All out for USS

Margot Hill (Croydon College)


Election address

I am standing for re election as NEC member at a time when the future of Further Education as we know it hangs in the balance. It can no longer be business as usual for   our union. We face a blizzard of funding attacks and area reviews that could see hundreds of Colleges closed or merged at the expense of learner need. UCU needs to be fighting for the future of our Colleges, rooted at the heart of our communities, transforming lives.

We face a vicious Tory government that has set about imposing austerity measures against the poorest and the most vulnerable, but they are not invincible. Mass campaigning forced a retreat on tax credit cuts. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour party leader shortly after the General Election is a clear sign that people want change, want a voice and want to defend the rights of the many not the wealth of the few.

I have worked as a lecturer at Croydon College since 2007. My experience is one that is shared by many of you: relentless pressure to drive down terms and conditions of employment, fundamental attacks on the quality and professionalism of education, staff working over hours to try and cope with spiralling workloads, and impossible deadlines. Attacks our terms and conditions and our pay are an integral part of an ideological assault on Public Education in schools, colleges and universities. By grinding us down they grind down the provision.

As an elected NEC member I have argued and campaigned for:

  • Full support for Branches when they take on employers including working to co-ordinate and spread support for action
  • Opposition to the extension of anti trade union and full support for those who resist its implementation   
  • Strong Regional structures that can bring branches and members together across both FE and HE to co-ordinate campaigns and actions and build solidarity
  • Re-launch and re invigorate political campaigning for quality publicly funded free education
  • No Zero Hours contracts, campaign to stop substitution of permanent posts with variable and sessional contracts.
  • Stop creeping introduction of performance related pay, For National pay awards above the rate of inflation and against cuts in Pension provision.
  • An end to punitive observation regimes and restoration of professional status for teachers through meaningful CPD developed by lecturers for lecturers

UCU has been an important influence within the Trade Union movement, taking a stand against cuts in jobs pay and pensions. Our members stand between the Tory attacks on Education and the right to a free quality education service. The NEC must offer a lead to the fight. I would like your support to continue to represent you and campaign on these issues.

Last updated: 1 February 2016