UCL recognises three trade unions to represent UCL staff and to negotiate terms and conditions of employment on their behalf. These are UCU for academic staff on grade 7 and above, Unite, which is mainly for technical staff, and UNISON, which mainly represents administrative and manual staff although we have members on all grades doing all sorts of jobs for UCL. Pay is negotiated at national level by the trade unions and the Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the branch officers do not take part in them. Two other unions are also involved in these: The Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS) and GMB.
Many of UCL’s policies tell you that you have the right to be accompanied by a trade union representative so it should be obvious that those policies will not work without us. It follows that it does not matter if any individual employee is against the trade unions on a personal level that opinion should not be allowed to influence his or her actions at work because the employer recognises us and we help to make the policies and procedures work. The trade union Branch Secretaries negotiate with Human Resources Policy Staff to produce them in the first place, going through every line word by word and revising them when necessary. It is important for the trade unions as well as the employer that those policies and procedures work well.
One of the Management Competencies promoted by UCL is that a manager “ Participates actively in Departmental, Faculty and UCL wide Committees, Working Parties, Investigatory Panels and other corporate roles as required” http://www.ucl.ac.uk/hr/competencies/index.php and this is something that can be done through UNISON. And you don’t have to be a manager to take part if you are a UNISON member. We have members on:
The Safety Committee
The Environmental Sustainability Steering Group
The Race Equality Review Group
The Stress, Resilience and Well-Being Sub-Committee of the Health and Safety Management Team
The Construction and Buildings Safety Committee
Grievance Appeal Panels.