Nita Sanghera, late president elect and first UCU black presidential officer:
Rhiannon is an amazing woman, mother, activist and of course teacher… she will knock UCU into shape by being her fabulous self. She has my complete support.
Sue Abbott, UCU elected national equality chair and chair of UCU national Women Members’ Standing Committee:
I have worked with Rhiannon for several years on the national women’s committee and have attended the Women’s TUC with her as well. Rhiannon is passionate about women’s rights and has made amazing speeches both at women’s TUC and at Union congress that inspire others to follow her lead. I fully support Rhiannon as I know she will be dedicated and committed to all and particularly to women in our union.
Dave Muritu, former UCU National Equality chair, former chair national black members standing committee, former branch secretary Sandwell College:
Vote Rhiannon for Women’s officer. She is a tireless fighter for equality often pushing UCU on policy to support oppressed groups. She has always been committed to transparency and placing members views at the centre of her work, reporting to the membership regularly on her voting positions and her activities in the name of the union. Rhiannon has consistently supported members taking action, delivering solidarity to picket lines across the country.
Emma Fisher, former Access student:
As a former access student , I had the privilege to be taught by Rhiannon. Rhiannon not only taught me the academic content of my course, she also made me aware and inspired me to both acknowledge and challenge many inequalities and barriers to learning for many students. I have seen Rhiannon dedicate her life to fight tirelessly for many causes which affect many minority and marginalised groups both locally and globally. Rhiannon gives her heart and soul into any campaign in which she embarks on, highlighting issues and finding effective solutions. To have Rhiannon on board any team, panel or board would implement positive action with maximum effect.
Ioana Cerasella Chis – University of Birmingham UCU Committee Member, University of Birmingham UNISON Membership Officer, Doctoral Student.
I am particularly grateful for and impressed by Rhiannon’s commitment to doing everything in her power to be an ally to those who are fighting for improved working, learning and living conditions. These are not just empty words – I have seen Rhiannon being a fierce and consistent supporter of the campaigns and strikes that have taken place at the University of Birmingham over the past few years – be they organised by UCU, UNISON, or activist student groups. She has made every effort to offer advice, spread the word about our various campaigns, and travel to our campus (despite not being based here) to speak at rallies and be with us on the picket lines.
I cannot stress enough just how important it is that our NEC members use their initiative to build bridges with struggles that may appear to be outside of our union’s own struggle. Rhiannon is committed, politically astute, and (according to a former student of hers and friend of mine) a truly supportive teacher and mentor. Finally, Rhiannon has the experience of working both in further education and higher education, and she is now also undertaking a doctoral degree.
We need Rhiannon’s experience, approach, and practice of solidarity to be part of our union’s NEC. I urge you to vote for her.
Laura Such, branch Secretary, Halesowen College
Having worked with Rhiannon during her time as Branch Secretary at Halesowen College she never ceased to amaze me. Rhiannon regularly communicated with the branch on our local issues and national campaigns; regularly fighting the fight on a picket line or representing us at regional meetings and national Congress.
I sat with her in staff council meetings as she raised the collective concerns on behalf of members in a calm and collected way, but when the need arose she would fight for us! Rhiannons’s door was always open… if you could find her behind the bags of donations for the women’s refuge. When Rhiannon left Halesowen there was a big void. Her tireless campaigning inspired me to try and take on her legacy. Anytime I have a question or problem she is there to advise and mentor me, despite lecturing, being her own Branch Secretary, undertaking a doctorate, being an amazing single mum to two great kids, swimming for refugees and campaigning for the labour party!
Although it’s a HE seat members at Halesowen College fully supported Rhiannon’s nomination, and all FE members can vote for all of the women’s seats. I urge all members to vote for this truly inspirational superwoman.
Julia Roberts, NEC (London FE), Branch Secretary Lambeth College UCU
My name is Julia Roberts, and I am Branch Secretary of Lambeth College UCU. I am also an FE representative on the NEC for London and the East.
I urge you to vote for Rhiannon Lockley as Women Members’ Representative (HE). I have known and worked alongsideRhiannon for over five years. She has unfailingly proved herself to be a hardworking and dedicated union activist.
Rhiannon and I first met in 2014 when the Lambeth College branch was taking indefinite strike action over a proposeddegradation of contracts. Rhiannon played a key role in our West Midlands support base. She was instrumental in providing practical and moral support throughout our campaign. Throughout the time I have known her, Rhiannon has always stepped forward to support members under attack in the workplace whether as individuals or branches taking industrial action.
Rhiannon and I have also worked together on the NEC. Rhiannon has consistently highlighted injustices outside of, as well as inside, the workplace, and has in particular been a strong campaigner on behalf of the disadvantaged and vulnerable within our communities. Women’s issues have always been to the fore and Rhiannon will be an energetic and committed women’s representative.
PLUS SHE HAS TWO VERY GORGEOUS CATS CALLED RONNIE AND REGGIE WHO WILL DO YOU IN IF YOU DON’T VOTE FOR HER.
James Brackley, University of Birmingham UCU
Throughout my time as an officer, my UCU branch at the University of Birmingham has received tireless support across many meetings, protests, and pickets from Rhiannon who is one of the leading activists and trade unionist in our city.
