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Welcome to UCL UCU

UCU is the trade union and professional association representing university staff across the sector, formed in June 2006 by the amalgamation of AUT and Natfhe.

UCU is UCL’s recognised trade union for lecturing staff, research staff, administrators, computer staff, librarians, and related staff grades. PhD students who carry out teaching duties can join on a special rate.

UCL UCU is a large trade union branch with over 1,500 members. Some of our members have permanent ‘core funded’ positions, while others - mainly research staff - are on what UCL refers to as “open-ended contracts on fixed funding”.

In short, if you are employed at UCL, teach, research or support, but are not currently a member of UCU, we would encourage you to join.

Staff on clerical and manual grades should join UNISON, those on technical and scientific support roles, UNITE. We support our colleagues in the other UCL trade union branches, and encourage all college workers to join their appropriate trade union.

PosterNational strike over pay - 3 December


Pickets from 7am around campus - Rally at 12 noon Gower St site Front Gate - Protest outside UCEA 1pm - Poster

Ever since 2009, the employers organisation UCEA, have refused to make an inflation-based pay offer. We received increases of 0.5% when RPI was at 3-4%. This has had a cumulative negative impact on pay. See below.

  • Staff at the top of their grades have seen their pay fall by more than 13% since 2009. 13% equates to nearly 34 days' loss of pay in 2013, and – since this loss is cumulative – even were we to receive a pay rise matching inflation this year, our pay would still be worth 34 days' less in 2014.
  • The employers are devaluing the 'rate for the job'. Staff who are not at the top of their particular pay grade have approximately matched inflation, but then lose out when they hit the top.
  • The employers are not negotiating. They have refused to negotiate over pay (which this strike is about), or any other issue.

As the graph below demonstrates, the only way to alter this situation is to take industrial action, as staff did in 2006 and before.

Pay vs. RPI and CPI, 2004-2013.

Notes to graph: The pay gradient matched RPI until 2008, due to industrial action (or the live threat of it). In August 2008, the employers paid an additional RPI element as part of the three-year deal reached in 2006. However since 2009, the employers have offered below-RPI 'increases', causing pay to fall in real terms year-on-year. April 2004 is the Pay Framework implementation date.

Victory - Statute 18 'reform'

LATEST: Provost agrees to formally retract SMT proposals.

New UCL Provost, Michael Arthur, agreed to withdraw UCL SMT proposals to 'reform' Statute 18 at the Academic Board on 23 October 2013.

This Statute is a constitutional document that protects academic staff from arbitrary redundancy, and thereby provides a level of protection for academic freedom of inquiry, dissent and speech. UCL SMT wished to abolish this statute in favour of allowing managers to dismiss academic staff without the same procedures.

The withdrawal of these proposals in the face of overwhelming opposition from staff at all levels within College, and supported by UCU in a two-year campaign, represents an important victory against those who would see our Universities as mere commercial enterprises rather than academic communities.

More information...


8 August Statute 18 consultation extended
17 July Academic Board overwhelmingly critical of Statute 18 Reform: will they be ignored?

External links

University Colleges Union (national)
Trades Union Congress
UCL Human Resources (personnel)
USS (pension scheme)
Labour Research Department

Other campus unions

The unions work together and support each other where possible. You should join the union that represents your pay grade in negotiations with college management:
UCL UNISON (for clerical and manual grades of staff)
UCL UNITE (for technical and scientific support staff)
Enquiries: ucu@ucl.ac.uk
Web: Sean Wallis
UCL home: UCL
These pages are the responsibility of UCL UCU. This page was last updated on 28 November, 2013