UNISON: Sheffield Climate Justice march Saturday 6th November & SCCUG COP26 Coalition Calendar of Events


Please get involved in the campaign for Climate Change, and join the Sheffield march;

Saturday 6 November.

Assemble at Devonshire Green at 12pm

Global Day Climate Justice march

Climate Change IS a Trade union issue! Workers and their families are all affected by global warming. “There’s no jobs on a dead planet” said Sharron Burrow ITUC Gen Secretary. We have to fight for real action to combat climate change. That means public investment in 1 Million Climate Jobs. We know you can’t achieve that by leaving it the free market as the Tories are doing! We can rebuild our economy so that it’s greener AND fairer, and improves the livelihoods of ordinary working people. Here are some examples of what we can and should be doing NOW:

  • I million new zero-emission council homes – help to solve the housing crisis and reduce heating bills AND help the climate. House building creates jobs for construction workers but also making the furnishings and fittings that make a home
  • a World Class public transport system with new zero emission buses and electric trains – good green jobs for transport workers, bus and train manufacturers, AND lower fares and better connectivity, plus we reduce emissions and pollution
  • Publicly owned energy companies to generate clean green electricity – end fossil fuels and create zero carbon energy and end fuel poverty. We can’t rely on the private companies to do this
  • Insulate our homes and offices. A massive public investment programme will create good green jobs to retrofit our leaky homes – Britain’s housing stock is the least efficient in Europe!

Please email l.m.wakefield@shu.ac.uk to let us know that you are interested and will be attending the event on the 6th November in Sheffield.

Here is a timetable of some of the events coming up in Sheffield in the run-up to 6th November.

 Everyone is welcome

The planet is on fire! It’s clear that we are facing a global catastrophe that is already impacting on everyone across the world. The COP26 ‘talks’ will no doubt prove as inadequate as the past 25 talks.

The COP26 Coalition is organising on an international, national and local level. We aim to highlight the common interest we have, the innovative solutions available and to use our collective power to compel governments here and around the world to act!!

Friday 22nd October: Film showing – ‘The Ants & the Grasshopper’

Ant and the Grasshopper

‘The Ants and The Grasshopper’ 2021    Director – Raj Patel

Sheffield Climate Coalition Umbrella Group (SCCUG) COP26 Coalition are delighted to bring back to Sheffield the film, ‘The Ants And The Grasshopper’ which received its International Debut here at DocFest 2021, as part of the lead up to COP26 being held in Glasgow this November.


The film will launch the Sheffield Global Climate Justice Summit (this summit will be held on Sat 23rd October – details to follow) which will be looking at how we can urge the world leaders, meeting at COP26 in Glasgow, to ‘centre’ the experience and needs of those most affected by the climate and ecological emergencies, in their solutions for addressing them.

Available to watch in person:
Date Friday 22nd October 7.30pm
Venue: Sheffield Quaker Meeting House St James Street Sheffield S1 2EW

Available to watch online:
Anytime between 22nd and 24th October

We want this important film to be seen by as many people as possible and so we are making it free to view with a suggested ticket price of £3.50. If you are unable to afford this, please feel free to pay less, or nothing at all. Pay as you feel.

About the Film:

The documentary weaves together the most urgent themes – climate change, gender and racial equality, increasing inequality between rich and poor – with ideas that can be used to save the planet. It follows a Malawian woman, Anital Chitaya, whose gifts are to bring abundant food from dead soil, make men fight for gender equality, and ending child hunger in her village.  When needing to save her village from extreme weather, she faces her greatest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real and persuading us that we are all in this together.

The film makers reflected on this story for 10 years and through it came to a very different understanding of the world:

“Our reflection on patriarchy, privilege and power, is one that is raw, but a vital part of the transition away from a colonial world to a decolonised one… and point(s) to the way we’ll all have to confront our culpability for a world undergoing catastrophic climate change”

To follow the road to actions around COP26, please go to our Facebook page at @SCCUGCOP26Coalition

Friday 29th October – ‘Walk with Amal’ – ‘Staying Afloat’

Little Amal, a young refugee, has embarked on a remarkable journey – an epic voyage that is taking her across Turkey, across Europe. To find her mother. To get back to school. To start a new life. Will the world let her? Can she achieve what now seems more impossible than ever?


