RHUL UCU - Protocols for dealing with Casework
Our caseworkers support and advise UCU members to assist you in remedying issues that you may have at work. This could be something has happened to you or something that should have happened but has not. The purpose of this document is to explain how we deal with such events. Your first line of support is through your local branch. This can be escalated to regional or national, where appropriate.
- In the first instance you should contact the RHUL UCU Casework Coordinator with brief details of your situation. The Coordinator will find a suitable caseworker. It is up to you to get in contact with your caseworker. It is important that you understand that your caseworker is a volunteer; if you do not hear back immediately please be patient.
- You must be an existing member of UCU to receive advice and support. You may not be offered full support and representation for issues that arose before or within 90 days of joining (this is particularly important if legal support is needed). While new members may approach the Casework Coordinator, support may be limited.
- The Coordinator will keep a brief confidential record of your case in order to monitor trends in the branch and to ensure that individual caseworkers are not overloaded.
- You should agree with your caseworker what notes are taken about your situation and how they are stored.
- It is important that you maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality about your own situation, and do not discuss it widely. Be aware that other people may have a conflict of interest arising through their job role, or their own UCU membership.
- We will maintain confidentiality concerning your situation; this means that your caseworker will only discuss aspects of the case with another caseworker where necessary to meet the needs of the case. Whilst maintaining confidentiality, your caseworker may seek additional support from the local branch officers and either the regional or national UCU.
- The role of the caseworker is to provide you with advice, support and where agreed, representation in negotiations. You should work closely with the caseworker in respect of your case; providing them with all relevant information. You should consult your caseworker on any issues and decisions, and coordinate with them when formal meetings are arranged, if you want them to accompany you.
- You will be responsible for the process and progress of your case; a caseworker will take no action on your behalf without your agreement.
- We seek to resolve situations through negotiation at a local level. If it proves impossible to resolve a dispute locally then your caseworker may approach the UCU regional office, on your behalf, and ask for legal support. You will be expected to liaise with your caseworker to set out clearly the details of the situation. Whether legal support is offered to you will depend on the nature of the dispute and the advice provided by UCU lawyers.
- In the event that you do not agree with the advice provided or the recommended course of action you should explain why to the caseworker. You are not obliged to accept advice offered, but if you take actions which UCU believe are detrimental or harmful to you and/ or the branch, we may not be able to continue to work on your case.
- If you decide to use another organisation, or lawyer, the branch may not be able to continue to offer you support (for example, UCU solicitors and barristers instructed by them will not usually work in collaboration with non-UCU solicitors).
- Our caseworkers are not acting in a personal capacity but as officers/reps of the union at all times.
For further information visit:
The above protocols for dealing with Casework were agreed by the RHUL UCU Branch Committee on:
4th February 2015 – amended 20th October 2020.