Workplace stewards are at the heart of our union. They are the first point of contact for our members in your local workplace, and they work to make your workplace a fairer and better place to work.

And we need more! We have vacancies in lots of areas at Sheffield Hallam. As new ways of working are rolled out across all professional services in the University, we need stewards in as many areas as possible.

“But I don’t have the skills!”

Ever thought of becoming a steward but you’re worried you don’t have the right skill or the time? Don’t worry – you receive excellent training, plus paid time off work for your union duties.

Here are six common worries you may have about becoming a steward – and how you can overcome them.

  1. I don’t do public speaking…

…but I do raise issues I am concerned about in team meetings at work.

  1. I don’t do negotiation…

…but I did complain when my gas bill got too high, and I did sort out a better deal with the company.

  1. I don’t do campaigning…

…but I did support my local library when it was threatened with closure.

  1. I don’t do recruitment…

…but I do get my neighbours to support the local school

  1. I don’t organise meetings…

…but I do organise outings and holidays with my friends and family

  1. I don’t do representation…

…but I did go to the doctors with my partner to make sure they got their views across.

Sound like you? Your colleagues need you!

Apply to be a UNISON steward today

To find out more or express an interest in becoming a steward, contact Dan Bye on

Here are the areas we currently have vacancies at Sheffield Hallam.

Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences

Development & Society

Health & Wellbeing

Sheffield Business School

Registry Services


Finance, Planning & Human Resources and Organisational Development

Library and Student Support Services

Digital Technical Services

Director of Education and Employer Partnerships

Learning Enhancement and Academic Development

Student  Engagement Evaluation and Research

Admissions & UK Recruitment

Communications & Development


Secretariat and Governance Services

Global Engagement Directorate

Research & Innovation Office

Students’ Union

HE PAY OFFER 2017-18

Many thanks to all those eligible members who participated in our pay offer consultation vote: just over 33% of you did so, which is an improvement on recent years. 

 The result locally was that 85% of respondents indicated that they wished to accept this year’s offer.

Our local outcome was reported to UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group executive, who discussed the results from all participating Branches and ratified members’ acceptance of the pay offer.

 Overall, UNISON members voted by 71.1% to 28.9% to accept the offer.

 The HE Unions have jointly reported to UCEA, the higher education employers’ organisation, that UNISON and GMB had consulted members and were accepting the offer; UNITE have rejected the offer but are consulting further before deciding on next steps; UCU was conducting an electronic ballot of members (due to end at the end of July) with a recommendation of “best that can be achieved by negotiation”; and EIS, the Scottish lecturer’s union, had conducted an initial consultation and would be consulting further over the summer.

 UNISON’s head of higher education, Donna Rowe-Merriman, commented:

“Members working in universities have reluctantly accepted this year’s offer.

 “Whilst higher than recent years, it still does not go far enough in compensating staff for successive years of low wage increases.

 The HE service group executive has already begun work on next year’s claim and will want to mobilise support from across HE to ensure decent pay for our members in future.”

 It should be noted that because not all the unions have concluded their consultation processes, it will obviously be some time yet before any pay uplifts can be applied, even assuming that each union ends up accepting the offer over the summer.



Calling all disabled staff! Do you want to discuss disability issues and influence decision-making at Sheffield Hallam?

The University is hoping to get the Staff Disability Network up and running again.

Staff networks are run by and for staff at the University. They are an opportunity to meet, share ideas and experiences, support each other, and play a more active and influential role in the decision-making processes across the University.

This is not just for Unison members – any disabled staff can join.

If you are interested in joining the network, please contact Trish in the Equality and Diversity Team on 0114 225 3499 or email


Please (please!) fill out the 2017 Unison Equality Survey if you have ten minutes to spare. It will be really useful for Unison in working to make your workplace more equal.

Click here to complete the survey.

It asks questions about your age, disability, gender, and other ‘protected characteristics’.

It also asks questions about whether you have ever requested to work flexibly, and what the response from your employer was. If you have anything to say about this it will be really valuable to say it here.

Complete the survey now.


Lucy Davies

Equality Officer

Sheffield Hallam UNISON Branch


Pay negotiations between the higher education trade unions (UNISON, UCU, Unite, GMB and EIS) and the employers (via their negotiating body the Universities and Colleges Employers Association, UCEA) have concluded.

The full and final offer tabled by UCEA on 27 April 2017 is a 1.7% increase on all points on the pay spine, with additional payments for those at the lower end.

This is effective from August 2017.

There are also proposals to work on the gender pay gap and to review progress around casual employment.

Read full details of the joint union claim.

Read full details of the final offer.

UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive (HESGE) decided at its meeting on 4 May 2017 that this offer is the best to be achieved by negotiation, and that if members vote to reject the offer, sustained and prolonged industrial action would be required.

In line with UNISON policy, the final offer is first of all subject to a Branch consultation exercise, which will end on 3 July 2017. This Branch will therefore be putting in place arrangements to consult with members in order to report back to HESGE, and so please look out for further communications and information.

If, based on the results of this consultation, HESGE decides on a course of action including industrial action, then this would be put to members in a further, centrally conducted, ballot. In accordance with the Trade Union Act, a turnout of at least 40% would be required in order to make a vote for industrial action legally valid.

Rejection of the pay offer in an industrial action ballot would initiate a campaign of industrial action in line with UNISON rules and conference policy. UNISON would endeavour to work alongside other unions wherever possible on joint action.



Nine out of ten of us have a profile on social media, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or your own blog. It can be easy to forget that what you post on these sites can be read by other people – including your employer.

Sheffield Hallam’s social media policy states that “you should consider carefully before posting comments which could be linked to the University that could cause offence, or be viewed as contravening confidentiality”. It also warns employees not to be “inappropriately critical” of the University.

Here are some basic tips to help you avoid getting into trouble at work.

  • Make sure your privacy settings are as secure as you can make it. But bear in mind that one of your contacts could take a screengrab of what you have written, so it’s important to take care with what you say.
  • Be mindful of who you give access to.
  • Don’t make reference to the company that you work for.
  • Don’t post or allow others to post on your profile anything that could be taken as defamatory,  harassing, obscene, libellous or otherwise unlawful or offensive.
  • Don’t post anything that contains personal threats or insults relating to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic, racial, religious or other protected characteristics under equality law.
  • Be careful about what pictures and videos you allow to be posted of you.


UNISON HE SG conf 2017

Report by Tracey Holland and Lucinda Wakefield