Get help and advice from UCU

Where to get advice and guidance from UCU.

General issues and common queries

For advice on general issues, please contact

Alternatively, visit the National UCU Support Centre to find answers to many frequently asked questions relating to membership, employment or the legal scheme.

Personal casework

If you require specific and individual assistance from Sheffield UCU to resolve an employment related issue, we can offer a personal caseworker service.

To request this service:

  1. Read our personal casework guidance (PDF, 163kb).
  2. Fill in the personal casework application form (Word doc, 104kb)
  3. Fill in the chronology form (Word doc, 107kb)
  4. Email both these forms to

We will then get in touch with you. You may find it useful to take a look at our process flow chart (PDF, 50kb).

If you are seeking assistance with respect to a particular employment policy at the University of Sheffield, please indicate which one in the form.

It’s not always possible to meet urgent requests for Union representation at a scheduled meeting. You may want to request a postponement of the meeting while we deal with your enquiry.

Please note that normally Sheffield UCU will only offer its help to UCU members of more than 90 days standing, and is not normally able to provide assistance (including initial advice) to members whose workplace issue has its origins before joining the union.   

However, assistance may be provided to members of less than 90 days standing, and for a workplace issue which has its origins after the date of joining the union in the following circumstances:

  • If a member joins the Union at the earliest opportunity (and in any event no later than 30 days after taking up qualifying employment).
  • If a member did not join the union at the earliest opportunity, we will not provide assistance until the member has made an upfront payment of 12 months’ national and local union subscription, starting from the date of registration of membership (or, if their membership lapsed for any reason, from the date of the restoration of membership).

Each request for assistance from members of less than 90 days standing will be assessed on its merits, subject to Branch resources, and on a case-by-case basis.  For example, if there may be issues of collective significance for the Branch.  In any case, the final decision rests with the SUCU Committee.

Education Support Partnership

The Education Support Partnership is a charity that offers support services to all staff in further and higher education and their families, including:

  • Counselling on personal and workplace issues.
  • One-to-one coaching via a secure email system.
  • Information, advice and support resources on topics such as: well-being, work-life balance, workload problems, stress management, coping with bereavement, and dealing with difficult people.
  • Financial assistance: a needs-based grants and loans programme.
  • Money management advice: individually tailored strategies to address financial difficulties, restructure debt and secure benefits.
  • Signposting to other relevant organisations.

All these services can be accessed:

Through the  24/7 telephone support line on 08000 562 561 (freephone).

Claiming Tax Relief on UCU subscriptions

UCU members are entitled to offset a proportion of subscriptions paid against tax paid. For details, please visit the UCU national website.