UCU members should have received their ballot papers for the General Secretary election by now (or will receive them very soon). Remember that, as with all formal ballots, UCU is legally required to conduct this via post (we are forbidden in law to do this electronically). Please use your vote, and make sure you post it in good time to arrive by the deadline of 23 May. If your ballot paper hasn’t arrived you can request a new one here.
The General Secretary is a crucial role. The GS is the ‘face’ of union campaigns and our public and media presence, our relationship with our employer and the wider public. It’s our hope that every single Leeds UCU member will vote in the General Secretary election.
It hasn’t been possible to organise a hustings event in Leeds as we had hoped, as the campaign period is very short and we’d wanted to make sure all three candidates could attend. However, Cambridge UCU filmed their hustings which you can watch online for an excellent introduction to the candidates’ views and approaches.
Also, all three have agreed to answer questions from Leeds members in a ‘virtual hustings’. We asked members to submit questions, and we’ll be posting the candidates’ responses on this website soon. If you’ve got something you’d like to ask them, please email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
How does this election work?
UCU uses the Single Transferable Vote system. This means we are able to rank the candidates in our preferred order, rather than being limited to one vote. It is very important this is done by numbering preferences, as ballots marked with an X will be considered ‘spoiled’ by the scrutineers. This video from the Electoral Commission explains how STV works. It is conducted in rounds which is designed to reduce the risk of vote splitting and to instead allow voters to see their preferences reflected in the election process. In the case of a three-person race as we have this time, it means that the person with the lowest votes in the first round will be removed, but everyone who voted for that person who included a second preference will have their vote ‘transferred’ to their next preferenced candidate. Please do use the opportunity to rank the candidates in your order of preference, and please do remember that using an X will disqualify your vote!
More detail on the candidates
There are three candidates running for General Secretary. Each candidate has an election address and a website, and we have linked to them below, in alphabetical order by surname:
| Jo Grady |
(University of Sheffield UCU Pensions Officer):
| Jo McNeill|
(University of Liverpool UCU President):
| Matthew Waddup|
(National Head of Policy & Campaigns):
Does Leeds UCU endorse any of the candidates?
The Leeds UCU General Meeting on 2nd May agreed the following motion:
“Leeds UCU Branch endorses both Jo McNeill and Jo Grady in the 2019 UCU General Secretary election.”
This means that we recommend giving one Jo your preference 1 and the other Jo your preference 2, in whichever order you think best.
Please read the candidates’ election addresses and websites, and watch the video linked above, and make up your own mind.
This election has been called due to the resignation of Sally Hunt as General Secretary of UCU for health-related reasons. We have sent thanks on behalf of our branch to Sally Hunt for her years of dedicated service and to wish her well for the future. Sally had held the position of UCU General Secretary since the formation of UCU in 2006.