Introduction to Pensions Course

Introduction to pensions

This course is aimed at existing pensions reps or other branch reps or officers who are currently or will be offering support to members with pensions enquiries. Every branch should have a least one pensions representative to be able to give a specialist level of advice to members locally.

This is a two day course delivered in one block.

Why attend?

The course will help you to understand both the Teachers’ Pension Scheme (TPS) and the University Superannuation Scheme (USS).

The course will focus on:

  • changes to these schemes
  • how pensions are calculated
  • additional pensions benefits
  • ill health and redundancy issues
  • pension developments and communications in your branch.

Introduction to pensions, 5-6 March 2019, London

This two-day course is for reps who are or will be involved in offering support to members with pensions enquiries. Please click on the pink course title above for a link to the application form.

Introduction to UCU Learning Reps – role and function

This one day introduction course is open to all UCU learning reps and those in the branch who may have an interest in taking on the role.

Date: 5th March 2019

Duration: 1 day

Venue: Birmingham

Please note: You should ensure you can attend the entire course prior to submitting your application. Please further ensure you have secured time off from your employer.

Every UCU branch should have at least one Union Learning Rep. This course will look at your role as a Learning Rep, and how to extend the UCU organising agenda through learning. We will see the value of the role as not only a lifelong learning and recruitment opportunity, but also in terms of negotiating and bargaining on behalf of UCU members in your branch.

This course will cover the following:

  • Your rights as a UCU union learning rep artikkelens kilde
  • Barriers to learning and development in your workplace
  • Equality issues around access to members learning and professional development
  • The role of the ULR in the branch
  • Where next for the branch?



If you need any further information please do not hesitate to contact me on or book via the link below:—role-and-function-5-March-2019-Birmingham


Fifty Seats left – get your Cradle to Grave place today

Our Cradle to Grave conference takes place in Manchester on Saturday 16 February. It’s always a great day out for UCU members and this year will be no exception. Our conference theme is ‘reimagining education – towards a national education service’.

We have some brilliant speakers from the world of politics and further and higher education, and importantly we want as many UCU members as possible to have the opportunity to attend and participate.

Book your free ticket (before they go!) by clicking here.

Matt Waddup
UCU national head of policy and campaigns


P.S. For full details of the event, click here.

P.P.S. UCU tries to ensure travel costs are not a barrier to attendance, but regrettably we cannot reimburse full travel costs. We appreciate rail costs can be high from outside of Manchester, and after your ticket for the conference is confirmed, we can then reimburse 25% of your ticket if over £20, up to a maximum of £30 if you book before the deadline of Wednesday 30 January. Please do not book your train ticket before confirmation of a place. We will need proof of the date of purchase sent into head office and an expense form will be available to pick up at the conference if requested.

Health & Safety 2: Organising & bargaining for H&S

Dear Colleague

There are still some places on the H&S 2 course in Gateshead 6-8 February, please see below for details and to register.  I would be grateful if you would circulate to branch officers.

Many thanks and kind regards



Health & Safety 2: Organising & bargaining for H&S

6th – 8th February, Gateshead


This three-day course is for UCU reps who have previously attended H&S 1 : Induction. The course will cover the following:


  • how to improve health and safety training
  • planning  and conducting health and safety inspections
  • using a systematic approach to tackling health and safety problems
  • how to improve the risk assessment process
  • negotiating effective policies and procedures around stress and violence
  • how to build union organisation around health & safety issues
  • further development of key skills become an effective safety rep

Please apply online:–bargaining-for-HS-6-8-February-2019-Gateshead


or contact

Emma Alexander at


General Financial Surgery Wednesday 23rd January 2019

Lighthouse Financial Advice offer advice on all aspects of financial planning. Your branch officers have arranged for them to visit the college on Wednesday 23rd January 2019.

This surgery is free to UCU members. To take advantage of this invaluable opportunity and book your initial
30 minute consultation with an adviser please contact:

Laura Tekoriute at or call 01273 523749

The surgery will be held from 10.30am to 2.30pm in Room 222b at the Queen’s Gardens Site.

If you are interested but are unable to attend, please let us know and we will arrange for the adviser to
contact you.

The attached document gives full details of this event. Please also see our Events Calendar for this and other upcoming events.

Welcome from your new Branch Secretary

Hi, I’m Emma Marshall, your new Branch Secretary for UCU Hull College.

Emma Marshall, your Branch Secretary

I am a fairly new UCU member joining the union in 2017 and became active on the Committee very soon afterwards. I am passionate about Equality matters and my involvement in the union started in this area. I have done some UCU training, been involved in casework and contributed to UCU’s local campaign challenging the 2018 restructure and redundancies. I felt honoured and proud to have been asked by Rob Goodfellow and Dave Langcaster as to whether I might be interested in taking on the role of UCU Branch Secretary this year and when I accepted the challenge I was co-opted into the role.

I have been described by some as a bit of a trouble causer. I can definitely say I am approachable, a good listener, strong willed, focused, straightforward, and not afraid to ask questions or challenge. I hope to make good use of these personality traits in my role this year.Unfortunately

I do have some health issues in that I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis when I was 28. But I try not to let this get in my way and in fact the diagnosis has probably made me more determined to succeed in my life.

Our branch now needs to regroup and I believe I have the skills and commitment to do this but I will need the help and support of everyone on the local committee and you as a UCU member. Everyone is important when it comes to ensuring that the branch remains strong and vibrant. To coin a phrase it will be something a “fresh start” for UCU’s dealings with the college management this year.

I have already had an informal meeting with the CEO and made the case for improved industrial relations and joint working. Only time will tell how things work out. We have unfilled executive officer roles on the Committee and I am very keen to re-establish the network of departmental contacts from the past as it is very important that we have a good communication system across all sites and departments.

I look forward to getting know more of you in the coming months and I anticipate it will be another busy year for UCU but hopefully we won’t be facing anything like the massive challenges of last year.

I work part time in the Health and Safety Office at Queens Gardens and can be contacted by either my works email or preferably private email