Defending the Rights of EU Nationals – Guide for Members & Branches

The Eastern and Home Counties has been raising the issue of EU staff, the impact of Brexit and the rise of racism with all of our employers. We now have a national guide for branches that is available on the UCU website and the link can be found in the email to branches sent out last week and appended below.

Branches can take several simple steps to raise this issue and support their members:

  1. Look at the national policy in appendix three of the guide and consider adopting it for your branch perhaps amended to reflect your local situation.
  2. Ask management to issue a joint statement on Brexit using our Charter as a starting point
  3. Find out where in the employer’s structures the issues raised by Brexit are being discussed and see whether you can be invited to sit on any specific committee (NB At Essex University, UCU has been invited to sit on the University Brexit committee so there is precedent in the sector). If this is refused then ask for regular updates on your employer’s plans on Brexit and make it a standing item for your Consultative/Negotiating committee
  4. Find out what support is available for EU staff from your employer and make sure that is it publicised within your membership
  5. Find out what support is available to staff who might be experiencing racism, either in their workplace or in their community. Make sure that the employer is committed to supporting their staff wherever they may be facing racist attacks and publicise that support
  6. Publicise the support that members can obtain on immigration advice from UCU, which can be found here
  7. Start planning now how you can build the issues arising from Brexit into your recruitment campaign
  8. Consider surveying your members to find out what they think the main issues are that they will be facing as a consequence of Brexit. Regardless of whether members voted for Brexit or not, there are clearly matters that are going to arise as a consequence. This may be an issue that you can find new activists to get involved over, so make that one of the questions.

Please keep the Regional Office informed on any successes you have or any additional actions that you think branches can take and we will then share out good practice.

Email from head office:


To: All branch officers | Cc: NEC, regions, admins & staff


Dear colleagues Defending the rights of EU nationals is one of the priority campaign areas for UCU. The campaigns team have produced a guide for branches and members that outlines UCU concerns in the post-school education sector post-Brexit, and the actions we are encouraging members to take in response. Branches are being asked to take action in this campaign. The next steps are outlined in the guide.

  • Set branch policy
  • Seek and promote agreement from key stakeholders (e.g. management, student unions etc.)
  • Recruit and organise EU nationals and other international staff

The guide and the resources are available at this link. Support is available Recruitment campaigns can be tricky at the best of times. Our plan to mobilise, recruit, and organise EU and other international staff is ambitious. The national campaigns team is available to assist branches and work on our campaign together. If you need support developing a campaign plan, or have other queries, contact me in the first instance at: – I’m the primary point of contact for branches. In solidarity Joe McCrory UCU national organiser.

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