UNISON runs regular free courses for its members. If you are interested and wish to book a place, contact Rose on courses:

  • Unconscious Bias on 19 June at 10am – 11.30am via zoom
  • Deaf Awareness & BSL on 20 June at 10am – 1pm via zoom
  • Self-Harm Awareness on 3 July at 12pm – 2pm via Teams
  • Makaton: Baby & Young Children Signing on 7 July at 10am – 11.30am via zoom
  • Managing Challenging Behaviour on 12 July at 2pm – 5pm via zoom

In-Person courses (Leed office):

  • Dyslexia Understood on 30 June at 10am – 4pm
  • Presentation Skills on 10 July at 10am – 4pm

To apply for the in-person courses above, please contact your branch for approval. Alternatively contact who will forward your request to your branch.Further details of all courses can be found here: Courses Jun-Jul 23That’s all for now. As ever, if you have any concerns, questions or ideas you’d like to put into action, get in contact with your local rep or officer: Contacts


What is your role in the branch?

I’ve been a member of Unison since I first joined SHU. I’ve been a Rep / Shop Steward for the last 3 years, and I’ve recently become the Membership Officer a few weeks ago.

How and why did you become involved in UNISON? 

I’ve always recognised the importance of Trade Unions, and I’ve seen first-hand how essential they are in previous work before joining Sheffield Hallam in 2011, so it was an easy decision to join a union here too. I became a Rep / Shop Steward three years ago when my department went through its latest restructure. It’s the 4th I had been through since joining SHU, and so I’ve seen first-hand how stressful, difficult and unpleasant they can be for so many of my colleagues. This restructure was looking like it may be particularly brutal, and I decided I should do what I can to support everyone in the department by becoming more active in the Union

What issues do you feel trade unions should be focussing on?

All the issues the Trade Unions deal with are vital and worthy of focus, but if I had to highlight a few at the moment, I would say in the short-term Pay is the most obvious and pressing issue in light of the wider political and economic climate in the country. Ordinary people have been made to foot the bill for the incompetence and corruption of the last thirteen years, and they face more difficult financial circumstances and greater hostility from the current government than they have for decades. It is heartening to see so many of our friends in Unison and many other unions are finding a renewed voice and courage to stand up for themselves and demand fairness and justice.

In the slightly longer term, I personally think two key issues are Workers’ Rights and Climate Change. The government looks determined to severely curtail our workers’ rights when the EU law Revocation and Reform Bill comes into action at the end of December 2023 and could see the end of essential rights for all of us that we’ve all been protected by for many years. Regarding Climate Change, which unions are becoming ever more active on, if we don’t take drastic action to address the catastrophe we’re currently heading towards, then all other issues will pale in comparison, and again, it will be us ordinary people who suffer. Those with power always ensure their own survival and comfort at our expense. The importance of people coming together to make a united stand has never been more urgent.


Beat the Cost of Living Crisis

-Support the Strikes!




“Don’t tell us to not to demand a pay rise

when inflation has hit 14% RPI!”

“Sheffield TUC will continue to give maximum solidarity support to workers taking strike action in the face of an unprecedented cost of living crisis” said Martin Mayer Secretary Sheffield Trade Union Council. “This week it’s the turn of RMT rail workers, CWU Royal Mail workers, RCN Nurses and UNITE Shelter workers, and supporters will be joining picket lines and collecting money to support the strikes” he said.

RMT rail workers to stage 48-hour strikes from this week:

Tuesday 13th/ Wednesday 14th December and Friday 16th/Saturday 17th December

Until last week, rail workers had received no pay offer at all for 2022, and have had no pay increase for 3 years. Negotiations only delivered a 4% pay offer but that was conditional on huge changes to terms and conditions including Driver Only Trains on all services, closure of all ticket offices and other cuts, which the RMT has refused. RMT recently re-balloted its members for strike action and received an overwhelming mandate. Everyone knows it’s the Government that is holding back the Train Operators from settling this dispute, yet refuse to negotiate directly with the union. Where the Government is not involved, settlements have been reached e.g. ScotRail, Welsh Rail and the direct access train operators.

Royal Mail CWU strikes

Royal Mail members have had an unagreed 2 per cent pay deal imposed on them. This was at a time when RPI inflation was running at 11.8% (it is now 14.5%) and when Royal Mail had announced Group profits of £758 million – of which most was paid out in dividends  to private shareholders! In a national strike ballot over pay, Royal Mail CWU members voted by a massive 97.6 per cent majority to take action. CWU members have also voted by 98.7% on a 72.2% turnout for strike action in defence of the “Pathway to Change” national agreement. The Royal Mail company leadership has reneged on the Pathway to Change agreement’s Key Principles and has begun to impose changes without negotiation and without agreement, with serious adverse consequences for working conditions. CWU repos have faced bullying and harassment by management with many reps unfairly suspended, and the company is one of the first to use new Tory laws to allow agency workers to break strikes.

UNITE Shelter Workers are on 2 weeks solid strike

These dedicated social care sector workers do marvelous work helping the homeless struggle against a scandalous social housing crisis in the UK. But this well-respected charity has offered a paltry 3% to its workers in spite of a massive £14.5M reserve of funds that could easily finance a proper cost of living pay rise.

