It pays to join a union

On average, union members get higher pay than non-members. They are also likely to get better sickness and pension benefits, more paid holiday and more control over things like shifts and working hours, because workers join together to negotiate pay and conditions as a collective. Unions fight for more respectful, inclusive, safe workplaces. If you run into problems at work, as a union member you and other members have each other’s backs, and can get support with legal representation if needed.

unions make sure working people get a voice at work

UCU is the largest post-school union in the world, covering universities, colleges, prisons, adult education and other post-16 training providers. People who work in post-school education have never been under so much pressure. Staff numbers drop as student numbers and workloads rise – often with no matching increase in funding or pay.

UCU campaigns and negotiates for tangible results. We make real progress on issues like improving pay, implementing equality policies, protecting part-time, fixed-term and hourly paid staff, tackling safety issues, and much more. We defend and advance the employment and professional interests of members, both nationally and locally. The more people there are in the union, the more UCU can achieve.

UCU membership can cost from as little as £1 per month depending on your earnings. PhD students contracted to teach can join for free. Most members can reduce their subscription by claiming income tax relief. Find out more about subscription rates here.

A Day in the Life of UCU

We work closely with our sister trade unions. Some members of academic-related staff are in the UCU, but other professional services, administrative and technical staff are in UNISON. If you are unsure which to join, please Contact Us.

If you have any questions about joining, check out the Joining FAQs, or Contact Us.