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Love our ARPS

Academic-related and professional services staff

24 November 2006

UCU is the voice for academic-related and professional services staff (ARPS) working in UK higher education.

Love our ARPS - thumb

Through our national and local initiatives, our committee, and through the academic-related manifesto, we are focusing on the key role that academic-related and professional services staff play both as part of the academic team in higher education and as members of the union.

Join the discussion

Click here to join our email group for academic-related and professional services staff. Discuss the issues that matter most to you, share good practice, and share the issues you are facing in your workplace. This will help to ensure that the voice of ARPS members is heard clearly within the union, so please click here to sign up.

We aim to ensure that:

  • the contribution of academic-related and professional services staff to higher education is acknowledged through higher pay, better opportunities for personal and career development, improved working conditions, and an appropriate work-life balance
  • higher education institutions properly value and recognise the contribution and expertise of academic-related and professional services staff, particularly in the composition of their governing bodies.

UCU is strengthened by the increased involvement of academic-related professional services members at all levels of the union.

ARPS logo Our manifesto
Our demands

Academic-related and professional services staff exist as a discrete and substantive group within higher education. We share the same interests as our academic colleagues of striving to create excellence in education and are an integral part of the academic team.

However, our efforts in maintaining higher education standards in an ever-changing world often result in lower pay, redundancies and reduction of services, which immediately result in higher workloads for academics and the ongoing high stress levels in academia. Read the ARPS manifesto for our demands of employers. [318kb]

Download and circulate the manifesto flyer [185kb]

Download and display the ARPS poster [131kb]

Organising and recruiting ARPS members

The ARPS committee has produced materials to support the work happening in branches to recruit and organise ARPS staff in universities.

Love our academic-related, professional services staff - more than just a lecturers' union:  catch up with  our month of ARPS-focused activities

Active branches recruit members, and branches that are active on issues that matter most to specific groups of workers are best placed to convince those workers to join.

Many UCU branches do not have the levels of membership they should have among ARPS staff so our guidance tries to give branches a place to start with recruiting and organising these staff, challenging the perception by some of UCU being a lecturer's union:

Organising ARPS members - branch guidance [208kb]

ARPS recruitment flyer [185kb]

ARPS recruitment poster [131kb]

You can request printed copies by contacting Martin Whelton in the campaigns team.

Fossil free careers

A motion backing People & Planet's Fossil Free Careers campaign which was passed at the ARPS annual meeting in 2022, and subsequently became UCU policy, has started to affect change. The campaign calls on careers services to align their operations with sustainability considerations, asking them to decline to promote oil, gas and mining companies to students and graduates.

Keeping universities running during the pandemic - the importance of ARPS staff

Improving the terms and conditions for academic-related and professional services staff - submitting a claim

In response to issues raised during surveys of ARPS members, the ARPS committee, with input from the 2020 ARPS annual meeting, have put together a model claim for branches to submit to their institutions.

The claim document includes a proposed timetable for an accompanying campaign around the claim, as well as a model letter to send in with the claim:

Branches are encouraged to consider submitting an ARPS-specific claim, having consulted with members. A model survey has been created to support consultation. Branches wishing to access the survey should contact Jenny Lennox, bargaining and negotiations official.

ARPS committee

The ARPS committee has responsibility to advise and make recommendations to the national executive committee on any issues arising specifically from or related to the employment of members in academic-related roles.

The committee meets three times a year and is also responsible for the organisation of the academic-related staff national annual meeting. The ARPS committee is a special employment interest committee constituted under UCU rule 24.1.

Academic-related news The newsletter for academic-related, professional services staff in higher education:

Current committee 2023-24

The committee is elected during the academic-related staff annual meeting, which is open to all ARPS staff members.

Chair - Amy Ryall, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
Vice chair - Francis Clarke, University of Birmingham
Vicky Blake, University of Leeds
Emily Haikney, University of Leeds
Susan Hogan, University of Manchester
Lauren Sandford, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Kevin Ward, Middlesex University
NEC rep - Agnes Flues, University of Nottingham
NEC rep - Deepa Govindarajan Driver, University of Reading

    Keeping in contact

    Email contact for committee is:

    Jenny Lennox is secretary to the committee and the national official with responsibility for academic-related members.

    Last updated: 12 October 2023