Commenting on the decision to go on strike, one member of Shelter’s staff said: “The work we undertake, particularly in frontline services, is so valuable and clients depend on our teams. But that shouldn’t mean they have to sacrifice a decent and dignified living because the work they are drawn to is in this sector. At the very base level, absolute bare minimum, those working for a housing charity shouldn’t be experiencing housing insecurity as a result of being unable to pay rent.” Another added: “I really care about the work and I think it’s recognised that I work hard – but I don’t feel right now my employer cares about me. I’m a single parent. I’m now in overdraft every month, I go around switching my lights off, I have turned my boiler down, I get stressed when the kids school wants me to pay for another school trip. The best acknowledgement my employer can give me for all my hard work is decent pay.”


RCN Nurses strike on 15th December (but not in Sheffield -nearest strike is in Nottingham)

The NHS is one of the best things about our country and it is falling apart due to massive austerity cuts over the last 12 years. Britain now has fewer hospitals and a huge loss of beds – Germany has three times the number of beds per head of population than we do. Severe staff shortages make the situation even worse, and a collapsed social care sector when too many sick and elderly people are stuck in hospital with nowhere else to go. Seven million people are waiting for NHS operations. Patients are stuck in the back of queuing ambulances. Nursing staff make up more than half of the NHS workforce, and they are pushed to breaking point. Care is not safe and patients are paying the price. For the first time in history, nurses are left with no choice but to go on strike. Unfair pay is forcing too many to leave. Over 25,000 nurses left last year alone. Without nursing staff, there will be no NHS. Nursing staff always speak up for patients – now we are speaking up for the nurses.


“Workers cannot afford another cut to their living standards after 12 years of austerity and stagnant /falling real incomes,” said Martin Mayer. “The current cost of living crisis is causing severe hardship across our communities and with RPI inflation now nearly 15%, millions of households face hunger and unheated homes this winter. We totally reject the Tories’ notion that cost of living increases will damage the economy. Britain is the 5th wealthiest country in the world but the wealth is not distributed fairly. If working class communities are made poorer still, then the economy will suffer from collapsing demand for goods and services. We demand a proper pay rise now for all workers. If you are not in a union, join one now!” concluded Martin Mayer



We are keen to hear members experiences of working at Hallam whilst living through the menopause. The University does not currently have a policy. UNISON would like to help them develop one in the near future. UNISON has an excellent model policy that has been developed through thorough research, but is there anything specific to the way we work which needs considering? Please send any comments in confidence to to be added to any bargaining arguments. Your responses will be anonymised.

Personal Safety

I recently attended Stand Up Against Street Harassment bystander intervention training run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust. This short course was focussed on how to intervene when you witness or are a victim of street harassment. This organisation has a great deal of useful information with regards women’s personal safety and issues around stalking.

UNISON Women’s Conference January 2022

Sadly, the conference was online this year. It had been planned to take place in Brighton before having to change due to the ongoing COVID situation. As I joined as Women’s Officer just before the pandemic, I am still yet to meet my UNISON colleagues, either within the branch or nationally.

Despite the physical distance, the conference was an enlivening and informative event. Motions around supporting carers, part time working, the cost of living crisis (disproportionally affecting female workers) and menopause passed. They will now be brought up with the NEC and therefore campaigned for to parliament. It was a lesson in how the grassroots can in turn influence the government.

 Want to know more about what UNISON is doing nationally for Women members?

Are there female centric issues which you think I should be addressing or highlighting? Please get in touch and let me know.

Anna Wiggins

Equalities news

As Equalities officer my aim to is reduce workplace discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. I work in supporting members who have issues/concerns in the workplace around equality and diversity issues.

The university is taking positive steps in working towards recruitment of a more diverse workforce as the inclusive Hallam Event series facilitated a session ‘Recruiting for Diversity’

How to recruit talented people who are reflective of the community we serve.

This session focused on the importance of inclusive practice during the recruitment and selection process. It explored the law and what it means at Sheffield Hallam, what great practice already exists and how to create an excellent and inclusive candidate experience. The main speaker for this session was Professor Sital Dhillon, Head of the Department of Law and Criminology and Director of the Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice.

Sital spoke about how he has led a step change in the department’s approach to recruiting for diversity and the positive tangible impacts this has had on the diversity of his team.

Recruiting for Diversity | Sheffield Hallam University (

What are your thoughts on this? Is the university doing enough to raise the diversity of its workforce? Please do get in touch in confidence If you have any comments/concerns/feedback.

REC Bronze application and re-submission.

The Race Equality Charter (REC) is a national framework provided by AdvanceHE aimed at improving the representation, progression, and success of racially minoritized staff and students within Higher Education and Research in the UK. Member institutions develop initiatives and solutions for action and can apply for a Bronze or Silver Race Equality Charter award, depending on their level of progress. Sheffield Hallam signed up to the charter in 2018.

