Thank you and next steps: email to subscribers

This is the text of an email sent to subscribers of the #Grady4GS mailing list on 19 July 2019. To subscribe to our GDPR-compliant list, please fill out your details here!

19 July 2019

Dear Colleague,

As you will have heard by now, I officially take up my post as General Secretary of UCU on 1 August. But although the election is over, we will need to stay organised and keep working together if we are to achieve what we want, both inside and outside UCU. 

My campaign has built a new coalition of UCU members and the subscribers to this mailing list were the heart of that coalition. Many of you put a lot of time and effort into campaigning on my behalf. This mailing list grew to nearly four hundred subscribers over the course of the ballot period. By the start of the final week, we had at least one volunteer who had agreed to knock on doors and put up posters in every single one of the sixty largest branches in UCU. 

Those efforts translated into a record-breaking turnout for UCU GS elections and a record-breaking share of the vote. If we keep working together, both inside and outside UCU’s formal structures, we can get even more done.

I would therefore like to keep this movement and this mailing list alive once I start work at UCU HQ. I hope to use the list to create opportunities to meet and listen to supporters. For example, I will be touring branches in September and October as part of UCU’s joint USS and pay/equality/anti-casualisation campaigns, and you will hear more about that via official emails from UCU HQ. But as well as speaking and taking questions at branch meetings, I also want to take the time to meet informally with supporters of my campaign, to give you the inside track on what I’m doing for UCU and hear your thoughts on what we should be doing next. I’d love to hear from people who want to get more involved in UCU at a national level, perhaps by taking part in committees or the new ‘task groups’ which I pledged to set up in my manifesto. You don’t need to be very experienced in UCU or involved in your branch to consider doing this – I want to see a range of people with different backgrounds getting involved now that I’m General Secretary.

However, in order to do all these things, I need your consent. This mailing list was created for the specific purpose of my election campaign. To use it for any other purpose, I need to inform you what that purpose is and give you an opportunity to opt out. The list is not, nor will it become, an official UCU list. It will not be administered using UCU resources, but only in a personal capacity by me and the registered data controllers for my campaign. If you would like to leave the list, please follow the steps to unsubscribe at the bottom of this message. If not, you can look forward to hearing more from me in the coming months, and I encourage you to invite anyone else who might be interested to subscribe via my campaign website. But either way, thank you so much for your support.

Best wishes,

Jo.

Just 48 hours left to elect Jo Grady!

This is an email sent to subscribers of the #Grady4GS mailing list on Sunday 19 May 2019 (some subscribers may have received this later). To subscribe to our GDPR-compliant list, please fill out your details here!


Dear Colleagues

48 hours of this campaign to go

We’re in the last, crucial 48 hours of getting ballots in the mail. This coming Friday, when the results are announced, we want to hear that Jo Grady is elected our union’s next General Secretary. If she wins, she will be the first UCU Gen Sec who has worked in tertiary education.

Round up those ballot papers

If previous Gen Sec elections are anything to go by, there are still many more unused ballot papers around than have been returned. We’re asking you today and tomorrow to contact your colleagues and friends who are UCU members. Check that they’ve voted. If they haven’t, tell them why Jo Grady should become the next Gen Sec.

Very last chance to order a replacement ballot

Order a replacement ballot here. That option closes, we understand, later this afternoon (ie this Sunday, 19 May).

Speed those ballot papers on their way

Say to colleagues you’ll post the ballot paper for them – and will add a first class stamp – on Monday morning. (If so, make sure you or they cross out the pre-paid envelope’s ‘2’ and the barcode with a pen.) Make sure ballot papers go directly in a Royal Mail post box – and are not left in an institution’s ‘out box’ or mail room.

Another future

#Grady4GS has inspired members up and down the country and across all parts of our sector. The endorsements list goes on and on – from the most precariously employed staff to those with senior jobs. If Grady wins, we can transform our union and make another future for tertiary education.

The polls close on Thursday 23 May at noon.

High Noon – for our campaign, and maybe for the future of tertiary education in the UK.

We’re relying on you. One more push.