  • Amal enters Sheffield the traditional way, on a barge. As she floats into Victoria Quays, communities are out in force to greet her in the city.
  • As the day unfolds Amal discovers giant washing lines hung with messages of welcome across Tudor Square and a traditional Sheffield brass band with a twist, playing all the cities favourite songs.
    • This will be an opportunity for the Coalition to welcome Amal at the docks and to publicise November the 6th

1st November – National Banner Drop Day – Global Day of Action

On Monday 1st Nov, we invite you to Raise the Banners for Climate Justice! This is the day that World Leaders will meet in Glasgow for COP26.

After 26 years of UN climate talks (COPs), the climate crisis is escalating around the world. Justice won’t easily be handed to us by world leaders. We are the ones who have to demand it.

This action is for everyone – and a perfect way to get communities, schools, faith groups and neighbourhoods talking about climate change and to have their voices heard. Simply hang one outside of your front window of your house.

If you are coming to the demonstration on the 6th, you could bring the banners with you.

The aim is to cover the streets of Sheffield on November 1st – the beginning of the climate talks – with banners that have YOUR messages of climate justice!

Read the national COP26 Coalition’s short overview of their vision and plans for the day here.

Please add your name/organisation and where you will be dropping your banner to the document 1st Nov – Banner Drop Sheffield/S. Yorks – Areas Covered:

Take a picture and send it into our Facebook page @SCCUGCOP26Coalitiion on the day.

7th – 10th November – National People’s Summit for Climate Justice

 The COP26 Coalition is hosting the People’s Summit as an alternative to business as usual of false solutions and inaction at the COP negotiations. The Summit will be held both in-person in Glasgow and online.

Join us in imaging our future, combining our knowledge and building the  movement for climate justice from the ground up. You can now explore the initial programme and register at: www.cop26coalition.org/ps


From 18_26 September branches across the UK are organising a week of activities to call for urgent action to tackle climate change.

On Wednesday September 22, take part in the biggest global conversation about our future by joining Global Day of Action to Climate and Employment Proof our Work. Sign up to the ITUC Day of Action to Climate and Employment Proof Our Work.


On Thursday 23 September, join the UNISON Green Network webinar. Sign up to our network to receive green updates here and you will automatically receive a link to the webinar. You will also be able to access UNISON resources, including guidance on green bargaining and being a green workplace rep.

Find out more about the Fridays for Future youth climate strike on Friday 24 September here and, for Scotland, here.



Find out how your branch can take part in the UK Big Green week here, and in Scotland, at Stop Climate Chaos here.



To find out what is happening at the November UN Cop26 in Glasgow and how branches can take part, visit the Cop26 Coalition website, which also provides details of Cop26 Glasgow events from 31 October to 12 November, including UK-wide demonstrations on 6 November.


You have the chance to take in our green survey next week.  More news to come.


Try our free workshops and explore the skills you have, how to make the most of them and how to develop new ones.

Forthcoming courses for September and October. The courses are all online using Zoom or MS Teams platforms and free to UNISON members.  To book your place, contact the relevant person of the course you are interested in with your name, membership number (if you have it to hand) and your email address.

Dyslexia Understood:  20th September at 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Gain an understanding of dyslexia and look at workplace barriers for those with dyslexia.

Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Your Skills Your Future: 21st September at 10.30am – 11.30am
Identify your existing, transferable, and potential skills for the purpose of personal or professional development.

Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Caring for Adults (Open University): 22nd September at 9.30am – 1.00pm

​Suitable for those working in the care sector or those with caring responsibilities – a look at good communication, palliative and end-of-life care plus positive risk-taking.

​Contact Y&HMemberLearning@unison.co.uk to book your place

Interview Skills:  23rd September at 1.30pm – 2.45pm

Recognise different types of interviews you may encounter. Understand what employers look for in an interview and deconstructing interview questions.

Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Hope Not Hate – Unconscious Bias:  24th September, choice of 10.00am – 11.30am or 1.30pm – 3.00pm 
This workshop’s purpose is for participants to explore how various structural biases and social power dynamics act in maintaining inequality and analyse the effect these have in the workplace.  
Visit  https://yorks.unison.org.uk/events/ to complete the form and register your interest

Confidence Building: 27th September at 1.30pm – 2.30pm

Exploration of what confidence looks like and ideas and tips for addressing your own confidence.
Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Strategies for Stress: Looking after Your Wellbeing: 30th September at 1.00pm – 2.00pm 

Identify sources of stress and hindrances to your wellbeing.  Consider a range of strategies for keeping stress at bay and stress reduction tips.
Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Managing Your Financial Well-Being Webinar with Lighthouse Financial: 4th October at 10.30am – 11.30am 

A look at financial well-being and how to work towards it and the impact of financial worries on our general wellbeing.

