About Ewan + why we’ll win

My name is Ewan. I’m a law professor at King’s College, London, specialising in labour, pensions, corporate and public service law. I grew up in Luton, Milton Keynes, and Sydney, and after dozens of casual jobs through school and university, I worked my whole adult life in education, also acting through the Free Representation Unit for workers in employment tribunals. When I was elected branch president of KCL UCU, serving from December 2020 to September 2023, we re-established a system of workplace relations based on trust and confidence, because we built a long-term strategy of collective action, legal action, targeted publicity, and positive proposals. We succeeded in:

  • raising paid parental leave to the highest at a UK university, with a view to equalising child care rights and ending the gender pay gap,
  • getting more worker-elected members on our university governing body,
  • sealing the first written collective agreement in over a decade, codifying our colleagues’ rights to job security according to the law,
  • raising London Weighting from £3500 to £5000 a year (a 42% local pay increase) that from December 2023 is the highest among the capital’s universities,
  • going from a branch that missed the ballot thresholds to getting among the highest results in the UK,
  • protecting our members during Covid from threats to work in person or be fired, pre-vaccine, working with other branches so management understood corporate manslaughter liability,
  • reversing at least three unjust, discriminatory dismissals – including two colleagues’ fired when they applied for maternity leave, and one colleague fired for disability, getting their jobs back – and then we oversaw a transformation in HR operations;
  • we crowdfunded a case against the USS pension fund directors, overwhelmingly backed by the UCU NEC, to shine a spotlight on the nonsense valuation, and when we got leave to appeal, UUK and USS said they would reverse the pension cuts.

If we can succeed in local branches, we can succeed across the UK – for fair pay, democracy, equality, security, and a living planet. If you vote for our platform, together we will transform our union, and we will restore a public higher and further education sector that we believe in, based on merit, not markets and failure. We will negotiate from a position of strength, and we will win because our claims are clear and fair. But above all, we will win because you have the power to join us and we can do it together.

Your voice matters, join us to transform UK education, and sign up here!