The UCU Independent Broad Left (IBL) network supports the need for UCU to make hard strategic choices about prioritising resources to meet the challenges we face in this ever more hostile environment for post-16 education. This requires a union leadership which puts members first, and seeks to involve them, and emphasises core professional and trade union issues – education, research, jobs, pay, conditions, equality and professional autonomy.
With this in mind, we have no hesitation whatsoever in supporting Vicky Knight’s candidature as VP of the union. (Download her election address here)
A message to all UCU members from Vicky:
“This Government’s ideological agenda is clearly hurting everyone in our communities. As workers, educators and researchers we are continually doing more for less, in increasingly stressful environments – over-worked, underpaid, our workplace rights eroded, increasingly precarious in terms of job security, our professionalism undermined, and terms and conditions constantly under attack with privatisation looming.
We also face the (anti) Trade Union Bill, designed to subvert our right to strike, congregate and demonstrate – all of which are fundamental trade union and workers’ rights.
We must maintain at all costs the right to withdraw our labour – an action which UCU members never undertake lightly. Our strength is our democracy, using our collective ability to negotiate and exhaust political alternatives rst.
In order to defend our members in the current climate, a vital objective and focus of the union must be the strengthening of our branches – the absolute foundation of our membership – including increasing our numbers, and thus empowering us to use our collective bargaining and negotiation skills to improve members’ lives.
If you vote for me, you vote for a strong independent voice working hard for, and responsive to, all UCU stakeholders, for the benefit of all, inclusively and equally, in both HE and FE.”
Some aspects of Vicky’s experience.
- is a trade union studies lecturer at The Manchester College.
- has 25 years’ active experience within the public sector, in both the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and UCU.
- has a strong commitment to the principles of justice, equality of opportunities, fairness, inclusivity and a voice for all.
- holds branch, regional and national representative positions in UCU, including NEC membership and FE negotiator.
- is a member of the UCU Equality and Women’s Committees.
- has represented UCU at the TUC annual Congress,TUC Women’s Conference and TUC Women’s Committee.
- has been chair of the TUC Women’s Committee for the last two years.
Vicky believes that:
- in the face of relentless government and employer attacks on further and higher education, our unity is our strength.
- our union, funded by members for members, must use democratic structures to represent the needs and aspirations of all, working in all roles across our institutions – and not be used as a vehicle to progress the agendas of any external political organisation or grouping
See below for endorsements of Vicky and her approach from a wide range of UCU members.