UCU NEC elections 2020-21

The 2020-21 round of elections for UCU’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will open on Friday 29 January 2021 and close on Tuesday 2 March 2021. The NEC is one of the most important decision-making bodies in the union and its members are elected by UCU members, yet turnout in the NEC election is notoriously low (around 12-13% in the 2019-20 round).

UCU’s NEC and its importance

The NEC includes representatives from Higher Education and Further Education, some of whom are elected regionally, some on a UK-wide basis, plus equality seats, the presidential team, and other officers of the union. The NEC is composed of about 60 members. Members serve a term of two years, and elections take place every year for half the seats. The current list of members is here (requires login using your UCU membership number).

The NEC is responsible for conducting the union’s business between UCU Congress meetings. There are sub-committees for HE (HEC) and FE (FEC). The HEC is the body that has been making decisions about the conduct of the ‘Four Fights’ and USS pensions industrial disputes.

For further discussion on NEC and other UCU structures, see ‘UCU’s national democratic structures: a case for reform’ (#USSbriefs23) by Rachel Cohen and ‘What are UCU’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and Higher Education Committee (HEC)?’ (#USSbriefs74) by Kirsten Forkert and Nick Hardy.

Election practicalities

The ballot period is Friday 29 January 2021Tuesday 2 March 2021. It is a postal vote. UCU has posted information about the election, including the list of all the candidates and their election addresses here.

This election uses a single transferable voting system. You can rank candidates in order of preference and you can vote for as many candidates as you wish. If there are candidates who you do not want elected, you should not list them at all. None of your votes are wasted. If your first-ranked candidate already has enough votes to win, or has no chance of winning, your vote is transferred to your second-ranked choice.

In some instances, the same candidate is standing for more than one seat. You can vote for these candidates several times (once for each seat they are standing for) and, again, no vote is wasted: if they are elected to one seat, your vote for them in the other seat will automatically be reallocated to your next-ranked candidate. For the Regional Seats (e.g. North West HE or Midlands HE), your ballot papers will only list the candidates for your own region.

UCU Commons candidates

UCU Commons is putting forward the following candidates who we recommend you vote and campaign for. Each of these candidates is standing on their own merits, with their own political convictions, and they will not be expected to toe any particular ‘party line’ if they are elected. They come from the grassroots and have experienced the sharp end of HE marketisation. Several are in precarious contracts. These are people who can bring forth a new vision for a revitalised union.

You can read their collected election statements here.

Candidates in each category are listed in alphabetical order by surname.

Midlands Region HE (3 seats to be filled)
Dr Emma Battell Lowman (University of Leicester)
Dr Chris Grocott (University of Leicester)
Dr David Harvie (University of Leicester)

North West Region HE (2 seats to be filled)
Professor Bijan Parsia (University of Manchester)

South Region HE (4 seats to be filled, to include at least one woman)
Dr David Hitchcock (Canterbury Christchurch University)

Scotland HE – UCU Scotland President and UCU Scotland Honorary Secretary
Dr Chris O’Donnell (University of the West of Scotland)

UK-elected members HE (4 seats to be filled, to include at least one post-92, one academic related)
Dr Emma Battell Lowman (University of Leicester)
Dr Gareth Brown (University of Leicester)
Dr Nicholas Chancellor (Durham University)
Dr Rohit K Dasgupta (Loughborough University)
Dr Chris Grocott (University of Leicester)
Dr David Harvie (University of Leicester)
Dr John Hogan (Anglia Ruskin University) [post-92]
Dr Eric Lybeck (University of Manchester)
Dr Chris O’Donnell (University of the West of Scotland) [post-92]
Professor Bijan Parsia (University of Manchester)

Representatives of disabled members (1 HE seat to be filled)
Dr Jane Charlesworth (University of Warwick) (HE)

Representatives of LGBT+ members (1 HE seat to be filled)
Dr Mark Pendleton (University of Sheffield) (HE)

Representatives of casually employed members (1 HE seat to be filled)
Dr Ben Pope (University of Manchester) (HE)

Blogpost image original on Pixabay.

Click here to contact UCU Commons!

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