All out for USS

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

Dr Marion Hersh (University of Glasgow)

Election address

Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Engineering, Glasgow University

  • UCU NEC, HEC, Equality Committee  2007-2009, 2010-2012, 2013-2017

  • UCU Scotland Executive 2007-2011, 2013-2015, 2017-2019

  • Stress and Bullying Working Group 2007-2009

  • Congress Business Committee 2011-2013

  • USS negotiator 2011-12, 2013-2018

  • Commission on Effective Industrial Action 2017-2018

  • Glasgow Committee from 1990, currently equality rep, formerly green rep

  • UCULeft

Lifelong anti-racist, anti-fascist, anti-war campaigner, campaigner for social justice. 

I am passionate about and committed to (higher) education, academic freedom in teaching and research and totally opposed to marketisation and commodification, the REF and TEF.  My vision is a free, publicly-funded and accessible system which encourages people to ask awkward questions.

As a USS negotiator I'm committed to maintaining and, if possible, improving defined benefit pensions for members.  In the last dispute I was the only USS negotiator opposing suspending the action.  We have a good strategy for industrial action supported by actively seeking solidarity and exposing the myths about the 'deficit', the unnecessary regulatory requirements and the reckless over-prudence of USS.  The resounding vote in the consultative ballot shows the anger of members and that we can win with good leadership which does not give up too soon or accept too little.  I will also continue to press for a focus on equality and anti-casualisation aspects of the campaign.

As branch equality officer, I'm developing a branch equality plan, encouraging the involvement of more Black members, and working with the committee to implement a motion on improved building accessibility and access to reasonable adjustments.  I have represented UCU on the Scottish TUC LGBT+ Workers' Committee since 2012 and regularly attend and actively contribute to equality conferences.  

I've successfully proposed action to NEC, Congress and HE Sector Conference on supporting EU and international staff, victimised reps, TU bill, stress, points-based immigration, equality impact assessments, human rights act, non-binary gender, global climate change, Trident, Stop the War, Holocaust Memorial Day, ethical investment by pension schemes, and reforming UCU legal system.

I've participated in many campaigns against job losses, department closures and victimisation - Bournemouth, Nottingham, Glasgow, Dundee, Stirling, Aberdeen, Strathclyde, London Met ...  I'm active in campaigns against casualisation, points-based immigration and climate change, the women's, disabled members' and LGBT networks and supporting Black members, Disabled People Against the Cuts and CND.  I juggle my union and other campaigning activity with a full time job.  My work on assistive technology, accessibility, usability, and technology and ethics informs my campaigning.     

I support UCU continuing to work together with other unions, students and anti-cuts groups on wider campaigns and to defend education and access for all.  HE must not become an elite activity for the few, with students as customers and knowledge a commodity.

Last updated: 1 February 2018