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The Open University branch of the University and College Union

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Branch Hardship Fund information

About the local hardship fund

We have added guidelines, FAQs and an application form for the branch hardship fund to this page. 

Members should look at the UCU Fighting Fund rules (not this fund is capped at 11 days payments) as well as the local scheme to determine what overall support may be available to them.

The hardship fund offers 3 rates the OU UCU members can claim for each day of strike action from the hardship:

  1. Up-to £50/day from the first day of action.
  2. Up-to £75/day for days affected by the 11-day cap in the fighting fund (generally day 13 onwards).
  3. Additional funding for days of strike action beyond the normal UCU pattern, since we at the OU have included weekends in our strike pattern. For Feb/March 2022 wave this would be if you took a total of 11 or 12 days, or for the March 2022 action a total of 6 or 7 days.

You must claim from the fighting fund before claiming from the hardship fund.

All rates are limited such that the total amount claimed from both funds is no more than your total deductions for strike action.

Branch hardship fund guidelines

Frequently asked questions

When deductions are taken

We asked the OU to spread deductions for the February and March 2022 action over multiple months, this request was denied. We did successfully get the OU to agree to not deduct from members in December for the December 2021 action. Therefore, deductions are expected to be as follows:

For the December 2021 3 strike days:

  • For non-AL staff the deductions should have been taken in January.
  • For AL staff the deductions should have been take in February. 

For the February/March 2022 12 strike days

  • For non-AL staff the deductions should have been taken in March.
  • For AL staff the deductions should have been take in April. 

We don't yet know when the deductions for the 7 days in March upcoming will be yet.

Claiming for industrial action

Please fill in the application form below, and include a copy or screenshot of the relevant payslips and return them to ucu-hardship-applications. This application form covers all three waves of action up-to 27th March. You do not need to have had pay deducted for all waves to make a claim and can use the claim form for subsequent deductions.

Application form

Donation information

We encourage you if able to donate to our Branch Hardship fund. You can do this by:

  •  Sending an email to ucu@open.ac.uk pledging the amount you wish to donate 
  •  Making a payment direct to the hardship fund bank account:
    • Sort code: 60-83-01 and Account number: 20392138
    • Unity Trust Bank, account name is: UCU the Open University LA064 Hardship fund
  • You can post a cheque payable to "UCU the Open University LA064 Hardship fund" to the UCU Office, Room 015, Wilson C Block, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA. 

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