UCU: A Unity Statement for Democracy

Dear colleague

The UCU e-ballot over the UUK offer that closed on Friday (13 April), the nature of the offer and the manner in which members were balloted, all expose a deep democratic deficit in our trade union. Despite the Higher Education Committee voting to put the ballot out to members with no recommendation to vote, the General Secretary wrote four emails to members, complete with links to voting, strongly advocating a YES vote.

This intervention followed a previous attempt on 12 March by the UCU leadership to present an “ACAS agreement with UUK” to members that would cut more than 18.5% from the value of members’ pensions (before the CPI cap and DC threshold is considered). This attempt was overturned by a spontaneous grassroots revolt, aided by the fact that branches were already mobilised on picket lines.

Whatever we win, it will be as the result of a strike movement that has seen union membership surge by as much as 50% in participating UCU branches, and members taking the hardest-hitting strike action in our history. This produced a transformation in our union in just a matter of weeks, creating a broad layer of new activists and leaders throughout our union.

We, the undersigned, believe now is the time for the union to unite to defend our pensions and to ensure that we have democratic structures that are fit to do so.

To this end we call on UCU to

  1. Call an Emergency Delegate Meeting and HEC to discuss the aftermath of the ballot and the immediate next steps
  2. Call a Special Higher Education Sector Conference for USS branches to allow delegates to properly debate the future of the dispute*

We must take the argument for democracy and organising in our union into every branch. Every union member should be part of this debate.

We will urgently need meetings for members and reps to discuss ‘what next after the e-ballot’. London Region UCU has called one such meeting on 16 April. We hope reps will attend and branches and regions will follow this example.

We encourage activists to add their name to this unity statement, and to work together to organise meetings and debates about the future of our union, union democracy, and the direction of our dispute and sector.

Colleagues are warmly encouraged to attend the London Region A Union Transformed activists assembly on Saturday 28th April where such a debate can take place, alongside discussing the positive lessons of the dispute.

We have created a new website, https://ucuunitedfordemocracy.wordpress.com, to advertise such activities.

