By Sadie Robinson
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UCU needs ‘a breath of fresh air’ says left candidate Jo McNeill

This article is over 4 years, 11 months old
Issue 2539
Jo McNeill
Jo McNeill

Ballot papers will go out this week for elections in the UCU union—and the left is winning support.

UCU Left candidate Jo McNeill is challenging Sally Hunt to become the union’s next general secretary.

Jo told Socialist Worker, “It’s always hard to unseat an incumbent, but I’ve been getting a lot of support.

“I’ve spoken at a lot of hustings—unfortunately Sally Hunt hasn’t turned up to any. But I have been inundated with responses from members.”

The Tories are pushing cuts and privatisation in further and higher education.Workers have fought back. But instead of building on these struggles, UCU’s leadership held them back.

Jo said, “There’s a lack of motivation to engage with the current leadership. People feel they have been let down repeatedly. There is a disconnect between members and the leadership.”

The support for Jo to stand gave a sign of the discontent. She needed 50 signatures to stand—and got nearly 230.

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

“We need a breath of fresh air in the union,” said Jo. “We need to reignite people’s confidence and to organise from the ground up.”

Voting runs until 1 March. Go to


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