Why we are supporting Jo McNeill for UCU VP

Vote Jo for UCU National VP for HE

Higher and Further Education are at a crossroads

The Conservative Government is wedded to a path of increasing market competition between universities and colleges. They are ideologically committed to the commodification of education.

Universities and the academic values they are set up to promote are under threat like never before. Peer-reviewed assessment of academic quality is formally undermined by the REF and TEF. But the main threat to universities is economic.

On the one hand there are record surpluses in our sector – between £1.2 and £2bn a year. But there are winners and losers. Post 92 universities tend to be the hardest hit. Last year, leaks to the press indicated that three universities were close to bankruptcy -something that has never happened before.

Further, adult and prison education have already been devastated by the market, mergers and austerity. We have lost 25,000 lecturers, 2 million adult places and surviving staff have had a real terms cut in pay of 25%.

The Tories’ answer to cutting undergraduate HE fees? Bring in Further Education fees!

Across both sectors, casualisation is the norm rather than the exception. Workloads have shot through the roof. Pay and promotion are grossly unequal by class, gender and race. Meanwhile the entire purpose of education has been reduced to employability for students and profitability for employers.

There is an alternative. The USS strikes showed our collective power to challenge the priorities of the market. Our strikes showed that we have real power. In Further Education our members are fighting and winning landmark deals on pay and casualisation. But we need more to do so.

UCU is in the process of a transformation. When union leaders call on members to fight, they do, and members have shown their willingness to take on the employers and – as UCU’s rank and file revolt on March 13 last year showed – are prepared to fight on.

The USS dispute demonstrates that members have power, but also that leadership matters.

The Tories, one of the most successful ruling parties in Europe, are in turmoil. Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, has the most radical manifesto for decades. At its heart, it marks a complete break with neo-liberalism with the creation of a National Education Service, including a commitment to replace fees with grants, restore the EMA in England and rebuild adult education.

We need a union leadership that is up to the task, that won’t retreat, waver or wobble.

That is why we are supporting Jo McNeill.

Her experience leading University of Liverpool branch and as a member of the National Executive Committee, make her the best candidate to forge a fighting union that encourages ordinary rank and file members to organise and lead.

We need a union that can take on the market and fight for the alternative of an education service for the whole of society, and not just the few.