Saladin Meckled-Garcia, University College London, UCU branch president
Sean Wallis, University College London, UCU branch vice president and NEC member
Carlo Morelli, Dundee University, UCU NEC member and USS negotiator
Jim Wolfreys, King’s College London, UCU branch president
Andrew Chitty, University of Sussex, UCU member
Prof Des Freedman, Goldsmiths University of London, UCU branch vice president
Rachel Cohen, City University of London, UCU NEC member
Marian Mayer, Bournemouth University, UCU branch vice president. Southern Region UCU chair
Feyzi Ismail, SOAS, UCU branch executive member
Jo McNeill, University of Liverpool, UCU branch president
Anne Alexander, University of Cambridge, UCU member
David Treece, King’s College London, UCU branch executive member
Prof Satvinder Juss, King’s College London
Mike Lammiman, University of Hull, UCU branch vice president
Mary-Ellen Large, University of Hull
Deepa Govindarajan Driver, University of Reading
Peter Harris, University of Reading
David Stewart, Newcastle University
Eleanor Jones, University of Southampton
Des McDermott, Ruskin College, UCU branch chair
Lily Kahn, University College London
Brian Kelly, Queen’s University Belfast, UCU branch committee member
Peter Dwyer, Ruskin College
Nadine Ansorg, University of Kent
Zak Hughes, University of Bradford
Prof Clement Mouhot, University of Cambridge
Jane Elliott, King’s College London, UCU department rep
Jonathan Cooper, University College London
Roddy Slorach, Imperial College London, UCU branch organiser
Tom Hickey, University of Brighton, UCU branch committee member
Mike Finn, University of Exeter, UCU branch secretary
Maria Demou, University of Kent
Karen Evans, University of Liverpool, UCU branch committee member
Johnny Darlington, SOAS, University of London, UCU branch secretary
Chris Jones, University of St Andrews
Kevin Bean, University of Liverpool
Pam Clarke, University of Liverpool
Bruce Baker, Newcastle University, UCU branch president
Thanos Zartaloudis, University of Kent
Mark Abel, University of Brighton, UCU coordinating committee chair
Kevin Doogan, University of Bristol, union rep
Mark Baxendale, Queen Mary University of London
Yvette Hancock, University of York
Prof Kavita Vedhara, University of Nottingham
Prof David Whyte, Liverpool
Nicola Barker, University of Liverpool
Robert Nagel, University of Kent
Jenny Post, University College London
Robbie McLaughlan, Newcastle University
Thomas Kador, University College London
Bella Vivat, University College London
Marga Navarrete, University College London
Colin Bannard, University of Liverpool
Paul Skarratt, University of Hull, UCU branch committee member
Amy Walker, Cardiff University
Sam Adelman, Warwick University
Sarah Young, University College London
Marina Vishmidt, Goldsmiths University of London
Prof William Gaver, Goldsmiths University of London
Joseph Brooks, Keele University
Neil Hughes, University of Nottingham
Natasa Perovic, University College London
Maria Demou, University of Kent
Dominic O’Key, University of Leeds, UCU postgraduate rep
Luisa Marti, Queen Mary University of London
Prof I Grugulis, University of Leeds
David Harvie, University of Leicester
Prof Peter Mullany, University College London
Alberto Toscano, Goldsmiths, University of London
Jesus Martinez Garcia, University of Bath
Scott, University of Southampton, UCU department rep
Martha Shearer, King’s College London
Prof Bill Bowring, Birkbeck College, University of London
Jayan Nayar, University of Warwick
Bertram Düring, University of Sussex
Anna Fox, University of Liverpool
Christopher Boyd, University of Glasgow
Ilias Alami, University of Manchester
Margherita Belgioioso, Brunel University London
Prof Craig Brandist, University of Sheffield, UCU branch president
Szabolcs Mikulas, Birkbeck College, University of London
Ruth Webber, University of Manchester
Zoe Roth, Durham University
Fabienne Collignon, University of Sheffield
Isra Black, University of York
Timothy Wilson, University of Dundee
Vivienne Orchard, Southampton
Andrew Denham, University of Nottingham
Josh Hollands, University College London, UCU postgraduate rep
Sophie Allen, Keele University
William McEvoy, University of Sussex
Christina Delistathi, Birkbeck College, University of London, UCU branch vice president
Kate Quinn, University College London
Rodolfo Hermans, University College London, UCU department rep
Mordechai Katzman, University of Sheffield
Chris Redfern, Newcastle University
Jo Smith Finley, Newcastle University
Richie Nimmo, University of Manchester
Sherrill Stroschein, University College London
Tim Snow, University of Sheffield
Guy Matmon, University College London, UCU department rep
Luke Fenton-Glynn, University College London
Andy Fugard, Birkbeck College, University of London, UCU department rep
Christopher Bear, Cardiff University, Senior Lecturer/UCU member
Joao Florencio, University of Exeter, UCU branch equality officer
Stuart Hall, Newcastle University
Simon Rees, Institute of Development Studies
Alan Brown, University of Liverpool
