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Dr Jo Grady (University of Sheffield)

Election address

Jo Grady, Senior Lecturer, School of Management, University of Sheffield.

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Relations.  My research expertise, in which I'm widely published, includes pensions disputes, precarious workers, and the challenge of how trade unions foster solidarities and organise in challenging times. My expertise will be an invaluable asset to one of our Union's biggest decision-making bodies, at a time when pensions and precarity are amongst our chief priorities.

I have been a member of UCU since I began my academic career, but only recently started to get more active in our Union. For example, this year I was elected to the National Dispute Committee. It is fair to say that the USS dispute, alongside increasing activism in my branch (I'm the University of Sheffield UCU pension officer and sit on the University of Sheffield USS Valuation Working Group) encouraged me to run for election to the NEC. I'm running in this national election for the first time because it is essential for grassroots members to influence the direction of our Union.

The growth of UCU membership during 2018, and high levels of engagement  from members during the USS dispute means we have seen a transformation in our membership. Both in terms of numbers, but also how we see our own role within our Union. My feeling is that the level of communication and knowledge sharing on picket lines continues to be desired. Likewise, the calls for greater accountability and transparency in our universities that emerged during the USS dispute is also desired within our union.

If elected I will seek to improve communication with members, improve the knowledge of members about NEC business, and work towards increasing accountability of NEC. A key way in which we could begin to address this would be for NEC meetings and sub-committee meetings to publish their minutes, and for the voting record of members to be made public.

I'm committed to challenging casualisation and precarity, and would like to engage more with professional services staff. If you'd like to know more about me please check out my twitter @DrJoGrady. I tweet a lot about higher education. A quick scroll of my feed will show you where I stand. You can also consult @USSBriefs, a collective established by myself and others, which publishes papers about issues affecting higher education.

I'm standing for election alongside fellow founders and members of USS Briefs: Deepa Govindarajan Driver, Nick Hardy, and Jaya John John. None of us have stood before, and I'm hoping that we all get elected, in order to bring a new and fresh perspective to the NEC.

Last updated: 1 February 2019