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The Open University branch of the University and College Union

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Branch Hardship Fund information

Marking and Assessment boycott (MAB) - from April to September 2023

Application form for pay docked due to the MAB - updated 28 February 2024

Application form for lost AL contracts - added 25 August 2023

Strike days 25-29 September 2023 (certain UCU branches only including our branch) 

We have created a guidance file for members to apply to the branch Hardship fund, for pay deductions from taking part in the Marking and assessment boycott (MAB).  MAB pay deductions are expected to be taken from January and February 2024 salaries.  An application form and a guidance file have now been added to this page for the September strike days. You need to apply to UCU's national fighting fund before you apply to the branch's local hardship fund, for the September strike days. 

UCU members are not paid while they are on strike, but there is a fund available to help support you financially and ensure that most members can afford to take industrial action: 

The OU branch local hardship fund, which can support members if MAB pay deductions cause hardship. The local Hardship Fund can provide up to £110 per day for the MAB pay deductions.

You decide what hardship means for your circumstances – we won’t pry into your financial situation, and all claims to the hardship fund are anonymised.

Application form for the September 2023 strike days - added 29 September 2023

UCU National fighting fund information

Expenses for picketing

If you’d like to join us at a in-person picket or a in-person rally, but have a long journey, the branch can provide reasonable expenses to cover your travel. This includes if you’d like to join striking colleagues at other institutions, if you have no nearby OU office to support. 

Branch expenses claim form

Please complete the excel claim form and email it to ucu@open.ac.uk with a photo of your receipts. Please send your bank account information so we can pay you by bank transfer. 

Donation information

If you would like to donate to our Branch Hardship fund, we would be very grateful, here is how you can donate.  Or you can donate to UCU's national fighting fund

  •  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.