Alistair Ford, Newcastle University
Aude Campmas, University of Southampton
Nick Emmel, University of Leeds
Ros Rice, University of Liverpool
Gabriella Alberti, University of Leeds, UCU branch equality officer
Lee Jones, Queen Mary University of London
Lingling Xu, Keele University
Oliver Bones, University of Salford
Roberta Pearson, University of Nottingham
Grietje Baars, City, University of London, UCU branch equality officer
Luke Pilling, University of Exeter
Daniele Tori, The Open University
Steven Markham, , University of Sheffield
Rob Witts, University of Sussex
Jess Anderson, University of Strathclyde
Neda Genova, Goldsmiths College, UCU joint anti-casualisation rep
Mark Ferris, Queen Mary University, London
Richard Alexander, SOAS, University of London, UCU branch committee member
Anne-Marie Smith, Bangor University
Matthew Evans, University of Sussex
Sergi Castellano, UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
Mazen Masri, City, University of London
Prof Phil Syrpis, University of Bristol
Melissa Nolas, Goldsmiths College
Rebecca Richards, Keele University, UCU branch committee member
Heiko Feldner, Cardiff University
Ian Cameron, The Open University
Neil Chadborn, University of Nottingham
Hester Schadee, University of Exeter
Majella McCarron, Queen’s University Belfast
Paul Prior, University College London, UCU point of contact
Gary Peploe, University of Salford
Ruth Dar, University College London, UCU branch treasurer
Prof Lucie Clapp, University College London
Bahadur Najak, Durham University (retd.)
Matt Murphy, SOAS, University of London
Prof Maria Drakopoulou, Kent Law School
Aliette Lambert, University of Exeter
Gaja Maestri, University of Leicester
Martin Weinel, Cardiff University
Yorgos Karagiannakis, University of Sussex
Joseph Sweetman, University of Exeter
Thomas Swann, Loughborough University
Juha Virtanen, University of Kent
Peter D. Thomas, Brunel University London
Amy Ramsay, King’s College London
Andy Boucher, , Goldsmiths, University of London
Isabella Reichl, University of Kent
Sue Currell, University of Sussex
Mark O’Brien, University of Liverpool, UCU branch vice president
Mark Hutchings, University of Reading
Mariya Ivancheva, University of Leeds
Tim Drew, University of Dundee
Klaus Abels, University College London
Josh Miller, University of Cambridge
Hans van de Koot, University College London
Liran Morav, University of Cambridge
Matteo Mandarini, Queen Mary University of London
Mark Jago, University of Nottingham
Eve McLoughlin, University College London
Lise Fontaine, Cardiff University
Michael Niblett, Warwick University
Julian Brasington, Bangor University
Irene A Reid, University of Stirling
Mechthild Fend, University College London
Kat Sinclair, University of Sussex
Jonny Jones, Queen Mary University of London
Mary Corcoran, Keele University
Paddy McDaid, Birkbeck College, University of London
Katy Jones, Cardiff University
Heather McKnight, University of Sussex
Alison Higgs, Open University, UCU rep
Elisabetta Brighi, University of Westminster
Monica Mottin, Ruskin College, Oxford
Tony Brown, University College London, UCU branch secretary
Ghada Khattab, Newcastle University
Prof Haim Bresheeeth, SOAS, University of London
Ania Bobrowicz, University of Kent
Tim Rayner, University of Cambridge
Prof Willy Maley, University of Glasgow
Elizabeth Elliott, University of Aberdeen
Prof John Batchelor, University of Kent
Denine Lutz, University of Dundee
Daniel Fuchs, SOAS, University of London
Luke Martell, University of Sussex
Mark O’Reilly, Dundee University
Ian Crosson, Tower Hamlets Campus of New City College, UCU membership secretary, Poplar branch
Tamar Steinitz, Goldsmiths, University of London
Prof Pekka Vayrynen, University of Leeds
Phoebe Moore, Middlesex University
Peter Woodward, Imperial College London
Prof Bill Macken, Cardiff University
Lou Lewis, University of Bath
Sonja Curtis, University College London, UCU branch committee member
Prof Sue Mew, Middlesex University, UCU branch president
Ceiren Bell, Goldsmiths, University of London
James Baldwin, Royal Holloway University of London
Pam Currie, The Open University
Prof Jim Newell, University of Salford, UCU branch committee member
Elizabeth Vander Meer, University of Edinburgh
Malcolm James, University of Sussex
Maria Demou, University of Kent
Athina Karatzogianni, University of Leicester
Jane-Marie Collins, University of Nottingham, UCU branch committee member
Lindsey Moore, Lancaster University
Branko Latinkic, Cardiff University, UCU member
Melissa Nolas, Goldsmiths College, University of London
Prof Linda Davies, University of Manchester
Prof Ian Parker, University of Leicester (retd.)
Jill Kirby, University of Sussex
Anne-Marie Angelo, University of Sussex
Oli Carter-Esdale, University of Bristol
Anne-Marie Angelo, University of Sussex
Lucy Hanson, Liverpool Hope University
Naureen Durrani, University of Sussex
Kerry Harman, Birkbeck, UCU branch committee member
Jeff Fowler, Sunderland University, UCU NEC member
Ben Hickman, University of Kent
