Welcome to the website of the Sheffield Hallam University branch of UNISON.

We represent administrative, professional, technical, clerical and manual staff at Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Hallam University Students’ Union. We aim to negotiate better terms and conditions, advise and support members who need help, and campaign for a fairer, safer workplace and society.

As a UNISON branch, we are part of one of Britain’s biggest trade unions, representing workers across all the public services.

On this site you can

  • find out more about UNISON
  • contact the Branch
  • find out how to join UNISON
  • read Branch news and information
  • connect to other useful websites and sources of information

Sheffield TUC Diary of Events Spring 2024

Wednesday 1st May  Workers Day of Action for Palestine

PSC, Stop the War Coalition, CND and others have declared May1st a workplace day of solidarity with the Palestinians.  Talk to your workmates, friends, and neighbours.  Do whatever act of solidarity you are able to on May 1st.  Take a selfie, send it to social media including us.  sheffieldantiwarcoalition@yahoo.co.uk

Saturday 4th May Sheffield May Day parade and rally

Bring your banners and celebrate trade unionism – our history; our battles; our victories; our humanity!

Monday 6th May Chesterfield May Day

Call out to all in Sheffield and South Yorkshire to support Chesterfield May Day on Bank Holiday Monday. Our Theme for the day is “Remembering the Past- Organising for the Future”. Marking the 40th anniversary of the great miners strike, our march will be led off by veterans of the strike and their families marching with the banners of the Derbyshire striking miners and the Orgreave Truth & Justice Campaign led off by the Ireland Colliery Band. Solidarity with Palestine is naturally our international theme is Palestine Solidarity and our strong panel of speakers will reflect the struggles for workers’ rights, anti racism and social justice which motivate our movement. Assemble from 10.30 am at Chesterfield Town Hall, Rose Hill S40 1LP to match off at 11.00am. Plus some great live music in New Square after the rally. https://www.facebook.com/events/1292428254751816


Tuesday 7th May     Sheffield Stop the War public meeting

7pm St Mary’s Church Community centre, Bramall lane S2 4QZ

Wednesday 8th May   Stand up to Racism AGM and public meeting

7pm Central United Reform Church, Norfolk Row S1 2JB

To book your free ticket https://buytickets.at/sheffieldstanduptoracism/1215396


1.    Brendan Woodhouse from Sea watch and FBU Author of DORO: refugee, hero champion survivor.

2.    Cllr Ruksana Haleem (report back from Calais Volunteering)

3.    Nahella Ashraf SUTR

We have the most racist government in history who are desperate to ramp up racism. The attack by Frank Hester, the Tories biggest donor, on Diane Abbott is shocking and part of a long line of racist dog whistle politics. Every single week we get an Islamophobic or racist comment designed to scapegoat refugees and Muslims. The divisive anti extremism plans which describe Muslim organisations as undemocratic are part of the Othering. That’s why we need to stand together and resist all forms of racism- come along to our Annual general meeting- find out how to get involved.

Care 4 Calais trip: We are planning a trip for 14th. 15th, 16th June the cost should be around £150 each including accommodation, petrol and ferry crossing. If you want to join the delegation please get in contact.

Maxine and Sahail, Joint convenors Of Sheffield Stand up to Racism

Saturday 11th May NAQBA Day demonstration

More details to follow. Naqba Day is when we remember the NAQBA (or catastrophe in Arabic) when Israeli Zionist terrorists drove 750,000 Palestinians off their land in 1948 on the creation of the Israel nation. The ethnic cleansing and oppression of Palestinians has continued ever since.


Tuesday 28th May Sheffield TUC Delegate Meeting

7pm till 9pm. Trades and Labour Club, 200 Duke Street, Sheffield S2 5QQ

Trade union members who are not delegates are welcome to attend as visitors but may not vote.


Saturday 15th June     Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign Annual Rally





Please come along and support the Annual Orgreave Rally organised by the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign. Bring your banners, comrades and friends and march in solidarity with us through Sheffield City Centre to support our call for an inquiry for truth and justice for the miners brutalised by the state and police at the Orgreave Coking plant in June 1984.

