- Created: Tuesday, 11 June 2019 13:41
- Written by Tom Vickers
In May the University and College Union (UCU) elected a new General Secretary, Jo Grady. Grady is the first General Secretary with first-hand experience as an education worker since UCU was formed in 2006 from the merger of the AUT and NATFHE unions. She rose to national prominence as an activist within the wave of strike action in 2018 over attacks on the USS pension scheme, and helped to found the independent ‘USS Briefs’ publication. The USS strikes were notable for the level of grassroots mobilisation and brought a wave of new members into the union, including many on precarious fixed term or hourly paid contracts. Grady made resistance to the growth of precarious work a central issue of her campaign – in 2016/17, 50.9% of academic staff in UK universities were employed on an insecure contract.