Cardiff UCU Branch Hardship Fund Guidance

Details of the Fund

Cardiff UCU Branch has established a local fund to help those suffering particular financial hardship due to loss of pay arising from the 2019 UCU industrial action.

“Particular hardship” means that the member is low-paid (such as on a small fractional contract or hourly paid equivalent) and/or that the strike days disproportionately affect them (for example, the strike is on the only day(s) that they work or covers the majority of their hours).

While the loss of income through striking affects everyone, those who are already in very financially insecure situations are the worst hit, and these people will be prioritised – e.g. hourly-paid workers; postgraduates who teach/demonstrate.

The Cardiff UCU Hardship Fund is designed as a safety net for local members and is intended to augment the UCU National Hardship Fund by allowing members to claim towards loss of income for the first two days of action.

Please be aware that the local strike fund is a limited pot of money – for which we are already fundraising and will continue to fundraise throughout the strike – and we cannot guarantee to reimburse you for the full amount that you have lost.


This year the national rules have been changed as follows in order to better protect casually employed and lower-paid members:

  • those of you earning below £30,000 will be able to claim up to £75 per day from the second day onwards;
  • those of you earning £30,000 or more will be able to claim up to £50 from the third day onwards.

Details of the national fund can be found on the national UCU strike fund page.


The Cardiff UCU hardship fund applies to the first one or two days of strike action taken by the member (i.e. your first one or two days – this might not be the first days of the action). The National UCU hardship fund will cover the remaining days.

Applications from members on all pay grades will be considered although priority will be given to:

  • those who are casually employed or on part-time contracts;
  • those on lower grades (Grade 6 or lower); and
  • those who have indicated “special circumstances” on the application form.

Given that the strike is about fighting casualisation (amongst other things) UCU will do its best to make sure that casualised members are taken care of.

If you are a PGR who teaches, make sure that you have upgraded from “student” to “standard free” membership. It only take a minute, and is still FREE while you’re studying. You can update your membership online.

Evidence

We realise that hourly paid workers may have difficulty evidencing loss of pay and will take that into account. During the last strike there were concerns from members that they would not be able to claim reimbursement from the strike fund because they didn’t receive time sheets and could therefore not “evidence” loss of pay. While we can’t guarantee that everyone will be reimbursed from the strike fund, UCU will not deny anyone access to it because their employment status is precarious. Evidence can include: pay slips for a recent previous month; your teaching timetable; letters/emails from the School confirming your teaching times.

Please note that PhD funding is not affected by your decision to strike.

Payment

The Assessment Panel will consider applications at 4 stages to ensure prompt payments to members. **These dates may change to reflect payroll dates**

Stage 1 deadline for application: Monday 2nd December, payment made by 6/12
Stage 2 deadline for application: Monday 9th December, payment made by 13/12
Stage 3 deadline for application: Monday 13th January, payment made by 17/1
Stage 4 deadline for application: Monday 10th February, payment made by 14/2

How to Apply to the Cardiff UCU Hardship Fund

  1. Ensure you read and familiarise yourself with the eligibility requirements and terms and conditions set out below.
  2. Download the application form for the Cardiff UCU Hardship Fund.
  3. Send the completed application form with supporting pay slips or othe documents (see Pt 9 below) to hardshipfund@cardiffucu.onmicrosoft.com
    • You can access PDF copies of your payslip from Core HR
    • If you cannot locate your membership number, please email membership@ucu.org.uk.
  4. Your application will be reviewed by an Assessment Panel convened specifically for the purpose of assessing applications to the Cardiff UCU Hardship Fund.
  5. If approved, funds will be made by bank transfer to the account stated in the application.
  6. We aim to process all applications within the dates given above.

Applying to the UCU National Hardship Fund

Do not delay your application to the national fund until you have received payment from the local fund. If you are claiming for more than the first 1 or 2 days of strike action then submit a claim to the National UCU Fighting Fund by completing the form online.

Eligibility

  1. To be eligible to make a claim against the Fund, you must meet the following criteria:
    • Be a current and fully paid up member of the UCU
    • Have taken part in the industrial action called by the Union.
    • To have not received any pay from the University on each day of action in which you have participated.
    • Be able to supply a PDF or scanned copy, of your pay slip(s) showing the gross amount of pay deducted in respect of each day’s participation in the action, or other evidence showing loss such as that stated below.
  2. Members unable to demonstrate loss of pay from relevant payslips ca include: pay slips for a recent previous month; your teaching timetable; letters/emails from the School confirming your teaching times or other documentation confirming appointment. Please use the “additional information” field to provide furtherclarification or context if you think this would prove helpful to the Assessment Panel.
  3. Claims not accompanied by payslip(s) showing the deductions or other supporting documentation will be rejected.
  4. A claim arising from this dispute will only be paid if it is received within 3 months after the date of loss of pay.
  5. No claim can be met for members who are in arrears of subscriptions or for those who are not paying the correct level of subscription based on their earnings.
  6. If you have selected “yes” to the special circumstances button on the claim form we may ask you for additional evidence.
  7. Please ensure that you enter correctly all the bank details as we may not be able to recover any payments sent to an incorrect bank accountunt and, if that occurs, we regret it may not be possible to make a further payment from the Fund to recompense for the mis-directed payment.

Terms and Conditions

  1. In no case will payments from combined applications to UCU accredited funds be made in excess of your actual total loss of income. The pro-rata principle will be applied where appropriate for part-time staff.
  2. Member who continue to suffer disproportionate hardship are eligible to submit further applications to the Cardiff UCU Hardship Fund although we reserve the right to seek information on support received from the National Fighting Fund and we may ask you for additional evidence of hardship.
  3. All claims are at the discretion of the Cardiff UCU Hardship Fund Assessment Panel. The Panel reserves the right not to meet a claim if it is not satisfied about the eligibility of the claimant, the details of the claim itself or the supporting evidence.
  4. As the fund is finite there may be a cap placed on payments. We reserve the right to withhold decisions relating to claims from staff at higher grades until the full extent of applications received in stage 3 has been assessed by the Panel.
  5. If you need to contact us, please email hardshipfund@cardiffucu.onmicrosoft.com.