Who can join the RCA UCU?

We collectively bargain on behalf of academics, academic related and research staff on the national pay spine, including Visiting Lecturers. Our national rules entitle anyone who works as an academic, lecturer, trainer, instructor, researcher, administrator, manager, computer staff, librarian or postgraduate to join. This includes but is not limited to Visiting Lecturers, Tutors, Senior Tutors, Professors, Heads of Programme and Deans.

To join RCA UCU, please visit https://www.ucu.org.uk/join

Why should I join the RCA UCU?

RCA UCU looks after the interests of staff across the college, forming a community that shares best working practices, concerns and issues around all areas of employment and pastoral care. RCA UCU can help you with issues including:

  • Questions around employment and contracts
  • Financial issues and pay
  • Job security and casualisation
  • Maternity, health and safety issues
  • Issues around equality, diversity, and inclusion
  • Access to legal advice

RCA UCU can also:

  • Act as an intermediary between you and the college in any correspondence
  • Provide guidance and support with any issues you are experiencing with the college
  • Attend meetings with the college alongside you (including departmental meetings)
  • Develop individual and group actions to resolve any issues you may experience while working at the college

UCU also holds regular conferences and seminars on topics including governance, online learning, among other aspects of professionalising the educational workplace. UCU also provides training for all branch committee members.

I’m a Visiting Lecturer, is there any point in joining the union?

We have a large number of VLs in our branch; the number of Visiting Lecturers employed at the college, as a percentage, is amongst the highest of any higher education institution in the UK.

The rights of Visiting Lecturers are a key priority for RCA UCU and eliminating casualisation and temporary contracted work at the college is one of RCA UCU’s strongest ongoing campaigns. 

If you are a Visiting Lecturer, RCA UCU needs to hear from you and your experiences to help us in the fight against casualisation.

How much does it cost to join the RCA UCU?

UCU membership is dependent upon earnings, and can cost as little as 99p per month and is free for research students with teaching provision. 

For a full list of subscription rates, please visit: www.ucu.org.uk/subscriptions

How do I join the union?

To join RCA UCU, please visit: www.ucu.org.uk/join

Please email rcaucu@gmail.com after you have joined, so that we can add you to the mailing list to receive updates via email.

How does the branch committee get elected?

Branch committee roles are held for one year. Every year, the roles become open and all members can nominate themselves for election to one (or more) of the open positions. The nominations are sent securely to all members and each member of RCA UCU gets one vote per branch committee role. All roles can be subject to a job-share between two or more members.

How is the branch structured?

The branch committee roles for 2020-21 are:

  • Co-Chair (VL)
  • Co-Chair (Permanent)
  • General Secretary
  • Equalities Officer
  • Health and Safety Officer 
  • Treasurer
  • Learning and Members Officer

With the exception of the Chair, Secretary and Treasurer roles, these roles can be amended annually based upon the concerns for the branch over the coming year.

How often does the branch meet?

The branch has a duty to meet at least once every term. RCA UCU organises branch-wide meetings usually every two months, as well as holding regular meetings with smaller groups of staff members (for example, with Visiting Lecturers, Senior Tutors, Heads of Programme) every month. 

As a committee, RCA UCU meets at least twice every term.

How does the branch communicate with members?

RCA UCU sends email newsletters to all members every two weeks, and has an active presence on social media. Follow RCA UCU on Twitter and Instagram.