Joan Harvey (Newcastle University)

Election address

I have been a senior lecturer in Work Psychology at Newcastle since 1993. I currently work part-time, teaching on both undergraduate and Masters courses, continuing my research and being a member of Senate.

I have am a longstanding member of UCU, having worked in FE in London, and then in HE at Newcastle Polytechnic/Northumbria University before joining Newcastle University.

My first experience as an activist involved an equal opportunities employment tribunal against Newcastle Polytechnic management, which brought home the need to have a strong active union to stand up for members' rights for which I was really grateful.  At Newcastle I am a member of the local branch committee, having been Vice-president and President (twice), during which time I was involved in many negotiations, worked on recruitment and consulted regularly with members and keeping them informed with regular emails, meetings and visits to their own locations. I continue to undertake much casework with members, am Regional Committee minutes secretary and UCU Congress delegate.

I believe passionately in fairness; if colleagues are treated unfairly I work to put that right however I can, speaking up for members when they may not dare to. Fairness encompasses many issues, ranging from diversity through to members subjected to bullying and to the stress it creates.  I think that the whole pensions issue has treated members with great unfairness, despite the stalwart efforts of our negotiators. Unfairness at all levels and in all places is what I find most intolerable and I will fight against it.

We are facing many challenges in higher education: the 'Prevent' agenda, threatens academic freedom in the guise of tackling 'extremism'; the Green Paper opening up the market to private providers is appalling and whilst the Trade Union Bill tried to restrict our standing up to employers, our ability now to get the vote out shows how we can, with hard work, get past that.  We need a strong union to counterbalance the employers at both UK and local level. UCU is a broad church and we all can play our parts working together and trusting each other to do absolutely the best for our members. Our personal or sectional differences are less important than our shared commitment to that aim and to the values we have in common-  equity and inclusiveness, public education, decent jobs and workplaces.

Since my previous election I have been active on NEC and its key committees. It would be an honour for me to be re- elected and I will work my utmost to represent your interests and concerns and not shy away from difficult decisions. Please give me the chance to do that.

Last updated: 1 February 2018