Boycott call continues to divide 1

June 29, 2007

Tom Hickey is right that it is my job to implement University and College Union congress decisions whether I agree with them or not ("Boycott backer aimed only to stir debate", June 22), and I will do my best to facilitate a calm, even-handed debate within our branches as a prelude to letting members have their say.

However, I am disappointed that, although Hickey and his UCU Left colleagues have previously argued for the widest possible involvement of members, they have now ruled out a ballot following our debate.

This issue is so important - and threatens to overshadow so much of the union's other work - that it seems quite wrong to me that our union should set the policy without first giving every member a say in a ballot.

I believe that the majority of UCU members do not support an academic boycott of Israel and would prefer us to continue dialogue with trade unionists on both sides. However, I am happy to have my view tested in a full membership ballot. I hope others on all sides of the debate will give a similar commitment.

Sally Hunt
General secretary, UCU

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