All out for USS

It's not too late! Universities UK can still commit to meaningful negotiations over pensions and end the strike action.

Pura Ariza (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Election address

SL in Education at Manchester Metropolitan University

Branch Officer at Manchester Met since 2005 (Convenor for 10 years+, Secretary for 6 years, Equality Officer currently)

NW Regional Committee Officer: Secretary 2012-2016, Equality Officer 2016 -2917, Vice Chair currently

UCU National Negotiator: 2017-18

UCU LGBT Members' Standing Committee - 2012-2017; UCU Women's Committee, 2008 - 2012

UCU Delegate to NW TUC LGBT Forum

UCU Delegate to TUC LGBT Conference 5 times; to TUC Women's Conference 3 times.

Member of UCU Left.
 

As a lecturer in Education, I have worked to write equality into our courses. Formerly a schoolteacher, I am passionate about the importance of education at all levels - not as a commodity or performance to satisfy customers, but as the bedrock of our future society.

Education is under attack, and as marketization bites the very basis of our workplace equality gains is under threat.  While many educational institutions use 'equality data' in their advertising, the reality for women is very different: pay, pensions, casualization and workload all have disproportionate impact on women. Whether in research, teaching or academic-related posts, in FE, HE, the prison service or adult education, the gender imbalance in pay is deplorable. As a national negotiator, I welcome our strategy of linking gender pay to our pay claim, offering all members the opportunity to fight the gender pay gap.

I am a hard-working UCU activist with over 10 years' experience at local, regional and national level.  I have worked tirelessly to build my branch, developing networks and encouraging members' involvement. I welcome UCU's initiatives to improve visibility and involvement of BME members.  We must use our understanding of intersectionality to strengthen our campaigns. This should include a rejection of PREVENT and defence of EU nationals: when the door is opened to one type of prejudice, others follow fast.

Recent strike action at MMU and Manchester University showed members' determination to stand up against redundancies - and our effectiveness too. As a member of UCU Left, I believe UCU has a key role in opposing privatisation and defending education. Equality is not an add-on - it is integral to building the education of the future. If elected, I commit to raising gender issues from all our diverse sectors, developing campaigns and an industrial agenda to support this.

If elected I will:

  • Campaign against threats to equality in the marketization of education and the NSS

  • Support action on pensions and pay, highlighting the equality impact

  • Campaign against soaring workloads and casualisation, highlighting the effect on women members 

  • Ensure equality is fundamental to UCU policies, campaigns and industrial strategy

  • Continue to build my local branch and region

  • Campaign for EU citizens and free movement of labour, highlighting gender issues

Last updated: 1 February 2018