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The Open University branch of the University and College Union

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Branch Hardship Fund information

Hardship funds – helping you cover the cost of striking

We aren’t paid while we’re on strike. But two funds are available to help support you financially and ensure that we can all afford to take action: 

  • The UCU National Fighting Fund. Information about UCU's national fighting fund is on the UCU website. The National Fighting Fund can be approached for £50 per day from the second day of action for those earning more than £30k annually, and £75 per day for those earning below £30k annually.

  • The OU branch local hardship fund, which can support members if strike deductions cause hardship.The local Hardship Fund can provide up to £90 per day from the first day of action.

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

We can afford to support you so if finances are a deterrent please join the strike, and claim from the funds. Please do not have any qualms about claiming from the hardship fund. Remember, this action could save us all tens of thousands of pounds in the long run.

Guidelines for the branch hardship fund

Frequently asked questions for the branch hardship fund

Application form for the branch hardship fund

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. 

  •  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.