If you require help with a problem at work…
Check if the support FAQ section on our national website can help first. Many problems have been encountered before. You’re not in this alone.
Personal support from Essex UCU (Casework)
You should firstly approach your local branch rep. Please quote your membership number to them and your approx date of joining UCU. Each of the larger branches has trained reps (your fellow branch members/colleagues) to provide support.
If you are being disciplined, or taking a grievance against another member of staff, you have a legal right to be accompanied by a union representative.
Please note that, due to the high demand for personal caseworkers, you may have to wait until a caseworker is available to take on your case. And please do remember that they are volunteers and are as busy as you! You have the right to request that disciplinary or grievance meetings are postponed until a caseworker is able to accompany you.
Please note that we can NOT usually offer advice, support or representation to non-members, or to members regarding problems which arose before they joined UCU.
Don’t forget to check if your university website can answer your question- read the HR employment policies, procedures or ordinances.
Please note that if you contact the regional office, we will just refer you back to your local branch rep in the first instance. Before support is provided the branch will require you to fill in this proforma Casework form
UCU Legal Scheme
Like all unions, UCU tries to resolve members’ employment related disputes through negotiations at local level. However, there are times when members require legal advice or where disputes cannot be resolved locally.
The UCU Legal Scheme provides legal support and representation on matters arising in connection with a member’s employment, professional duties or trade union activities. In the first instance members should seek advice from the Casework Coordinator. You may be referred to the UCU Legal Scheme by your caseworker where appropriate. A full document of evidence will be required prior to referral so ensure you have been keeping records.
The UCU Legal Scheme is only available to current members of UCU and, unless the National Executive Committee feel there is good reason, legal support will not be offered within the first 90 days of a member joining UCU.
Education Support Partnership
Counselling, support, financial assistance and more is available to all UCU members through the Education Support Partnership. This is a charity which UCU supports.
Working in education is not always that easy. Constant change, long hours and pressure to deliver can sap our energy and get in the way of doing what we staff in education care most about. Education Support Partnership provide independent, confidential 24/7 support, to help people deal with stress and anxiety, bullying, career and money worries, and a range of other issues.
Help with other problems
- Pensions: You can find information and contact information for the main pension schemes in our pensions section or you should seek help from the University’s pension contact with the payroll department
- For information about benefits, including state pensions, child benefit and other social security provision, contact the Benefits Agency; your nearest branch is listed in the telephone book, or you can get advice and information on the agency’s Freeline telephone number: 0345 313233. You can find information about social security provision on the web at www.dwp.gov.uk