Frequently asked questions



Frequently Asked  Questions

  • Actually you DON'T get all the benefits. Only fully paid-up members have access to union advice, representation and other non-salary benefits.
  • While non-union staff get the benefits won by WIGUT by negotiation, they do not get an opportunity to have input into any debate on the issues being negotiated.
  • The union’s bargaining achievements are based on its membership strength, so the more people who join, the more the union can achieve for you.
  • Industrial action is only ever taken as a last resort, and cannot take place without the consent of a majority of union members via ballot or vote.
  • Most situations are resolved via expert negotiations, supported by members, long before the threat, let alone the use of industrial action is required.
  • Not at all; remember Joseph Pereira, retired Deputy Principal, was one of the most active members of WIGUT and was president of the union several times.
  • Trade union membership is a legal right and WIGUT is a recognised union.
  • As  WIGUT offers protection in the workplace, not joining is far more likely to damage your future career if something does go wrong.



  • Most of the gains made in the workplace are because of unions. Generally, surveys show that union members are paid more on average than non-members, work in safer workplaces and are less likely to be dismissed.
  • Without the constant work of unions there would be no annual pay rise, nor preferential pension schemes, nor improvements in other terms and conditions.
  • Unions offer a voice at work, expert advice and information, and protection.

• Because staff on temporary contracts are vulnerable. You need to know your rights and have the protection of the union too.
• The union is campaigning for all staff to have real job security but our ability to campaign and negotiate at the local level depends on active membership interest and participation.
• We cannot negotiate effectively on behalf of a group of staff who are not members.


Union membership costs around 0.0075 % of monthly salary for a full-time member of staff. 

But the real question is:


Can you afford NOT to be a member? NOT to have a say in the way your Department and, indeed, how the institution is run? NOT to have access to expert advice, up-to-date information and guidance? NOT to have access to representation, including grievance representation, if things do go wrong?



WIGUT can help you only if you are a member. 


Becoming a rep or committee member is very simple:


·       As WIGUT is run by voluntary effort, all that is required is a letter to the General Secretary or the WIGUT office, and the Committee or Branch you would like to serve, indicating your interest. 

·       In the case of Branch or Faculty representative (rep), you can be chosen by your Branch/Faculty following a Branch meeting or you can be nominated and seconded by two or more members of the union. The nomination will then be put to the WIGUT AGM for approval. 

When you become a WIGUT Rep/Committee member you become a vital part of the organisation, arguably playing its most important role. Reps make a difference in the way that WIGUT is perceived by our members. Studies have shown that wherever there is a representative, the Union is viewed more favourably and seen to be more effective on every issue, than where there is no rep.


The role of the union rep can encompass a wide range of tasks and activities:

- Being the first point of contact for members

- Distributing union information to local members

- Feeding information on local issues to branch, regional and national officers

- Accompanying members in meetings with Deans/HOD/Managers, etc.

- Organising members’ meetings

- Communicating with members on issues in the workplace

- Recruiting new members

You will need some basic information to keep you informed. Where you are unable to get the information from anywhere else, try the WIGUT or Campus HR offices, especially for policies and procedures, and Agreements.


Below is a summary of the information you will need:

- Copies of your disciplinary and grievance procedures

- Copy of the Rules for Academic and Senior Administrative and Professional Staff (Blue Book)

- Copy of the Current and Past Collective Agreements

- Copy of Career Path Document

- Copy of Ordinance 8

- Copy of National Labour Legislation

- A copy of management policies and procedures, which may be in the form of a handbook or simply a collection of staffing procedures that management may issue from time to time on The UWI website




Any employee of The University of the West Indies within the designated categories (Academic, Senior Administrative or Professional staff) seeking membership in the union must fill in a Membership Application Form, available by downloading it HERE then deliver it to the Secretariat of the union located on the Ground Floor, New Arts Building, Faculty of Humanities and Education. It may also be sent as an email attachment to: WIGUT@uwimona.edu.jm.

The form must be accompanied by the requisite authorization for the Bursar to deduct from the member's salary the union dues on a monthly basis. This fee is fixed from time to time by the democratic decision-making process of the union.

The West Indies Group of University Teachers has been a Trade Union since 1972 and registered under Jamaican law since 25 January 1972 as a Trade Union. It represents the interests of the Academic, Senior Administrative Staff and Professional staff at the Mona campus of The University of the West Indies. These categories of employees of the university have the right to join WIGUT and can apply for Membership at the commencement of employment at the university or at any time thereafter.