You and UCU

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For a Democratic UCU – Vote Peter Jones

I believe that, first and foremost, UCU should belong to the members. No matter what kind of institution they work in, no matter which sector they work in, no matter how active they are. An independent UCU freed from the ties of any political party, freed from rhetoric and dogma and free to mount a strong independent challenge in the best traditions of trade unionism. 

If you want to know more about me, and why I think you should vote for me, click on the links below.

Don’t forget, I am the only candidate who is a lay activist in the University and College Union.

I am not a bureaucrat and I do not believe in the centrist approach to trade unionism.

As General Secretary,  I will ensure that the wishes of members come first and that equality remains at the heart of our structures, our political work and in the defence of our members.

Peter Jones



  1. Peter,

    Hats off to you – at last somebody who understands what college/university lecturers want. What a refreshing change to have somebody who’s agenda is not based around their own selfish needs. Keep up the good work. You have my vote.


    Comment by Anne Forshaw | September 21, 2006

  2. Whilst I’ve nothing against the other candidates, it is good to have someone standing who has a grassroots feel for trade unions as well as chalkface experience of HE & FE. You got my vote.

    Hamish Murphy
    Branch Chair, North East Wales Institute of Higher Education

    Comment by Hamish Murphy | November 10, 2006

  3. A question for Peter to answer, the same question I have already asked Roger Kline and Sally Hunt. This is:

    “As UCU general secretary, will you take a lead in resisting calls for UCU to support politically-motivated boycotts of academics and their work, whatever the cause claiming support, and in fighting all such boycotts within UCU?”

    Comment by Paul Wernick | December 11, 2006

  4. It’s likely that the culture of UCU will be determined in this post-merger period. That culture must be genuinely participative & fundamentally rooted in equality. Peter’s track record as both an activist at the chalkface & an equality champion make him the best candidate to achieve such a culture.

    Joel Petrie
    Equality Officer
    Liverpool Community College

    Comment by Joelp Petrie | December 13, 2006

  5. What is your position – policy – strategy – understanding and ideas to tackle workplace bullying in academia?

    Comment by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon | January 13, 2007

  6. Why is it that none of the (remaining) candidates for the position of general secretary, has nothing to say to the members about workplace bullying in academia?

    Expose and Resist Bullying of Academics in Higher Education

    Comment by Louise Michel | January 15, 2007

  7. Dear Peter,
    It was announced last week that you and Roger Kline will be visiting the OU campus on the 12th of February. As you know, our membership is spread across the British Isles and in Continental Europe and on enquiring about the arrangements for the membership to participate in an open dialogue with you and Roger, I was concerned to hear that although a web cast or video conferencing is possible from the venue, the AV technicians are fully booked at present with events elsewhere on campus on that date so the vast majority of members will be restricted to sending in emails and hoping that they will be answered. Not a very satisfactory situation, I am sure you will agree!
    Best Regards

    Comment by Lorraine Schneiter | February 6, 2007

  8. The message below, circulated today (14/02/07) by the Assistant General Secretary, just about sums it up for me.

    “Hard to imagine I know, but at some stage in the next year or so (whoever wins) members will be grumbling about how useless the union is. If you vote for the loser you can say: “Don’t blame me, I voted for so-and-so”. If you vote for the winner you can say: “Well it would have been worse if so-and-so had won”. But if you don’t vote at all then whatever is wrong
    with the union will be your fault!”
    John Perry, Assistant General Secretary
    University & College Union, Southsea Regional Office


    Having been a member of the AUT for just over a decade, and now in UCU, it never ceases to amaze me how amateur, easily sidetracked, ineffective and defeatist the union is. I (and indeed many colleagues whom I discuss the AUT / UCU) am on the verge of withdrawing membership, firm in the belief that it will never get its act together to tackle the issue of disgracefully poor academic pay. Compare and contrast with the GMC. It would be laughable, if it wasn’t so sad.

    Comment by Prof G C Lloyd-Jones | February 14, 2007

  9. Sally Hunt or Roger Kline – Tweedle Dum & Tweedle Dee

    It is almost certain that Sally Hunt will win the election for General Secretary of the University and College Union (UCU). She will have done so without mentioning at all the ‘B’ word (Bullying).

    The vote of course is not compulsory and chances are that since none of the two candidates (Sally Hunt, Roger Kline) have ‘excited’ us with their promises, the turn out (return of ballots from the membership) is likely to be low. An early indication of this is the following:

    ‘…it is a shame only 12 of the 600 UCU members at Westminster have turned out to hear them. But professional troupers perform however small the house. And Kline and Hunt are used to it: attendance at hustings everywhere has been worryingly low, though 50 turned up at Sheffield…’ The Guardian

    As members of the union (UCU), we have a number of options:

    1. Vote for Sally Hunt.
    2. Vote for Roger Kline.
    3. Don’t vote at all – as some argue, if we vote we are only encouraging them – or
    4. Write on the ballot paper ‘WHAT ABOUT WORKPLACE BULLYING IN ACADEMIA’ – which of course will make the vote invalid.

    Since it is a foregone conclusion that Sally Hunt will win the election, our position is to vote for none of them and to ‘spoil’ the ballot paper by writing your own statement on the ballot paper against workplace bullying in academia. This may not change the course of history, but it may – it just may – get the scrutineers on both camps to think – we hope – about the issue for twenty seconds. Of course the more spoiled ballots they count, the better.

    Ballot papers have to be returned by March 7, and the result is out on March 9. No newspaper, no union official, no representative of Sally or Roger will ever acknowledge such spoiled ballots, but a statement has to be made. In effect, both candidates are fighting a turf war with plenty of uninspiring rhetoric for us the docile voters.

    If you are concerned about workplace bullying in academia, then make a statement. Don’t abstain. Don’t vote for either one of the candidates, it only encourages them. Vote against workplace bullying in academia. Use your ballot to make a principled statement – this is our position.

    Comment by Pierre-Joseph Proudhon | February 15, 2007

  10. I like your mission, the focus and vote for you.

    Comment by christopher hunt | February 23, 2007

  11. I am a PhD student at Cambridge. There are some very serious problems with workplace bullying at this university. The university prints off glossy brochures about their anti-bullying policies etc, but these policies are not implemented in practice. The student, in particular, is offered very little, if any protection. This needs to change. If I were a British citizen, I would be voting for you. If you are interested in speaking with me you can contact me via the above address.

    Comment by Kelly Mackay | February 1, 2008

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