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Advice & Representation

Roles & Responsibilities when you have a UCU Caseworker

A downloadable version of this document is available HERE

 

Confidentiality

Your UCU caseworker will never discuss your situation or share information with your manager, with HR or with any colleague (but see below) without your express consent.

Caseworkers do discuss cases with other caseworkers and with members of the Branch Committee.  We have regular Casework Meetings, to ensure consistency of approach and to enable us to cover for each other if, for instance, you needed help while your regular caseworker was on leave or off sick.  It is therefore important to remember that what you tell your caseworker will be shared with the Branch Committee. Exceptions to this are made when a Branch Committee member has a conflict of interest, in which case they will absent themselves from the meeting while your case is discussed.

If a case is serious, such that there is a risk of dismissal or the possibility of legal action, we will also inform the UCU NW Regional Office.

Once a case is concluded, we will normally keep notes and other records for one year, in case the issues resurface. After that they will be destroyed, and any reoccurring issues will be considered as a new case.

 

Your Responsibilities

Your UCU caseworker will advise you to the best of their ability, and in accordance with Branch policy. You are not compelled to follow that advice, but if you do not, we may decide to withdraw representation. Similarly, we do not normally represent members who are receiving external advice (e.g., from a solicitor) except in exceptional circumstances where this has been discussed and agreed with UCU.

Once you have been allocated a caseworker, you should talk to them before communicating with your manager, or HR, or anyone else, on any matter relevant to the case. Such communications can seriously undermine your case, and may lead to us withdrawing representation.

Please try to stay focused in your interactions with your caseworker, and treat them with respect. Remember we are typically supporting multiple members at once, and that we all have “day jobs” as well.  One way to try and keep focused is to consider what outcome you would like from the process. You should reflect on this and try and communicate this to your caseworker.

All casework will have an end point. Sometimes a case ends because some other process reaches its conclusion (e.g., a disciplinary process). A case may end because the resolution that you sought has been achieved.  There are other times when a case ends because the Branch Committee judge that the caseworker and member have taken all the steps that could reasonably have been taken.  This could mean that the casework finishes without the member achieving their desired outcome.

We recognise, of course, that many of our members are under tremendous stress when they contact us, and we will do our best to help, but if you need emotional support you should speak to Staff Counselling or the Education Support Partnership (links below). We will consider withdrawing representation from any member who makes excessive demands or who behaves unreasonably towards their caseworker.

https://msuclanac.sharepoint.com/sites/StaffWellbeingandSupport
https://www.educationsupport.org.uk/

 

UCLan UCU Branch Committee

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