Support colleagues fighting back in FE!

Members in HE: please use your vote!

Elaine White (Bradford College)

Election address

I have worked full-time hours as a woman lecturer in ESOL at Bradford College since 2009—on an hourly paid contract. Two years ago I was elected FE Women's rep on the NEC, determined to battle against precarious working conditions that bring insecurity and stress, particularly to women. I am asking for your vote again, so I can continue this work and to push for equality for all women across our union.

I believe that anti-casualisation is one of the most dynamic and important campaigns in UCU and wider trade union movement. It is building momentum and having successes but we could be doing more. Casualisation is a women's equality issue. Women often feel they have no option but to stay on hourly-paid contracts due to family responsibilities yet have insecure access to things such as maternity leave. Casual contracts mean fewer training opportunities thus more barriers in career advancement.

Austerity has had a devastating impact on women UCU members and students, notably in ESOL and across FE and adult education. Since joining the NEC, I have taken opportunities to speak in public (Women's TUC and Congress 2017) to highlight the particular impact on women migrants.

Let's use the full campaigning strength of UCU to demand real public investment into FE and all post-school education. Substantial pay rises are a vital part of this investment. HE in colleges need strengthened professional recognition; defended and strengthened academic freedom and research throughout all HE institutions.

Defend jobs, pay and pensions, close the gender pay gap and get better resourced post-16 education for all.

If elected, my priorities will be

·      To continue to argue at local, branch and national levels that women and women's issues are not marginal but central and to demonstrate that women have the right and the power to improve their conditions and status.

·      To work within UCU to make further connections between precarious working with women's rights at work.

·      To challenge pitiful and derisory pay offers and find the most effective ways, including industrial action, to win.

·      To support work across the equality strands, finding common ground and solidarity with Black, Disabled and LGBT+ members across the union.

I have an excellent attendance record for NEC meetings, while remaining active locally—including chairing Yorkshire and Humberside Region. I also attend pickets, demonstrations, national days of action and support branch members and officers on our local campaigns.

I support UCU Left and wish to see this union as a member-driven campaigning union.

Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Chair elected 2017-present 

Women's NEC rep 2016- present

Hourly-paid Branch rep -  March 2014 - present

Anti-casualisation committee member - 2016-present

Member of UCU's Commission into Effective Industrial Action


Last updated: 1 February 2018