National Self-Organised Group Conferences

Self-organisation is an essential part of UNISON’s work; it is one of the key ways in which we promote equality. Self-organisation brings together members from certain under-represented groups – women members, black members, disabled members and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members. These groups help the union identify and challenge discrimination and build equality.

Each Self-Organised Group (SOG) has a national conference every year to bring together members from across the country. Any member of one of our branch’s SOGs is entitled to go to the relevant National Conference and it’s very easy to become a member of a SOG: you just need to express an interest!

The following SOG National Conferences are coming up and it would be great to send delegates from our branch to each.

Disabled Members’ 2013, Sat 26 – Mon 28 October, Manchester Central – link

LGBT 2013, Fri 22 – Sun 24 November, BT Centre, Liverpool – link

Transport and accommodation are paid for by UNISON and delegates are also given a subsistence grant to cover food costs.

If you would be interested in attending either conference or would just like some additional information please feel free to get in touch with me at

A message from One Sheffield Many Cultures and Sheffield Unite Against Fascism

Please support the statement below.

Don’t let the racists divide us – Unite to peacefully celebrate and defend One
Sheffield Many Cultures

Oppose attempts by the racist and fascist English Defence League to
exploit the tragic death of soldier Lee Rigby to whip up racism

Join the rally on Saturday 8 June.

Please email your support for the campaign statement to or and
spread the word about the rally on Saturday 8 June called by One
Sheffield Many Cultures and Sheffield Unite Against Fascism.

Campaign statement

We urge people from all walks of life in Sheffield to unite in
celebration and defence of One Sheffield Many Cultures on Saturday,
8th June from 12 noon in Barkers Pool.

We strongly oppose plans by the English Defence League (EDL) and their
national leadership to demonstrate in Sheffield on Saturday 8th June.

We condemn the brutal murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich last
week. There can be no justification for such a terrible attack on an
individual. Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and

We also oppose the cynical attempts by the EDL and others to exploit
the murder to whip up racism and direct hatred against all Muslims in
defiance of the wishes of Lee Rigby’s family and regiment.

The EDL is a racist group dedicated to attacking Asian people and
Muslims. Islamophobia – bigotry against Muslims is as unacceptable as
any other form of racism.

The EDL’s aim is to divide us by making scapegoats of one community,
just as the Nazis did with the Jews in the 1930s.

Today they threaten Muslims, tomorrow it could be Jewish people,
Hindus, Sikhs, black people, lesbians and gay men, Travellers or
Eastern Europeans. There is no place for the fascist EDL in our
multicultural and multi-faith city.

New SHU Equality and Diversity Group

This year our Equality Officer, Rosa Sadler, has been working with the UCU Equality Officer and the University Equality and Diversity team to establish a new Equality and Diversity group for staff and students. The purpose of the group will be to share issues, concerns, and ideas relating to equality and diversity with the University Equality and Diversity Board (EDB) which is a sub-group of the University Executive Board. We hope that this will cement a position for the voice of staff and students within the University’s equality and diversity strategic planning and policy making framework.

The E&D Team asked us to draft a proposal for the group at the beginning of this year and since then Rosa has worked closely with her UCU equivalent, Ruth Barley, to write a paper detailing what we would like the purpose and role of the group to be. We then sent it to members of staff and students who have been involved in equality and diversity groups in the past so that they could comment on the proposals and make suggestions.

Once this consultation process had taken place we were able to seek feedback from the University on the proposal. After some redrafting we hope to be in a position to present it to the EDB for approval in June so that the group can be in existence for the start of the new academic year.

The group will have open membership so if you are interested in being involved please watch out for more information in September. If you would like any further details about the group please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Rosa at