Support colleagues fighting back in FE!

Members in HE: please use your vote!

Elio Di Muccio (University of Birmingham)

academic related

Election address

Hourly-paid Tutor and Doctoral Researcher, Department of POLSIS, University of Birmingham

I have successfully been involved in:

  • Resisting restructuring.

  • Avoiding redundancies.

  • Casework on contract renewals and on moving to permanent posts.

  • Reducing workload through effective health and safety campaigning.

  • Executive action to close the gender pay gap.

    On these occasions, I have behaved as an accountable organiser and grassroots campaigner. I also have considerable leadership experience as a branch officer:

  • January 2014 - Joined UCU as soon as I was hired on a zero-hours teaching contract at the age of 22.

  • 2015 - Joined the committee and casework team of the University of Birmingham branch (BUCU).

  • 2015-2016 - Served as BUCU Secretary.

  • 2016-date - Serving as BUCU Anti-casualisation Officer and as HE Anti-casualisation Officer for West Midlands UCU.

  • 2017 - Coordinating joint regional action to stamp out insecure contracts.

    British HE is expanding on a global scale through the exploitation of our unpaid work and insecure conditions. In response to Brexit and the risk of losing visa-awarding powers, management are:

  • Opening campuses abroad where tuition can be offered to international students at full price.

  • Forcing colleagues to relocate to these campuses and hiring distance learning tutors.

  • Establishing subsidiaries and conducting hostile takeovers.

  • Denying colleagues who are keen to join the union the right of representation and/or recognition.

In this context, as an affected individual, I think universityemployers took the referendum on EU membership lightly. Universities benefit from freedom of movement; but they repeatedly fail to defend staff and students by being complicit in fulfilling discriminatory obligations set out by the Government. In response, we must defend freedom of movement for all people.

Furthermore, we must defend our pensions. As a member of USS, I believe that if the proposed changes to our pension scheme go ahead, they will affect everyone and affect casualised staff hardest. At the same time, the safety of our members is under constant attack: working conditions can be life-threatening and jobs are at risk. We therefore need to step up the fight over equal pay and opportunity, workload and stress, performance management and disciplinary procedures.

As the results of the recent ballots for industrial action have shown, the time is right to do so. The Government is weak. But if we are to take a strong stance on casualisation and give an equal voice to all colleagues, we need a union committed to internationalism. By voting for me, you will be committing the union to such a position.

A vote for me is a vote for fighting the following issues militantly and through industrial action:

  • Brexit

  • USS

  • Workplace safety, workload and stress

  • Equality

  • Job security

I am a UCU Left member and support democratic member-led unions.

Last updated: 1 February 2018