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Dr Justine Mercer wins UCU presidential election

18 September 2020

An associate professor of educational leadership from the University of Warwick was elected national president of UCU. Dr Justine Mercer will first serve as vice-president and chair the union's higher education committee. She will become the national president of the union in 2023.

Dr Justine Mercer will first serve as vice-president and chair the union's higher education committee. She will become the national president of the union in 2023.

Justine was the University of Warwick UCU branch president from 2015 to 2019. During this time, she chaired two successful local campaigns, defeating 'TeachHigher', a scheme designed to outsource casual teaching contracts, and stopping Warwick's attempt to rip up the rule book on employment rights. She also chaired the local branch during the 2018 Universities Superannuation Scheme pension dispute as well as being a member of the higher education committee. Justine is an experienced union activist a‚Äčt local, regional and national level. As a caseworker, she has represented members in redundancy, disciplinary and grievance proceedings.

Justine was previously employed on precarious contracts for 17 years. She has been an associate professor at the University of Warwick since 2010, where she researches employment relations in higher education, gender, professors and early career-academics.

Justine said: 'I'm so honoured to have been elected UCU president and would like to thank everyone who took the time to cast their vote in the election. I want to bring members together and build a more united union that speaks for us all, especially those with the quietest voices and most precarious lives. I want to ensure our workplaces are safe for staff and students, tackle the scourge of casualisation, address unmanageable workloads, work to end inequality, and develop more sustainable working practices.'

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