Firstly, I’d like to congratulate Sally Hunt on being re-elected as General Secretary of UCU. I congratulated Sally personally this morning and we look forward to continuing to work together for all members.
To all those members who voted for me, thank you! I really enjoyed meeting all members who came to hustings and hearing from all members who emailed me to discuss your concerns and what you think our union should be doing.
I’m pleased to see that I achieved 41% of the votes cast. This is a significant increase on the vote share gained by the challenger during the last GS election which was a commendable 27%. The result illustrates that almost half of our active members in UCU want a change in leadership.
However, the turnout in this ballot is a major cause for concern. Only 13.7% of UCU members participated in this ballot. It is unfortunate that the mandate for the re-elected General Secretary only comes from 8% of the overall membership.
We need to work hard to re-engage the disengaged. This is equally as important to us as recruitment. After meeting so many brilliant, committed members around the country, I have every confidence that we can work together to build UCU from below. It will take time and it will definitely take effort but if we want UCU to be seen as an active, organising, campaigning union, then we all have a part to play
We are living through difficult times, the equality agenda is under attack, the freedom of the press and workers’ rights. We can take courage from the resistance that is already building up to Trump in the USA. Like many other UCU activists I will be part of the resistance against racism, sexism and all forms of discrimination and hatred championed by the Alt-Right. I’m looking forward to the big demonstration against racism in London on March 18th (there will be a coach leaving from Liverpool – contact me for details) and to the debate at UCU Congress in May about how we build our union.