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Joining FAQs

How much does it cost to join UCU?

Membership fees are based on income and are listed here. If you are studying here for a PhD and are also employed to teach or do research (this includes most GTAs and GRAs) you can join for free or at a very low cost.

I’m on a fixed term contract, is there any point in joining the union?

Yes, being a member of the union can give you access to the advice and representation that can make a difference in  improving your employment situation. Also as we negotiate pay and conditions collectively the higher the union’s membership the stronger our bargaining position is.

I’m employed by Unitemps. Am I entitled to join UCU?

Yes you are. We are negotiating with the University to improve terms and conditions for staff currently employed by Unitemps.

Contacting the union

I would like to speak to the union about a problem I am having. Who do I contact?

Any of the union’s activists are available to speak to you about any problems that you may be having. Nothing that you say to any union representative will go any further unless you wish it to. Your first point of contact is your departmental representative, although you are welcome to get directly in touch with a member of the committee if you think that it would be more appropriate. Departmental representatives are listed here.

Departmental representatives

What if I have a problem and do not have a departmental representative?

Occasionally there is a vacancy for a departmental rep. If there is no rep listed for your department, please email and you will be put in touch with someone who can help with your query.

What if I want to become a departmental representative?

If you do not have a departmental representative and are a member of the UCU, you might like to consider volunteering for the position. Departmental representatives are co-opted onto the branch committee, so they get lots of support. It involves occasional meetings and being a conduit of information to and from members within their department. They are also the first call for members who have any queries. The position is a rewarding way to help your colleagues and take part in the way your union is run.  Contact to find out more or to offer yourself for this role.

Other benefits

As a UCU member do I get free legal support?

UCU generally tries to resolve members’ problems through negotiation, usually at a local level. However, in situations that require access to legal support your UCU membership can entitle you to apply for free legal support. However, you will not be entitled to support for issues that arise before you join, so it is important that you join before you need advice, and that you keep your subscriptions paid at the correct level for your earnings.

Does union membership gain any discounts with any companies such as insurance?

There is a whole range of benefits, from insurance cover to legal issues. More information on the UCU website.