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Roddy Slorach (Imperial College London)

25 January 2024

Election address

I work as Senior Disability Advisor at Imperial College London and am one of several academic-related staff on our branch committee. I was re-elected as Branch Secretary at this year's AGM and have helped build our reps' network over the years.  

I helped organise recent industrial action in the HE disputes. Pay is a local issue at Imperial. As GTVO organiser, I helped achieve a turnout of over 54 per cent in our industrial action ballot. As a picket coordinator, I facilitated a member-led dispute, with daily strike meetings and Zoom links to ensure accessibility for all members.  

As one of the Health and Safety reps at Imperial, I have worked to hold our management to account on its COVID policies in particular.  

Over the last four years, I have worked with activists in other branches to build the UCU Solidarity Movement. This network has become a vital means of building support for disputes across UCU, providing an important forum for grassroots discussion. Annual conference voted to support the Solidarity Movement.   

As a member of UCU Left, I want to build a member-led union that campaigns for a free public higher education system. Many of the problems we face are due to the marketisation of education. The result is ever-growing workloads, constant bullying and harassment, and increasing mental distress across the workforce. We must tackle excessive workloads and defend the post-92 national contract.  

I am proud of UCU's work in promoting equality, which must be central to our concerns as education workers. I've taken an active interest in disability issues for many years, have published a book on the history and politics of disability and was previously active on the UCU Disabled Members Standing Committee. We must continue to challenge racism on campus and, more widely, defend BAME staff and students. I stand for everyone's right to choose their gender identity and to have that identity respected.  

The issue of Palestine has become an urgent issue. I recently helped set up a coalition of staff and students at Imperial opposed to the war in Gaza, helping to strengthen links between staff and students.  

The joint campaign over Four Fights and USS helped to build solidarity across pre- and post-92 HE sectors and strengthened both disputes. However, our General Secretary undermined democratic decisions and prevented a timely re-ballot.  These actions led to the loss of the ballot and put this unity at risk. We urgently need a national executive which respects our democratic structures and provides effective leadership.  

My priorities in standing for NEC include defence of pay and conditions, academic freedom and accountability to members. I support Saira Weiner for General Secretary and Peter Evans for Vice President. 

Last updated: 25 January 2024