Help and Advice

UCU exists to support our members. We do this in a variety of ways, but all of them are based on the principle that “together, we’re stronger”. Often this means negotiating with the University management to improve things for staff as a whole. Sometimes, it means offering advice, support and representation to you individually.

General Help and Advice

General help and advice is available from Oxford Brookes’ Directorate of Human Resources, particularly the HR Employment Handbook. The National UCU also has a good general Support Centre, including standard advice on requesting confirmation of permanence after four years of service.

Personal Casework 

Oxford Brookes UCU has a team of experienced and trained personal caseworkers. These are volunteer members who provide support, advice and representation to individual members on employment related difficulties.

If you have a problem at work which you would like to discuss or need representation*, in confidence, or if you need advice about employment law or University policy, please contact our Branch Administrator who will email you a case form for you to complete in order to enable a suitable caseworker to be chosen to address your case. Your completed form will be treated in the strictest confidence. Alternatively, you can download the form by clicking on the link that follows and return it to our Branch AdministratorBrookes-UCU_Personal-Casework-Form.

For a more detailed description of our casework protocols, please see the following document: Brookes-UCU_Casework-Protocols

Please note that, due to the high demand for personal caseworkers, you may have to wait until a caseworker is available to take on your case. You have the right to request that disciplinary or grievance meetings are postponed until a caseworker is able to accompany you.

*If you are being disciplined, or taking a grievance against another member of staff, you have a legal right to be accompanied by a union representative. Please contact the Branch Administrator [link to contact page] who can arrange for a caseworker to discuss the situation with you and accompany you to meetings.

UCU caseworkers are not able to offer advice, support or representation to non-members.

UCU Legal Services

Like all unions, UCU tries to resolve members’ employment related disputes through negotiations at local level. However, there are times when members require legal advice or where disputes cannot be resolved locally.

The UCU Legal Scheme provides legal support and representation on matters arising in connection with a member’s employment, professional duties or trade union activities. In the first instance members should seek advice from the local branch. You may be referred to the UCU Legal Scheme where appropriate.

What Other Support Can I Expect? 

Education Support Partnership (formerly the Recourse) is a UK-wide charity providing free support services specifically for all staff working in further and higher education. Supported by UCU, Education Support Partnership complements the work of the union offering information and advice, telephone counselling, online coaching and financial assistance.

All these services can be accessed online at, or through their 24/7 telephone support line, on 08000 562 561.