Emma’s Election Statement

5 people, 4 of them in pink UCU beanies pose for a selfie
Emma with other UCU Commoners at the #ucuRISING Kings Cross Rally


Vice President is a vital role. From negotiating with employers, to chairing key decision-making committees, to liaising with members and staff, I am ready to serve our union with focus, compassion, and creativity. I am ready to build collaboratively on the brilliant work of members, representatives, the General Secretary, and staff.

About Me

I am a queer cis woman (she/her/they) who relocated from Canada in 2009. Like many of you, I have spent most of my career precariously employed, despite recognised teaching and research excellence. As vice-chair of Leicester UCU, I brought that university to the table to address casualisation, demanding a response to the human toll of precarity. Elected to NEC in 2021, I energetically represent diverse member views and push for strategic use of strike action, cross-sectoral support, and improving transparency and union democracy. 

Facing Our Future

For years, post-16 educators demanded reasonable improvements to pay and conditions – demands employers and their representatives attempted to dismiss. They misrepresent facts, choosing to invest in vanity projects and obscene executive salaries. They stoke fear with threats of punitive deductions and artificially-created austerity. We must choose critical hope and face these challenges with unity.

UCU has a powerful alternative vision for the future of post-16 education. We know education is a common good – not a commodity. We know our contracts and working conditions can and should be better. We glimpse our future through enthusiasm on picket lines, heroic efforts of caseworkers, creativity of branch-building activities, and the way union education and engagement empower members. 

Building our Union 

If elected, I will:

  • Develop a series of short, accessible, energising resources explaining how UCU works and outlining diverse pathways to engagement
  • Lead meetings with consensus-building techniques to ensure participants know their contributions are valued and large committees achieve powerful decisions
  • Build relationships of understanding and shared support between members in Prison, Adult, Further, and Higher Education 
  • Improve understanding of the political environments of the devolved nations and NI and their impact on members
  • Deploy intersectional techniques in concert with UCU’s Equality Committees to address discrimination and harassment and improve inclusivity and accessibility 
  • Identify, amplify, and embed engagement approaches that maximise member accessibility, enjoyment, and satisfaction

What next? 

Until July 2022, I worked for the University of Leicester as a research associate in History. Remaining unemployed is a real possibility and worry, as it is for many members, but my commitment to UCU does not change with my employment status. I continue to fight for our members and hope you will support me. 

We are the Union. 

Contact me, find out more, stay connected:

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