Join UCU

UCU is the largest trade union and professional association for academics, researchers, and academic-related staff in the UK.   Its mission is to defend the interests of its members, with the protection and improvement of working conditions and pay as its highest priority.  The UCU plays a vital and increasingly important role in defending the rights of academic, academic related, and research staff, both as a group and individually, and in fighting for better pay and terms and conditions of employment for its members.

The strength of the Union is directly dependent on the number of members it has, and on how active the members are. Don’t put it off!  Don’t think it is just something that “other people” do!  JOIN TODAY and help to maintain and increase the strength of the Union.

Why join UCU?

Almost 120,000 of your colleagues have chosen to belong to UCU – the largest union and most effective voice for people like you working in post-school education.

UCU is the largest post-school union in the world: a force working for education that your employer and the government cannot ignore. It understands the work you do, and the problems you face. And, of course, the more members UCU has, the more effective the support and protection we offer will be.

Is UCU for me?

All staff in grades F and above can join UCU, whether your contract is permanent or fixed term, full-time, part-time, or hourly paid.  Academic, academic related/support staff, computer, administrative and librarians and all research staff [whatever your grade] are eligible. Find out more

If you are a student you are eligible for student membership, which is free while you complete your studies. But if you do paid academic work for the University [eg. Demonstrating /teaching] you need to be have full membership.

Benefits of Membership

Amongst the many benefits of membership are: You will be joining the largest trade union and professional association for academics, researchers and academic-related staff in the UK. Size matters! Help and advice. Confidential individual help and advice on workplace problems, the UCU legal scheme and personal injury is signposted on the main UCU website  click here. UCU Plus offers lots of extras including insurance, financial, legal and professional. Look out for the CPD programme which has useful guides and advice

  • UCU has long been linked with Recourse whose services complement those of UCU.

See for example the legal support centre which is a mine of information and covers most things from selling your house to intellectual property rights

The full services of Recourse, including counselling, can be accessed from

How to join

The quickest and easiest way to join is to on line this link takes you straight to the online form………………….. or see  and the local UCU office is here to answer any queries and lend a hand email us

How much does it cost and where does the money go?

The subscription rates for full membership are graded according to salary bands.  The major portion of the subscription fee is to support UCU’s work at a national level, which includes negotiating wages and conditions, lobbying in parliament so as to influence the public debate in Higher Education, liaising with the national media, and paying for legal advice for both Union activities and to support individual members.  A small proportion [the additional local subscription] of the fee goes to finance the administrative costs of the local Newcastle UCU office.  Subscriptions and information Note that in general the UCU subscription [excluding the local subscription] is eligible for tax relief. .  For full details of the tax relief concession click here.

If you don’t just want to pay your subscription…………… Consider becoming more actively involved, in particular by joining the Newcastle UCU Committee, or becoming a Local Rep or local contact for your School, Institute or Unit..  For further information contact