It was a great shock to hear that Nita Sanghera, vice-president of UCU and president elect, due to take office this May, passed away after a short illness. Nita was well known as not only a voice for working class young people in FE, but also a tireless campaigner for social justice. Due to the efforts of Nita and others, her union, the University and College Union, has emerged as one of the key trade unions in this country pushing for climate action.
In the video above, from our climate march in December 2018, she explains that for education to be relevant to young people, climate change must be a core part of the curriculum, leading to decent jobs that help solve the climate crisis. In the following year this became a key demand of the UK youth climate strike movement. We will remember her and take forward this vision: for real education, for social justice and for climate action.
Suzanne Jeffery, chair of Campaign against Climate Change, said:
"We are so incredibly saddened to hear of Nita's untimely death. She spoke at our demonstration last year, coinciding with COP 24. It was her first time speaking on the urgency of the climate crisis and the key role trade unionists need to play. She was brilliant, she inspired and informed in equal measure. Nita's speech as an educator and a trade unionists called for us all to step up and stand alongside young people. And she played a crucial role in ensuring the trade union movement did just that, ensuring her union UCU, were instrumental in the TUC voting for solidarity with school students on 20th Sept. We are grateful we were able to work with her, although all too briefly, and mourn the loss of a powerful voice for climate justice."