Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Pop-Up Union?
The Pop-Up is a temporary, single issue trade union. It is an initiative from rank-and-file members of the three recognised campus unions (Unite, Unison and UCU) which aims to bring together staff from all over campus and from all unions under one umbrella. It exists to enable its members to take whatever action they see fit, within the bounds of the law, to halt the outsourcing process.

How is it organised?
The Pop-Up Union is organised democratically by and for its members. Decisions are taken collectively by vote. Due to different shift patterns, it isn’t always possible for members to get together for mass meetings, so we use a system of delegates to relay messages and collate members’ opinions to feed into decision-making. The union is there to enable members to act for themselves, not to act on their behalf and whatever we decide to do will be based on a full and open discussion between members about the legalities and possible consequences of any action taken.

What about the other unions on campus?
The Pop-Up Union is a temporary organisation does not seek to duplicate or compete with the other unions. Membership is open to all workers on campus whether you’re already in a union or not. There are advantages to joining one of the recognised campus unions which offer representation and a range of other member services: UCU – tel: 8909 email: | Unison – tel: 8178 email: | Unite – tel: 6579 email:

Is the Pop-Up Union legal?
Yes. Any group of workers may join or set up a trade union (see Article 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998). However the law sets out some rules and obligations. The Pop-Up Union has been set up in accordance with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Pop-up Union has been entered into the List of Trade Unions held by the Certification Officer with effect from 8 May 2013.

Can the Pop-Up Union take industrial action?
Yes, as can any trade union which meets the legal definition. But there are many conditions set out in the law which must be met. Any industrial action must be organised by a trade union; be in furtherance of a ‘trade dispute’; the employer must be provided with certain information ahead of any ballot; a postal ballot must be held by a qualified independent person (the ‘scrutineer’); members and the employer must be notified of the results; the employer must be given notice of any action. This is not an exhaustive list, but we have access to legal advice. Should a trade dispute arise, we will act in accordance with the law and discuss the matter fully with members.

Would I get paid if I went on strike?
In the event of a strike, workers do not usually get paid. Plans are in place for hardship fundraising should such a dispute arise.