WATCH: The Tes FE UCU general secretary election hustings

Jo Grady, Jo McNeill and Matt Waddup explain why they want to be the next leader of the University and College Union

Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Jo Grady, Jo McNeill and Matt Waddup on why they want to be UCU's next leader

Since the University and College Union (UCU) was founded in 2007, it has only had one leader: Sally Hunt. But Ms Hunt, who was elected to the post three times by UCU members, resigned in February owing to health reasons, triggering an election to decide the union’s next leader.

Three candidates have thrown their hats into the ring. Matt Waddup is UCU’s national head of policy and campaigns, and has played a leading role in its campaigns on FE pay and HE pensions. Jo McNeill is president of UCU’s University of Liverpool branch and a member of the union’s national executive committee. She previously stood against Ms Hunt in 2017. Jo Grady is a senior lecturer in employment relations at the University of Sheffield Management School, the pensions officer at UCU’s branch at the university, and was elected to the union’s national executive earlier this year.


Read more: UCU general secretary resigns

More news: College strikes off after college agrees pay rise

Background: Revealed: The candidates bidding to lead UCU


The future of UCU

Ms Grady, Ms McNeill and Mr Waddup took part in a hustings filmed at Tes to discuss their views on further education and their visions for the future of the union.

The election for UCU general secretary opened on Monday 29 April and closes at noon on Thursday 23 May 2019

Grady, McNeill or Waddup?

All three candidates have written for Tes about why they are standing to lead the union.


Jo Grady: 'The union has been letting FE branches down'

Jo McNeill: 'For the sector to thrive, staff must be properly rewarded'

Matt Waddup: 'UCU needs to involve its college members more'


Jo Grady Jo McNeill Matt Waddup
From left: UCU general secretary candidates Jo McNeill, Matt Waddup and Jo Grady

Register to continue reading for free

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you

Stephen Exley

Stephen Exley

Stephen is TES' Further Education Editor. He has worked at TES since 2010, and was previously the education correspondent at the Cambridge News. He was the winner of the award for Outstanding National Education Journalism at the CIPR Education Journalism Awards in 2015 and 2013.

Find me on Twitter @stephenexley

Latest stories

Plastic bottles and cigarettes at the beach

We need a national education campaign to stop littering

Pictures of piles of rubbish at beaches and other beauty spots since lockdown eased show that schools alone cannot stop the scourge of littering - we need a public information campaign
Deborah Hollingsworth 4 Jul 2020
september guidance

Why schools should avoid rows and one-way systems

The government has set schools a logistical puzzle to maintain social distancing in September, so we asked two leading building design experts for their advice for school leaders
Jon Severs 3 Jul 2020