Privacy & cookies

Information supplied through this website

When you supply any personal information to or any site using the domain, for instance in responding to surveys or petitions or contacting the membership department, we have legal obligations towards you in the way we use the data. We must collect the information fairly by explaining how we will use it, and each web page will explain why we may be requesting information and for what purpose, and will also tell you if we want to pass the information on to anyone else. In general, any information you provide to UCU will only be used by us unless we are obliged or permitted by law.

UCU cookies

This website does not store any information that would, on its own, allow us to identify individual users of this service without their permission. The main cookies used by this website are used either solely on a per session basis or to maintain user preferences. Cookies are not shared with any third parties.

A cookie is also set by us once you've read and/or accepted the cookie usage notice in order to prevent you being asked again each time you visit.

Some cookies may be set when forms are submitted in order for our website to be able to provide the relevant information back to you on subsequent visits.

Users have the opportunity to set their web browser to accept, issue a notification of, or refuse cookies at any time. Continuing to use this website gives consent to cookies being used. Please note that if you refuse cookies you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. Each browser is different, so check its 'Help' menu to learn how to change your cookie preferences. For further information on cookies please visit

Third party cookies

We use some providers of third-party services to enhance the functionality and usability of our website. Pages that use these third-party services may present cookies from these websites. We do not control the dissemination of these cookies. We may also work with third parties to collect user data through our websites for the purpose of serving ads targeted to your interests. You can opt out of interest-based advertising through 'Do Not Track' settings in your web browser or mobile devices. through such other methods as Twitter may specify from time to time at  (or any successor url). Please check the policies of each service for further information. These third-party services include, but are not limited to, Google Analytics* which monitors traffic levels, search queries and visits to this website, YouTube so that we can embed videos, the commenting system Disqus, social media sharing services AddThis and Twitter and Facebook, survey providers surveygizmo, and live event blogging providers CoverItLive!.

*Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"), uses "cookies" to help the website analyze how users use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website (including your IP address) will be transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the United States. Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website, compiling reports on website activity for website operators and providing other services relating to website activity and internet usage. Google may also transfer this information to third parties where required to do so by law, or where such third parties process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. By using this website, you consent to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner and for the purposes set out above.

Use of personal information

We collect information from

  • visitors to our websites
  • employers in the further and higher education sector
  • publicly available sources such as the electoral register and websites
  • individuals who contact us
  • companies and organisations, including social media, eg. Facebook, who help us to recruit new members and market our services.

When you join UCU, you provide personal information about yourself.

The information enables the union nationally and locally to develop and provide a wide range of union-based activities related to UCU's work, including: the maintenance of membership records; implementing the union's policies; negotiation and representation; assisting with employment disputes; the union's internal democracy, including elections and ballots; resolving disputes involving members; group insurance claims; individual members' casework and injury claims; education, training and professional development; the statistical profiling of sensitive data; and other benefits for members, dependants and supporters.

We will also share your data with carefully selected affinity partners who offer a range of services, from counselling to insurance and legal products. You have the right not to allow us to share your data with these partners, and to do so you must contact our membership team.

Please note that doing so could mean that you will not receive important information about UCU's activities and policies reported in UC and other publications.

From time to time, we may also wish to make the information available to other organisations, including agents, contractors and other service providers, for casework and for analysis and/or marketing purposes, so that we can negotiate better terms on a wider range of additional services and benefits, and make these available to our members.

We use a number of internet based organisations in our work, and consequently of your personal data may be kept in data centres outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Specifically, your data may be transferred to the USA and India.

We never sell membership lists to any outside organisation; and when your data is made available to other organisations for the very specific purposes set out above, they are contractually obliged to store and process it securely and confidentially, under our strict instructions, and to ensure that it is deleted or returned to us after their use of it is completed. These conditions apply regardless of the storage location.

Paypal donations

We use payment services provider, Paypal, to process financial transactions relating to donations to our Fighting Fund. You should only provide your personal information to Paypal after reviewing the Paypal privacy policy (available at We will share information with Paypal only to the extent necessary for the purposes of processing payments you make via our website. With regard to these donations, we do not store credit card details nor do we share customer details with any third parties. These transactions are entirely separate to the processing and maintenance of members' regular subscription and direct debit records.

Your right to see the data we hold

Under the Data Protection Act 1998, you have the right to ask for a copy of the information we hold about you (there is an administrative charge of £10 for each request), and to request correction of any incorrect information.

Please note that to ensure we follow your instructions correctly and to help us improve the services we offer through staff training, communications may be monitored or recorded.
We review and update this policy from time to time, the last occasion being October 2016.

Last updated: 18 May 2017