UCU left candidate wins Vice President election

UCU left candidate, Maria Chondrogianni won the VP election. It was a vote for taking our fight to the employers and against pausing that fight.  This is the most important lay position in the union, with the Vice President becoming President of the union in their third of four years on the presidential team.
We thank all those who voted for UCU Left candidates and encouraged their colleagues to do the same.
A number of  UCU Left NEC members were also re-elected. Marion Hersh got an impressive vote in the UK HE category, and Carlo Morelli returns to the NEC as Scottish Secretary. Rhiannon Lockley was re-elected in the Midlands, and Sean Vernell was successful in the UK FE election. The left again did well in HE South, winning three of the four seats. In total UCU left supporters won 11 out of the 33 seats up for election.
However, there were also some disappointments. The two left candidates for Honorary Treasurer split the vote allowing victory for the UCU Commons candidate for that post, which is also part of the presidential team. The wider left needs to get better at agreeing joint candidates in races such as those. Relying on second preferences to overcome splitting the vote does not work.
Several current UCU Left NEC members lost their seats despite excellent records during their terms of office. The defeat of Bee Hughes, a prominent trans member and Chair of the LGBT+ committee, Saira Weiner (NW HE and Chair of ROCC), Marian Mayer (chair of the disabled members committee), Khizer Saeed (migrant members rep) and Saleem Rashid (UK FE) will be a loss to NEC. We thank them for their service on NEC and also thank others who stood for election as UCU Left candidates but were unsuccessful.
The left will need to work together to ensure that the NEC/HEC/FEC implements the policies that members vote for at Congress and Sector Conferences.
The consistent story behind these elections is the low turnout. Less than 10% of the union’s 130,000 members bothered to vote, showing that although many members are prepared to vote in industrial action ballots, the vast majority are not motivated by the outcome of NEC elections.
This is something all those standing in election need to be concerned with.

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