This is an email sent to subscribers of the #Grady4GS mailing list on Tuesday 14 May 2019 (some subscribers may have received this later). To subscribe to our GDPR-compliant list, please fill out your details here!
Thank you so much for what you have been doing on the ground to support Jo Grady’s campaign. Jo and the rest of the team are truly humbled by how colleagues have mobilised in all sorts of amazing ways to try to secure what could be a momentous win for our union and our sector. At all the hustings Jo has been greeted with people wearing badges and posters on walls. You are all doing an excellent job, and helping us run a completely different election campaign from the ones we have previously seen in UCU.
Don’t be complacent!
When speaking to people on the ground, many of us have encountered the view that Grady has already won, because her campaign communications have been so visible, on Twitter and—thanks to all your wondrous work—as posters, postcards, flyers and manifestos spread around campuses all around the UK. But this election is still far from being won and we need you to keep mobilised to fight against any complacency of this kind.
Negative campaigning against Grady
We also need to be aware that the other candidates’ supporters have vigorous campaigning tactics of their own, even if they are less publicly visible than ours. Sadly, over the course of the campaign we have been forwarded emails containing false assertions and insinuations about Jo Grady: in particular that she is, or has been, a member of the SWP. This despite Grady’s repeated explanations since the start of the campaign that the only political party she has ever been a member of is the UK Labour Party. Where possible, we have contacted the authors of such emails directly, and received an apology and retraction—but only after threatening to take very serious action.
We are saying this to make you aware that this election is a long way from over. We know that most voters will not care about or pay attention to smears like this; they will be convinced by Grady and by the strength of her manifesto and the transparency of her campaign. But if any misinformation does come up in conversations you have with people while campaigning for Grady on the ground, please correct it, and then, if you can, let us know about it. We would also encourage you to do the same if you are aware that this is happening to the other candidates. The election of our General Secretary is too important to allow negative campaigning and lies to be influential.
Overall, please just keep doing what you are doing. At every husting Jo has spoken to dozens of people who are inspired by our positive campaign and hopeful we can make positive changes. So please do continue to speak to people about what inspires you in Jo Grady’s vision and manifesto. This is what people want to hear.
The final push
The next few days are crucial: it is our last chance to Get The Vote Out. Ballot papers need to be posted by Monday 20 May in order to be sure to arrive by Thursday 23 May (the postage on the return envelopes is second class!). If, for some reason, you still do not have your ballot–you need to get a replacement now from this page on UCU’s website! One of the most helpful things you can do now is to go knocking on office doors to have a chat with any colleagues who are willing to speak to you, using whatever time you can spare. Even just 15 minutes would be great. If each of you could spare one hour this week to do this, the effect on overall turnout could be phenomenal. If you have not done this before, it can feel very awkward at first, but feedback from our ground game teams suggests it can become enjoyable, and it is certainly effective. This is how we find the people who still have their ballot papers on their desk or kitchen table and convince them that they should vote. You do not need to do a hard sell for Grady: just ask colleagues if they have received their ballot paper, and if so whether they have posted it back yet. If they have not, try to convince them it is very important to do so. If they ask about the candidates, you can tell them why you are supporting Grady. If/when you are not on campus, you can focus on sending out personal emails.
Thank you so much for your support. If we win this, it will be thanks to the hard work on the ground of people like you! You are making a real difference!
The #Grady4GS campaign team