Why should I join UCU now?
NOTE: New UCU rules dictate that legal advice and associated costs are only available for issues that arise at least 90 days after joining.
At Queen's, UCU is the recognised union for academic, research and academic related staff. This means that you, alongside approximately 1000 of your colleagues, have a voice with management over your pay and terms and conditions. Increasingly, we are facing increasing managerialism in their day to day employment. One person facing this alone is a daunting task: one thousand members at Queen's and over 120,000 nationally is strength!
At national level, UCU negotiates the pay spine on which you are placed and the increases to this pay spine. We also negotiate national level agreements in some areas of terms and conditions, such as probation minima and fixed term research staff. In addition, we have our own in-house solicitors as well as access to Thompsons McClure solicitors in Belfast. Members also have 24 hour access to the College and University Support Network.
At a local level at Queen's, we negotiate collectively with management over your terms and conditions of employment. At Queen's, we negotiated the framework within the time frame and in advance of most other institutions. In addition, we achieved a much lower proportion of staff red-circled than in many other institutions. We regularly meet and negotiate with management over issues as varied as conditions for part-time workers, early retirement provisions and promotions. We produce a monthly newsletter which is often the best form of information in the University.
However it is at the individual level that many members see the real value of their membership. At UCU, we provide advice and representation for members completely independent of management. This advice is always confidential and is always in the interests of our members. The nature of cases we deal with includes advice on promotion, grievances, disciplinary proceedings, absence from work, bullying and harassment, probation, early retirement, appraisal and many other areas. NO issue is too trivial and advice is always confidential and independent. We hope you never have to seek our advice or representation, but if you are a member we are there to support you. (Please note: Legal advice is not available for problems that exist prior to joining UCU).
As well as these traditional representational functions, UCU membership also brings other benefits such as discounts on insurance and other financial services tailored for UCU membership.
Thus, the question for you is why have you not joined already?