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Endorsements for Ewan to be UCU General Secretary

Here are some of the endorsements for this campaign (and if you want to send in a public statement of support, please just write in the comment space above!):


Diamond Ashiagbor, Professor of Law, University of Kent (

“I’ve known Ewan for decades in his dual role as a committed trade union activist + branch president, and as a legal academic. He has already proven his tactical and strategic understanding of how to fight successfully for UCU members – effectively combining collective action & use of UCU members’ industrial voice, with targeted legal action against discriminatory dismissals and pensions cuts. I’m proud to support Ewan McGaughey’s candidature for GS.”


Nicola Countouris, Professor of Labour Law and European Law, University College London (

“Ewan McGaughey is an internationally respected labour law scholar, fully and passionately invested in the mission of ensuring that all workers, in academia and beyond, can enjoy working lives that are both dignified and rewarding. He brings to the table a new and fresh set of ideas and a new, and tactically savvy, way of organising workplaces that – I genuinely believe – will contribute to breaking the negotiating stalemate and falling standards that we’ve been witnessing in our sector for more than a decade. His ideas on democratising our campuses alone, offer a genuine ‘reset’ opportunity for British universities, not to mention his commitment to free education, sustainability, and equality. I fully support Ewan as the next UCU General Secretary.”


Crawford Spence, Professor, KCL UCU Vice President 2020-2021, King’s College, London, Business School (

“Ewan is a force of nature. Since 2020 he has spearheaded internal governance reform at the UCU KCL branch, won local campaigns on the London Weighting Allowance and facility time for union members and forced greater democracy onto the KCL Council, all in the face of an intransigent administration. He has been a gadfly for the senior management of the university and a source of real moral authority on several fronts. Add to this the bold legal action that he jointly co-ordinated to fight for our pensions and a picture emerges of an energetic and effective modern day union leader who has the capacity to inspire others and galvanise existing struggles. Our union needs a shake-up at the national level and Ewan has the drive and leadership abilities to make this happen.”


Christine Cheng, Dr, War Studies, King’s College, London ( and @cheng_christine)

“Ewan’s accomplishments at King’s College London are noteworthy and I am excited to support his candidacy for UCU General Secretary. His dedication to the very successful USS lawsuit is a fantastic testament to his campaigning skills and his strategic approach to change. Against the odds, he has already achieved at least three seemingly impossible feats at King’s College London, where I am a member of staff. Ewan successfully advocated for greater accountability, pushing for our governing body to be majority-elected by staff, and got a pledge for two more staff-elected Council members pending a full governance review. Additionally, he moved paid parental leave us up to the highest levels in the university sector, and he got job security written into our collective agreement, along with forcing King’s to adopt a zero tolerance stance on discrimination. It is shocking that we would even need to fight for this in 2023! Even in a challenging environment like King’s, Ewan made the impossible possible. Having already greatly benefited from his work at King’s, I have the utmost confidence in Ewan’s ability to lead UCU going forward.”


Ruth Dukes, Professor of Labour Law, University of Glasgow (

“Ewan is absolutely passionate about securing a better deal for UCU members and significant improvements in higher education. As branch president of UCU at Kings College London, he achieved great things. He has drive and commitment and seems to know how to get things done! I know Ewan primarily as a labour law scholar and I don’t doubt that he will work tirelessly when it comes to securing and improving workers’ rights.”


Raúl Zepeda Gil, Dr, KCL UCU GTA Representative 2022-2023, University of Oxford ( and @rgzepeda)

“I support Prof Ewan McGaughey as the next UCU General Secretary because he led a successful local strike action at King’s College London (KCL) during my tenure as Graduate Teaching Assistant Representative. Part of the deal covers a new collective framework that can address casualisation and low pay of early career scholars in the University. Also, KCL-UCU adopted a local version of the Postgraduate Researchers as Staff 2023 Manifesto. The strategic vision of Prof McGaughey is necessary to break the stall UCU is currently facing.”


Aristea Koukiadaki, Professor Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Editor of the International Labour Review, University of Manchester (@AristeaKoukiad1)

“Ewan is an extremely valued and committed academic colleague. His successful record as UCU President at KCL and broader labour activism demonstrates without doubt his ability to combine high-level expertise in labour-related issues with an ambitious set of strategic goals that are vital for the trade union movement. His eight-point platform for the UCU GS addresses effectively all the issues that colleagues in universities are facing today, I am confident that Ewan’s plan will improve our workplaces and transform UCU and UK education for the better.”


Neil Davies, Professor of Medical Statistics, University College London, UCU UCL Pensions officer ( and @nm_davies)

“Ewan is one of the most dedicated and focused advocates for university staff I have ever known. In the last 3 years, he has achieved multiple wins both for his branch, where he made major progress for staff at KCL, and nationally with his extraordinary work on the USS pensions legal action. He is extremely meticulous and careful, above all, effective in developing careful strategies. Most importantly, he has a deep understanding of the legal framework within which all UCU negotiations take place, including employment tribunals, and legal action. This is absolutely essential that UCU has a credible legal strategy to complement the efforts of members. Ewan can deliver this for us, and transform UCU nationally, just as effectively as he has his branch.”


Kevin Tennent, Reader in Management, University of York

“I’m all in favour of Ewan for UCU General Secretary because I have always been impressed by the depth of his expertise as a scholar who has an excellent understanding of the historical development of industrial democracy and its interplay with corporate governance. Ewan has used his academic expertise to campaign for pensions justice and has also led the KCL UCU branch to become one of the most successful in the country in terms of making local agreements with management. This shows that Ewan has excellent leadership skills which will allow him to continue to build union density by fostering positive engagement both within UCU and with our employers. He further brings a broad-based more pragmatic and evidence-based approach than other candidates and promises to focus the union on workplace justice for all members.”


Lopa Leach, Professor, Nottingham

“Changed my mind completely after hearing all and this man… It’s Ewan for me. Fresh new ideas, not been clouded by years in NEC/HEC, focused, critical, with solutions. Would be able to transform our movement & union.”


Manoj Dias-Abey, Senior Lecturer, Bristol

“The victory that UCU members won in defending against pension cuts was truly impressive. However, it has led to some magical thinking about what’s possible to achieve with continued action by diminishing numbers of activists. I’m impressed by Ewan’s willingness to explore a range of tactics and strategies in the next stage of our industrial struggle.”


Rachel Featherstone, Teesside Uni

“For the first time in nearly 20 years as a UCU member, I’ll be enthusiastic about voting for our GS. I’ll be voting for Ewan. Impressed by his plans for closing the gender pay gap, for challenging employers in court and for reducing the sector’s carbon emissions.”


Jason Hickel, Professor, UPF, previously Goldsmiths

“… unparalleled understanding of British labour law, plus a crystal clear vision of what needs to change and how we can do it. UCU can and should be a vehicle for transformative change, including radical climate action, and Ewan’s leadership can make this happen.”