Yasmeen Narayan, Birkbeck College, University of London
Prof Karen Douglas, University of Kent
Gregory White, University of Kent
Connal Parsley, University of Kent
Gina May, The Open University
Martine Storey, The University of Manchester
Peter Agocs, University College London
Prof Patience Schell, University of Aberdeen
Sadhvi Dar, Queen Mary University of London, UCU branch secretary
Prof Phil Taylor, University of Strathclyde
Monica Gonzalez, University of Cambridge
William Royle, University of Salford
Brenna Bhandar, SOAS, University of London
Lesley McGorrigan, University of Leeds, UCU NEC member
JF Turner, University College London
Tom Tunstall Allcock, University of Manchester
Julie Brown, Cardiff University
Prof Steve Brown, Open University
Giorgos Galanis, Goldsmiths
Prof Rebecca Ruth Gould, University of Birmingham
Jonathan Ellis, Sheffield University
Dawn Teare, University of Sheffield
Ann Molloy, University of Liverpool
Annie Jones, University of Manchester
Toby Andrew, Imperial College
Gavin Brown, University of Leicester
Omar Lakkis, University of Sussex
Annalisa Murgia, University of Leeds
Stephen Nand-Lal, University of Liverpool
Craig Gent, University of Warwick
Phillip Brooker, University of Liverpool
Wendy Michallat, University of Sheffield
Tristan Henderson, University of St Andrews
Grant Buttars, University of Edinburgh, UCU branch committee member
Yiannis Gioukas, University of Warwick
Nina Doran, City of Liverpool College, UCU branch chair (City branch)
Anna Stavrianakis, University of Sussex
David Skidmore, University of Bath, UCU disabled members rep
Gavin Laing, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (retd.)
Pura Ariza, Manchester Metropolitan, UCU NW Region vice chair
Tricia Mackin, University of Liverpool
Marian Carty, Goldsmiths, University of London, UCU branch president
Nicolas Vass, University of Leicester
Judith Good, University of Sussex
Stephen Thomson, University of Reading
Katy Jones, Cardiff University
David Thomas, Birkbeck College
Amanda Whitehead, Dundee University
Gabriel Koch, University of Sussex
Michael Kindellan, University of Sheffield
Martin O’Connor, University College London
Prof Dean Wilson, University of Sussex
David Swanson, University of Manchester, UCU branch committee member
Conor Heaney, University of Kent
Iain Lindsey, Durham University
Gillian Whiteley, Loughborough University
Nalini Vittal, University College London, UCU branch committee member
Simon Parker, University of York, UCU department rep
Darcy Luke, University of Birmingham
Matt Davies, Newcastle University
Eamonn Kelly, University of South Wales, UCU branch committee member
Sol Gamsu, University of Bath, UCU post-doc rep, branch committee member
Linda Moore, Ulster University, UCU branch committee member
Karen Dwyer, University College London
Prof Paul Routledge, University of Leeds
Kostas Sirlantzis, University of Kent
Jo Winning, Birkbeck, University of London
Leon Rocha, University of Liverpool
Richard Reeve, University of Glasgow
Prof Rachael Finn, University of Sheffield
Bianca de Haan, Brunel University London, UCU branch committee member
John Lyons, University of Bristol
Alan Roe, University of Leeds
Victoria Yorke-Edwards, University College London
David M. Weigl, University of Oxford
Michael Taylor, University of Reading
Sofa Gradin, King’s College London
Louis Bayman, University of Southampton
Claire Marris, City, University of London
Martin Fry, University College London
Eunice Lawton, University of Sheffield
Tom Leinster, University of Edinburgh
Clea Rees, Cardiff University
Graham Turner, Heriot-Watt University
Tim Cooper, University of Sheffield
Susanne Hakenbeck, Cambridge
Tim Cooper, University of Sheffield
Prof Chris Bundy, Cardiff University
Lizzie Thynne, Sussex University
Andrew Perchard, University of Stirling
Umberto Albarella, University of Sheffield
Cherilyn Elston, University of Reading
C Jenkins, SOAS, University of London
Emma Fraser, University of Manchester
William Astle, University of Cambridge
Prof Kurt Mills, University of Dundee
Harriet Carroll, University of Bath
Vanessa May, University of Manchester
Phil Tomlinson, University of Bath
Paul Savage, University of St Andrews
Stacy Gillis, Newcastle University
Geoff Poole, Newcastle University
Yorgos Karagiannakis, University of Sussex
Silke Brandt, Lancaster University
Richard Jacques, University of Sheffield
Harry Bauer, University College London
Jann Matlock, University College London
Billie Loebner, Middlesex University
Esther Murray, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London
Sophie Jones, Birkbeck College, University of London
Maria-Daniella Dick, University of Glasgow
Sebnem Eroglu, University of Bristol
Katie Davis, University of York

Add your name to this statement

Please note names will not appear automatically. The above is a subset of signatures that have already been collected.

*At the time of writing some 12 branches have voted to call this under Rule 16.11. But the UCU leadership can agree to this and simply move forward.