The Grady4GS campaign team

All-Member Email 4

Below is the text of the fourth of four emails which I am entitled to send to all members of UCU as one of the candidates in the General Secretary election. It will be sent on Sunday 19 May. To read the first, second, and third emails, click here, here, and here.

Dear colleague,

Further and Higher Education are part of a social context which we cannot ignore. Both sectors have been shaped in the last decade by a series of crises: from the financial crisis, to the human and macroeconomic crisis of austerity, to the ongoing crisis of Brexit. Governments have cut some costs, and shifted others to us and to our students.

Managers of universities and colleges have, at best, failed to protect us from politicians and the private sector. At worst, they have actively conspired to undermine public education. Universities and colleges could be part of the solution, but they are becoming part of the problem. It is up to us to turn things round.

You have a few days left to vote. The pre-paid envelopes in your ballot papers are Second Class, so you need to post them by Monday to be sure that they will arrive in time. Today is the last day you can order a First-Class replacement ballot.

The USS crisis: what we have learnt

Last year’s USS dispute showed how far managers’ priorities have diverged from our own. It brought out the worst in them. But it brought out the best in us. Our students supported us. We gained thousands of members. Our collective expertise and experience overturned more than a decade of conventional wisdom about the supposed decline of good, guaranteed pensions. We taught each other what is possible when we take collective action.

Building an open, democratic, proactive union

The fight for USS is not over. As I point out in my manifesto, we still need to secure our pensions for the longer term. But we also need to turn UCU into a union that can confront all the challenges I have mentioned above, and bring about sector-defining change.

We need a plan for Further Education. We can convert local action into a return to meaningful national bargaining, and rebuild the union’s FE membership in the same way we have for HE. But we also need plans to protect our international staff and students; combat climate change; repair the damage done by the Brexit Referendum; eradicate sexual harassment from our workplaces; and replace irresponsible and harmful metrics with meaningful standards for evaluating what we do.

There are no shortcuts. Nobody will do these things for us. I stood up from the ranks of university staff to stand for General Secretary because I know that we are the answer. We can turn UCU into a union that reflects the full diversity of our workforce and represents the very best of tertiary education.

We can reach out to casually employed staff; take action to support our colleagues in professional services; and advance the cause of equality in our annual bargaining.

We can make negotiations more transparent, so that our members can make informed decisions and hold their representatives to account.

We can form member ‘task groups’ to develop new campaigns, and convert our understanding of what is going wrong in each sector into meaningful action against it.

Use your vote, give me a mandate for change

My website now contains an extensive list of my responses to questions from members on a range of issues, and I continue to welcome your inquiries via email, Twitter, or Facebook.

For all our efforts over the past decade, UCU has struggled to find a way forward. This election gives us an unprecedented opportunity to do so.

If I win this election, I will have the honour of being the first General Secretary to come from the membership. I hope to see a record turnout, and a strong mandate for change.

Dr Jo Grady

Image from Scott Hurrell

Find 10 UCU members who haven’t yet voted!

This is an email sent to subscribers of the #Grady4GS mailing list on Thursday 16 May 2019 (some subscribers may have received this later). To subscribe to our GDPR-compliant list, please fill out your details here!


We need your help if we are to pull off a Grady4GS victory

We could be on the point of pulling off an historic Grady4GS win in the Gen Sec ballot. Grady is the underdog in this election – up against the incumbent in UCU head office and a substantial political machine. Even as there is huge enthusiasm for Grady and for her campaign across the sector and the country, our biggest opponent is apathy. Last time under 14% of members voted. We can beat this – if we all pull together.

Find 10 UCU members who have not yet voted

If each of you on this subscriber list persuades 10 more UCU members to vote, we could secure thousands more votes for Grady. In the last Gen Sec election, only 8000 votes were cast for the winning candidate (Sally Hunt).

Ballots need to be in the mail by next Monday (20 May)

You might need to remind people several times to put their ballot in the mail. People can add a first-class stamp if posting on or after Monday to ensure it is received by the deadline (23 May). Help people to order replacement ballots – preferably delivered to their home address. (The very last day to order is Sunday 19 May). All election FAQs are here.

