Tomasa Bullen Membership number: 1574876
Southampton District Branch: 08256
I am writing to seek nomination for the NEC elections – I hope to be re-elected onto the Higher Education Female seat.
I have worked in Higher Education, and been a member of a Trade Union for 33 years. I am currently a part-time Admin Officer responsible for data management at Southampton Solent University. I am also Chair of Southampton District Branch which covers almost all service groups.
I have been on the NEC since 2013.
I have seen the devastating effects of cuts to public services on both the service providers and those who rely on the services provided and I am determined to fight closures, privatisations, out-sourcing, shared services, or whatever else they may be called, with whatever tools available. I have been involved in numerous disputes within Southampton. I have campaigned against out-sourcing in my own University and have been successful in maintaining and in some instances improving terms and conditions for those staff whilst continuing to campaign for a Living wage and a return to direct employment. I shall continue to campaign vigorously for all workers threatened by cuts and privatisations.
Strategically, Higher Education is facing the following:
- The gradual move to four discrete higher education systems within the United Kingdom with the consequent threats to national pay bargaining;
- The continued attacks on pension schemes and the growing call by some Vice Chancellors to try to "opt out" of decent pension provision;
- Pay in all its forms remains a live issue with an increasing gap between pay for staff and senior managers.
- Discrimination in all forms remains and needs to be strongly addressed if the sector is truly to move to "equal pay for work of equal value."
- Continued restructures, job cuts and out-sourcing.
As a union we should be:
- Campaigning for free higher education for all who wish to benefit from it paid for through general taxation. This is affordable. The lack of debate over the current fee regime shows just how disastrous it is.
- Reminding everyone that it is only through a highly skilled workforce that the economy will grow and prosper as we prepare students to take on the new jobs in the global economy.
- Campaigning against the additional difficulties caused by the Government's visa system for overseas students;
- Improving staff terms and conditions including pay, pensions, holiday and sickness schemes for all support staff and genuine equality of opportunity. This includes the Living Wage for directly and in-directly employed staff whilst continuing to oppose all forms of out-sourcing, privatisation, shared services; and
- protecting and enhancing Trade Union rights.
I do not belong to any political party and strongly believe in reclaiming UNISON so that it is a fighting, democratic union, led by its members taking part in the democratic process with politicians only receiving support from UNISON if they openly and actively support our policies. I have no qualms about speaking up and being "unpopular". Higher education needs an active voice.
I hope I can count on your support.
Please also nominate Max Watson for the Higher Education General Seat.
13th January 2015