The University and College Union (UCU)
The University and Colleg
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The University and College Union (UCU)


The University and College Union (UCU)

The University and College Union (UCU)

Politics and Administration


The University and College Union (UCU) is a British trade union in further and higher education representing over 120,000 academics and support staff.

UCU is a vertical union representing casualised researchers and teaching staff, "permanent" lecturers and academic related professional services staff. Definitions of all these categories are currently rather ambiguous due to recent changes in fixed term and open-ended contract law. In many universities, casualised academics form the largest category of staff and UCU members.


CU was formed by the merger on 1 June 2006 of the Association of University Teachers (AUT) and the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education (NATFHE). For its first year, a set of transitional rules was in place until full operational unity was achieved in June 2007. During the first year of the new union the existing General Secretaries (Sally Hunt and Paul Mackney) remained in post, managing the union’s day-to-day business jointly. Paul Mackney did not stand for General Secretary of UCU owing to ill-health and Sally Hunt was elected general secretary of the union on 9 March 2007, and took office on 1 June 2007.

Sally Hunt was re-elected twice, in 2012 and 2017, but was then forced to resign due to health reasons in February 2019.

Dr Jo Grady was elected to be the next UCU general secretary in May 2019 to take up position on 1 August 2019.


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Alena Potapova

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