I’m no longer a member of UCU, but Jo Grady has my heartfelt endorsement for General Secretary. Jo recognises the issues which have led so many people like myself to leave the profession, and understands the need for the union to transform itself from within to address them. I’ve experienced a toxic mixture of these issues first hand, and I know many others experience them too.
Between 2018 and 2019, I served on the UCU’s Anti-Casualisation Committee. Union members have been working incredibly hard on that committee for many years for genuine recognition and proper resourcing from UCU HQ to support them in tackling casualisation.
Attending the eventful UCU Congress in 2018 as a first-time delegate, I heard senior execs on the podium refer to casualisation as an issue now “at the heart” of the union’s agendas, while knowing from my work on the inside that this is not the case.
If elected, Jo will appoint national branch coordination officers for anti-casualisation to develop this infrastructure. She understands the importance of a democratically-led national union in ensuring that local branches can organise effectively and in protecting individual members from burnout.
Jo is an independent, grassroots candidate with the knowledge, skills and background to lead UCU into a new era. Her manifesto gives me real hope for the future of our universities at a critical time for their futures. She’d have my first vote, with Jo McNeill as second.