Policy on providing assistance to members in respect of employment-related matters

UCL staff often contact the union for advice about issues that arise in the context of their employment. We can only represent union members in formal meetings with management.

What happens if you are not a member but join the union when a matter arises? Can you get help? The local branch policy outlined below summarises what happens.

UCL UCU policy on providing assistance to members in respect of employment-related matters

  1. In line with UCU national policy, UCL UCU will not normally provide assistance to a member in respect of employment-related matters that arise before the member is a full member of the association. (This restriction will not normally be applied to new members of staff in their first three months of employment at UCL.) However, any member offered assistance during such a three month period will not normally have access to regional support or paid legal assistance. Details of the arrangements for access to paid legal assistance are set out in the relevant section of the UCU national website, which at the time of writing could be found here.
  2. UCL UCU will normally withhold, or limit, official local assistance to any member, who, in the opinion of local Branch Officers of the Union, has not taken the opportunity to join in the past, and appears to be joining now in order to obtain assistance with an impending workplace problem.
  3. UCL UCU may use its discretion to waive restrictions (1) and (2) above and offer help if it is satisfied that an issue of significant general importance to other members has arisen. It also reserves the right to waive these restrictions in other exceptional circumstances, where it considers this to be appropriate.
  4. The waiving of restrictions as set out in (3) above can only be determined and authorised by agreement between at least two members of the Branch Executive Committee, at least one of which being a Branch Officer (Branch Secretary, President or Vice President). UCL UCU expects that members will not cause embarrassment to individual Executive members by seeking to bypass this arrangement.
  5. UCL UCU will determine, if necessary in consultation with regional and national headquarters, the nature and extent of assistance provided locally in all cases.
  6. Any decision by UCL UCU to waive restrictions (1) and (2) and provide local assistance in respect of an employment-related matter, cannot prejudice the right of UCU staff at either regional or national headquarters to withhold further assistance in line with national policy.

If you have a problem at work and you wish to seek advice in clarifying your rights, please follow the flowchart on this page.