Kent Union

We’re the voice of the University of Kent, helping make sure students have the best university experience.
Hidden mission statement
http://www.kentunion.co.uk/

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Campaigning against apartheid brought Kent Union into the public eye in the 1980s. The pioneering union, which was set up in 1965 by student volunteers at the University of Kent, in Canterbury, staged other high-profile social campaigns.

In its first year it launched InCant, a student newspaper known today as Inquire, followed by the first UK student radio station, CSR, in 1966. Today, CSRfm remains the oldest surviving in the country.

Kent Union grew through the 1970s. It moved into its own premises, the Mandela Student Centre, and opened a student advice centre and the Union Shop.

In 2007, the union took over the running of the on-campus nursery and development continued at the Medway campus with the launch of GK Unions, which provides support and services for students at the Universities of Kent and Greenwich.

Today Kent Union is an independent charity, governed by a board of trustees that represents the university's students. It champions members through democratic representation, offers free independent advice and provides activities and opportunities to enhance the experience and employability of members.

To support this work, Kent Union operates The Venue nightclub, the Library Cafe, two Co-op franchises and Woody's bar, which help to generate £12 million in revenue. The surplus is used to support members.

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Kent Union

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Featured Workplace Factors

My Manager

91% of staff agreed

I feel that my manager talks openly and honestly with me

A bespoke management development programme was launched in 2017 and all middle and senior managers take the course. Its eight, one-day modules cover topics such as performance management, leadership, recruitment, self-understanding and customer service. The training is now being offered to staff at supervisor level.

Leadership

82% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

At the beginning of the pandemic, the senior leadership team took a five per cent pay cut and the savings were put into a hardship fund that was ring-fenced for those who were struggling after being furloughed.

Giving Something Back

84% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

The union promotes volunteering and has empowered volunteers to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds over the past few years. It trained 1,400 volunteers in 2019/20. Projects have included Catching Lives, a Kent-based charity for homeless people, and Wildwood Trust, an animal conservation charity.

My Manager
%

91% of staff agreed

I feel that my manager talks openly and honestly with me

A bespoke management development programme was launched in 2017 and all middle and senior managers take the course. Its eight, one-day modules cover topics such as performance management, leadership, recruitment, self-understanding and customer service. The training is now being offered to staff at supervisor level.

Leadership
82%

82% of staff agreed

This organisation is run on strong values / principles

At the beginning of the pandemic, the senior leadership team took a five per cent pay cut and the savings were put into a hardship fund that was ring-fenced for those who were struggling after being furloughed.

Giving Something Back
96%

84% of staff agreed

My organisation encourages charitable activities

The union promotes volunteering and has empowered volunteers to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds over the past few years. It trained 1,400 volunteers in 2019/20. Projects have included Catching Lives, a Kent-based charity for homeless people, and Wildwood Trust, an animal conservation charity.

Quick Facts

Organisation established in
1965
Total number of UK employees
Number of UK locations
30
Employee average age
28% : 72%
Male : Female employee ratio
2%
Employees earning £35k+
51%
Employee turnover (voluntary)
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Benefits

Holidays

Companies offering a minimum of 26 days annual leave to all employees.

Maternity

Companies offering at least 10 weeks’ full pay or generous alternative.

Women in Senior Management

At least 40% of senior managers are women.

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