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Pauline Rattery (Novus prison education)

25 January 2024

Election address

For the NEC FE Women's seat I want to fight for and campaign on essential issues that are long overdue in the 21st century.

I have been working in the prison education system for almost seventeen years teaching English and currently work at HMP Wormwood Scrubs. My time spent in this sector has enabled me to understand how important the work that I and prison educators do in a challenging environment both inside and outside the classroom. I have worked tirelessly alongside my Novus colleagues advocating for a better educational system available to all. 

How UCU help us achieve our goals

I am a firm believer in working together to achieve a common goal. The strong force of Novus UCU has recently assisted members to be a collective force for better pay and working conditions by enabling us to have the courage to stand up and fight our oppressors to create change. We have used our strength in numbers, resulting in a 9% pay increase and better working conditions. This included:

·     A reduction in annual teaching hours 

·     Improved pay ranges with higher earning potential

·     Increased annual leave

·     An introduction of wellbeing hours

·     Extra gate time

Looking to the future of what UCU still need to do

As a longstanding UCU member, I have had the privilege of being a union rep and a Safety rep.  I have used my skills to listen and represent my members by ensuring their concerns are heard and work to get them resolved. I believe UCU still have a lot to do in addressing essential issues that affect women in both HE and FE.  If elected, I want to fight together to increase attention on women's rights, work towards closing the gender pay gap, challenge discrimination, prejudice and systemic biases, which destroy our growth in unity.

My goal

My goal is to create a level playing field of equal opportunities to participate, embracing inclusivity, accessibility, and innovation. The heart of my approach will be to break down barriers and implement positive change by advocating that no one is left behind. I possess the necessary expertise to drive improvements in our union. I want us to establish progressive and effective educational practices that empower.

My extensive experience working in prisons, plus my specialized knowledge and passion for teaching has uniquely positioned me to contribute to the NEC. I am supporting Jo Grady for re-election as General Secretary and David Hunter as UCU Vice-President. If elected, I will work with them for a stronger and more forward-looking union. To see who else is committed to this, visit

Last updated: 25 January 2024