More information about arrangements and speakers will be made available soon.


https://www.facebook.com/events/304833248944985?acontext=%7B%22event_action_history%22%3A [] %7D

Saturday Sunday 22nd 23rd June Small Park Big Run









Friday 19th – 22st July 2024 Sheffield Transformed Weekend Festival SADACCA (Sheffield and District African Caribbean Community Association), 48 Wicker, S3 8JB.

Sheffield Transformed is a group of socialists who run events where people can come together to discuss radical political ideas, enjoy arts and culture, and build a movement in a safe environment. We have been organising events since 2019, most recently on the Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire, a Radical History Walk and on Police suppression of protest.

Inspired by The World Transformed we organise and host a wide range of events and activities on topics including housing, welfare, education, the environment and the many other issues facing our city.

Saturday 20th July. The next Free Radicals gig will be at Theatre Deli

 Thanks very much to everyone who came to the Free Radicals/Sosa-Sa gig a couple of weeks ago. It was very busy and we had to turn away some people. Very sorry if you were one of those. The evening raised over £5,600 which went straight into the Sheffield Emergency Relief Fund and then straight to Gaza. This fund has now transferred over £130,000 to Gaza, which has been providing support food parcels, blankets, baby milk, clothes, nappies and cash to 3931 families in Khan Younis and Rafah. [Fuller reports can be found at: https://www.sheffieldpsc.org.uk/?page_id=3286]

Sunday 18th August South Yorkshire Festival

We are marking the 40th anniversary of the 1984 Miners Strike at the SYF and are pleased to announce the guest speakers so far are Colin Kirkham, a former miner, will be speaking to his experiences at that time and Jean Miller from Women Against Pit Closures we will be announcing further speakers in due course.  Brian Clarke will also be speaking prior to the afternoon talk in the Unison Room on the history of Wortley Hall from the 50’s onwards.  We are also hoping to get a speaker on the history of the Hall and Barnsley Area.

Rotherham’s “South Yorkshire Transport Museum” will be bringing some vintage vehicles for us to see, we will have our usual stalls, stands and bouncy castles for a fun family day out, again we hope to make all the rides and face painting free.

We again are looking for volunteers for the event. Please email politicalsecretary@wortleyhall.org.uk should you wish to help on the day. Massive thank you to all who kindly helped out with last year’s event.

We need help on:

  • Traffic Management
  • Staffing the Wortley Hall Stand
  • General Setting Up.

We have started collecting donations and pledges for this great event, if you can support this day, please contact info@wortleyhall.org.uk – or, by contacting the hall on 0114 288 2100. You can also send a cheque to Wortley Hall, Wortley Village, Sheffield, S35 7DB, cheque payable to Wortley Hall Ltd. Please ensure to mark your letter for South Yorkshire Festival.

SYF Committee

Joint Union Committee Letter to the new VC

Dear Professor Mossop,

As representatives for the trade unions UCU, UNISON and Unite at Sheffield Hallam we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to your new role. Our staff work hard to deliver quality teaching, which benefits from our economy boosting research and exceptional support for students, resulting in an excellent student experience. The recent award of TEF Gold is a reflection of the dedication of all here at Sheffield Hallam.

You are no doubt aware that despite this, pay and conditions have steadily declined for those very same staff. We have seen a real-term drop in pay of approximately 30% since 2009. In previous restructures we have seen significant erosion of terms and conditions and recently, we have been asked to consider the removal of and the reduction of pay protection and the removal of additional redeployment support. We also feel the commitment to the elimination of casualisation and outsourcing needs to be reaffirmed in the current climate. Given all these factors we are sure you can see that there is no room for further cuts here, and that priority should be given to addressing this spiral of decline in order to retain and grow a body of staff that has made Sheffield Hallam an award winning institution.

You are inheriting a difficult budget position, brought about by the prioritisation of capital expenditure projects over investment in staff. We have grave concerns about the project for a London campus, how it contributes to that budget deficit and the risks it entails. We need assurances that this project will not further damage the University’s financial status and also that any staff employed on this project, and any future similar projects, will be employed under the same terms and conditions as those already working for Sheffield Hallam. There are further questions around how this move to London aligns with the University’s civic agenda, implicit in which is a need to recommit to this region (https://www.shu.ac.uk/about-us/our-role-in-the-region/civic-university-agreement).

