This week is dyslexia awareness week which is a good time to mention that I am working with a small group of mostly union colleagues trying to gain a better understanding of dyslexia in the workplace here at SHU.  We know there are clear support strategies for students particularly focussed on certain tasks like essay writing, but I am not sure that there is much information about supporting staff.


The generic HR reports suggest that the number of staff declared as dyslexic are very low.  However as union reps we occasionally do come across cases where support is needed. 


To build a better understanding of what is going on out there we would be particularly interested in hearing of positive examples of support that have occurred.  But any experiences would be of interest.


If you are willing to share this information with us then please e-mail: Ian Chesters or you can ring x6060.   

(We will of course take any references to individuals or teams out of any examples we use).


Please support the 50 workers at Care UK Doncaster who have been on strike for over 81 days since February 2014,  making it the longest NHS related dispute in the history of the NHS. It was late last year that Care UK announced that they wished to change the terms and conditions of those employees who transferred to them from the NHS when Care UK won the Supported Living Contract.  In some cases the changes mean a cut of 50% to take home pay.  It is clear that the employer intends to de-skill and dumb down the skill base enjoyed by the current staff and replace them with minimum wage carers, thereby reducing the quality of the service provided.   Strikers continue to travel the country making their case and raising the issue at all levels.  Leverage pressure is being put on Bridgepoint the parent company via pension funds in the UK and USA.   But the strikers need financial support and solidarity to keep up the fight.  Please send donations and messages of support to the Care UK Strikers at:


UNISON Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch


Jenkinson House

White Rose Way

Doncaster  DN4 5GJ


branch in action 22 Jan





UNISON along with UCU and EIS have announced a further 1 day national strike for the 6 February 2014 in response to the HE employers refusal to improve their inadequate 1% pay offer. Unite are currently undertaking further consultation. The growing inequality in pay in higher education between senior managers and the workforce as a whole has been under the spotlight in the run-up to further strike action.

Universities are refusing to make a decent pay offer, despite holding huge cash reserves, which are predicted to continue for the next few years by the Higher Education Funding Council, which describes university finances as being “sound overall”.

UNISON Branches up and down the country will be protesting next week to highlight the inequality within the sector, as well as the added value that employees contribute to the student experience.

UNISON’s National Secretary Jon Richards said “ Universities are keen to proclaim their success and line the pockets of Vice Chancellors and their cronies with inflation busting rises as a reward. Yet thousands of HE staff earn below the Living Wage. Workers who even the Chancellor of the Exchequer acknowledges are the “working poor”.

“The money is there to pay more. Staff who have managed to hang onto their jobs through significant changes have seen their workload increase dramatically, yet their incomes have been squeezed to breaking point”.

More than 4,000 staff currently earn less than the living wage despite another year of projected surplus. Pay is being squeezed following five years of pay rises below the cost of living and salaries for staff have fallen in real terms by more than13% over the last five years. Staff have lost between £666 and £3,574 that they would have had if salaries had kept pace with the cost of living. UNISON’s low-paid members are already at the sharp end of the coalition government’s welfare reforms such as the bedroom tax.

What you can do:-

  • Support the strike
  • Join/support our picket lines at Sheffield Hallam University (email Dan Bye your availability)
  • Join the rally called by Higher Educations UNISON, Unite and UCU  at 12pm on 6th February 2014 outside City Hall, Sheffield
  • Sign the online petition calling for Fair Pay in HE:

Further information on the pay campaign can be found at:-