All out for USS

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

Mike Lammiman (University of Hull)

Election address

I have been employed at the University of Hull as a clinical trials coordinator (academic related) since 2002 and have been an active member of the local UCU / AUT association committee since 2003. I have served on the committee as President (2011), VP (2010; 2016) and Membership Secretary (2005 to 2009; 2013 - 15), negotiator and caseworker.  I am the Vice Chair of the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional UCU committee, a regular delegate to Congress and HESC and a member of UCL Left.

Previously I was vice president of the MSF branch at the University of Nottingham and have been a member of a trade union since my first day at work in 1985. Locally, I am active within the Hull and District Trades Council (President 2016) and was the Green Party parliamentary candidate for Hull West and Hessle in the recent general election.

Concerns such as erosion of pay, attacks on the USS pension scheme, equality, workload and the increasing use of casualization and out-sourcing are rightly high on UCU's agenda and are some of the issues I will campaign to address on your behalf if elected. The relative spend on the wage bill has reduced dramatically, yet spending money on pet capital projects is the new priority whilst workloads and stress levels rise and staff numbers and relative pay declines. To rub salt in the wounds, UUK proposes to move the USS pension scheme towards a defined contribution scheme. Under this model, our final pension is dependent on the performance of the stock market and the risk is with the employee.  Our pension is our deferred pay. It must not be eroded by UUK's ideological drive to reduce employer contributions. The NEC must lead an effective campaign to protect our pensions.

I am passionate about equality in the workplace. That there is a gender pay gap of over 10% in many of our universities is a scandal. It is clear that our universities do not fully value women in the workplace, otherwise this would simply not be on the agenda now.  Many employers fail to value staff with disabilities. I have represented members with disabilities and negotiated reasonable adjustments to ensure that they can remain within the workplace and be fully supported in their roles. Racial diversity in many universities, as in other employment arenas, is absent. Senior positions remain the dominance of white males who appear to be recruiting in their own image instead of working hard to make the workplace reflect the diversity that exists within our communities. I believe that creating a workplace fit for all should be a priority for UCU and I will work tirelessly towards achieving that goal if elected by you.

Last updated: 1 February 2018