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OUBUCU Website Homepage


Welcome to the Open University Branch of the University and College Union (OUBUCU).

If you are employed in an academic (including Associate Lecturer), Academic-Related or Research or Research Student role by the Open University, UCU is the union for you.


Campaign: Build our Regions

The Open University closed the East Grinstead Regional centre (Region 13) on 30 November 2014. The University is currently conducting an analysis of all the English regional offices. UCU is standing up for the importance of the regions and nations in delivering our high-quality education. Further information is on the Campaigns page or the Build our Regions page has a photo wall of members wearing a Rosie the Riveter head scarf.

Protecting your interests

We represent staff in those grades collectively in respect of the university. That means that we have an important role to play in protecting YOUR interests in YOUR employment – salary, conditions, professional concerns, and individual problems. Maintaining a strong union is the best way to ensure that you and your colleagues in the university enjoy the best rewards and conditions in your work in the OU. And to do that, we need members!

Providing you with services

Membership of OUBUCU, which goes hand in hand with membership of UCU nationally, brings you access to the services provided by the union locally as well as through its national organisation. This includes the help of local officers and representatives, that of UCU’s regional and national trade union professionals, and where appropriate access to full professional legal assistance through UCU’s legal scheme.


OUBUCU meets on a regular basis with representatives of the university (via the Joint Negotiating Committee, or JNC), and also has frequent ad hoc discussions with the university over a wide range of matters affecting staff in academic and academic-related grades. OUBUCU is the body with which the university negotiates matters relating to the local application of the national Framework Agreement on pay. In addition, OUBUCU representatives spend a good deal of time and energy in assisting members who have encountered difficulties in their individual employment situations (known as casework), and we have a good record of success in helping such members to reach a satisfactory resolution of the problems.

The National picture

Nationally, UCU is the principal union for academic and academic-related staff in Higher and Further Education in the UK. It deals with the university employers’ bodies as well as with the government over all matters concerning employment and professional issues in UK institutions. It keeps a close eye on matters affecting pension arrangements for university staff, and appoints three of the directors of USS as well as three members of its advisory committee.

Join us!

As an academic or academic-related member of the Open University YOU need OUBUCU and OUBUCU needs YOU! Join now. You will find further information about membership under the “Join UCU” on the left hand side of the page, or click on the photo link on the right.

The Open University branch of the University and College Union can be contacted at:

The Open University
Room 015, Wilson C
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

01908 653069