She has played a crucial role in developing young members and in linking together the fight for equality across the education unions, always giving support and guidance where it is most needed. She is extremely knowledgeable of both FE and HE, a really effective organiser, and always so passionate about everything she does.
She is a pleasure to work with and I’m certain she will be an asset to the union on the NEC. Please make sure you give her your vote!
Andrew Scattergood, West Midlands regional Secretary, FBU
I have had the privilege of knowing Rhiannon a number of years. She is well respected and well like within the wider labour movement and I’m honoured to call her a friend. Her tireless campaigning and standing up against injustice is second to none. When firefighters have been fighting our own battles, Rhiannon has always been right by our side standing shoulder to shoulder and has represented the UCU impeccably. The FBU are grateful for her support and solidarity. Rhiannon’s professionalism, on top of her energy and passion, mean I couldn’t think of anyone better to represent UCU members on your NEC. The UCU is very lucky to have Rhiannon.
Kirsten Forkert, UCU NEC (Midlands) and branch co-chair, BCU UCU
“I’ve worked with Rhiannon Lockley on the West Midlands Regional Executive Committee and more recently as part of the branch at Birmingham City University. She is an excellent trade union activist and is committed to inclusive education. Rhiannong has an astute analysis of the power struggles in education, an imaginative approach to campaigning and organising and a principled commitment to equality. These are all qualities our union needs right now and she would have much to offer as a a member of the National Executive Committee.”
Cllr Louise Gibbard, Swansea (former Branch Secretary Halesowen College UCU)
I’ve known Rhiannon for almost 15 years first as a colleague, then a union comrade and lasting friend. I feel privileged to have witnessed her growth as an activist over this period and she is an endless source of inspiration to me both politically and personally.
Her commitment to the issues and people about which she is passionate knows no bounds. She feels so deeply about what she believes in, but importantly it is always backed up by thorough knowledge and understanding of the facts, theory and processes and she’s able to articulate this winning combination of emotion and information so well.
Her dedication to women’s rights in particular, both in the workplace and in wider society, is a perfect example of this. She draws on her own experiences as a working mother, but also acts as an amplifier for other women’s voices from a wide range of backgrounds. She’s the true embodiment of an intersectional feminist. From reproductive rights and childcare to domestic violence and the hostile environment, she is a real warrior for equality and there is no one I would rather have fighting for me in boardrooms with management or on the streets at protests and rallies.
Jane Inskip, prison members rep in the West Midlands
Rhiannon is the epitome of solidarity and this is why I’m supporting her for the NEC. Most people recognise that Education should be from the cradle to the grave but less consider those whose access to Education is behind bars. Rhiannon has been an ally for those who live and work behind the walls. She not only recognises the difficulties we face but amplifies our voice when the nature of our work often silences us.
Rhiannon knows that our students are your students, that we are you and that your union is our union. I have confidence that she will continue to fight for Prison Educators, ensuring that we have safe, decent conditions and that we are heard. Vote Rhiannon!
Cheryl Hedges, Vice Chair UCU West Midlands
I have known Rhiannon for 3 years both as a colleague in the HE/FE sector and as an activist at West Midlands Regional UCU.
Rhiannon is totally committed to equality and social justice. This is reflected in her practice in the classroom and in her relationships with students and colleagues. She is always ready to support colleagues on issues of injustice and discrimination. She works collaboratively and inclusively including encouraging me in my union work. She went beyond my expectations in supporting me at my first congress last year, including me in discussions and providing a commentary on debates. She is totally committed to the idea that education can change one`s life chances and it is this that is the engine that drives her on. She is kind, thoughtful and tender. I have worked with students at HE level who carry this admiration with them from her work with them in FE.
She is well organised and is able to plan and reflect on a number of actions at any one time. Her campaigning in the region has been brilliant including the campaign against the closure of Stourbridge college last year. She has done much to improve the representation and participation of women, including myself, within the union. Campaigning with her fills you with confidence and trust. She is a loyal and reliable member of the union who will make a brilliant advocate for all members in her position on the NEC.
I fully support her candidature for NEC and know that she will work in the interests of all members in all levels of UCU.
Martin Bradbury, West Midlands ACE member
Rhiannon Lockley is an experienced and highly competent educator and labour activist. I was taught psychology by her during my time as a mature student on the Access to Higher Education programme at Halesowen College between September 2010 and June 2012. She was always an excellent facilitator of group discussions and engaging in her presentation of psychological theories. Later, whist studying for my PGCE at Birmingham City University in 2018-2019 Iobserved her teaching sociology, once again at Halesowen College. I can without reservation say that Rhiannon Lockley is an activist who takes intellectual questions seriously and is an advocate for positions which are progressive and forward thinking. Her work in UCU has demonstrated her commitment to the workers movement and the broader community in Halesowen and the Black Country area generally. In the time that I have known Rhiannon she has consistently advocated for a feminist working class perspective and I believe that she would be excellent in the role of Women’s Officer.
Myka Tucker-Abramson, chair, Warwick UCU
Rhiannon is a fierce and committed trade unionist, feminist, and anti-racist activist and organiser, and has been a particularly important presence in the West Midlands regional UCU. Based in Birmingham, she would also bring more of our regional perspective to national. Finally, she is a trans-inclusive feminist which is very important in these elections.