Support colleagues fighting back in FE!

Members in HE: please use your vote!

Martha Harris (City of Liverpool College)

Election address

Treasurer of City Liverpool College Committee

Former Secretary of Bankfield Branch, COLC.

I have been working in the FE sector as an English Lecturer for over 20 years.

I went into teaching to empower, through education, marginalised people in our society. I have worked full time as an English Lecturer at City of Liverpool College since 2003. Here I was an active member in the SAFE (Save Further Education Campaign) in Liverpool and campaigned more recently in the fight against the closure of Drop in Study Centres in Liverpool. The closure of this provision was a direct attack on the educational opportunities for working class women in Liverpool.

The cumulative impact of austerity measures on women's equality is well documented; this is evident with the casualisation, through zero contacts and short term contacts, which impact heavily on women within the educational sector. UCU needs to be committed to working with our sister union, Unison, in the 'anti-casualisation' agenda as they too face increasing numbers of women, particularly the growing number of Learning Support Practitioners, subjected to these indefensible methods of employment. I am committed not only to fight for pay parity but to actively campaign against the casualisation process.

Discrimination against women in the workplace is endemic in our sector. Locally, I have experienced female colleagues being penalised because of their care responsibilities, formal notices to improve attendance being issued to women returning to work after breast cancer and menopausal women facing capability due to health issues. This is outrageous. I will campaign to minimise the detriment women experience and dedicate my time, if elected on the NEC, to shape policies and practices to benefit woman as we continue to strive for equity in the workplace.

Inspired by the women's fight during the Docker's Strike in Liverpool.  I became a left wing activist.


Last updated: 1 February 2018