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Helen Burley (Askham Bryan College)

Election address

Vote Helen Burley - representation for ALL land-based educators

As a main grade lecturer in Animal Health and Wildlife and Countryside Conservation  at Askham Bryan College I believe I am best placed to represent all land based educators whether they work in colleges, universities,  university farms , prisons or adult education and whether they teach  entry level, apprentices, volunteers,  clinical practice or BSC Hons courses.

I believe that I'm well placed to build on the existing Askham Bryan and Landex networks to re-energise UCU's recruitment and organisation of all land-based educators and can bring experience and relevant knowledge of our sector to the table.

Since becoming UCU Branch chair in 2010 I have the developed key strengths in actively supporting members, contributing to Area Review Meetings from a Land-Based perspective, changes to policies, notable settlement agreements and preventing compulsory redundancies.  

We were able to make excellent progress in addressing equality issues by bringing in national officers/officials to address equality issues with the new CEO. At Branch level I have been working on building recruitment around the Gender Pay Gap. I am passionate about working towards fair terms and conditions for everyone.

With the high rate of fatalities and injury in land-based industries, Health & Safety is a key organising and recruiting issue for us and we should be making good use of the Bullying and Harassment guide and the protections of Health and Safety legislation

As National Representative for Land Based members I would start by focussing on

  • Recruiting and organising land based educators and increasing member participation

  • Raising the profile of the land-based sector and its relevance to today's students from all backgrounds and promote it as a vehicle for social mobility

  • Pay, conditions and pensions pertinent to Land-based educators specifically

  • Opposing the use of technicians, assessors and trainers as lecturers on the cheap

  • Keeping up to date with Brexit related issues and dealing with them as and when they occur

  • Fighting the growth of amalgamated colleges and 'for profit' organisations as both put quality education second to money.

  • Opposing cuts to funding and highlighting the damage caused by the cuts to staff and the education of students

  • Continuing to vigorously fight the changes to Trade Union legislation which is the first regressive step in the Government's mission to ensure employers always have the upper-hand.

  • Using strike action as the endpoint of strategy where the objective is clear.

I believe that we need to build the membership to ensure that all branches, whether FE or HE, and their members are confident to stand up and fight together against the plethora of challenges that we face now and in future.

Last updated: 1 February 2018