Christina Paine

HE Music Lecturer at London Metropolitan University
UCU Branch Chair at London Metropolitan University
UCU Activist and NEC Member

Christina Paine is a casualised Lecturer at London Metropolitan University. Christina is completing a PhD in Music at Royal Holloway and a Candidate for Higher Education member of the National Executive Committee. Which she has served for 4 years as UCU HE Casualised Representative. 

Christina has always fought globally, nationally and in her branch, through campaigning and mobilising, for the interests of all members, including those retired and especially for those on casualised contracts. Christina wholeheartedly opposes government scapegoating of equalities groups, migrant and disabled people, and will fight such practices.  Christina has spent much of the last 10 years fighting solidly in the union and on the street against precarious work and for the intersection of equalities in all aspects of TU activity. 

Christina has worked in many areas of the union over the last ten years. She is a very active branch committee officer (elected 2011- present), and now Chair of her Branch, despite being on a zero-hours contract. She is a member of the London Region Executive Committee and at present the chair of the HE committee. She is Vice-Chair of the Anti Casualisation Committee and on the Disabled Members Standing Committee and Women’s Standing Committee. Christina is aligned to the left of the labour party and the disabled officer for my Branch and CLP.   At London Met she has campaigned on health and safety, and on defending rights of disabled members (including working with Disabled People Against Cuts), and have conducted campaigns to abolish zero-hours contracts there. We have taken significant strike action until we were forced to bring an academic boycott on the university in 2017.

Our education system is under attack by a corporate model of management which sees universities as ‘edu-businesses’, students as customers, and staff as assets to be exploited or disposed of.  At the same time, critical education is challenged by a government uninterested in equipping students beyond the needs of immediate employment. It is essential for all members that we unite as a union to fight mounting attacks on pay and conditions; to defend our statutes, contracts, and the rights they enshrine; and to uphold academic freedom and our ability to shape our institutions.

Christina has represented and engaged many staff members, and have worked solidly to improve the rights of casualised staff.  She has engaged in significant press and media work for many causes and for many trade union issues. Christina has got these issues prominently into the press (the Guardian, Sunday Times and Times Higher Educational Supplement).  She has organised activists’ groups across London Region and have spoken at The World Transformed Conference on fighting for precarious workers.  If elected to the NEC, Christina will fight equally for decent contracts and conditions for all staff and will seek to unite disparate casualisation campaigns into a national movement. She has played a main role in bringing anti-casualisation as a main issue in UCU and also bringing onto the industrial action agenda.

Christina is a disabled hourly-paid member, and researcher, aware of the stresses and indignities of zero-hours and fixed-term contracts.  Mobilising casualised members, and the recruitment of their colleagues, are crucial to UCU’s future. Christina believes we must work for strong, strategic industrial action which targets and intersects casualisation, health and safety, workloads and equalities. 

Secure the casualized to prevent the casualization of the secure!

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Previously London Met Branch Secretary and now Branch Chair, London Metropolitan University UCU. 
  • Health and Safety Committee Representative.
  • Zero-hours campaign (London Met and nationally, 2012-14). 
  • London Region UCU Officer 2013-2020.
  • Previously London Region HE Vice Chair and now Chair.
  • Anti-casualization Committee 2011-2021.
  • Vice Chair of WMSC 2017-18. Now member of women members standing committee.
  • Representative on disabled members committee.
  • NEC HE Casualised Representative 2017 – present.
  • Vice chair of Anti-casualization Committee 2019-21

If you are on a more secure contract please join me in taking as many of these ten steps to support precarious staff as you can manage.

I support the #CoronaContract campaign for 2 years secure employment for all casualised university workers, endorsed by UCU’s HEC (coronacontract.org). Permanent members of staff should not be asked to cover work previously assigned to casualised colleagues who have been laid off during this crisis.

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