Jo Grady elected UCU GS (May 2019)

Jo Grady elected UCU general secretary

24 May 2019

Jo Grady has been elected UCU general secretary on a record turnout. The senior lecturer in employment relations at the University of Sheffield secured 64% of the vote after the second round of counting.

The other candidates were UCU’s national head of policy and campaigns Matt Waddup, and the president of the University of Liverpool UCU branch Jo McNeill. The turnout was 20.5%, compared with a previous high of 14.4% in 2007 and 13.7% at the 2017 election.

Jo Grady said: ‘This victory was won by, and for, the members of UCU. We have chosen to start a new chapter of open and democratic leadership in our union at a time of extraordinary challenges for all staff who work in tertiary education, from the pressures of volatile funding regimes to the indignities of Brexit and the Hostile Environment.

‘We can meet and overcome those challenges because we are skilful, dedicated, passionate people, and we know we deserve better. Expectations are high. I have been given an overwhelming mandate on the back of a hugely improved turnout. I look forward to carrying out that mandate by working with UCU’s outstanding staff and harnessing the talent and commitment of our members.’

Jo Grady’s start date is still to be confirmed and her five-year term of office will commence when she starts the role. She will address the union’s annual congress in Harrogate tomorrow afternoon.

Jo Grady succeeds Sally Hunt who had been the union’s general secretary since its inception in 2007. Sally resigned in February due to health reasons.

Tonight Tues 21 May 8pm, European Parliament candidates panel discussion

Panel Discussion with the Eastern Region candidates for European Parliament

Tuesday 21 May at 8 pm in STEM 3.1 at University of Essex

Moderator: Dr Caspar Pearson, Director of European Studies at University of Essex.

 All welcome

Candidates of the six main parties in the Eastern Region are:

Stuart Agnew, MEP, UKIP (lead candidate UKIP list for East of England, confirmed)

Joe Rich, Conservative Party (third candidate Conservative Party list for East of England,


 Chris Vince, Labour Party (second candidate Labour Party list for East of England, confirmed)

Catherine Rowett, Green Party (lead candidate Green Party list for East of England, confirmed)

Stephen Robinson, Liberal Democrats Party (fourth candidate Liberal Democrats

Party list for East of England, confirmed)

Richard Tice, Brexit Party (lead candidate Brexit Party list for East of England, invited)

Here is how the East of England voted last time:

UKIP                                       542,812

Conservative Party                 446,569

Labour Party                           271,601

Green Party                            133,331

Liberal Democrat Party          108,010

Brexit Party                                        0 (though Brexit Party was created by several MEPs)

This event is sponsored by: 

Essex UCU (University and College Union) 

Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Essex

History Society, University of Essex