Fighting fund banner


Dharminder Singh Chuhan (Sandwell College)

25 January 2024

Election address

FE ESOL Lecturer, Sandwell College 

I am seeking re-election on the NEC. My approach to unionism is based on building up teams of activists and a strong local branch. Local branches need to be in touch via Regional Committees with other branches.  We face the same problems and can support each other in our campaigns and struggles. My work over a number of years as a branch organiser has given me an insight in to the needs of the rank-and-file membership so I can work constructively to make the union work for you and keep it democratic and accountable. We need to demonstrate that the presence of a trade union makes a real difference in the workplace. 

As branch chair at Sandwell I have experience of:  

  • Removal of walk-in observations 
  • Winning 3 weeks of extra holiday and a sector-leading pay deal with over 20% pay increases since 2017 

I believe FE needs transforming. For example, we could make a major contribution to a green industrial revolution, preparing workers for climate change jobs. If all students regardless of class, race, gender, disability and sexual orientation are to have access to education, as is their right, it is essential that we keep the provision universal and inclusive. For this FE needs funding, which comes from a union prepared to take action for education.  

I started my career as a field archaeologist. I entered teaching because I enjoy supporting students' learning. However, it took me 8 years of working precariously before securing full time employment.  So, I have personal experience of the problems of casualization and strongly support the struggle for job security for all UCU members. 

I am actively involved in anti-racist campaigning.  I am a member of the Black Members' Standing Committee. I have helped organize a number of events in the West Midlands including an anti-racist evening 50 years after Enoch Powell's Rivers of Blood speech. I was chair of the West Midlands Black Members Network. I believe there is important work for UCU to do in supporting the growth of Black membership and leadership in our branches. 

It is vital in the current climate that the concerns of members are at the centre of the work carried out by UCU: 

  • Health and safety 
  • Casualisation 
  • Redundancy and Pay freezes 
  • Workload 
  • Bullying and harassment 

As a UCU left backed candidate, I am committed to a branch-led approach to trade unionism: it is at this level that members must be equipped to defend our jobs and post-16 education provision itself.   

Trade union/Service: 

  • 19 years main grade lecturer in FE (ESOL) 
  • Anti-casualization officer and FE secretary (West Midlands regional committee).  
  • Equality Officer 
  • Branch Chair 
  • NEC FE 
Last updated: 25 January 2024