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Phillip Allsopp (Cardiff University)

25 January 2024

Election address

PGR Tutor, School of History, Archaeology Religion (SHARE), Cardiff University

An educator for over thirty years, as a secondary school teacher and now working in the university sector, I have been fighting the crises of underfunding, increased workload, casualisation and real-terms pay cuts as an activist in the National Union of Teachers (NUT - now NEU) and now UCU. I am passionate about the role education can play in liberation and have always been part of delivering an inclusive education that is challenging and allows critical awareness.

As a PGR tutor since 2019, I am an active member of Cardiff University UCU, and have been the anti-casualisation officer on the branch executive. I was elected to represent the branch at recent BDMs (Branch Delegate Meetings), HESCs and the 2023 Congress. Prior to this, I was an NUT rep in a large secondary school and was elected as delegate to represent the local association at a number of NUT conferences. I was a key founding member of Defend School History, which successfully organised a widely supported campaign to stop Michael Gove imposing a draconian curriculum in 2010.

The university sector has been badly affected by the imposition of a business model. Young people leave university with a mountain of debt, while universities compete by cutting staff pay, terms and conditions. Our action has reversed the cuts to USS, but in post-92 institutions the TPS is under increasing attack. As a casualised worker, I have been fighting against short-term contracts and for the 'PGRs as staff' campaign. At Cardiff University, we have recently won contracts for PGR tutors and demonstrators with guaranteed hours and sick pay for the first time.

The four-fights is at a crucial stage and the determination and fighting spirit amongst our members that won the ballots, ensured big picket lines and rallies, and kept the recent MAB going are key to winning. As a mature student as well as a PGR tutor, my role in the UCU branch and amongst the student body has helped build solidarity in our disputes, the MAB and the recent support for Palestine.

As an anti-racist activist, I have argued for decolonised education and as a member of PSC, support for the Palestinian resistance. Other key issues I actively support include LGBT+ rights, women's rights and action to highlight the environmental crisis. These are important campaigns for UCU as they are for all educators.

I am a supporter of UCU left and am asking for your vote to continue the work of the current HE Rep for Wales, for a UCU Wales that is member focused, rooted in the branches and fights to win.

Last updated: 25 January 2024