Joining the University and College Union
An up to date FAQ on joining UCU is available on their website. All applications for membership should be made via the Join UCU page or by calling 03332070719. Calls to that number are charged at standard rates and callers will need to have their bank details (account number and sortcode) to hand. If you have any queries about membership, contact the Membership Secretary.
The University & College Union is the world’s largest post 16 education union with over 110,000 members in further and higher education. Over 68,000 university teachers, administrators, librarians, research and teaching fellows, computer staff and research staff are members. Around 75% of Loughborough’s eligible academic and related staff are members.
UCU is affiliated to the TUC. It is officially recognised by the HEFCE, the Department for Education and Employment, and the Government, as the negotiating body representing university academic staff on salaries, superannuation and conditions of service, and is frequently consulted by them on other professional matters.
The Local Association
Each university has its own branch; ours is the Loughborough University & College Union (LUCU). We send representatives to meetings such as the UCU national Council, the annual conference, the UCU women’s meeting, and national specialist group meetings for library, administrative, computer, and research staff. We also meet regularly withcolleagues who represent other staff groups within Loughborough University: UNISON and Unite.
At Loughborough, each department/school has a UCU representative, who is responsible for the distribution of notices etc. and who can also offer further information about LUCU to newcomers. Members make their views known to the Committee, and hence to other members, through their departmental representative, at meetings of their own special groups and at General Meetings.
The Work of LUCU
At local level the LUCU is recognised by the University as the sole negotiating body representing lecturing, library, administrative, computing, research and other academic-related staff.
Committee members of LUCU, elected annually at the AGM, each have special responsibility for member-groups such as contract researchers, the various academic-related groups, and probationers, for topics such as equal opportunities, which includes the summer play-scheme and the nursery, and for inter-union liaison.
From time to time the UCU also meets with the Vice Chancellor and Registrar to discuss other important events affecting the University, such as changes in Government funding, increased workload, expansion of student numbers and other matters of concern to the University community as a whole.
University/LUCU Negotiating Committee
The main channel of communication between LUCU, on behalf of its members and other staff, and the University management, is the Academic and Related Staff Negotiating Committee (ARSNC). It meets at least once a term to discuss and negotiate matters such as conditions of contract, promotion procedures, probation, early retirement, child-care provision, discretionary pay, teaching assessment and the use of part-time and fixed-term staff.
Professional assistance and confidential advice
It is an unfortunate fact that some university staff will at some time during their career have a dispute with management, or experience harassment or discrimination. They will then require professional assistance and confidential advice from outside their department. Local UCU officers are able to intervene on their behalf, and in most cases early professional advice assists in securing an amicable resolution to the problem.
For more serious cases, national full-time officals of the UCU, backed up with expert professional legal advice can be brought in to help. The UCU will pay for court cases and legal services. Happily, such cases are few, but the UCU is the appropriate, and only, professional association for you to join, so that you are protected and represented in your working life.
UCU offers a wide range of membership discounts and services – with potential to save your membership fee several times over. From insurance, financial advice to legal advice and accident compensation. You can find more details at http://www.ucu.org.uk/ucuplus