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UCU negotiates members' pay and conditions both nationally and locally, and campaigns on a whole range of issues including education funding, privatisation and pensions. And we offer members advice on equality, health & safety, pensions, planning for retirement, part-time working and professional issues.

But it's often the case that members find themselves calling on UCU in their own workplaces, when they run into a problem that affects them as individuals. Problems like these can arise in any number of ways. And one of the main benefits of belonging to UCU is that, if a difficult situation arises, we can help by giving advice, support and representation.

If you have a problem and need your union's help, your first step should always be to contact your local branch

You can find links to basic information covering some common issues on the left, and our dealing with problems page offers some basic advice on resolving problems at work.

UCU generally tries to resolve members' problems through negotiation, usually at a local level.

If you need help with a matter relating to your employment (for example, to a specific provision of your contract - salary, teaching hours, holidays etc; or to your work but not to a specific provision of your contract - for example, bullying or harassment), you should always, in the first instance, contact the secretary of your workplace branch, who receives regular briefings on key employment and educational issues, or another officer/representative. They will know about the agreements and contracts that apply in your workplace, and the branch/LA may have specialist officers dealing with areas such as equality or pensions. 

If you are not sure who your branch secretary is, or the threat is urgent and you cannot contact your branch contact your regional UCU office directly. You can find out where your regional office is, and who you should contact, by using our branch/LA listing.

If your branch cannot resolve the problem through local negotiation and needs assistance handling the matter, it will approach appropriate officials at UCU head office or the appropriate regional office.

In the interests of efficient working and handling of enquiries, individual members are asked to not contact UCU head office directly by telephone, except to order publications and promotional items, or when asked to do so by an officer of your branch/local association or regional office.

Most queries received at head office are referred to the appropriate person at local level; so, to save delay, please follow the correct procedure.

Help with other problems

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