Our partnership with the University is the key to a successful and thriving institution. We would like to take this opportunity to rebuild and strengthen this partnership. Among the proposals we have is for regular attendance by our new VC and University Executive Board members at our Joint Negotiating Committee meetings, facilitating a more expansive, direct dialogue between the unions as staff representatives and the leadership of Sheffield Hallam. This would form the basis of a more open and transparent approach from the University, with our deeper involvement from an earlier stage in major projects that the University is planning and the provision of full information, including budget forecasts, to allow us to understand and be involved in major decisions around staff costs and other issues that impact our members.

All of these proposals have one aim: to ensure that Sheffield Hallam builds on the work of its staff as a centre of excellence, that it values their contribution and that it listens to and incorporates in its planning the expertise our members bring from doing the work that makes this University an award winning institution and a key civic partner contributing to the Region.

We hope that you will join us at a special Joint Negotiating Committee meeting to discuss the points raised in our letter. We look forward to working with you.

Ben Abell, Branch Secretary, Sheffield Hallam UCU

Dan Bye, Branch Secretary, Sheffield Hallam UNISON

Stephen Magowan, Branch Secretary, Sheffield Hallam Unite


FAQs 2023/24 Pay Ballot

What is industrial action? 

Industrial action can be strike action (which is any concerted stoppage of work) or action short of strike action such as ‘go-slows’ or ‘working to rule’. 

Is it against the law to strike? 

Although there is no positive legal right to strike in the UK, strike action organised by a trade union is legal provided some tough conditions are met. 

For example: 

  • The union must have conducted a lawful ballot of all of the members it believes will be called upon to take part. 
  • The action must be over a trade dispute between workers and their employer over an issue like terms or conditions of employment and as defined in s.244 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. 
  • The general secretary, or someone else authorised by the union’s rules, must authorise any industrial action. 
  • The person named on the ballot paper must issue a call for action before industrial action can take place. 
  • There are very strict rules about the ballot and the notice that must be given to the employer about the action. 

At what point do we go on strike? 

Industrial action is a last resort. UNISON always tries to negotiate and bargain for its members before pursuing industrial action. 

What are picket lines, and how should we organise them? 

A picket line is a group of striking workers located at or near their place of work who meet at the workplace to increase awareness and support for their cause. Picketing members may tell other workers about the dispute between them and their employer. 

During a picket line striking members are allowed to persuade workers, including agency workers and delivery people, to stop interacting with the business. This must be done peacefully, as criminal law applies to picket lines. 

Striking members mustn’t use threatening behaviour or force to prevent others from attending work, cause criminal damage, or prevent police officers from carrying out their duties. 

The maximum appropriate number of striking members on a picket line, according to the relevant code of practice, is 6. However, this is not enforceable in law. 

The police in Great Britain can use special powers, such as obtaining an order prohibiting the picket, if the picket contains more than 20 people and they believe it may result in serious disruption to the life of the community. 

Can I be dismissed for taking part in industrial action? 

It is automatically unfair to dismiss someone who has taken part in any lawful industrial action within 12 weeks of the first day of action. 

Can an employer deduct money from your wages for taking part in industrial action? 

Yes. An employer can deduct up to one fifth of weekly pay for a day of strike action. In many HEls trade unions have an agreement that only 1/365 of pay will be deducted per day of strike action, and for those on academic contracts this should always be the case. 

Industrial action is a last resort. UNISON always tries to negotiate and bargain for its members before pursuing industrial action.  

What are picket lines, and how should we organise them? 

A picket line is a group of striking workers located at or near their place of work who meet at the workplace to increase awareness and support for their cause. Picketing members may tell other workers about the dispute between them and their employer. 

During a picket line striking members are allowed to persuade workers, including agency workers and delivery people, to stop interacting with the business. This must be done peacefully, as criminal law applies to picket lines. 

