NEC election results

First of all, we want to say again how proud we are of our campaign, our slate and our team. It takes guts for people to put themselves out there, open themselves up to scrutiny and stand for election. We also want to acknowledge all of the other candidates from different factions and none who put themselves forward. 

There is a lot of work that goes into a campaign.There’s the obvious stuff: making videos, captioning and editing them, writing social media posts, creating flyers, and building websites. But there’s also the work that goes unseen: allaying concerns about running, commenting on election statements, making sure all forms are submitted on time, helping prepare for hustings, offering moral support via text or a parcel in the post, and talking to individual members at branches all over the UK. So many UCU Commons members and supporters took part in this collective caring and organising effort and we want to thank all of them.

A huge thank you also to all those who voted for our slate, both for taking part in the democratic process and putting your faith in our candidates. We are delighted to announce that seven out of our ten candidates got elected to HEC. David Harvie has been elected as Honorary Treasurer, Bijan Parsia as Disabled Members’ Rep, Vivek Thuppil as Migrant Members’ Rep, Mark Pendleton as LGBT+ Members’ Rep, Matilda Fitzmaurice as Casualised Members’ Rep, Caroline Proctor as a representative in the Midlands region and Becca Harrison as a representative in the South region. Congratulations also to Lucy Burke in the Northwest region and Jak Peake as Black Members’ Rep, who we also recommended voting for. You’ll find a complete breakdown of all the results here.

We are gutted that Emma Battell Lowman narrowly missed out on being elected as VP. Our commiserations also go to Francis Clarke, and Chris O’Donnell, who also missed out on HEC seats in UK-wide (Francis and Chris), Midlands (Francis) and Scotland (Chris). 

The overall make-up of NEC has changed significantly because of this election, which bodes well for decision-making at UK-wide level that reflects Commons values like transparency, representing the membership as a whole, and engaging as critical friends with UCU officials. We look forward to working collegially and constructively with all continuing and newly-elected members.

We are delighted that our strong focus on equalities work in the union has translated into a swathe of new seats. UCU Commons now hold the disabled, LGBT+ and one of the migrant members’ seats in HE, together with the other Equalities seats we already held. We are very pleased to be recognised as champions of equalities, including trans rights, which is and always has been at the heart of our core values. We are encouraged that members have put their trust in our record and our principles. We will continue fighting to uphold our union’s strong commitments to trans and non-binary members and communities. However, equalities and liberation work is never finished: there is always more to be done, and more challenges to confront.

The new NEC/HEC members will be taking their seats after Congress 2023, which takes place in Glasgow over the last weekend of May. As a slate, we stood collectively on a platform of ending the chaos of uncapped local admissions and returning to a functional system of student distribution, and we were encouraged to see how much our message on this resonated with members from both pre- and post-1992 institutions. At least one motion written by members of UCU Commons is coming to Congress on this, as it has already been passed at the University of Edinburgh branch. We hope other branches will also pass this or similar motions to bring to Congress and ensure this is at the heart of our union’s campaigning over the next year and beyond.

This is the third time UCU Commons have contested an NEC election, and we continue to learn from the process each time. Although these elections are over, our work continues. We are continuing to push hard in our GTVO efforts for the current re-ballot. It is absolutely critical that we win another industrial action mandate, and a decisive one at that. We must smash the turnout threshold in order to show the employers we are serious about having the USS pension properly restored. What’s more, it’s vital to show that we won’t tolerate UCEA reneging on its agreement with the five campus unions and imposing the pay offer that members have already rejected.

We have been energised by these election results, as we hope you, as our supporters, have been. We will continue our work of building a more sustainable, more enjoyable HE sector in the UK. If there is anything else you believe needs attention, please get in touch and join us.

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