Nita Sanghera UCU Vice President, Bournville College
Dr Lindsey German Campaigner & Writer Hertfordshire University
Elizabeth Lawrence UCU Past President & Secretary Y&H Retired Members Branch
Tom Armstrong UCU President SOAS
Professor Graham Smith UCU Northern Regional Committee Delegate Newcastle University
Dr Jo Grady USS National Dispute Committee University of Sheffield
Chris Jones UCU NEC Neath Port Talbot Group
Professor Paul Anderson UCU NEC & Vice President Queen Mary University London
Paul Russell UCU Vice Chair Yorkshire and Humber Retired Members Branch
Des Freedman UCU Vice President Goldsmiths
Craig Jones Lancaster UCU PGR Rep Lancaster University
Deirdre Lynskey UCU Development Officer Queens University Belfast.
Shuruq Naguib UCU Lancaster University
Joanna Kostka UCU Lancaster University
Neil Ward UCU Branch Chair SCCB & Bournville College
Dr Umran Ali UCU Equality Officer & Vice President Salford University
Professor Dave Whyte UCU University of Liverpool
Cheryl Hedges UCU Vice Chair Newman University
Professor Sarah Elton UCU President Durham University
Mandy Brown UCU NEC, London Region Secretary & Joint Branch Secretary Lambeth College
Sue Abbott UCU NEC Newcastle University
Lee Humber UCU Membership Secretary Ruskin College Oxford
Carly Grundle UCU Branch Secretary CCCG Westminster Kingsway College
Cecily Blyther UCU NEC & Regional Anti-Casualisation Representative PETROC
Mike Barton UCU Branch Secretary NCC Redbridge College
Rhiannon Lockley UCU NEC & West Midlands Women’s Officer Birmingham City University
Peter Wareham UCU Branch Chair NCC Arbour Square
Bernie Driscoll UCU UCG CNWL
Sean Vernell UCU NEC Coordinating Chair CCCG City & Islington College
Alan Barker UCU Branch Committee Nottingham University
Carlo Morelli UCU NEC University of Dundee
Khair Kabir UCU Vice Chair Havering College
Jerry Griffiths UCU Chair Havering College
Lesley McCorrigan UCU Y&H Regional Secretary & Campaign Officer Leeds University
Vincent Thurgood UCU Branch Secretary NCC Hackney Community College
Richard McEwan Branch Secretary NCC Tower Hamlets College Poplar
Dave Muritu Chair UCU NEC, Chair of the Black Members Steering Committee & Branch Secretary Sandwell College
Ioanna Ioanna UCU NEC UCL
Allister Mactaggart UCU Branch Chair Chesterfield College
Marc Oliver UCU Branch Chair NCC Epping Forest College
John James UCU Branch Chair Coleg Gwent
Margot Hill NEC & Branch Secretary Croydon College
Sean Wallis UCU NEC & President UCL
Saira Weiner UCU Branch Secretary Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Marion Hersh UCU NEC & Scotland Equality Officer University of Glasgow
Hazel Raven UCU Y&H Regional FE Secretary & Branch Chair Doncaster College
Veronika Johnson UCU Branch Secretary CCCG City & Islington College
Ian Busby Chair CCCG City & Islington College
Julie Hearn UCU Equality Officer & NEC Lancaster University
Megan Povey UCU Branch Exec & former Branch President University of Leeds
Steve Lui UCU Branch Chair University of Huddersfield
Sunil Banga UCU Pensions Officer & Treasurer Lancaster University
Pura Ariza UCU NEC & NW Region Chair
Dr Tony Sullivan UCU Branch Secretary London College of Fashion UAL
Naina Kent UCU London Region Equality Black Members Rep Hackney Learning Trust
Anne Alexander UCU Cambridge
Geraint Evans UCU Chair FE Y&H Region Branch Secretary Bradford College
Russell Caplan UCU Branch Secretary London South Bank University
Kyran Joughin UCU Branch Secretary University of the Arts London
Jane Coles UCU Branch Committee IOE
Peter Woodward UCU City University & Imperial University
Adrian Budd UCU LSBU
Gwen Vickers UCU Branch Chair NCC Redbridge College
Regi Pilling UCU CCCG Westminster Kingsway
Nina Doran UCU NW Region Chair & Health & Safety City of Liverpool College
Pete Bicknell UCU Membership Secretary Lewisham & Southwark Colleges
Geoff Abbott UCU Northern Regional Chair for HE & Branch Treasurer Newcastle University
Christina Paine UCU NEC & Branch Secretary London Met
Michael Szpakowski UCU Branch Chair Writtle University
Saleem Rashid UCU Branch Chair Sheffield College
Marian Mayer UCU Chair Southern Region UCU, Vice Chair Disabled Members Standing Committee Co-Chair Bournemouth University
Dr Maike Helmers UCU Co-Chair Bournemouth University
Dr Steph Allen UCU Branch Secretary Bournemouth University
David Stewart Northern UCU Regional Secretary for HE Newcastle University.
Bruce Baker UCU Newcastle University
Fergus Nicol UCU Treasurer & CASS Rep London Metropolitan
Bruce Heil UCU Branch Executive Open University
Tina Downes UCU Y&H Retired Members Branch & Past President Natfhe
Roddy Slorach UCU Branch Organiser Imperial University
Bob Jeffrey UCU Branch Officer Sheffield Hallam University & President Sheffield Trades Council
Saladin Meckled-Garcia UCU Vice President UCL
Tony Brown UCU Branch Secretary UCL
