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Janet Farrar (The Manchester College)

25 January 2024


Election address

As an incredibly proud Trade Union Education tutor at The Manchester College, I'm delighted to stand for a UK-elected FE position on UCU's NEC.  

Some of you may know that I have spent the last few years as part of UCU's presidential team. It's been an unbelievable experience and I have learnt a lot; about our members, our employers and what works in our union. It has been an immense privilege to meet members in so many colleges across the UK, to witness the strength, resilience and talents of my incredible fellow FE, prison and adult education members.  

If elected, my focus will be the following:  

  • Continuing to build on the #RespectFE pay campaign to bring FE England branches together in a co-ordinated way to squeeze every last penny out of intransigent employers and into our members' pockets who are using foodbanks.  
  • Addressing workload concerns through a practical health and safety-based approach.  
  • Working towards meaningful, binding national bargaining in FE England.  
  • Working with our FE colleagues in NI and Wales to share experiences and success.  
  • Continuing to develop measures in the workplace to prevent work-related stress and mental health issues.  
  • Bringing our most marginalised members to the forefront of our union: Black members, prison educators, trans and non-binary and younger workers to name but a few. Equality cannot be a buzzword that makes people feel good about themselves; it has to be in the fabric of everything we do.  
  • Continuing the brilliant work of UCU's Sexual Violence Task Group to eradicate sexual harassment and violence from our workplaces, our union and our movement.  
  • In what is likely to be a General Election year, influencing Labour's New Deal for Workers to ensure it recognises the specificities of our sector.  

Our power as a trade union is through collective action. We have much work to do organising and building power in our sector and the tools to do it. What I can offer, alongside my years of experience organising and teaching others about building power, is unwavering enthusiasm and boundless energy when it comes to improving our union for all our members.  

UCU is an incredible union that punches well above its weight and achieves a media profile like no other union our size. This is in no small way down to our own Jo Grady, who I am wholeheartedly supporting for re-election as General Secretary alongside David Hunter as Vice-President. If elected, I will continue to work with them for a stronger, forward-looking union. (To see who else is committed to this, visit  

I will continue to be fierce and fearless defending and advancing our members' interests and to give my all to UCU. 

Last updated: 25 January 2024