Don’t be deceived by Twitter coverage

Grady4GS is everywhere on Twitter, but most UCU members are not on Twitter. The campaign team has come across multiple instances in which UCU members still know little to nothing about any of the candidates. Don’t just use Twitter: use other media and face-to-face discussion. Bcc’ing your colleagues in your department, as well as in your discipline and/or domain of expertise, is particularly effective.

Campaigning materials

Everything that you might need is gathered at Grady4GS.com, including our template email that you can adapt yourself when emailing colleagues.

We truly believe this election is crucial – not just for the future of our union, but for the future of Further and Higher Education in this country.

Vote #Grady4GS – and get at least 10 others to vote #Grady4GS too!

The Grady4GS campaign team

The Final Push for the #Grady4GS Campaign!

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 andthanks to all your wondrous workas 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 retractionbut 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.

Staying positive

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

Getting the Vote Out for Jo Grady!

This is an email sent to subscribers of the #Grady4GS mailing list on Wednesday 8 May 2019 (some subscribers may have received this later). To subscribe to our GDPR-compliant list, please fill out your details here!


Thank you to so many of you on this list for the amazing work you’re already doing on the ground to Get The Vote Out (GTVO) for Jo Grady. We are building our campaign from the ground up. We need any level of support you can give in these next two weeks. We have an historic opportunity in this election to vote in an extraordinary candidate: we are relying on you to help us get out the vote for Grady all across the country.

There is a huge energy to this campaign. Endorsements for Grady from across all parts of the membership have flooded in. Our crowdfunder has exceeded its target of £3,000 (many thanks if you have donated). We need now to convert all the support and enthusiasm for Grady4GS into votes.

Ground Game

If you’re not yet part of our ground game (i.e. working ‘on the ground’ at your own institution), we’d love you to join it. Whether you have 15 minutes or a couple of hours, you can help! To be put in touch with other colleagues at your institution to help with GTVO, email Claire Marris.

Winning a Campaign

We’ve heard so much enthusiasm for Grady and her campaign. But none of us should take anything for granted: huge numbers of UCU members still know little to nothing about this ballot. The remainder of this email focuses on additional ways in which you can help the Grady GTVO campaign. In short, to get the vote out, we need to get the word out.

GTVO Infosheet

We have prepared a short 2-page infosheet – to give you some of  the nuts and bolts of Grady’s campaign, and to assist you in GTVO conversations with colleagues.

Keep on Talking

You might know from other GTVO experiences that support for a candidate doesn’t magically turn into votes. Don’t assume that your colleagues know about the Gen Sec election. Don’t assume they know when it closes (ballots should be posted by Monday 20 May to be sure they arrive). Don’t assume they know anything about the three candidates. Don’t assume that someone’s support for a candidate means that they have put their envelope in the postbox. Keep on going – initiating conversations; reminding people of the ballot; checking that they have actually voted.

Using Different Media

We can see how much excitement there has been about Grady and her campaign on Twitter. We want to be sure that we are reaching those using other media. We would love it if you could (i) like and share materials from Grady’s campaign Facebook page; and/or (ii) email colleagues from your institution and discipline/professional community about Grady (using material from the GTVO infosheet and/or the template we’ve prepared). And if you are on Twitter, do keep tweeting about Grady’s campaign under #Grady4GS.

Campaign Materials

A reminder that the Grady4GS.com website contains everything you might need – Grady’s manifesto; copies of her all-member emails; Grady’s blog posts about particular issues (Brexit, climate change, etc.); posters and gifs, etc. Do use these yourself, and distribute to others.

Ballot papers and Election FAQs

If you or a colleague have not received a ballot paper, you can order a replacement. Also note our FAQs about the election.

Subscriber email list

Finally, please urge any Grady supporters you know to subscribe to our email list if they haven’t already. This list is a crucial tool for our campaign: we cannot stress this enough. We will be sending out information on ways in which people can help out, apart from putting up posters and distributing flyers/postcards. The campaign team takes privacy issues seriously and we are determined to be GDPR compliant. We promise we will not flood subscribers with emails. We are able to build our campaign only if people actively subscribe to our list: the Grady4GS campaign HQ does not email anyone who has not subscribed.

Any questions about any of the above, or the campaign, do email us.

