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Nico Rosetti (London School of Economics)

25 January 2024

Election address

I am Nico Rosetti and I am running for the position of NEC member for HE London and the East as an independent candidate. 

Before my current full-time role, my experience in higher education was a series of precarious short-term teaching positions, often informal, underpaid, overworked. I would adapt to any requests at great cost to my wellbeing. I remember the imposter syndrome of not feeling like a 'real academic', instead grateful I was allowed to teach at all. My union comrades taught me that such conditions are neither inevitable nor necessary, motivating me to advocate for change in our deeply exploitative sector. 

I have been working as Undergraduate Tutor in the Department of Economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science for the past four years, and have been actively involved in our LSE UCU branch, where I am currently serving as chair. I am a queer neurodivergent man, committed to intersectional solidarity. Part of our role as a union is to stand up for minority communities and validate their experiences in an environment that so often discounts them. I am very vocal in my personal capacity, and you will likely see me in the union bloc at rallies in London.  

Procedurally sound and consistent approaches allow people's engagement in our democratic structures to be both meaningful and transparent. At the LSE we circulated guidance on how to raise motions, and as chair I respect the time invested in drafting them by facilitating a vote, regardless of my personal position. This allows our elected committee to exist as a sympathetic but distinct voice from our grassroots activists who engage us through direct democracy.  

I am a pragmatist at heart, so my NEC involvement will include the following concrete action plans: 

·     Form a network to defend against the escalating attacks on trans rights. Colleagues at the 2023 LGBTQ+ members' conference reported declining trans inclusion and increased organisation of groups seeking to push this further. This is a national struggle, demanding a coordinated, widespread response. 

·     Design a process for horizontal sharing of guidelines, facilitated at regional and national levels. Being able to share best practices in communications, negotiations, templates and local procedures allows branch officers to improve local outcomes without having to reinvent the wheel. 

·     Enable research through union data. Our report on casualisation at the LSE became very visible and helped us negotiate 2-year minimum contracts for fellows. Aligning union involvement and tangible research opportunities reduces the burden on casualised staff, adds visibility to our struggles and builds pressure on management. A framework for union data collection and research ethics guidance should be developed. 

 Thank you for all that you do, colleagues, comrades, friends.

Last updated: 25 January 2024