Candidate info for position of UCU General Secretary

The candidates for UCU General Secretary have now been announced and campaigning has begun. The candidates (in alphabetical order) are listed below, linked to their websites, where you can read about how they’d run our union, as well as find out about who’s endorsing their campaigns and why:

Your vote will be a postal ballot (between 19th April and 23rd May), and we urge you all to use it. As we’ve seen over the last year, whoever is in charge of our union has a huge say over momentous decisions about our futures. This is an important one.

Anti-casualisation update and petition

  • Our Anti-casualisation working group is still in discussions with the University over a range of issues including contracts and terminology around those employed on non-permanent contracts and the employee/contractual status of postgrad students who do teaching/demonstrating work. We hope to be able to share more concrete info about these talks soon.
  • In the meantime, to get an idea of what other branches across the country are asking for to improve the working lives of casualised colleagues, take a look at this excellent claim now formally submitted by Newcastle UCU.
  • Colleagues at Leicester UCU need your support on a petition against Leicester Uni employing teaching fellows on non-academic contracts. The issues are discussed, and the petition can be signed, here.

Stop the victimization of UCU reps for trade union duties

Your elected trade union branch reps do a lot of (unseen, voluntary) work on your behalf, but sometimes (& especially when they’re successful) these campaigns and negotiations place them at risk of victimization and bullying from unscrupulous employers.

When this happens it’s our duty to support them – to have their backs as they’ve so often had ours.

  • Lee Humber, Ruskin College UCU Membership Sectretary was suspended from work shortly after successfully campaigning for a vote of no confidence in the college principal. The local UCU petition can be found here, and you can read more here.
  • UCL UCU Branch Secretary Tony Brown was subject to a disciplinary sanction by UCL for setting up an email list on behalf of union reps. An employment tribunal ruled that “the main purpose of disciplining [Mr Brown] was to penalise him for taking part in trade union activities”, but UCL hasn’t accepted the ruling. You can read more and sign the petition here.