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Get the Vote Out campaign results in surge of new members

January 21, 2010

We have seen a fantastic level of activity over the past week with UCU representatives in departments across campus and members of the action committee knocking on doors and walking miles of corridors to talk to members and discuss the campaign, the ballot, and its important implications for us all.

Our campaign is aimed at ensuring that each and every member is contacted personally by a UCU rep over the next 8 working days of voting. Next week national reps will join with us in meeting and talking to members.

Vote yesThe campaign for the ‘yes’ vote in our local dispute is unprecedented in size and importance and is reaping rewards in every School and Service. Members are meeting reps and most are declaring their willingness to vote ‘yes’, and in many cases the fact that they have already done so. Reps have received offers to arrange meetings where they have not already taken place, and members who would normally describe themselves as ‘passive’ are putting up posters , distributing leaflets and discussing the vote with colleagues. Areas of the university that have had no named representative for some months or even years have suddenly found themselves with a rep and a local focus for their concerns, providing even more efficient lines of communication with the committee and the executive.

Leeds UCU has seen a large increase in membership during this campaign period. Over 100 members have joined since October and we have had a large number of people rejoining. We are now set to be the largest single UCU unit in the country.

The SU email campaign this week seems to have resulted in some very constructive dialogue between members and students, many of who, being made more aware of the circumstances behind and reasons for the ballot, have sent messages of support to staff. The UCU facebook page ‘Defend Jobs at Leeds, Defend Education’ saw a significant boost in its membership over the last week as a result, and now stands at over 1300 members. This represents 1 student in every 30 across campus. Never before has any local campaign received such strong support from students.

Let’s keep up the good work! Talks under Acas are at a critical stage. These are being treated as confidential and further talks are scheduled for next Tuesday at a marathon 6 hour session. This extra time is due to you and your support for the campaign- and now this must translate itself into a good turnout. A strong majority will be essential to support your negotiators at this crucial time and to convince the Vice-Chancellor and his team to take a new direction. Vote now. Vote yes, yes!

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