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Need help with an issue?

If you require help with a problem at work…

FAQ help

Check if the support FAQ section on our national website can help first. Many problems have been encountered before. You’re not in this alone.

Personal support from Essex UCU (Casework)

Essex UCU has a team of trained personal caseworkers. These are volunteer members who have been trained to provide support, advice and representation on employment related difficulties.

If you have a problem at work which you would like to discuss, in confidence, or if you need advice about employment law please fill in our case form (click on this link, then on the pink link saying case form in lower case on the following page. Do not leave a reply on the website) and send it to our Casework Coordinator

Or email the Casework Coordinator at who will send you this form. We will then arrange for a local caseworker to meet with you. Caseworkers may need to share information you give them with other relevant UCU reps.

Please note that if you do not follow the above procedure, UCU cannot represent or advise 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 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. And please do remember that they are volunteers and are as busy as you! You have the right to request that disciplinary or grievance meetings are postponed until a caseworker is able to accompany you.

Please note that we can NOT offer advice, support or representation to non-members, or to members regarding problems which arose before they joined UCU.

Don’t forget to check if the university website can answer your question- read the employment policies, procedures or ordinance referred to by university management listed in the governance section

UCU Legal Scheme

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 Casework Coordinator. You may be referred to the UCU Legal Scheme by your caseworker where appropriate. A full document of evidence will be required prior to referral so ensure you have been keeping records.

The UCU Legal Scheme is only available to current members of UCU and, unless the National Executive Committee feel there is good reason, legal support will not be offered within the first 90 days of a member joining UCU.

Education Support Partnership

Counselling, support, financial assistance and more is available to all UCU members through the Education Support Partnership. Working in education is not always that easy. Constant change, long hours and pressure to deliver can sap our energy and get in the way of doing what we staff in education care most about. Education Support Partnership provide independent, confidential 24/7 support, to help people deal with stress and anxiety, bullying, career and money worries, and a range of other issues.

Contact Number: 08000 562 561 (helpline) / 07909 341229 (text)

Email: Website:

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