The UCU is going through turbulent times as its membership continues to fall. There is a split between those, such as Sally Hunt, who want to retrench – for example through reducing the size of the executive committee – and those who resist such moves, calling instead for renewed efforts to increase membership.
On Engage, stories about the UCU have obviously focused on Israel boycotts and anxieties about other manifestations of antisemitism. But the reason people react so strongly to such concerns isn’t because they are anti-union but because they fully recognize the importance of unions, particularly in the current climate, and don’t want them to adopt policies or practices which are both wrong and divisive.
If you are a UCU member you will probably have received your ballot papers by now. Candidates typically invoke the same issues – job security, pay, pensions and equality. Given the fact that all candidates are signed up to such core trade union values, it seems reasonable to identify those who seem least likely to further alienate members – and of course potential members. These are the candidates for whom I will be voting:
Dominique Lauterburg who describes herself as ‘an independent voice [who] will always put the interests of our union’s members first.’
Angela Roger who points out that ‘we can’t afford to lose members because they see the union as wasting money on divisive and ineffective campaigns driven by political ideology.’
Representative of Disabled Members
Roger Walters who wants a union which ‘listens to and respects the views of members rather than thinking that the activists and leadership know best, and which avoids futile gesture politics’.
Representative of LGBT Members
Mary Jennings who says she ‘resist[s] attempts to waste union resources on peripheral political causes.
Representatives of Black Members
NEC HE Sector
Joe Gluza who says the union shouldn’t ‘waste our limited resources … to pursue causes which have little support amongst Members and which detract from the Union’s main duty to look after Members’ interests’
I will most certainly not be voting for Sean ‘Lehman Brothers’ Wallis.