National UCU Fighting Fund

The guidance and application form below are for the 2019 Local Hardship Fund.

Members are expected to first apply to the national UCU Fighting Fund. Follow the link for details.

Previous guidance for the 2018 Local Hardship Fund can be found below for reference, but is no longer in place.

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National UCU Fighting Fund→

Details of the Fund

The Exeter UCU Branch has established a local fund to help those suffering particular financial hardship due to loss of pay arising from the 2018 USS industrial action.

“Particular hardship” means that the member is low-paid (e.g. small fractional contract; or hourly-paid equivalent to only a small fraction) and/or that the strike days disproportionately affect them (e.g. it’s the only day(s) they work; or it’s the day(s) they work most).

The Exeter UCU Hardship Fund is designed as a safety net for local members and is intended to augment the UCU National Hardship Fund. The Exeter hardship fund will cover the first three days of strike action taken by members (ie your first three days of action – this might not be the first three days of the action). The national hardship fund will cover the fourth day of action onwards.  The maximum daily amount that a member can claim from both funds will be £50 per day, up to a maximum of £150 from the Exeter Hardship Fund and £500 from the National Fund.

Applications from members on all paygrades will be considered although priority will be given to those on lower grades (Grade F or lower), who are casually employed or on part-time contracts, or have indicated “special circumstances” on the application form.

Members are expected to apply for assistance in the following order (1) from the UCU National Hardship Fund; (2) Exeter UCU Hardship Fund. Please ensure you have obtained a claim reference number from the National scheme before submitting your claim to Exeter’s Hardship Fund – you will be asked for this on our application form.  If you participated in just three days of action then please skip stage (1) and clearly state the reason in the “additional information” field in your application to Exeter UCU.

HR Services has indicated that deductions relating to Weeks 1, 2 and 3 of the action will be phased over two pay periods for some staff. As all claims must be supported by payslips showing actual deductions/loss of pay, some applicants may need to submit two claims to each fund in relation to weeks 1-3.

How to Apply

    1. Ensure you read and familiarise yourself with the eligibility requirements and terms and conditions set out below
    2. Submit a claim to the UCU Fighting Fund by completing the form at: Once submitted you will receive a confirmation email and a claim reference number.
    3. Download, save and complete Exeter UCU Hardship Fund Claim Form.
    4. If you have selected “yes” to the special circumstances question please provide a brief explanation why particular hardship has been caused.
    5. Send completed application form with supporting payslips or other documents (see Pt 9 below) to
    6. Your application will be reviewed by an Assessment Panel convened specifically for the purpose of assessing applications to the Exeter UCU Hardship Fund
    7. If approved, funds will be made by bank transfer to the account stated in the application
    8. We aim to process all applications within 10 working days of receipt.


    9. 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.
    10. Members unable to demonstrate loss of pay from payslips (e.g. those paid via e-Claims) will need to provide other information in addition to March and/or April payslips (ideally payslips for two or more immediately preceding months, timesheets and letter of appointment or other documentation confirming appointment). Please use the “additional information” field to provide further clarification or context if you think this would prove helpful to the Assessment Panel
    11. Claims not accompanied by pay slip(s) showing the deductions or other supporting documentation will be rejected.
    12. A claim arising from this dispute will only be paid if it is received within 3 months after the date of loss of pay.
    13. 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.
    14. If you have selected “yes” to the special circumstances button on the claim form we may ask you for additional evidence.
    15. 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 account 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.

      Additional Terms and Conditions

    16. 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.
    17. Members who continue to suffer disproportionate hardship are eligible to submit further applications to the Exeter 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.
    18. All claims are at the discretion of the University of Exeter 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.
    19. 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 (above Grade F) until the full extent of applications received after the April 2018 pay date has been assessed by the Panel.
    20. Should you have any queries, please email