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Support colleagues fighting back in FE!

Mel Stouph (Hull ACE)

ACE, Woman

Election address

I am currently employed as an Adult Education Tutor by Hull City Council delivering Functional Skills and a range of non-accredited vocational courses.

I am a longstanding UCU activist having been a branch officer for the last five years, rebuilding our branch, successfully recruiting members, preventing compulsory redundancies and defending and representing members as necessary.   My casework experience covers disciplinaries, sickness absence, dignity at work, discrimination , health & safety issues - the list goes on.

In Adult Education we face many of the same issues that beleaguer colleges and which we are all having to lead our members through:

  • Ever- diminishing funding which seriously damages second chance learning provision and removes life changing opportunities for those who really need it;
  • Interminable restructurings and new pay structures which increase workload, demoralise staff and reduce pay;
  • The continuous fight against the use of casual contracts, campaigning and negotiating to secure permanent contracts;
  • Constant struggle and campaign against management attempts to hamper our ability to represent our members through attacks on facility time.

The adult and further education sector is being attacked by this government on all fronts.  Year on year funding cuts, with the consequent closure of courses, have all disproportionately affected adult provision.    Add to this their latest attempts in the Trade Union Bill to prevent trade unions fighting to protect and defend their members in the Trade Union Bill, which, if enacted, will destroy the fundamental rights of workers.    The drive to bring in large amalgamated colleges, the negative effects on our students and our members, will also pose serious challenges for the FEC.   

I am standing for the NEC because I believe my successes and experiences of leading a disparate branch and on different conditions of service will not only give a better profile for ACE, but will give added value to the work of the FEC in formulating its future strategy for adult and further education in light of the battles we face.

I will bring to the NEC the passion for life-long learning, for second chance learning which so often is life-changing to the individual and which benefits society so much.  I will also bring the skills and experience I have built up as a successful branch officer to contribute to UCU's policies and decisions on how to build our union, so that it represents the needs and best interests of all our members in what are going to be very difficult future challenges for us all in the coming years.

Last updated: 1 February 2016