We are enormously excited about the transformations that Grady will bring to our union if elected.

There’s only two weeks of campaigning to go! We are counting on you.

The #Grady4GS campaign team

All-Member Email 3

Below is the text of the third of four emails which I am entitled to send to all members of UCU as one of the candidates in the General Secretary election. It was sent on Sunday 12 May. To read the first and second emails, click here and here.

Dear colleague

In my last email I talked about campaigning for sector-wide agreements, starting with job security. Sector-wide agreements are vital. Without them, our employers keep undercutting each other, playing one part of each sector off against another in a race to the bottom.

I want UCU’s campaigns to be inclusive. Pay and pensions are not the only things we need to have fulfilling lives, and our demands to employers should reflect that. I also want those demands to be backed by real leverage, in the form of a plan for industrial action our members can get behind.

Inclusive campaigns, inclusive subscription rates

In Further and Higher Education, I will push for wide-ranging agreements that cover:

To mount inclusive campaigns, we need an inclusive union. That means reforming UCU’s regressive subscription rates. Currently, members earning £60,000 pay a lower proportion of their salary than those earning £20,000. The pace at which rates are being made fairer is glacial. But making membership affordable for those on lower pay is not enough, especially in the Further Education sector, where membership has plateaued. I have proposed elsewhere to consider rebuilding the union in that sector through special initiatives to make membership affordable for all FE staff, just as we’ve done for PhD students and sections of the FE workforce.

We need to redeploy our resources to encourage low-paid and casualised staff to join UCU and take action, and we need to do it sooner rather than later.

Effective industrial action

To make our workplaces fairer, we need to be able to take effective action. In the past, we have under-utilised the leverage at our disposal. For example, if we include our professional services colleagues in our demands, we can increase the pressure on our employers by withdrawing crucial administrative labour.

Members need to be confident that action will benefit, rather than hurt them. The available options, including strikes, have to be resourced and supported properly. That is why I propose to make the UCU strike fund transparent, easy to access, and less conservative in the support it provides.

UCU has accumulated large reserves without passing enough of them on to members who take action. I have heard from members who felt short-changed after suffering docked pay, applying to the Fighting Fund, and receiving less than they needed or expected. It does not have to be this way. We can do better, especially in Further Education, where members have faced massive pay cuts thanks to austerity, and sometimes have trouble taking action for more than a few days at a time.

Some trade unionists complain about the 50% turnout threshold imposed by Trade Union legislation. But while the law is in place, we can see it as an opportunity to organise and build support for new forms of collective action. When members take sustained action, we win. Winning is our best recruiting tool, and a larger membership galvanises all our campaigns. UCU should provide the resources to make this happen.

Accessible support for members

Some problems require personalised as well as collective solutions. I want UCU to develop versatile ways of addressing problems our members face every day. UCU has been spending more of your subscriptions on professional development courses which members struggle to find time to attend. I want to shift our focus to issues which our employers can’t or won’t deal with themselves, including:

We can use new technology and overhaul UCU’s online services to make these things easier than they are at present. Other unions are already doing it. So can we.

My campaign has revealed the appetite for change in UCU and started an unprecedented conversation about our future. Over 12,000 people have visited my website, and I’ve received endorsements from members across the union, from Prison Education to Higher Education.

My fourth and final email will say more about my long-term vision for UCU. Until then, please continue to contact me via emailTwitter, or Facebook, and subscribe to my mailing list. But above all, use your vote.

Dr Jo Grady

Jo Grady for UCU General Secretary—Let’s spread the word!

This is an email sent to subscribers of the #Grady4GS mailing list on Friday 3 May 2019 (some subscribers may have received this later). To subscribe to our GDPR-compliant list, please fill out your details here!


On Thursday 23 May 2019, the General Secretary (GS) ballot will have closed (see our FAQs). That isn’t much time for all those supporting Jo Grady get their ballot papers into the mailbox with her listed #1. We really need your help.

Members who are engaged with UCU will probably vote quickly and have probably already decided who to vote for. Our Grady4GS campaign is also focusing on increasing the vote among UCU members who wouldn’t usually vote in a GS election. We estimate that a high percentage of UCU members still don’t know the election is going on and how important it is, despite the all-member emails they should have received this week.

