Vicky Knight is a trade union studies lecturer at The Manchester College with 25 years active experience within the public sector, in both the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and UCU.
She was recently elected as Vice President of UCU and will take up this position at the end of the UCU’s UK Congress 2016 .
As well as her NEC membership and being an FE negotiator, she has represented UCU at the TUC annual Congress,TUC Women’s Conference and TUC Women’s Committee and has been chair of the TUC Women’s Committee for the last two years.
Here she is interviewed by Douglas Chalmers, president of UCU Scotland, and quizzed on her ideas on the big issues facing UCU, particularly in FE in the next 2 years. It covers Vicky’s ideas on cuts, loans, lack of bursaries,ESOL, training, student development, area reviews, national bargaining, membership density, making the union more attractive to women – and many other things.
The video is approximately 10 minutes long, and thanks go to Janice Aitken Scotland Hon. Secretary for the camerawork! Sorry about the slight slippage in lip-synch at bits – we’re working on that.
The paths of Higher and Further Education are increasingly diverging in the different nations of the UK. UCU Scotland president Douglas Chalmers writes about some of the proposed positive changes for governance of universities in Scotland, and why this might be a good example for others to use in their campaigning:
Douglas Chalmers, President UCU Scotland
Examples of bad governance in the FE and HE sectors are of little surprise – we have to live with the results of it day by day. Proposed changes in the structure of HE governance in Scotland are something that can be of help to everyone however – in HE and FE, inside and outside Scotland.
Following some particularly bad examples of governance resulting in the merger of Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh University in 2011, the Scottish Government was persuaded to set up a wide ranging examination of HE Governance chaired by Ferdinand Von Prondzynski, principal of Robert Gordon University, and with STUC input from UCU member Terry Brotherstone. The report, published in February 2012 recommended wide ranging changes to bring more transparency to the sector, with proposals for legislation which would lead (amongst other things) to trade union nominees on governing bodies, and elected chairs of court, voted on by staff and students at each institution. Continue reading →