Recognition NOW!

Support our campaign:

  1. Sign our 38 Degrees petition.
  2. Register for our Recognition Now campaign launch on 5 May.
  3. Get involved!


Union recognition means that we have a say in our working lives.

It means that, when the big decisions are being taken – decisions that affect us all, academic, research, and academic-related staff alike – we get the chance to be properly consulted. It means that when the University wants to cancel promotions or pay increments – or even when they want to make redundancies – they have to consult us first. It means that when we want to make changes at work – whether that’s tackling the gender pay gap, reducing casualisation, or dealing with the enormous workloads we’re all having to shoulder right now – we have the space to do it.

The University is now proposing a recognition deal for UCU that only covers academic staff. That means that – while still able to join the union – academic-related and research staff wouldn’t get a seat at the table. We believe that all staff deserve a recognised union, and we’re campaigning for a deal that works for all the staff groups we represent, not just academics. Whether it’s defending our pensions or speaking out against precarious contracts, many of the issues that we face affect us all.

We have all felt the impact of the union not being recognised over the past year. In response to the pandemic, all of us have made dramatic changes to our working lives, whether it’s moving our teaching online, or struggling to balance work with home schooling or care responsibilities. We’ve been trying to keep up with decisions made by management at high speed, often on a daily basis. Recognition could have made this easier for everyone — not just staff, but the University too. Our representatives would have been more closely involved in the health and safety decisions made throughout the year. They would have made sure that all changes, even the most urgent ones, were made with the needs of staff in mind.

Our demand is simple: a recognition deal that works for all of our members. To win that, we need your help.


The case for recognition

Kevin Biderman is co-chair of the Royal College of Art UCU branch, which was recognised as recently as September 2020. In this video, he talks about what recognition can offer, and why you should support our campaign.

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Why recognition? Our members speak out.


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Recognition FAQ

What does it mean for a union to be recognised?   Why hasn’t Cambridge recognised UCU?   Will being recognised make a real difference?   What is Cambridge proposing and why isn’t it good enough?   Does the UCU support Cambridge recognising other unions?

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