So to ‘get the vote out’ we need to ‘get the word out’!

Here’s what you can do:

Joinor carry on working ina ground team: Huge thanks to many of you who are already part of a ground team at your institution. It’s been fantastic to see Grady4GS initiatives sprouting all over the country. We’d love more of you to help. Email Claire Marris: she’ll put you in touch with others getting the vote out for Grady at your institution, or help you to get your institution off the ground. (The #Grady4GS campaign team will be sharing basic contact details with Claire Marris to coordinate the ground game.)

Carry on talking to and emailing colleagues: Putting up posters and distributing postcards is very important, but it’s also crucial to speak to people face to face and email them (see our template here). Most members don’t know the election is happening and/or how important it is to cast their vote. Do not assume that an expression of support for Grady automatically turns into a vote for Grady. Remind all colleagues to post their ballot.

Help other members receive GS emails, and change their membership info: We’ve encountered lots of members who haven’t been receiving the candidate emails that are supposed to go to the entire membership. We can’t even be sure that our so-called ‘all-member emails’ are actually reaching all of UCU’s members. We can’t take members’ awareness for granted.

Some UCU members (e.g. PhD students who are paid for teaching) might need to change their membership category to receive ballot papers.

For a full set of solutions to these issues, see our ‘Election FAQs’.

Read and share new blogs and other writing from Jo Grady: In the last day, Jo has published blog posts on Academic-Related and Professional Services staff, university finances, climate change, and Brexit. She has also now published the text of her second all-member email, which focuses on casualisation and is scheduled to go out to the membership on Sunday morning.

Attend hustings: The timetable of remaining hustings is here. You can watch the recording of the one held at the University of Cambridge, which went very well and showcased Jo’s unique strengths as a candidate.

Use – and encourage others to use – #Grady4GS campaigning materials: All resources are gathered here. In particular:

You can download the I voted for Jo Grady! animated graphic and post on Twitter or Facebook.

You can print out posters in black and white and photocopy on coloured paper.

Subscriber list: Ask people to join our subscriber list. This is the only GDPR-compliant way we have to contact people.

Crowd funder: Printing and posting out campaign materials to ground teams is expensive. We have raised an amazing £2,911 so far: please help us reach our £3,000 target to cover these costs.

We can get Jo Grady elected as the next Gen Sec and transform our union. We’re counting on you!

Jo Grady and the #Grady4GS Team

All-Member Email 2

Below is the text of the second of four emails which I am entitled to send to all members of UCU as one of the candidates in the General Secretary election. It is scheduled to be sent on Sunday 5 May. To read the first email, click here.

Dear Colleague,

If I am elected General Secretary, my first priority will be to achieve a binding national agreement on job security in Higher Education. As staff in HE, we know intuitively why job security matters. A steady income and guarantee of long-term employment frees us to develop our skills and focus on our work and our students. The high level of job security we used to enjoy in UK universities was what made them, pound-for-pound, the best in the world. But that security will soon be a thing of the past. Even our wealthiest and most prestigious institutions have been building their business models on casual labour.

Precarity is not a transitional state or a rite of passage. Well over 50% of university staff are now on casual contracts. Under UCU’s watch, our profession has become a casualised one. Life is qualitatively different for precarious workers today, at a time when house prices have skyrocketed and even permanently employed staff, including me, are forced to rent. We cannot forget that we are currently training the first generation of PhD students and Post-Graduate Teaching Assistants who are already laden with the debt arising from £9000 tuition fees.

This is a national problem and it needs national solutions, but UCU has not been taking the issue seriously enough on a national level. As I have said in my manifesto, our casualised members cannot be blamed for doubting whether they really are a priority for the union. The formal anti-casualisation demands which UCU makes in its annual negotiations with employers are limited and uninspiring. They contain no special provisions for women, BME, and academic-related/professional services staff, who suffer disproportionately from job insecurity. Worse still, the union has given up hope of achieving them. But I have not. Other tertiary education unions (for instance, in the Netherlands) have won national agreements on job security. So can we.

