Socialist Worker

Support UCU Left in union elections

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2540

Left candidate Jo McNeill

Left candidate Jo McNeill

Elections are underway in the UCU union, where UCU Left candidate Jo McNeill is challenging Sally Hunt to become the union’s next general secretary.

Jo told Socialist Worker her campaign is going “really well” with lots of members getting in touch.

Jo said workers have contacted her to raise worries about workload, casualisation and the higher education bill.

Others are concerned about how the union will defend European Union workers in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Other UCU Left candidates include Carlo Morelli for vice president, Mandy Brown and Richard McEwan for UK-elected members FE and Carlo Morelli, Marion Hersh, Phoebe Moore and Ioanna Ioannou for UK-elected members HE.

Candidates want an alternative leadership that will fight Tory attacks and reinvigorate resistance.

The election runs until 1 March. For Jo’s campaign go to and for UCU Left materials go to

Teachers at Whitehaven Academy in Cumbria struck on Wednesday of last week. The NASUWT union called off a strike that was due to take place on Thursday.

Workers were on strike over conditions at the school.

The union said that Bright Tribe, the trust running the academy, hasn’t made enough investment.

School governors in West Sussex could “strike” over Tory education funding cuts. The action could include refusing to sign off budgets.

Funding cuts mean schools will lose £3 billion a year in real terms until 2020.

The governors are supporting head teachers who say cuts may mean shorter school hours, merged classes or cutting teachers.

In a letter to MPs, governors spoke of the need to take “direct action” over funding cuts that put schools in an “impossible financial situation”.

Lecturers at Manchester Metropolitan University could strike over bosses’ plan to close its Crewe campus.

The UCU union has said it could ballot workers for strikes if the dispute over its closure isn’t resolved.

UCU members have voted for a motion to ballot for strikes if bosses threaten job cuts.

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.