Contact Clarice Head on clarice.head@quilter.com to book your place

Pre-Retirement workshops

I am pleased to advise you that we still have spaces on the following Pre-Retirement On-Line Workshops.  These workshops are for UNISON members who plan to retire within the next 18 months.

The dates for this training are:

  • Pre-Retirement Workshop for Local Government Pension Scheme Members – 1 October 2021
  • Pre-Retirement Workshop for Local Government Pension Scheme Members – 3 October 2021

The online workshops are run by True Bearing Chartered who will make you aware of your choices and aid you in your decision making around retirement.

The workshops will be run via Teams and will take place from 13.00pm – 15.40pm.

By the end of the workshop you will be able to:

• Create your own route path from the world of work to the world of retirement

• Identify changes in both pensions and financial regulations which will affect your retirement decisions

• Identify the long term issues affecting your retirement

• Identify personal and lifestyle actions which will help to improve your retirement

• Start the process of planning for a successful retirement

To be eligible you need to have plans to retire within the next 12-18 months.

To apply please complete the online form at: Pre-Retirement Workshop for Local Government Pension Scheme Members | UNISON Yorkshire & Humberside

CV and Application forms:  4th October at 10.30am – 11.45am

Gain confidence to build, update and tailor your CV. Also understand what employers are looking for when screening CVs from job applicants.

Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Poems for Change – 7 October 2021( 10 am – 1 pm)

A national online “Poems for Change” course for members on National Poetry Day – 7 October 2021 (10 am – 1 pm).

The workshop is free to members and the session will be delivered by Hydrocracker – who ran the previous popular workshop – via Zoom.

For more information:  Poems for Change poetry workshop

Get Online:  7, 14, 21 October at 6.00pm – 8.00pm (three Thursday evenings)

This course will ease you into the world of online communication. Learn how to access and use online meeting tools such as Zoom and Teams plus explore the fundamentals of some learning platforms.

Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Assertiveness (bitesize): 11th October at 6.00pm – 7.00pm 

An opportunity to explore times and places you would like to be more assertive and to build the strategies to do so.
Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Introduction to Mindfulness: 12th October at 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Understand what mindfulness is and the benefits of practising it regularly including some short mindfulness exercises.
Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Dementia (Open University): 14 October at 9.30am – 1.00pm

​Define dementia with types and causes and how dementia affects the way a person behaves and functions.
Contact Y&HMemberLearning@unison.co.uk to book your place

Autism Understood: 14th October at 1.00pm – 2.00pm

Gain an understanding of autism and look at workplace barriers for those who are autistic.

Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

Introduction to Mindfulness: 19th October at 12.30pm – 1.30pm

Understand what mindfulness is and the benefits of practising it regularly including some short mindfulness exercises.

Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place

21st Century Job search and the Hidden Jobs Market:  21st October at 1.30pm – 2.45pm

Understand how employers tend to promote their vacancies. Receive hints and tips on how to plan your job search.

Contact Rose Bent on r.bent@unison.co.uk to book your place



We’re joining National Numeracy for #Checktember! Boosting number skills is a great way to feel prepared to progress your career, so we’re encouraging everyone to try the #NationalNumeracyChallenge. Give it a go Click here

Skills Academy

Access to over 600 free online courses, full list here  Courses are CPD and ROSPA accredited. Find out more and register here:  https://learning.unison.org.uk/skills-academy/

Distance Learning

Accredited Level 2 fully funded courses in partnership with local colleges.  Due to changes in funding in some parts of the region these will be Bradford College (West Yorkshire area), The RNN Group (South Yorkshire area) and Leicester College (all other areas in the region).  To find out more and how to apply, contact Rose on r.bent@unison.co.uk

For further details of courses available please visit  Member learning Autumn 2021 programme


Cleaners employed by the University of Sheffield are calling on the university’s management to deliver an hourly wage of £10 an hour.

