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Elaine White (Bradford College)

25 January 2024

Election address

My name is Elaine White, I am an ESOL lecturer at Bradford College (since 2009). I am standing to be re-elected for NEC FE North East. 

My active involvement in UCU started soon after I joined the college. And then regionally and then nationally in various positions and committees since around 2015/16. 

I am chair of my branch currently.  

I am regional FE committee secretary for the Yorkshire and Humber committee and vice chair of the full regional committee. By attending the committees, I get to hear regular reports of key developments in branches (in HE too) and I feedback NEC events which allows members of the regional committee to make a judgement about how consistently the NEC and FEC is enacting Congress & Conference motions. The regional committee is important for solidarity organising between branches. I found it invaluable during the COVID lockdowns. 

Over the course of the #RespectFE campaign, we saw great success with branches getting organised and in positions to ballot their members and make improvements locally. Across the region some branches (including my own) have secured 6.5% increases for their members which is more than we've had in over a decade. We know that not all colleges are honouring this and that for many 6.5% is a step in the right direction but further and adult education members deserve more. I will continue to argue for more pay and better workloads. 

I was hourly paid for 11 years, and I was determined to improve the situation for my colleagues and myself. Off the back of the 2018/2019 #FEFightsback campaign, I was part of leading negotiations on an agreement that saw mass conversions for those on hourly paid contracts to permanent, fractionalised contracts. Some people had been on those contracts for over 20 years. 

I am in UCU Left but I also like to work across the union with all activists on common ground, building consensus and honouring democratic decisions.  

If elected my priorities will be: 

·     Better further and adult education visibility.  

·     To continue to argue at local, branch and national levels the fight for fair pay and workloads in FE must continue and include industrial action where necessary. 

·     To continue to campaign for precarious working in all of FE and adult education comes to an end. 

·     A just transition for a sustainable planet. 

·     To support work across the equality strands with Women, Black, Disabled and LGBT+ (trans & non-binary inclusive) and fight for inclusive policies for all. 

·     To support the Palestine Solidary Campaign and all efforts towards conflict resolution for peace and justice worldwide.

Last updated: 25 January 2024