Striking members mustn’t use threatening behaviour or force to prevent others from attending work, cause criminal damage, or prevent police officers from carrying out their duties. 

The maximum appropriate number of striking members on a picket line, according to the relevant code of practice, is 6. However, this is not enforceable in law. 

The police in Great Britain can use special powers, such as obtaining an order prohibiting the picket, if the picket contains more than 20 people and they believe it may result in serious disruption to the life of the community. 

Can I be dismissed for taking part in industrial action? 

It is automatically unfair to dismiss someone who has taken part in any lawful industrial action within 12 weeks of the first day of action. 

Can an employer deduct money from your wages for taking part in industrial action? 

Yes. An employer can deduct up to one fifth of weekly pay for a day of strike action. In many HEls trade unions have an agreement that only 1/365 of pay will be deducted per day of strike action, and for those on academic contracts this should always be the case. 

What is this HE Pay ballot about? 

This ballot is for national strike action over the employers’ imposed pay uplift of 5-8% for higher education staff, depending on spinal column point. This uplift was for the year commencing 1 August 2023 with a portion added to annual salaries six months early and backdated to 1 February 2023. This early payment was imposed in the March 2023 payroll in many, but not all, HEls, with the remainder imposed in August 2023. 

The higher education service group executive agreed to re-ballot members at all higher education institutions previously balloted in 2023 where we achieved at least a 34% turnout and a clear majority in favour of action, and gave branches an opportunity to opt out. 

Who makes the decisions regarding industrial action? 

UNISON is a member-led union and decisions are made by members. In any vote on whether or not to take industrial action, each member receives a postal ballot, which they are asked to complete and return within a designated period. 

If more than 50% of the members at your university did vote, and if a majority of those who returned their ballot papers voted in favour of action, your union can call members out on strike. 

The service group executive will decide whether to call days of coordinated strike action in England, or whether to delegate the decision to branch committees on how many days local strike action to take and when, in consultation with members. Proposals will be referred to regional and national level for authorisation. In Scotland the Regional HE Committee will be asked to make decisions on dates for action, in conjunction with branches. The elected members of the Industrial Action Committee will make the final decision. 

When are the next strike days? 

Days of strike action will be scheduled after the ballot has closed, from 18 March 2024 onwards, up to 18 August. 

Will strike pay be available for any days I am on strike? 

Yes. UNISON has agreed to pay members taking strike action up to £50 per day in strike pay (or full take home pay if this is less) from day one of any properly authorised strike action. Your local branch will administer this by passing on the names of members and details of the amount of money that has been deducted by your employer to UNISON. It will take a few weeks for the money to be paid. If you take strike action your employer is entitled to deduct up to 115th of your weekly pay or equivalent, and if it is less than £50 this is the amount that would be paid to you as strike pay.  

What do I have to do to get strike pay? 

You will need to show proof that you were on strike (in the event of a strike we will send precise instructions regarding what we need) and a copy of your wage slip to show what deduction was taken from your pay. 

Is there any other financial help available? 

If your employer deducts more than £50 from your pay for a day of strike action and this causes you financial difficulty you will be able to apply to your branch’s Hardship Fund. We will share details of this in the event of strike action taking place. 

I’m on benefits and they will be affected if I take strike action. Is there anything I can do about that? 

Talk to your branch to explain how you will be affected. You may be granted an exemption from taking strike action if you will lose benefits by doing so. 

Am I breaking my contract by taking strike action? 

All industrial action is a breach of your contract of employment. Because UNISON is carrying out a statutory ballot and any action will be formally called in accordance with legislation, the law protects workers automatically from dismissal while taking part in lawful industrial action at any time within 12 weeks of the start of the action and, depending on the circumstances, dismissal 

may also be unfair if it takes place later. As far as we are aware, this kind of dismissal has never happened in higher education. 

Does taking strike action break my continuous service? 

No. The period of time that you are on strike does not count towards your continuous service, but it does not break it either. 

Do I have to tell my employer that I am taking action? 