Josh Hollands UCU PGTA Rep UCL
Majella Lane UCU Branch Committee UCL
Richard Bradbury Open University Vice President
Peter Dwyer UCU Branch Executive Ruskin College
Des McDermott UCU Branch Executive Ruskin College
Lesley Kane UCU NEC & Anti-Casualisation Committee Open University
Jenny Sutton UCU CCCG Westminster Kingsway College
James Cussens UCU Branch Secretary University of York
Vijay Tymms UCU Branch Executive Imperial University
Fay Dowker UCU Branch Executive Imperial University
Nils Markusson UCU Vice President Lancaster University
Steve Cannon UCU Branch Secretary University of Sunderland
Neil Maughan UCU Branch Officer Leeds University
Ann Swinney UCU Branch Secretary Dundee University
Abdullah Yusuf UCU Co-Equality Officer Dundee University
Dr Lee Jones UCU Queen Mary University London
Anthony O’Hanlon UCU Branch Secretary University of Liverpool
Dr Kirsteen Paton UCU Equalities Officer University of Liverpool
John Atteridge UCU Branch Secretary Morley College
Alex Lancaster UCU Vice President University of Liverpool
Eamonn Leddy UCU Branch Secretary CCCG City & Islington College Blackstock Road
Mark Abel UCU NEC and Committee Chair Brighton University
Elio Di Muccio UCU Branch Secretary University of Birmingham
Johnny Darlington UCU Branch Secretary SOAS
Tim Hall UCU Branch Chair Senate House
Stuart Oliver UCU London Region Chair St Marys University College
Prof Philip Marfleet UCU retired member UEL
Dr Camilla Royle UCU KCL
Rupert Waldron UCU Branch Chair London College of Fashion
Tom Hickey UCU Brighton
Peter Evans UCU National LGBT+Standing Committee & Equality Rep South Thames College Group Wandsworth Campus
Owen Mathers UCU Runshaw College
Nadia Edmond UCU Branch Chair University of Brighton Falmer
Marion Winters UCU Vice President Heriot Watt
Professor Phil Taylor UCU Strathclyde
Alliya Stennett UCU Union Learning Rep & Joint Equality Officer South & City College Birmingham
Annie Jones UCU Branch Officer & Women Members Standing Committee Member Sheffield Hallam
Mike Lammiman UCU Vice President University of Hull
Juliana Ojinnaka UCU Branch Equalities Officer The Sheffield College Hillsborough
Steve Mardy Y&H Regional HE Secretary Leeds Beckett University
Dr Emily Luise Hart UCU University of Liverpool
Eleni Michalopoulou UCU NEC University of Liverpool
Dr Rohit K Dasgupta UCU  & Labour Councillor Newham, Loughborough University
Dr Satvinder S Juss UCU Kings College London
Iain Ferguson UCU Scotland Retired Members Branch.
Joanne Smith Finley UCU Co-opted Committee Member Newcastle University Newcastle
Steve Scanlon UCU Social Secretary NCC Tower Hamlets College Poplar
Ian Crosson UCU Membership Secretary NCC Tower Hamlets College Poplar
Saria Begum UCU Branch Chair NCC Tower Hamlets College Poplar
Nalini Vittal UCU Branch Committee UCL
Darminder Chuhan UCU West Midlands Black Members Officer & Branch Chair Sandwell College
Brian Kelly UCU Queen’s University Belfast.
David Swanson UCU Organisation & Recruitment Secretary University of Manchester
Anh Le UCU Branch Executive University of Manchester
Maria Chondrogianni UCU Chair Coordinating Committee & Branch Chair University of Westminister, Westminster Cavendish
Jim Ryan UCU Membership Rep SCCB Bournville College
Julia Roberts UCU NEC & Joint Branch Secretary Lambeth College
Grant Buttars UCU Hon President Edinburgh
Mike Orr UCU Branch Committee Edinburgh
Dr Linda Moore UCU President University of Ulster
Paula Alsop UCU Membership Secretary Chesterfield College
Véronique Altglas UCU Equality Officer Queen’s University Belfast
Merav Amir UCU Branch Chair Queen’s University Belfast
Steph Allen UCU Branch Secretary Bournemouth University
Dr. Paul O’Connell, Reader in Law, SOAS, University of London
Steve Tombs, Prof of Criminology, The Open University
Dr David Scott, The Open University
Dr Vickie Cooper, The Open University
Dr Santiago Amietta, Middlesex University
Dr Tanzil Chowdhury, Lecturer in Public Law, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Kevin Farnsworth, Reader in Social Policy, University of York
Will Jackson, Lecturer in Criminology, Liverpool John Moores University
Professor Joe Sim, Liverpool John Moores University
Avik Banerjee Secretary and Equality Officer, South West Regional Executive Committee
Andreas Bieler, Professor of Political Economy, University of Nottingham and Vice President of Local UCU Association.
Darryn Mitussis, UCU Queen Mary University of London


All signatories in a personal capacity.

Sign this statement on Jo’s website.

2 Replies to “Why we are supporting Jo McNeill for UCU VP”

  1. I have noticed you don’t monetize uculeft.org, don’t waste your traffic,
    you can earn additional cash every month. There is one good way that brings decent money,
    you can google it: money making by bucksflooder

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.