Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

6 February 2019

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

University and College Union elections - fight for a left leadership

The Leicester College UCU picket line at Abbey campus, 29.1.19, photo Steve Score

The Leicester College UCU picket line at Abbey campus, 29.1.19, photo Steve Score   (Click to enlarge)

Sam Morecroft, Yorkshire and Humber UCU executive (personal capacity)

16 further education colleges just took strike action over pay and conditions. In higher education, we are fighting to beat the Tories' anti-union laws in the equality and pay ballot.

So the University and College Union (UCU) national executive committee (NEC) elections that opened on 1 February come at a crucial time in our union's history.

The fantastic #ussStrikes over pensions, and subsequent disruption at our democratic Congress last year have led to a 'democracy commission'. That is developing proposals to give members the power to recall elected representatives and empowering our membership to hold leaders accountable.

It has become clear that the bureaucratic Independent Broad Left (IBL), who have controlled our union throughout its short history, are more interested in 'partnership' with the employers than fighting to defend our sector. Such is their weakness now, it is possible that we can overturn the IBL majority on the NEC and secure a fighting left leadership.

Socialist Party members in UCU strongly recommend support for the UCU Left slate.

The IBL clique organised around the general secretary must no longer ride rough shod over the democratic will members or sabotage ballots and campaigns.

UCU Left vice-presidential (VP) candidate Jo McNeill only narrowly lost against incumbent Sally Hunt in the 2017 general secretary election.

There are three candidates for VP - Jo, for UCU Left, Vicky Blake, an independent left, and Adam Ozanne for IBL. It is unfortunate that the left have not agreed on one candidate to stand against Ozanne for the membership to unite behind. This is a Single Transferable Vote election, the danger of splitting the vote and allowing the IBL candidate to win is reduced.

While not part of the organised left in the union, Vicky Blake has a good record of leading strike action, and the Socialist Party encourages support for her as well, perhaps in the form of a second preference vote.

We must fight for a left leadership in our union. This fight must be linked to the struggle for a democratic fighting UCU that can smash the Tory ballot thresholds and defend post-16 education.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation


Your message: 


In The Socialist 6 February 2019:

What we think

Corbyn must prepare for a general election: Remove the pro-capitalist saboteurs - fight for the socialist alternative

Workplace news

College lecturers strike for a pay rise

University and College Union elections

PCS: Campaign for Chris Baugh for AGS

Traffic wardens' strike is just the ticket

Unison: Democracy and the right to speak out are under threat

Historic strike of nurses in Ireland

Backing for the Birmingham homecarers


Tory Brexit farce, Corbyn and unions: Call mass action now

Cash-starved health service ripped off by big pharma - fund our NHS now!

Struggling unis account for bulk of unconditional offers - end education marketisation!

Billionaires avoid paying and even talking about tax! Take the wealth off the 1%

Them & Us

Iranian revolution

40 years since the Iranian revolution: Learning the lessons for today's new working-class struggles

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Haringey 'Corbyn council' must fight borough regeneration

Victory! Campaign reverses Wallasey fire cuts

Sheffield tree campaigners' legal win

Southampton by-election

Worcestershire: save the libraries, reverse all the cuts

'Stansted 15' deportation protesters could face jail

North West Socialist Party conference

International socialist news and analysis

United States: LA teachers' strike defeats privatisers

France gilets jaunes' backed by mass strike action

Sweden: dock strikes test new government

United States: strike ends federal shutdown


Film: Vice - Dick Cheney - a cold and calculating opportunist

Theatre: Ballad of Johnny Longstaff

The Socialist inbox


Home   |   The Socialist 6 February 2019   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook

Related links:


triangleUniversity teaching moves online in England

triangleFurther education workers win pay rise in Wales


Solidarity with Brighton UCU strike - we won't pay for Covid crisis

triangleStrike action ballot at UEL over job cuts

triangleWorkplace news in brief


triangleFighting sexual harassment and gender violence on campus

triangleLeicester university workers ballot for action against redundancies


triangleFor a fighting, democratic, member-led union to stop the austerity attacks

triangleBeal High School strike against sick policy resumes

triangleFour Socialist Party members elected to NEU executive


triangleSocialists and elections - a response to the SWP

triangleWhat councils can do to protect the environment


triangleSocialist Students day of action


triangleAction marks the way for a national student movement for free education

Article dated 6 February 2019

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party


Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales


Bulk book orders

New member submission


triangle10 May Oxfordshire & Aylesbury Socialist Party: Election results - what it means for our class

triangle11 May Bristol North Socialist Party: Reform or revolution?

triangle11 May Liverpool Socialist Party: The election results - and the next steps in promoting socialist ideas


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

What we think

Union elections

International news

Mental health


Workplace news

Local government

Campaigns news

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1132 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files

TUSC 2021 election video

More videos ...

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version