Colin Long has failed in his bid for a third term as Victorian state secretary of the National Tertiary Education Union but running mate Sarah Roberts was elected as deputy secretary. Dr Long was defeated by RMIT branch president Melissa Slee. He was elected unopposed in the 2014 poll but in 2016 Dr Slee beat his candidate for assistant state secretary.
This is a big loss for the union national leadership. Dr Long ran on a ticket with new federal president Alison Barnes and national secretary Matthew McGowan, who were both elected unopposed. Dr Long was also endorsed by outgoing leader Grahame McCulloch.
However, the national leadership had a strong win with the decisive election of WA official Gabe Gooding as assistant national secretary (CMM Tuesday). Ms Gooding defeated UTS branch president Vince Caughley a critic of the national leadership’s negotiating style.
In another split result NTEU members at Monash returned branch president Tony Lad but elected as secretary Nic Kimberley, who ran on a competing ticket.
“NTEU members are tactical voters” an observer suggests, “it seems they don’t want officials to get too comfortable”.