Sarah Brown (Anglia Ruskin University)


Election address

I have worked in HE for 25 years, and was previously a member of both AUT and NATFHE. In addition to a wide range of academic and union committee work I am a trustee of the charity Children of Peace, which supports friendship and reconciliation projects between communities in Israel and Palestine, and the Secretary of the Science Fiction Foundation. Since 2006 I have worked at Anglia Ruskin University where I am a Professor of English Literature.

For several years I have been a very active member of our UCU branch committee. I have been Branch Secretary since 2013, am on the branch negotiating team, and also involved in casework. Since election to the NEC I have also been a member of the Eastern Regional Committee. As the UCU rep on steering groups relating to health and wellbeing, teaching review, and appraisal I work to promote the interests of our members in relation to the workplace issues they face day to day.

Following my election to the NEC in 2014, I have been involved in the work of the Higher Education and Strategy and Finance Committees and the International Working Group. Recently I represented UCU at a demonstration outside the Egyptian Embassy calling for justice for Giulio Regeni, a Cambridge PhD student who was found murdered in Egypt while carrying out research into the Egyptian trade union movement.

I am also a member of UCU's Congress Business Committee. This committee has oversight of all motions submitted to Congress and Sector Conferences - ordering them, checking for potential problems - and then deals with issues which arise during Congress, such as emergency motions. This vital work supports the democratic and campaigning work of our union. 

Currently there are many threats facing HE: marketization, casualisation, workload pressures, the growth of 'alternative providers' and challenges to the very idea of the university as a site of academic freedom. Moreover the Trade Union Act has sought to erode the powers of trade unions, making industrial action more difficult. However it has been heartening to see the start of a successful fight back, with recent high turnouts and votes for action at several universities in response to threats of redundancy and attacks on workers' terms and conditions.

If elected to the NEC I will continue to make the concerns of members my priority, and work to support the best strategies to promote their interests. These priorities are far more important than partisan sectional interests. As well as voting for me please support Amanda Williams in the election for NEC members from HE in London and the East.

Last updated: 1 February 2018