All out for USS

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

Mel Stouph (Hull ACE)

ACE

Election address

I am currently employed as an Adult Education tutor by Hull City Council delivering Functional Skills English & Maths, ESOL provision, Traineeships, and a range of non-accredited vocational and work-based learning courses.

I am a longstanding UCU activist having been a branch officer for the last 6 years, building our branch, successfully recruiting members, preventing compulsory redundancies, defending and representing members as necessary, negotiating on local and corporate policy and campaigning against funding cuts.   My casework experience covers disciplinaries, grievances, discrimination, equality, sickness absence, health & safety issues - the list goes on.

In Adult Education we face many of the same issues that beleaguer colleges and in which we all have to lead our members through:

  • Ever- diminishing funding which seriously damages second chance learning provision and removes life changing opportunities for those who really need it;

  • Interminable restructuring which increases workload, demoralises staff, reduces pay, increases stress levels and affects mental health;

  • Inappropriate large amalgamated colleges which negatively symbolise the economic and educational needs of areas of our country, with damaging effects on our learners and our members;

  • The continuous fight against the use of casual contracts, campaigning and negotiating to secure permanent contracts;

  • The constant struggle and campaign against management's attempts to hamper our ability to represent our members through attacks on our facility time.

The adult and further education sector is being attacked by this government on all fronts.  The unprecedented funding crisis has delivered cut after cut, with the consequent closure of courses and adult education centres, having all disproportionately affected adult provision.    

Now we have a clearer picture of ACE membership, we need to continue to build the fight back, build networks, and continue to recruit, organise and communicate.

I am standing for the NEC because I believe my successes and experiences of leading a disparate branch, and on different conditions of service, will not only give a better profile for ACE, but will give added value to the work of the FEC in formulating its future strategy for adult and further education in light of the continual battles we face.

I will bring to the NEC the passion for life-long learning, for second chance learning which so often is life-changing to the individual and which benefits society so much.  I will also bring the skills and experience I have built up as a successful branch officer, my involvement on the NEC, FEC and Education Committee, to contribute to UCU's policies and decisions on how to build our union, so that it represents the needs and best interests of all our members in what are going to be very difficult future challenges for us all in the coming years.

Last updated: 1 February 2018