Unite representatives have handed over a pledge to senior management. The pledge from the cleaners is a clear commitment that they are prepared to ‘take action for better pay and conditions’.

Most cleaners work a 20 hour week, which means it would take them almost 30 years to earn vice chancellor Koen Lambert’s annual £285,000 salary. The workers’ currently earn just £9.52 an hour and most take home just £9,900 a year. The University employs around 300 cleaners who are overwhelmingly women.

The campaign is being backed by local Labour MPs Paul Blomfield MP (Sheffield Central), Olivia Blake MP (Sheffield Hallam) and Louise Haigh MP (Sheffield Heeley).

Please sign and support the petition


A few days ago the Vice Chancellor sent an email to all staff to inform us that negotiations in the 2021/2022 pay round had concluded with UCEA – the employers’ organisation for Higher Education – making a final offer of 1.5% for the majority of staff (with more, on a sliding scale, for those lower on the pay scale).  The University intends to impose this offer in August.

UNISON’s position is that this offer falls far short of the pay claim that the joint trade unions submitted.    Last year (2020/2021) the employers imposed a pay freeze (UNISON is still in dispute about this) as a ‘reward’ for the exceptional hard work HE staff put in during the first year of the pandemic, which itself came after a decade of derisory pay awards.

UNISON is now asking members to say whether they accept or reject the 2021/2022 pay offer.

UNISON’s Higher Education Service Group Executive is recommending that members reject the 2021/2022 pay offer.   If you vote to reject the offer, you need to be prepared to take part in sustained strike action in order to improve the offer.

To emphasise: this is a consultation exercise, not an industrial action ballot.  The result of the consultation will be considered by the Service Group Executive.   If industrial action is to be taken, a formal postal ballot of members would then take place, with a 50% turnout required for a valid vote for action.

The 2021/2022 pay offer consultation will begin on Monday 24th May, closing on Friday 18 June.

All eligible members will receive an email with a link enabling you to vote in the consultation anonymously.   It will also be possible to vote online even if you don’t get an email (perhaps because you have not given UNISON permission to contact you in this way).   Any new members joining before 4th June will be sent a voting link by email.

Remember that you can update some of your personal details in the UNISON membership system here:  https://my.unison.org.uk/.

For more information see:  https://www.unison.org.uk/at-work/education-services/about/higher-education/fair-pay-for-he/


From Tuesday 4th May, ballot papers began to appear through UNISON members’ letter boxes for the elections to the UNISON National Executive Council, the body which makes the decisions on how the Union is run at a national level.

These are very important elections and we would urge you to read the material that you will receive and to use your vote.

Note that you are entitled to vote in all the elections for seats listed on your ballot paper, regardless of seat type.

The ballot closes on the 27th May so you should aim to get your ballot paper in the post by the 24th May to ensure it arrives on time.

If you haven’t received your ballot paper by the 13th May, then you should contact the ballot helpline operated by UNISONdirect, on the following telephone number: 0800 0 857 857.

More information regarding the elections can be read here (https://www.unison.org.uk/about/our-organisation/lay-structure-democracy-and-elections/current-elections/national-executive-council-elections-2021/)


SHU Branch nominated the following candidates who have a track record of leadership and fighting for members. They stand for transforming UNISON by:

Creating real change to win for members.

  • Redirecting Union resources to branches, to better support you at work.
  • Coordinating serious national action on pay and to defend pensions.
  • Fighing employers’ ‘fire and re-hire’ tactics, worsening our terms & conditions
  • A greater focus on Covid-19, to better support members’ safety.
  • Fighting against the scourges of racism, and all forms of discrimination.
  • Prioritising UNISON’s role in fighting the climate emergency


Greta Holmes Female seat
Sarah Littlewood Female seat
Theresa Rollinson Reserved seat
Tony Wright Male seat
Sandy Nicoll Higher Education – general seat
Kath Owen Higher Education – female seat
Julia Mwaluke Black members’ seats – reserved seat
Nimisha Trivedi Black members’ seats – female seat
Paula Carlyle Disabled members’ seats – female seat
Sharron Nicoll Disabled members’ seats – general seat
Lilly Boulby Young members’ – female seat
Kiera Hilder Young members’ – general seat

 Please use your vote!


UNISON currently has eleven stewards who have been elected to represent members across the University.

To see who your local representatives are, see:  https://unisonshu.org.uk/contacts/.

