Fighting together for USS

Eyad Abu-Khiran (Queen's University Belfast)

Election address

My name is Eyad Abu-Khiran and I am an Analyst/Programmer in Information Services in Queen's University Belfast. I am of Palestinian origin as my parents were forced to leave their home village in Palestine in 1948. I was born in Kuwait where I lived until I started my university studies. As a result of the 1990 Gulf war I moved to Jordan where I completed my first degree. I arrived to Northern Ireland in 1996 to pursue a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Later on, I moved to a career in IT after obtaining an MSc in IT from Ulster University and by working for a couple of IT companies before joining QUB in 2008.

Shortly after joining QUB I became a UCU member and shortly after that I joined the committee. A couple of years later I decided to get involved more in union work by becoming the committee's assistant secretary. The role of honorary secretary will be vacant in the new year as a result of the recent voluntary severance and early retirement scheme and I intend to go for this role. I'm a certified health and safety union representative and an environmental representative. Nationally, I'm a member of the Academic Related, Professional Staff committee and I have attended 5 congress and sector conference annual meetings since joining UCU. The opportunities above have given me access to a considerable number of meetings with university management to discuss and negotiate issues such as pay, pensions, appraisals, academic standards, probation, health and safety and wellbeing. These opportunities have also allowed me to understand the internal structures and operations of UCU.

I am putting myself forward for the NI HE seat at the NEC as an independent member. Being independent allows me to question motions, policies and decisions made by any structure within UCU. If elected, I'll endeavour to raise all issues affecting our members to the NEC and to press for action. I will also ensure that members in the region are up to date with information from HQ.

I believe that:

  • At times of difficulties, a government must invest in education to equip future generations with knowledge and tools that will allow us to overcome these difficulties. Focusing on a quick solution will only create more difficulties.
  • It is vital that union branches have a continuity plans to ensure that new members are involved in branch committee work and that knowledge and experience within the branch are passed on to younger members.
  • Staff wellbeing is very important. We are spending ever increasing time at work and if work doesn't provide a stress-free supportive environment our personal health and family life will suffer
Last updated: 1 February 2016