Branch News

LINCOLN UNIVERSITY BRANCH – Academic Year 2019/2020




As an existing member, I am sure you will agree that the Union will be stronger with more members. All of our experience tells us that a personal approach is the best way to recruit. Can I therefore encourage you to talk to your colleagues who are not already members to consider joining UCU? The best way to join is online at

Could we draw your attention to the new FREE membership offer open to registered PhD students who are also engaged in paid teaching or similar work for their host university? These people are sometimes called Graduate Teaching Assistants or PhD tutors but can also be described in other ways. They are now entitled to FREE membership (with full rights) for up to 4 years. More details are at So if you know of anyone who would benefit from this offer, please encourage them to join.

Our monthly fees are among the lowest around, and start as low as £1.02 for those earning the least (in some branches there is an additional local subscription). Most members can claim tax relief on 67% of the subscription, which reduces the cost even more! For our current subscription rates see here:

Every new member will be strengthening our national campaigns for fair and secure contracts and a healthy work life balance. The local UCU Branch works hard to represent members’ interests at national and local level. Our ability to represent the views of staff, and to act as the voice of staff in our bargaining group, depends on our membership.  We are stronger together.


Teaching responsibilities for Postgraduate Research Students


In many schools, postgrad research students can undertake teaching, after a number of anecdotal issues and in order to clarify the situation, the University’s own policy states clearly;

Postgraduate research students can undertake teaching at the University of Lincoln as Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA), Graduate Demonstrator Assistants (GDA) or Hourly paid lecturers (HPL). Teaching responsibilities are defined by the type of contract agreed.

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Graduate Teaching Assistant posts are offered to studentship students. GTA’s can be responsible for conducting or assisting in teaching sessions, under the direction of an identified member of academic staff (typically the unit co-ordinator).

GTA’s are not required to

  • Prepare teaching materials
  • Assess student work (unless following a simple prepared “mechanical” marking schema in a teaching session)
  • Conduct teaching duties without the direction of a member of academic staff

Graduate Demonstrator Assistants

Graduate Demonstrator Assistants are responsible for providing instruction and support to students in practical classes, under the direction of an identified member of academic staff.

Graduate Demonstrator Assistants may also provide support during academic sessions under the guidance and direction of Academic colleagues.

Hours of work

For Graduate Teaching Assistants and Graduate Demonstrate Assistants normal teaching hours will be agreed with the Head of School. Postgraduate students are not guaranteed any or a specific number of hours of work although this will not exceed a maximum of 6 hours per week during term time (plus engagement with development opportunities).


Branch meeting – Agenda

The next Branch meeting for all members is on Wednesday 29th January 2020 2pm to 3 pm in the Coop Lecture Theatre MB0312.

If you want to submit an item for the agenda, please email the branch administrator, Andy Yeadon

A formal notice and agenda will be circulated to members before the meeting.

USS Update


Most staff are members of the Teachers Superannuation scheme for their pension, however, a few staff are in the USS scheme, for the latest information on this please follow the link; USS Link


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