Support colleagues fighting back in FE!

Members in HE: please use your vote!

Jo McNeill (University of Liverpool)

academic related, woman

Election address


  • Fair Access in Admissions Manager, University of Liverpool, now permanently contracted after several years on casual contracts

  • academic related member

  • part-time PhD student (equality and fair access to HE)

  • background in Widening Participation - worked for Aimhigher with schools, FE, Pre and Post-92s

  • member of the Labour Party

  • UCU Left supported                                                                


  • President of University of Liverpool UCU - 5 years 

  • North West Elected NEC member - 4 years

  • National Negotiator (Higher Education) - 2 years

  • NW Regional representative to the National Effective Industrial Action Commission

  • Previous member of National UCU Strategy & Finance Committee, and Recruitment, Organising & Campaigns Committee

During my recent campaign for UCU General Secretary, I met countless members who opened my eyes to both the strengths and weaknesses of our union. I would like to be elected back into the NEC so I can ensure all voices are heard in that forum.

We are in difficult times, we face the unknown consequences of Brexit, and the immediate threat to the residency of our EU colleagues. We need a national strategy to restore the value of pay for all our members. All our fights are now framed within the (anti) Trade Union Act meaning we have to organise and mobilise our members more thoroughly than we may have in the past.

We need action on equality issues, words are great but we need to see effective implementation, we need UCU to financially support test cases from each of the equality strands. We also need to prevent Prevent!

In the pre-92's we are facing the fight of our lives, our employers are moving to destroy our pensions. Not content with introducing precarity into our sector with their increasing casualisation agenda, they now want to extend that precariousness into our retirements with a full move into defined contributions - gambling our future income on the stock market. We cannot sit back and allow this to happen.

When Sally Hunt mentioned the introduction of an Effective Industrial Action Commission (EIAC) at Congress, I welcomed this idea. For several years our industrial action strategies have let us as members down. We are tired of being marched up the hill and then stood down with no result. We need change.

Across the HE sector the marketisation agenda is gathering speed, casualisation is increasing, the gender pay gap is widening and workload is for many, unbearable. Bullying is rife and work related stress is causing more time off work than any other illness.

We need to build our branches to provide leverage for national bargaining and to strengthen local negotiations on all of these matters. We need to defend education!

Voting in these NEC elections is vitally important. I would really appreciate your vote.

Last updated: 1 February 2018