About UCU


University of Brighton UCU

University of Brighton UCU negotiates with the university’s Senior Management Team on behalf of all Academic and Research Staff. ¬†Staff on all contract types (fixed term, fractional and permanent) are eligible and welcome to join, as are postgraduate students. ¬†University of Brighton UCU also represents some support staff on Grade 6 and above on an individual basis. (Do ask us if the UCU or our sister union Unison is best for you.)

What we do


A large proportion of our work involves negotiating terms and conditions for our members. There are over 25 collective agreements covering things such as:

  • defining duties for grades and roles, ensuring for example that course leaders are not line managers
  • the workload allocation model, ensuring that hours for tasks are transparent and fit within the national agreement
  • Staff Development Review, ensuring that these reviews cannot be used for performance management

This means that much of the work that we do locally happens as part of the regular business of the University. You can view the list of collective agreements here.

Health and Safety

The employer has a legal duty to consult with trade unions on issues relating to health and safety. Elected H&S reps attend regular health and safety meetings and hold the university to account on its legal duty of protection of staff health and safety.

During Covid-19 our health and safety reps have undertaken countless site visits to campuses and have attended weekly H&S meetings specific to Covid.


You have the right to be accompanied to meetings by a trade union rep. You may be more comfortable in certain meetings if you have a trade union rep with you as a note-taker and to call adjournments to offer advice.


Casework refers to any instance where we support an individual member with a particular issue.


Nationally, UCU has standing committees and annual conferences that represent particular groups of staff:

Locally, we campaign hard on equalities including organising meetings, symposia and events which you can learn more about in the posts on our homepage.

UCU Nationally

UCU is the largest trade union working within further and higher education throughout the UK with over 130,000 members. UCU works closely with other unions on matters of common concern, often jointly lobbying government and other bodies on employment and educational issues.

To learn more about how the union works and its stuctures, see here.

New Staff – Special Offer!

If you join UCU within 30 days of the start of your employment, UCU will waive the normal 90-day waiting period for access to legal assistance.

Join UCU
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Supporting Members

The University of Brighton UCU supports its members in a number of different ways:

Casework support

Individual members are supported by UCU when they have an issue at work that they are uncomfortable dealing with on their own. Over the past year UCU has supported over 70 individual members in a number of ways including:

  • Bullying
  • Disciplinary hearings
  • Stress due to workload, culture and other work-related issues

Group issues

UCU offers support to specific membership groupings with concerns.

Organisational negotiation

At an organisational level UCU has negotiated numerous policies and procedures with the University including:

  • Promotions procedure
  • Workload Agreement (ongoing)
  • Staff contracts
  • Discipline
  • Grievance
  • Health and Safety
  • Environmental issues
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