Jean Crocker, Former Chair of the UCU Anti-Casualisation Committee
Christina is a doughty and successful fighter for the rights of hourly paid, zero hours and other casualised staff. I have known her for many years, since I was Chair of the Anti Casualisation Committee. Vulnerably employed members could not have a better representative.
I have come to know Christina over many years of working as a Trade Union Representative and Activist, and I would wholeheartedly recommend her.
Despite being extremely busy with her own work, UCU Branch and UCU committee work, she always made time to come and support other Unions’ strikes and demonstrations, most notably the IWGB’s in-house campaign at Senate House at whose myriad pickets she was a constant indefatigable presence. This was a campaign fighting for the rights of low-paid vulnerable and migrant workers, and Christina was always absolutely clear that she saw her work as UCU Anti-Casualisation rep as extending not just to academics but to all staff employed on University campuses – she was always adamant that we were all engaged in the same struggle.
As part of the above-mentioned in-house campaign, in 2018 outsourced workers called for a boycott of the central University of London until they were brought in-house. A major part of the success of this boycott was its endorsement by UCU branches across the country, leading to the passing of a boycott motion at the 2019 UCU Congress – described by the IWGB as ‘the greatest example of solidarity between different classes of workers in recent history’. This boycott would not have happened without Christina. She worked tirelessly to help get motions passed, and at Congress she brought forward the motion despite numerous attempts to obstruct it AND spoke to it with such eloquence that it passed unanimously. I can with all honesty say that without Christina the boycott would have failed, and those workers who have now been employed directly by the University would still be working for unscrupulous outsourcing companies.
Just with this example (and she has done much more) Christina has achieved more for the rights of casualised staff than any other UCU person I know and therefore it is without reservation that she deserves another term as UCU Anti-Casualisation representative.
Dr Sahithi P Siva, Subject Lead Engineering Higher Education
I have worked with Christina Paine for over three years both as a member of the UCU and also as a colleague in the same department at London Metropolitan University. Our initial collaboration had a great start and it went from strength to strength as I continued interacting with her in her professional capacity as the union representative and also as a member of the teaching staff. As the UCU representative, the assistance she offered in my situation over a period of time has proved to be extremely valuable. She came across as a dedicated professional, often going beyond the call of duty to help with great commitment. What was initially a working collaboration turned into a professional friendship which testifies to her humane personality. I have witnessed her passion towards work, commitment to colleagues, brevity in sounding her candid views in leadership meetings, empathy in supporting people at the time of need, ethics and morals in fighting for the cause, and the virtue of integrity at all times. Christina worked with teams of people and led them with a targeted focus on achieving goals and this includes addressing inclusion and diversity, Any organisation will only be enhanced by a combination of professional and personal qualities she embodies and she would be an asset to any employer. I truly believe that the best in her is yet to come and she needs a wider role to demonstrate her ability and drive, and to that end I strongly support her application.
Harvey Shoolman HPL, London Metropolitan University
Christina Paine is an indefatigable and courageous defender of the rights of casualised and part-time staff. Her energy and commitment are boundless and her determination to triumph against the considerable forces ranged against her is worthy of deep admiration. Her presence as an NEC Member can only help the fight against zero hour university employment.
Professor Fergus Nicol HPL, London Metropolitan University
I have worked with Christina Paine in her work for the hourly paid academic staff at London Metropolitan University. Christina has worked tirelessly for this under represented and often mis-represented group of HE employees who in many Universities, including our own, make up half of all academics.
Christina (as an HPL herself) has made a wonderful job of, from one direction representing the HPLs to the management, but more importantly in seeking out the HPLs, often one-by-one and helping them to see how the HE sector exploits their precarious position and how with the support of the union this can change
I have no hesitation in recommending Christina as an excellent candidate for HE member on the NEC.
Professor Jane Hardy, University of East Anglia
I am really pleased to endorse Christina in her candidature for the UCU NEC. She has campaigned systematically and energetically in campaigning for the rights of workers on precarious contracts in higher education. Importantly she has demonstrated that where these workers get organised they can gain in importance and win concessions.
Alexis Wearmouth, Fractional Rep (Teaching Fellows), SOAS UCU Executive Committee
Christina Paine has, over the past year, tirelessly encouraged and inspired the many of those with whom she has collaborated in addressing inequalities and injustices in higher education.
Mark Campbell, London Metropolitan University UCU Chair
I’m very happy to endorse Christina as an NEC candidate. She is an extremely hard-working and committed branch rep who has achieved notable case-work success and has been instrumental in developing our anti-casualisation campaign at London Met. She will be a valuable addition to the NEC.
Alex Tarry, Former branch secretary, London Metropolitan University Union
Christina is an effective campaigner and organiser, from being a long-time stalwart fighter for casualised workers to stepping in to run the core of her UCU branch following the simultaneous redundancies of the branch secretary and branch chair to being a central figure in the campaign in 2015/16 to save London Met’s art school to building strong networks with fighting, campaigning unions such as the IWGB and UVW. She has consistently shown the ability and willingness to take on more new commitments and to learn quickly and she is an accomplished Health and Safety rep. I wholeheartedly endorse her candidacy for the UCU NEC member for casualised workers.
Marian Hersh, Senior Lecturer in Engineering at Glasgow University, NEC and UCU Member
I have known Christina for about 6 years both as a union activist and a friend. As a friend I have found her very loyal and supportive. As an activist she has rebuilt the London Met branch in very difficult circumstances, working tirelessly to improve the conditions of casualised members and made links between casualisation and other equality issues.