Support colleagues fighting back in FE!

Members in HE: please use your vote!

Dr Julie Hearn (Lancaster University)


Election address

I am a lecturer in Politics at Lancaster University and am passionate about trade unionism in higher and further education.  In 2016 you elected me onto the NEC for the first time and it has been a privilege to serve.  Above all, I have been inspired by the work of thousands of UCU members, especially those undertaking difficult strikes at London Met, Manchester Met, Leeds and Manchester to defend the fundamentals of academic trade unionism for all of us.  USS members are now in the fight of our lives to save our pensions. I am standing as a UCU Left candidate because I think the track record of UCU Left offers us the best lessons to defend our pensions, jobs, pay and academic freedom.

Defend USS: Sustained Strikes, Work to Contract, Marking Boycott
I believe that UCU has a powerful arsenal to take on UUK: members have had enough.  We had a historic 57 percent turnout in the consultative ballot of October 2017, which we followed up with a well-organized national Get the Vote Out campaign for an industrial ballot.  As an NEC member I have argued vociferously over the last two years that we must use every single weapon in our industrial armoury strategically. We cannot afford to repeat the failure of the 2014 pension campaign based on one day's token strike action.  In our branch we have laid the groundwork for mobilising members.  We have had a national UCU negotiator, Carlo Morelli, to speak, a Q&A general meeting, we have set up a branch pensions working group to utilise local academic expertise and passion and we have regular informative member emails with positive feedback.

Building Trade Unionism
I believe that we build trade unionism from the bottom up.  I have been honoured to be our first female UCU branch chair since January 2017 and we have tried to build as inclusively as possible.  We have a dedicated and creative committee, including fellow NEC candidate, Sunil Banga, and a team of active department reps.  We have organised film showings of Pride and Made in Dagenham; we have had a 'teach in' with an all-female panel of speakers including Cat Smith MP and our student union president on the Higher Education and Research Bill; an inaugural UCU seminar showcasing members' academic research in a supportive and intellectual forum to talk about the impact of marketization on our working lives.  We have also marched against marketization in London, Manchester and Lancaster, helped our members onto more secure contracts and set up an anti-casualisation forum as well as negotiating from bullying policy to REF.  Grassroots trade unionism in our colleges and universities is our only hope and together we can build it!

Last updated: 1 February 2018