It is often the case that management will send out emails/letters demanding that you declare in advance whether you will be taking industrial action. This is intended to minimise the effect of the action and can have the effect of misleading and intimidating members. You are under no obligation to inform your employer I manager in advance as to whether you will be taking part in strike action. UNISON will have provided your employer with all the information about the action required by law. Once you are back at work following the strike action, you should respond truthfully to any query from your employer as to whether you have taken or are taking industrial action. You should not, however, respond to any such query while you are on strike. 

What if I am working from home on the day of the strike? 

Going on strike means you do not undertake any work on a specific day, and that includes those members that are working from home. 

Already booked annual leave during the strike dates; what should you do?

Where strike action begins during a period in which an employee is on annual leave, then in the absence of evidence to the contrary, he or she should be deemed to be on leave and not on strike. If your annual leave is essential, you should take it as planned. If your leave is not essential, you may wish to move it so that you can participate in industrial action alongside your colleagues. 

What if I am sick during the strike? 

Employees who are absent due to sickness before industrial action starts should be assumed to be on sick leave, providing that any necessary certification is produced. If the employee reports as sick on the day the action starts, the university will need to make its own judgment, taking into account any evidence that the employee can provide, whether they should be regarded as on sick leave or on strike. 

I am not a UNISON member; can I take part in industrial action? 

We would like everyone to respect the picket lines and not go into work. Non union members who take part in legal, official industrial action have the same rights as UNISON members not to be dismissed as a result of taking action. 

However, our strong recommendation is that you join UNISON so that you have the protection of a trade union before you take part in industrial action. If you have provided the details requested on the UNISON member application form, your membership will be active from the date of application. This means that you are able to take part in any strike action while awaiting your membership number. 

How late can someone join the union and still take part in strike action? Individuals can join UNISON at any point up to and including on the picket line on the day of action and lawfully participate in the strike.

If we take industrial action, what am I expected to do? 

Your union only organises strike action when every other avenue has been exhausted and when the democratic decision-making bodies of the union believe there is no other way to make employers change their position. It is a very serious sanction and that is why we ask that every member observes the strike. Every member who does not observe the strike is directly undermining the union’s bargaining power and making it harder for the union to protect all of its members.

Every member who does strike is helping to advance the interests of all staff throughout the HE sector. When a strike takes place, we ask members not to do any work for all of the days specified by the union. This includes, for instance, time before 9am and after 5pm. It also means not doing any preparation for work that you are due to do when you return to work after you strike. 

On strike days, the best possible thing you can do is contact your UNISON branch and volunteer to help at the picket lines – and ask colleagues in your department to join you. Picketing is a vital activity intended to demonstrate to the employer the scale of the disruption that the union is able to cause and get support for your action from students, other colleagues and the public. 

Some branches also organise a rally at some point during the day, or perhaps a march. Find out whether there is a rota to sign up to, or whether someone will meet you at the picket line to show you what to do. Remember, if you are on strike, you must not go into any buildings or onto any land owned by your employer, so you won’t be able to use any of the facilities. 

Do I have to take strike action if I am pregnant? 

No, if you are pregnant and have notified your employer of the expected date of birth you are exempted from strike action. If it is your intention to be away from work on maternity leave for the whole potential period of any strike mandate we achieve (6 months from the date the ballot closes) you should not vote in the ballot and should ask you branch to arrange for you to be excluded from the figures. 

I have other questions that have not been covered by these FAQs; what should I do? 

Visit UNISON’s web page on industrial action here: https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/disputes grievances/industrial-action/ If you are unable to find the answer to your question please contact your local UNISON branch and they will be able to advise you on a range of issues. 

I have a disability. How will the picket lines be made accessible for me? 

Contact your branch and explain your access needs. They will discuss with you what can be done to make the picket lines and other action accessible for you. 

Will taking industrial action affect my pension? 

Absence on strike for a day or more will not count as pensionable service. This means you will not make a contribution towards your pension for the time you are on strike. 

In some strikes, particularly short ones, employers may not withhold superannuation contributions, so taking strike action has not generally affected pensions, though it is possible that it could. 

If your employer decides to deduct pay for the day of action, the employers do not have to pay pension contributions during that period, and you will not have paid your portion of contribution for that day. 

The impact on your final pension would be extremely small but you might want to consider replacing the lost contribution. 

