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May, 2013:

Mark Sully of Cornwall College Elected to LGBT Standing Committee

Mark Sully










“My name is Mark Sully and I am the union’s health and safety coordinator for Cornwall College and have also recently joined the UCU LGBT Standing Committee.

The committee meets regularly throughout the year to discuss and address issues surrounding and concerning Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) members. At this year’s Annual Congress I will be proposing a motion to help tackle homophobia and trans phobia within FE and HE institutions through a monitoring process and the further training of union reps in this area.

I would welcome any input from the LGBT members from the South West to take up at committee meetings and relevant fora. It is great that the South West now have a voice in this area and I look forward to representing your interests. I can be contacted by email :”

UCU’s National Executive Committee convenes four standing committees which represent members’ interests in the area of Equalities: The Disabled Members’ Standing Committee, The Black Members’ Standing Committee, The LGBT Members’ Standing Committee and The Women Members’ Standing Committee.  More information can be found here :

UCU Reps Training Day at Exeter Office

Eleven reps from across the UCU South West Region undergo an intensive, one-day training course at the Exeter UCU office. Here the course delegates role-play interviewing members in advance of representing them in meetings with an employer. All training for UCU reps is provided free and employers have a statutory duty to allow paid time off to attend.












In this picture left to right Christina Ryan, City of Bath College, Linda Hinds, Petroc College, George Seba, Somerset College and Tony Wilde of City of Bath College.












In this picture left to right Christina Ryan, City of Bath College, Linda Hinds, Petroc College,  Tony Wilde of City of Bath College and George Seba, Somerset College.











In this picture left to right Ulrike Zitzlsperger, University of Exeter, Emily Lygo University of Exeter and Kevin Thomas of City of Bristol College. 












In this picture left to right Maria Donkin,  Maggie Hemsworth and  Chelo de Andres Martinez of Plymouth University and Sue Lea, UCP Marjon. 

If you think you could be a UCU rep, get in touch with UCU South West Regional Office exeter(at) or contact your branch’s secretary or chair. If you wish to take one of the many courses offered by UCU start here: to find courses, dates and times. 

Being a UCU activist: A brief intro to being a rep

The purpose of any trade union is to advance the interests of its members. Unions do this by negotiating collective agreements and by lobbying to improve laws that affect the membership.

UCU’s education programme offers its growing network of activists a wide range of courses. Courses are delivered on a regional basis so are therefore an ideal opportunity for members to learn from and network with reps from different branches within their region.

Check your regional listing in UCU training for further information

Whether you are an existing UCU activist or you are considering taking on a more active role within your UCU branch we have a course for you.

Unions also represent their members by seeing that employers do not violate their collective agreements or laws (health and safety, human rights, etc) that affect the members.  Colleges and universities sometimes want to have a free hand to provide services as cheaply as possible. This means that union members must work together to force employers to pay staff properly, to provide safe working conditions, provide us with job security, etc. Even in the worst of times unionised staff do better than those with no protection.

Being a rep is useful and highly rewarding work. What is more, you need not do this on top of your existing work.  Accredited unions reps are entitled to statutory, paid remission; are supported in their work by full-time officers and are entitled to free training and paid time off to do it. If you could be a rep in the South West contact us at: or email me direct dotoole(at)