How to get advice

Getting advice

UCU knows that when faced with an issue, many members of staff are unsure to whom they may turn for independent, impartial and confidential advice. Without doubt, Queen’s UCU is the one body within the University who can provide you with advice and assistance that fulfils all three of these characteristics.

How do I get advice?

There are many avenues for getting advice. If you are looking for factual details on University employment information, please follow the links we provide. If you are looking for advice about which you are uncertain, e-mail us on

On what issues can I get advice?

We provide advice on a wide variety of work based issues. These may be issues over pay, promotion, appraisal, university procedures, job security, grievances, redundancy and early retirement. UCU members also have access to the College and University Support Network, which has a 24-hour helpline.

Of what type of assistance can I avail?

The assistance you get will depend on the problem. Our assistance can range from a simple reassurance to representation at official boards or, in some circumstances, tribunals or court. Our officers have encountered many issues and we will use our experience to judge what type of assistance you need. In some situations, this may require referral to a full time official or a legal specialist. In others, it may just be a sympathetic pair of ears!

Who do I contact?

Unless the issue is urgent and very time pressed, you should e-mail us on our confidential officers’ e-mail address If the issue is urgent, please contact an officer

Is there anything I should do before I seek advice?

Queen’s UCU is made up of ordinary lay members of staff. Our officers are often dealing with multiple cases at any time, alongside carrying out our “day jobs”. Thus, where possible, members should gather as much information as possible. In addition, please be patient in awaiting a response. Also, please check our advice pages to see if we have an answer to your particular issue.

Who can get advice and assistance?

We provide advice and assistance to staff in all Schools and Directorates across the University. We also realise that many people think they will never need the union until a problem arises. While we do provide some initial advice to non-members – who we would expect to become members after getting our advice –  assistance can only be provided to members. To receive legal assistance, you must be a member for at least nine weeks before the problem arises. Thus, to get the best advice and assistance, you should join at the first available opportunity.