Your chance to vote for two elected positions on University Council is here, and it closes at 12 noon on Friday 18 May! There are also elections for several University committees – please use your votes! You will have received, or will soon receive an email entitled “Online Voting” from Electoral Reform Services.
Vicky Blake, current UCU Branch President and Mark Taylor-Batty, former UCU Branch President and current member of University Council, are both standing for election for University Council. Both Vicky and Mark have worked very hard to represent UCU members over several years. Please do consider voting for them in the University Council election. Their statements are available via the voting link, and below:
Vicky Blake – Election statement for Council
Healthy university communities hold democratic representation and accountable decision-making at their heart. I will represent ordinary university staff members’ concerns in matters of governance, with deep commitment to transparency and rigour. As an elected University Senator for two years, and through elected UCU positions at the University of Leeds, I know many staff feel disenfranchised from university governance structures. I seek change: increased openness will facilitate engagement with how these structures work.
I work in Educational Engagement and am attached to the Faculty of Arts. I previously worked in fixed term research and tutoring roles in Philosophy. As UCU President, I am experienced in negotiation and scrutiny of complex issues including proposed changes to terms and conditions, policies and procedures. As a nationally elected UCU Higher Education Committee representative I understand local issues within the wider UK Higher Education context.
Educational opportunities should be accessible to people of all backgrounds. We must cement our commitment to diversity and equality by ensuring we make meaningful progress in promoting secure work over a reliance on precarious, casualised contracts that damage the health of individuals and our academic mission. Council must pursue a positive, enriching working and learning environment for all at Leeds.
Mark Taylor-Batty – Election statement for Council
I have been an elected member of Council for the last three years. As a participant in council, as a member of Senate, and as a recent officer of the local UCU branch, I have had regular insight into University governance structures and have participated in or witnessed and responded to processes and decisions that affect all of our academic and service communities; changes to statutes, proposed adjustments to pensions and salary, restructures, the improvement of working conditions and of policy and procedure. I strongly believe that the power to define and broadcast what is best for the university remains in the hands of too few, and I remain concerned to try to ensure the best interests of fellow employees are fully represented and heard in the council chamber. I’d be happy and honoured to serve and represent colleagues in Council for a further term.