All out for USS

Jenny Prideaux (Sheffield College)


Election address

During most of my employment as a lecturer with the Sheffield College (Teacher & Trainer Training, Trade Union Studies and Adult & Community Education,) I have served as a member of UCU's Co-ordinating Committee (SCCC) since its establishment in 1993; latterly as SCCC Secretary (lead negotiator and lead caseworker) organising & fighting to ensure members remained in employment, that pay and conditions were protected and all members were well represented and defended as necessary

As the most recent Chair of UCU's Recruitment, Organisation and Communications Committee (ROCC) and a Vice Chair of Further Education Committee (FEC), I have been able to develop a thorough and extensive picture of the national situation in FE. I believe that this will enable me to help properly address the strategic, tactical and resource needs of our sector

So, given the ever worsening current political situation and the ever increasing attacks by the government (and employers) which are intended to undermine everything we stand for as educators and attempt to whittle away our conditions of service and our livelihoods, I believe that UCU needs to continue to reposition itself in order to fully represent, organise and defend members.

We need to:

  • Step up our fight against cuts to funding which are destroying our sector including the possibility of good, local comprehensive education, second chance learning and life changing opportunities for all ages
  • Organise, build and support confident, campaigning and unified branches in which all members feel their interests are represented & defended
  • Build on and develop our effective bargaining strategy which clearly links Pay claims to local priority issues such as performance related pay, punitive observations schemes, workload, the mis-use of non-lecturing roles, the increasing use of casualised contracts
  • Use strike action (only) as part of a considered strategy of organisation, communication and negotiation to achieve a clear objective
  • Expose the damage that the new amalgamated area -based 'super colleges' will do to both accessible local provision, jobs and working conditions whilst preparing members to bargain effectively  to minimise the adverse impacts
  • Fiercely oppose the new (anti) Trade Union legislation which is clearly intended to sideline trade unions and seriously affect our ability to fight back   We really do need to focus on positioning members to be able to continue to effectively organise in the workplace.

 I believe, therefore, that  we do need to seriously focus our priorities and resources in order to drive forward recruitment,  build our branches and build the confidence of members to stand up to the massive challenges  we are facing to ensure that we are effective, united and strong.

Last updated: 1 February 2016