I’m Jo McNeill and I’m standing as a candidate for the Vice President (HE) role. Members from all sectors can vote.

When I ran in the GS election last year, I said UCU needed to change. The USS strikes were the catalyst our entire union needed. That change came, as it should, from the grassroots of our movement. I also spoke about member disillusionment, I said our union needed a leadership which could give us confidence that we could win disputes.

I’m standing as Vice President to do just that, to make sure the voices of our members are not just heard but are listened to.

Increased workloads, women still earning less than men, casualisation through the roof – raising awareness is not enough. We need to step up, flex our industrial muscles and show these employers where our strength lies. We really are the many!

The Government is a shambles, Brexit is looming, our entire sector is at risk of drastic changes. Prison educators are experiencing turmoil, one of the greatest scandals within education over the past five years is the loss of over one million adult education places due to funding cuts. These are areas I would focus on if elected. In FE and HE our members are voting in record numbers for action, even if that falls short of the Tory anti-union threshold.

When members do take action they can win, look at Capital City College Group (CCCG) with their landmark deal on pay and casualisation!

Equalities should underpin everything we do. Whether it be taking direct action to force our employers to negotiate on issues like accessibility, addressing trans rights or challenging racism. I will continue with my
anti-racist, pro-refugee position, I join the collective stand against allowing fascists onto the streets of Liverpool whenever they threaten to march.

I am a lifelong, experienced activist. I’ve spent years battling to make sure members lead this union. We’re starting to see that change now, I want to be in a position to help us turn this union around. #VoteJo4VP.

My Experience:

President, University of Liverpool UCU – 5 years
NEC member – 5 years
National Negotiator (HE) – 2 years
Chair of ROCC (Recruitment, Organising & Campaigns Committee)
Member of National UCU Strategy & Finance Committee (SFC) and Statutes, Ordinances & Rules
Group (SORG)

About me:

Former mature student, returned to education via an Access course
Academic Related UCU member
Part-time PhD student (equality/access to HE)
Background in widening participation – worked for Aimhigher with schools, FE, Pre & Post-92s
Currently Fair Access in Admissions Manager at Liverpool, now permanently contracted after
several years on casual contracts
UCU Left candidate
Ran against Sally Hunt in the 2017 GS Election, secured 41% of vote
Member of the Labour Party