Endorsement from Mr Steve Rooney, University of Leicester

I’m delighted to endorse Jo Grady’s campaign to become UCU General Secretary. What inspires and enthuses me most about Jo’s candidacy and the campaign it has generated, is the prospect of the union becoming the radical force it needs to be if we’re to confront the many challenges facing all of us working and studying in HE and FE. Too often, questions of pay and conditions, and questions about the kind of education system we want in the first place, are treated separately. Jo’s brilliant manifesto just gets that these issues simply can’t be separated. Precarity, exploitation, mounting stress and workloads, attacks on pensions, the scandal of ongoing pay gaps etc. are all ultimately bound-up in a metrics-fuelled agenda of marketisation, a narrow and reductive view of education’s purpose and value, and a destructive culture of aggressive managerialism.

I’m so excited about what Jo and her brilliant campaign team have achieved in just the brief period since she announced her candidature. This really feels like a wonderful opportunity to challenge a corrosive and unsustainable status quo, and work to create the tertiary education system our staff and students long for and deservein the process also creating the kind of union we need to take us into the future, too.