It is possible, with your employer’s agreement, to pay a sum equal to the employee and employer contribution and receive full credit for the day’s absence and continue to have full cover. 

 Any member wishing to do this must inform their employer in writing before the absence takes place. 

It is possible that members of the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) are not covered by the death benefit provisions under that scheme on any days on which they take strike action. 

Questions about taking strike action due to a trade dispute for members of the LGPS. You will also need to check any additional information from your employer.  

How will strike action affect my pension benefits? 

You do not earn pension for the days you are on strike. Absence from work for strike action for one or more complete day means that those days do not count in any way for pension purposes. 

How can I reinstate the pension I have lost due to strike action? 

You can elect to purchase the amount of pension lost by paying Additional Pension Contributions (APC’s). The cost of purchasing the amount of lost pension for the period of absence would be fully met by you; your employer does not make a contribution to the APC. To pay APCs the member must have at least one year to go before retirement. 

If you have membership of the LGPS before 1 April 2014 you will have built up benefits in the final salary scheme. If you choose to pay for the lost pension in the scheme the amount you pay will go towards covering the protections associated with the pre-1 April 2014 membership. 

What effect will a strike absence have on my pension benefits if I don’t make up the shortfall? 

The amount of pension you lose is calculated as the appropriate fraction of your assumed pensionable pay for that period of absence (i.e., 1149th of your assumed pensionable pay for that day if you were in the main section of the scheme or 1198th if you were in the 50/50 section). 

Will UNISON exempt members from strike action with less than one year before retirement? 

Previously UNISON has exempted members in the last year of service from strike action because of the possible effect of reduced final pay on final salary benefits earned up to April 2014 in England and Wales and April 2015 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. In practice, as one of the two immediately preceding years’ salary can be used for final salary purposes, there is likely to be minimal effect for just a few days of absence on strike. 

If you require any further information or clarification, please contact your LGPS pension scheme directly. 


Posted in Pay

GAZA -Sheffield events this week

Find out how you can help: click here

Click here to watch a short video of Musheir and friends at work preparing essential food supplies.
Tuesday November 7th at 7.00p.m. Central United Reformed Church, 66 Norfolk Street, S1 2JB

Dates for your Diary – full details of these events to follow:

November 11th Sheffield:
Rally in Sheffield and, once more, travel to the National Rally in London will be organised for those who can attend.

November 19th:
A sponsored walk, raising funds for Gaza, in Graves Park, Sheffield. S8 8LL. This inclusive event is one that everyone in Sheffield is invited to join. We will walk together for Gaza.

November 26th:
“Coming Together for Palestine”, a cross-community event to mark the International Day of Solidarity with Palestinians (which falls on November 29th). This fundraiser for Gaza will offer food, a compilation of Musheir’s films and speakers. Details of how to get tickets will follow.

Use the QR code above to sign up for the newsletter/join the Coalition as an organisation, OR click here. Please pass to your friends.

Contact us on this email: spcagainstisraeliapartheid@gmail.com

SEE ALSO Sheffield PSC facebook

AND Sheffield PSC Instagram

Free UNISON Courses

Places are still available for the following workshops.  These courses are Free to UNISON members to attend.  Please follow the links for further information.  Contact Rose on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place.

Excel for Beginners: 7 November at 10.00am – 1.30pm (Via Teams)

CVs and Application Forms: 7 November at 6.30pm – 7.30pm (Via Teams)

Get Active in UNISON: 9 November at 12.00pm – 1.00pm (Via Teams)

How to be an Effective Ally: 13 November at 10.30am – 12.00pm (Via Zoom)

RNIB Visually Impairment Awareness: 20 November at 10.00am – 11.30am (Via Teams)

Interview Skills: 21 November at 6.30pm – 7.30pm (Via Teams)

Healthy Workplaces: 27 November at 10.00am – 12.00pm (Via Teams)



Women in UNISON

Women in UNISON – Pathways to Activism (weekend, overnight stay in hotel) on 25 and 26 November

A weekend course that helps women members explore the possibilities of getting more involved in the union.  