The first thing we need to do is formulate strong, credible demands which will inspire our members and promise immediate improvements to their conditions. No more waiting for employers to give us vague expressions of commitment, ‘strategies’, ‘timescales’, ‘reviews’ or ‘action plans’ to reduce casual labour: it’s time to demand that employers reduce casual labour. My manifesto promises to create a new post for a national branch coordinator who will help to convert our branches’ local efforts into the meaningful national claims we need.

The same principles apply to equality. At present, UCU asks for little and expects even less of employers in this area. This year, the union is not even asking employers for a national agreement on paid parental leave. Again, I have called for branches to have a coordinated input into our national claims.

At the same time, we need to give a real voice to those affected by casualisation and inequality, by empowering UCU’s national equalities committees and the committees for casualised and academic-related/professional services members. At present, these bodies have limited access to data about the members they are supposed to represent, and they are denied opportunities to communicate directly with them. I will allow these committees to talk regularly to their constituencies. You won’t just hear from your General Secretary: UCU will become an open, vibrant democracy where a range of voices can be heard.

It’s time for UCU to develop a serious agenda for dealing with casualisation now. It’s time for UCU to communicate openly about that agenda with the whole membership. If you vote for me, you will only be asked to take industrial action for something that matters, and you will be able to make an informed decision about it.

Finally, and most importantly, you will be able to take action as a casualised member without making overwhelming financial sacrifices. In my next email, I will talk more about my proposals to build the union around casualised members, through comprehensive subscription reform and a dramatic overhaul of the UCU strike fund.

In the meantime, please email me, visit my website, and come to one of the hustings events. For a list of important FAQs about the election, click here. Thousands of people visited my website on the first day of this ballot, and my campaign video has been viewed 45000 times. Please get involved, vote, and help me build the union we deserve.

Dr Jo Grady

We have 3 weeks to get Jo Grady elected as UCU Gen Sec!

This is an email sent to subscribers of the #Grady4GS mailing list on Sunday 28 April 2019 (some subscribers may have received this later). To subscribe to our GDPR-compliant list, please fill out your details here!


Thanks so much for your support for and interest in the Jo Grady Gen Sec campaign. The UCU General Secretary ballot opened on Monday 29 April and is open for just 24 daysuntil 23 May 2019. All the evidence suggests that if people are going to vote, they tend to do so within the first week or ten days of the ballot. So your efforts in this first week will be particularly appreciated and particularly effective.

We really need your help to Get Out the Vote. There is so much support for Jo, but now we need to convert it into actual votes. We need you to do the following:

Talk to and/or email at least 10 colleagues who are UCU members. Most people know little or nothing about the UCU election. Only 14% voted last time. Give them #Grady4GS materials – and point people particularly to Jo’s manifesto. If you are able, print out a few pdfs and hand them out.

Other things you can do:

Spread the word on social media. Tweet your endorsements using #Grady4GS. Invite your friends to like the #Grady4GS Facebook page

Share Jo’s blogs. For example, see the one on “Time’s up academia”, and on combating the “hostile environment”.

Go to hustings. They start tomorrow (29 April 2019). The next is in Cambridge on Wednesday 1st May  (Friends Meeting House (6-7.30pm).

Join one of the “ground teams” coordinating “Get Out the Vote” in your own institution. Whether you have 15 minutes or a couple of hours, we really need your help. Email Claire Marris for information, and to be put in touch with other supporters.

Write a 100-200 word endorsement to convey to others why you’re voting for Grady. Email it to us directly.

Email professional and/or discipline-specific lists where appropriate.

Be on the look-out for the first UCU all-member email from Jo Grady which arrived via email on Monday 29 April 2019. You could also read it here!

Get other people to sign up to our email list.

We cannot emphasise enough the need to speak to as many of your colleagues as you can. Our priority is to increase the turnout for this election. Only 14% voted last time. Don’t assume people are aware of the election—let alone currently know that much about any of the candidates or their positions. Explain why you’re on board with #Grady4GS, and ask them if they will vote—and help campaign where you work or via email.

We can do this – but we’ve only got just over three weeks. We’re counting on you!

Jo Grady and the #Grady4GS Team