Saira Weiner (Liverpool John Moores University)

Election address

  • Assistant Branch Secretary,  Liverpool John Moores University.
  • NEC member since 2013
  • Chair of Women's Standing Committee

I am an activist and a socialist and have always been a trade union member. As a schoolteacher I held various NUT representative positions at local level. While working as an associate lecturer and casual researcher I joined UCU while continuing my NUT membership due to the precarious nature of that employment. On appointment to Liverpool John Moores University as Senior Lecturer in Education & Early Years, I was elected co-convener of the IM Marsh campus as a UCU left supporter and currently hold elected positions, locally as Assistant Branch Secretary and nationally as Women's representative on NEC and chairperson of the national women's committee .

Equality needs to be at the heart of every campaign in our union and I have worked hard in my region to build a network of activists organising around equality issues that affect us all, including opposing Lad Culture on campuses, the Prevent agenda, and recruiting black members.

I believe our Annual Congress should be seen as the overarching government of our union. We meet, debate and reach decisions which should outline the work we wish our executive to carry out in the coming year. The decisions taken at congress are informed by members and shouldn't be readily overridden.

I believe we need a fighting, diverse and democratic union that listens to its members but also offers a strong lead. This is something I have endeavoured to achieve since being elected to the NEC

 UCU needs to be dynamic, defending individual members vigorously and collectively where possible against bullying, victimisation, and casualisation while building mass campaigns to defend Higher Education, defend equality and protect our conditions of service.  UCU must stand up for a vision of education which is anti-elitist, protects academic freedom with equal access and not for profit.

The Conservative Higher Education Green Paper will see all these points challenged. They are striving for a cheap to run system that will maximise profits for their friends in big business at the expense of our members and students alike. We will need to prepare for the struggles ahead by ensuring our members are well informed, engaged and organised through all levels of our union.

Last updated: 1 February 2016