After a great co-ordinated effort across the University, was able to apply for Bronze Charter Mark status in September 2021 but were disappointed to learn earlier this year that the application was, on this occasion, unsuccessful.

The feedback received from REC assessors at AdvanceHE was very helpful and clear. Whilst it praised the efforts of colleagues at the University it also gave sound insight on where the university, could improve the submission further and address issues where the approach to race equity was not as clear as it could be. Whilst AdvanceHE suggested the university re-apply within a shorter timeframe, the University’s Race Equality Steering Group and our Equalities, Diversity & Inclusion Committee both supported an approach which would not rush an attempt to re-apply. Rather, to achieve a high-quality submission, demonstrate further progress and recognise the work involved across the University in preparing the submission, it was agreed to aim for a July 2023 submission. It was also agreed to build in a pause for reflection during the timeline for re-submission to ensure the university, is comfortable in achieving the July 23 date.

Ana Yousaf

Unison (SHU Branch) Equalities Officer & Shop Steward

* Email: |( Tel: 0114 225 421

Homeowners: Understanding the mortgage market – 4 November

UNISON - Lighthouse Financial

Lighthouse is delivering a free webinar for UNISON members on Understanding the Mortgage Market for Homeowners .  The webinar will look at re-mortgaging, moving home and what to do if you are having trouble paying your mortgage plus more.

Full details here.

The session will take place on:

4th November at 12.15pm – 1.15pm

To book your place please contact Sarah at or on 020 383 10743.


NDC Report from Dan Grace

The National Delegate Conference (NDC) is Unison’s highest democratic decision-making body working alongside the General Secretary, the President and the National Executive Council to run our union. It’s an annual meeting of delegates from all Unison branches where motions and rule changes are passed that change the way our union functions. I was put forward as our branches delegate for this year’s meeting in Brighton between 14th and 17th of June. Spread across four days at the Brighton Centre, it consisted of the main delegate sessions, where we voted on motions put forward by branches across the UK, along with a variety of fringe events at lunch time and in the evening.

Highlights among the decisions made include Unison’s decision to back proportional representation, support for trans equality, to tackle climate change through support for public ownership of energy companies and decarbonising public services, and a renewed commitment to be an organising union giving its members the power to organise in their workplaces. Full details of all the motions passed and rule changes made can be found here:

Fringe events I made it along to included a talk from Labour MP John McDonnell on the importance of the links between trade unions and our parliamentary representatives, a presentation from the Cuban Ambassador to the UK alongside the Cuba Solidarity campaign group on the ongoing injustice of the US blockade of that socialist country and a discussion of the state of climate policy in public services post-COP26.

It was a fascinating four days. I had the opportunity to meet many other reps and members from across Yorkshire and the rest of the UK and feel part of a broader movement. I would recommend the experience to anyone interested in becoming more involved in the democratic decision making processes of our trade union.

Introducing… Dan Grace, Communications Officer and Workplace Rep

What is your role in the branch?

I am a workplace rep for Library and Student Services and the branch communications officer. This means I do casework helping members with issues in Library and Student Support and also oversee communications for the branch, such as email, social media and this newsletter. Members should feel free to contact me in either of these capacities.

How and why did you become involved in UNISON?

I’ve been a UNISON member since 2008. I was a workplace rep in my previous job in Sheffield’s public library service. I decided to become a rep around the time of the implementation of the coalition governments austerity program which saw huge cuts to public library services. I was already involved in campaigning around the cuts and closures and saw becoming a trade union rep as the obvious next step in that fight. I took a break from being a rep when I first moved to Sheffield Hallam due to having a young family and studying commitments but volunteered again last November. Since then I have become the branch communications officer and travelled to Brighton as our branch delegate for the National Delegates Convention.

What issues do you feel trade unions should be focussing on?

In addition to the day-to-day help we provide supporting members, the current cost of living crisis is clearly the most pressing issue for trade unions. Securing an above inflation pay increase is vital as we all face rising bills. In addition to this I think climate change is in urgent need of addressing from a trade union perspective. The two issues are linked of course. Spiralling energy bills show how our system has become incapable of managing a transition to affordable and abundant green energy sources. Any such transition would have to be a fair one for workers, which is why I believe that trade unions have to lead on building a Green New Deal that creates climate jobs for the future. As well as considering what this means for those of us working at Sheffield Hallam, our university should be training the next generation of workers necessary for a green industrial revolution. UNISON and other trade unions need to be leading the way on this, supporting where things are done right, challenging where not enough is being done.


Member Education Programme: Autumn 2022


The following courses are in-person and will be held at our regional office in Leeds which is situated near the train station:

UNISON, Yorkshire & Humberside Regional Centre
Quayside House
Canal Wharf
LS11 5PS

These courses are FREE for UNISON members to attend with lunch provided. 

How to Apply:  

Contact Joanne Ward our branch administrator by emailing who will  contact the education team to book you a place.

Assertiveness Skills: 15th November at 10.00am – 4.00pm 

An opportunity to explore times and places you would like to be more assertive and to build the strategies to do so.

Closing date: 21 October

You can find more information about these courses in the UNISONY&H Member Education Programme brochure: here