It gives an outline of the way the union works and invites women to explore their own skills and how they can use them. 

This course will be held at our UNISON Regional Centre in Leeds with overnight accommodation at DoubleTree by Hilton.  The course is FREE to attend. 

You must be able to attend the full weekend to take part in this course. Closing date 22 October.

How to applyContact your branch as you will need approval to attend.  Once approved your branch will contact r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place.

Day school: Latin America in the front line

Saturday 7 October, 9.45am – 4.15pm

At: Quaker Meeting House, St James St, Sheffield S1 2EW

Recently Sheffield Hallam UNISON affiliated to the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (CSC). Our reasons for doing so are explained in the motion that can be found here.

CSC Sheffield will be co-hosting this public event coming up soon in Sheffield so we are inviting you to support it if you can.


*  Aymee Diaz Negrin, political counsellor at the Cuban Embassy will be speaking at the opening plenary.

* Workshops including: Cuba Resists Tightening the US Blockade with speakers Aymee Diaz Negrin, Cuban Embassy and Dr Emily Morris, Institute of the Americas

*  Range of workshops and speakers on Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru and themes of climate change, debt, trade unions and social struggles in the region.

Tickets £5 unwaged, £10 waged. Register in advance online via eventbrite here  – or pay on the door.

Hosted by Sheffield Trades Council, CSC Sheffield, Chile Solidarity Network, Jubilee Movement Sheffield, Alborada, Sheffield Left.

For more information about this meeting or future local meetings, please contact CSC Sheffield  sheffieldcsc1959@gmail.com

Subscribe to CUBA UPDATE, our free email newsletter at


Shop for Cuban products and solidarity merchandise online at


Facebook @CubaSolidarityCampaign

Twitter @cubasolidarity

Instagram @cubasolidarity

Celebrate Cuban culture: https://cuba50.org/

UNISON statement on Sheffield Hallam University’s financial position

Colleagues will be aware of the University’s worrying financial position.   Both Vice-Chancellor Chris Husbands and Chief Finance Officer Ryan Keyworth have spoken about this in recent weeks in the Transforming Lives staff digest and all-staff meetings, and there will likely have been local communications and discussions as well.

Failure to meet student recruitment targets for 2023/4 (both home undergraduate and international) has left the University significantly short of income against budget.  There are local factors, but Sheffield Hallam are not alone in experiencing difficulties; although the number of 18 year olds has increased, the number choosing to go to university has not increased as expected.   Meanwhile, the higher education sector has been under sustained Government attack for many years, and undergraduate tuition fees (our main source of income) have been frozen since 2017, against a recent background of relatively high inflation.   The system seems broken, but there is no sign of any serious political will to fix it.   Hostile Government rhetoric suggests they would not be bothered if some universities were forced to close – there was a time when this would have been politically disastrous.

Members want to know what the University is going to do about this.    There are plans to diversify income (online provision, the London project), but any financial benefits from that will not come to fruition in the short term.   System and processes are being reviewed to identify efficiencies, although again will these come in quickly enough, if we do it properly?  There are also plans which may be delayed or stopped, and other non-pay savings are being looked at.

More stringent vacancy and recruitment management has also been introduced – not, we are assured, a vacancy “freeze”, but definitely a wintry chill.    This will leave teams understaffed, and pile even more pressure on busy colleagues.  If you are experiencing stress due to an unmanageable workload, put your health first and raise the problem with your line manager.  If you need support, contact UNISON.

The apparent urgency of the problem created an expectation of further announcements of other measures to be taken.  But little else has been communicated, which is creating uncertainty.  Are things not as bad as we were led to believe, or so bad that decisions are being avoided?

The University must resist any temptation to think it can simply cut its way out of trouble in the short-term.  Redundancies, voluntary or otherwise, are not cost-free, and damage student-facing services as well as essential back-office operations as well as staff morale.  Large-scale restructures are time-consuming, expensive, and seldom achieve everything they set out to achieve.

UNISON members want Sheffield Hallam to be successful, and work hard to make it so.   While University leadership considers what to do, they should remember that Hallam’s staff are critical to its future.

Dan Bye

Branch Secretary