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Saira Weiner (Liverpool John Moores University)

25 January 2024

Election address

Senior Lecturer in Education Studies at LJMU (2013-present) 

Casualised lecturer and researcher in HE (2010-2013) 

Branch Secretary LJMU UCU (2018-present) 

Northwest Regional Committee - Chair / Vice Chair (HE) (2019-present) 

UCU NEC Women's Rep (HE) (2014-2016) 

Chair of Women's Standing Committee (2015-2016) 

UCU NEC Northwest Rep (HE) (2019-2023) 

Chair of Recruitment, Organising and Campaign Committee (2022-2023)

Disabled, Jewish, anti-racist, socialist, pro-abortion, pro-trans rights, pro-Palestinian 

Attacks on women's rights continue across the world, as well as in the UK. The recent jailing of women for getting abortions in the UK, and the US Abortion restrictions demonstrate that we must continue to fight for the hard-won victories of the late 20th Century. There must be no return to backstreet abortions. 

The level of sexual violence against women is not falling, and prosecutions remain woefully low (not surprising, given that the Metropolitan police have been described as "institutionally misogynist"). Members in post-16 education are subject to daily sexual harassment, and gender-based violence is rife. The attacks on our LGBT+ siblings, and in particular trans people mirror this, yet we are told that we have never had it better. 

Pay gaps in Higher Education are getting worse. In institutions like mine women are paid as little as ¾ of men's salaries. Employers "perform" equality through gaining awards such as Athena Swan, whilst cutting pay and increasing our workloads. Fuelled by the cuts to public sector spending, women are forced into casual work, part-time employment and lower grades, in order to manage gendered caring roles. 

All of this needs to be a focus of our campaigning and industrial strategy as a union. 

We must acknowledge that pay is a key factor. Failure to win inflation-level pay rises has meant a further decline in working conditions for our most vulnerable members. We cannot ignore this. We need an industrial strategy to fight back against years of pay degradation that forces members to take second jobs and use foodbanks. 

Women need to be encouraged to take leading roles in their branches and be active in the union. UCU should be a place where we are heard loud and clear collectively at every level. Women bear the brunt of the attacks on pay and jobs, and we are leading resistance to them. Our union should reflect this. 

For several years I was on or chairing UCU Women's Standing Committee, and I am proud of the collaborative way we worked together. If elected, I will work closely with the Women Members Standing Committee, and the other equality committees where appropriate, to fight for our rights. 


I am a member of UCU Left and encourage you to vote for UCU left candidates in the NEC elections. 

Last updated: 25 January 2024