Boycott Leicester

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Jo McNeill (University of Liverpool)

academic related

Election address


  • Chair of University of Liverpool UCU - 2019-present 
  • President of University of Liverpool UCU - 5 years 
  • National Executive Committee member - 2013-17, 2018-present
  • National Negotiator (Higher Education) - 2016-17, 2019-present
  • Chair of National Recruitment, Organising and Campaigns Committee - 2016-17, 2019-present
  • Member of UCU Strategy and Finance Committee
  • Stood as General Secretary candidate in 2017 and 2019


  • Academic related UCU member
  • Part-time PhD student (on equality and access to HE)
  • Background in widening participation
  • Currently Fair Access in Admissions Manager at University of Liverpool, now permanently contracted after several years on casual contracts
  • Former Innovative Practice Editor Journal of Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning (OU Centre for Inclusion)
  • Member of the Labour Party
  • UCU Left supported candidate

Higher Education is in the middle of a market-driven 'neoliberal' experiment. This experiment is becoming increasingly unstable. Some universities are threatening bankruptcy, while others are booming - for now.

Subjective, harmful metrics dominate the HE environment causing increases in work related stress, performance management and forced contract changes. In Liverpool we are fighting back, UCU nationally needs to do the same.

Casualisation is the scourge of post-school education and is on the increase. Members are struggling under ever increasing workloads and the gender pay gap isn't closing. The dual dispute approach has very effectively brought pre and post 92 institutions together and raised casualisation, workload and the gender pay gap into the same realm of national bargaining importance as pensions and pay. We have to stand firm on all grounds. We are stronger together. We can take our sector back.

I stand on my record. I am a lifelong activist and have led a large, active branch to victories. I have negotiated better terms and conditions and effective local policies for members. I have saved jobs, had members reinstated after dismissals and supported members through countless cases.

I am actively anti-racist and I am newly disabled. I believe equality should underpin everything we do and I strongly support trans rights. I helped to organise support at Congress for the two new migrant member seats on NEC.

I have been central to the recent change of direction in our union. I wrote the emergency motion which democratised the Effective Industrial Action Commission and was elected into the North West seat. This was the forum where the 14 days of action for the 2018 USS dispute came from.

It is energising to see our new union. Our recent joint disputes demonstrate real enthusiasm from the grassroots with many branches smashing the anti-TU legislation threshold. An organised left presence on the NEC is vitally important to maintaining the direction UCU is taking.

I believe in democracy, transparency and accountability. Vote Jo McNeill #1 for UK elected HE.


Last updated: 31 January 2020