The campaign by Roger Kline, the left wing candidate for general secretary of the newly merged University and College Union (UCU), is well under way.
All three candidates attended a number of hustings in Scotland and the East Midlands last week.
Over 40 union members attended a hustings at the University of Leicester.
Lecturer Chris Talbot said, 'Roger Kline spoke about the mistakes that had been made in last year's pay dispute, the need for a strong strike fund and for the national union to better support the activists in the branches.
'Sally Hunt defended her leadership of the pay dispute, saying that leaders needed to make decisions and that the AUT union was strengthened in her time of office.
'The questions were all about the pay dispute, with bitterness from the floor that with inflation now at 4.4 percent, the first year of the deal amounts to a pay cut.
'Another question was about the decision to call off the dispute before the ballot was conducted. Roger said that should not happen again. Sally defended it on the grounds that she had consulted widely.'
In London around 50 lecturers came to Roger Kline's launch rally on Thursday of last week, despite adverse weather conditions.
Activists in UCU Left group are organising for Roger Kline. Richard, a lecturer in Tower Hamlets College in east London, said, 'I went around the college speaking with people about the election and why it's important to vote.
'But you can't just do it once and leave leaflets on people's desks – you have to talk with people about the issues, like pay, workload and the Esol cuts.'
UCU Left is supporting around 40 candidates in the elections for general secretary and the national executive. For a full list go to www.uculeft.org. The ballot begins on 7 February and runs through to 7 March.