[Updated 30 March 2020]
Salaried staff can apply to the UCU fighting fund and branch hardship fund when you’ve received your payslip showing the strike deductions. March payslips are now available to download, see below.
Our branch hardship process is ready to support those members who need it sooner, such as hourly-paid postgraduates who teach, who would normally be paid before the usual payroll dates.
National UCU fighting fund and the local hardship fund
Our local fund is only to request any support you need in addition to what you can claim from the national UCU fighting fund.
If you’re not eligible for support from the national fund because you were only scheduled to do one day’s work over the strike period you can apply to the local fund if you need to. The national UCU Fighting Fund counts the action as beginning from November, so if you took strike action then, you can claim for the whole of the February-March strike action.
If you are eligible to claim from the national fund but will still be in hardship because of your circumstances, claim from the national fund and at the same time apply for the additional money from the local fund.
Should you apply?
Generally we don’t get paid for striking, so please only apply to the national fighting fund if you need to. And please only apply to the local hardship fund if you’re in hardship because of your particular circumstances, for example, if you’ll struggle to get by because of the strike deductions because you’re hourly paid and low paid, or you’re working part time and already struggling because of childcare fees and repaying loans for visa costs to the university. (These are not definitive examples.)
But please do apply if you need to – it’s what they are here for!
How to apply
First find your UCU membership number, and also check that your UCU subscriptions are up to date and paid at the correct rate for your salary (you can check this on MyUCU – https://ucu.org.uk/myucu). Note: those on the full free membership are also eligible to claim.
We have created a handy guide to how to apply to both through some scenarios here.
To apply for the local hardship fund please fill in a UCU University of Leeds Branch hardship form application and email it with supporting evidence to branch treasurer Jonathan Saha (firstname.lastname@example.org). To claim for the November-December strikes, use the January form below, and to claim for the February-March strikes, use the March form below.
What evidence do you need to provide?
We need evidence that you took strike action. This could be screenshot(s) of your report on the Employee Self Service Portal (under Work Profile > Industrial Action), or a copy of an email you sent to email@example.com to inform them when you were on strike.
We need to see something which shows what you lost due to the strike. For salaried staff that will usually be a wage slip with deductions shown on it and the previous month’s to compare (because strike deductions are taken before other deductions such as tax and as national insurance).
For postgraduates who teach and some other members the evidence will be less clear, so send what you can. For example, a schedule showing when you would have been teaching/preparing/marking, and a timesheet showing the actual hours you claimed pay for. And also, something showing what hourly rate you are paid. We don’t want to make it unreasonably difficult but we do need evidence of what you’ve lost because of the strike.
Hardship fund ‘surgeries’
Face-to-face hardship application surgeries aren’t practical at the moment so we are looking into alternative options and will update here.
Donate to the local hardship fund
If you’re able to donate to the local hardship fund that would really help us to support lower paid members to strike. Please make donations to UCU Leeds LA29 (Hardship Fund), Unity Trust Bank, Account Number: 20391511, Sort Code: 60-83-01