamie Greene MSP (Scottish Conservatives) Shadow cabinet secretary for education and skills
Michael Marra (Scottish Labour) Education and skills spokesperson
Ross Greer MSP (Scottish Greens) Education and skills spokesperson
Beatrice Wishart MSP (Scottish Liberal Democrats) Education and skills spokesperson

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