But we need more!    Most constituencies do not have their full complement of stewards, and some constituencies are without representation at all.  Stewards do a great job on your behalf, and more stewards could do an even better job.

Workplace stewards are at the heart of our union. They are your first point of contact where you work, and they work hard to make your voice heard and make your workplace a fairer and better place to work.

Stewards get the satisfaction of supporting colleagues, but can also gain new skills and experience that might be hard to pick up any other way.  You will also receive excellent training in the role from the Union, support from the Branch, and you are allowed paid time off work to carry out union duties.


·        Participating in a range of activities including organising, recruiting and representing UNISON members.

·        Being involved in how the Sheffield Hallam University UNISON branch is run.

·        Being the first and main point of contact for members in your constituency.

·        Supporting and advising members on workplace issues, both individual and collective.

·        Acting as a spokesperson for the members in your constituency and informing and involving members in branch activities.

Not sure if it’s for you?  Read on…

“But I don’t have the skills!”

Here are six common worries you may have about becoming a steward – and why it’s not as scary as you might think.

1. I don’t do public speaking…

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

2. 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.

3. I don’t do campaigning…

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

4. I don’t do recruitment…

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

5. I don’t organise meetings…

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

6. 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!


Should you wish to find out more about becoming a steward, please contact one of our current Stewards or Branch Officers, or for more information visit


If you want to stand, you will need to get elected.

Complete a Steward Nomination Form (available here: ​doc icon Shop_Steward_Nomination_Form_2021.doc– which requires two members of your constituency to nominate you.  The form should then be emailed back to UNISON administrator Joanne Ward.

If you are unsure of the UNISON members in your constituency please email Joanne Ward who will able to contact members on your behalf.

Your nomination will then be circulated to members in your constituency and provided no objections are received you will be deemed elected, otherwise an election will be held.


At our AGM earlier this year, the following were elected to Branch Officer positions:

Dan J Bye – Branch Secretary

Tracey Holland – Branch Chair

Blodwen Grayhurst – Treasurer

Lucinda Wakefield – International Officer / Acting Health & Safety Officer

Anna Wiggins – Women’s Officer

Ana Yousaf – Equality Officer

But a number of Officer positions remain unfilled and are empty posts.  They are:

Vice Chair

Communication Officer

Membership Officer

Welfare Officer

Education Officer

Young Persons’ Officer

The more posts we can fill, the more the Branch can achieve, so we are keen to hear from members who are interested in taking up these opportunities.   They are a great way of developing your own skills and experience, as well as making a contribution to the union’s collective strength.   Each Officer role has a particular specialism, but Officers can also get involved in case work and negotiation more generally.

Remember, paid time off is allowed to carry out union duties, and training and support is available for the roles from UNISON and the Branch.

To find out more about the purpose of the roles, see:  https://www.unison.org.uk/about/our-organisation/activists/branch-roles/.

Between AGMs, the Branch Committee can co-opt any member who is eligible to most of the vacant posts. So if you are interested please get in touch with Dan Bye, Branch Secretary, or another Branch Officer, for a chat!


Hi there, as women’s officer, I would like to take some time for each newsletter to focus on a subject regarding issues relating to women, either directly or indirectly related to our working lives.

The pandemic has been hard on us all, yet it has been especially difficult for those living and working within the home, surrounded by the threat of domestic abuse.

Support organisations have seen an escalation of users accessing their services. They are still there, and ready to help.

For those seeking it, there are several ways in which to gain support and help in less obvious ways than a phone call in a compromised location. 

 The Bright Sky app – https://www.hestia.org/brightsky – looks like a weather app and has info both for those experiencing domestic abuse, and people who might be concerned about someone else. It has a directory of services available nearby.

Please consider if the mobile phone is being monitored before downloading.

‘Silent Solution’.  If you are in danger, but unable to talk, or disclose you are talking to emergency services, you can dial 999 in the normal way, then press ‘55’ instead of talking. You will be transferred to the police, who will guide you through either yes and no answers or asking you to type your response.

Iphones have a SOS feature, where you can share your location with police. The article below gives instructions   – https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/emergency-iphone-sos-police-b1815887.html

Ask for Ani (Action Needed Immediately) is a government scheme, where support can be sought in a pharmacy by asking Ani. Participating pharmacies should have posters advertising the service.

Anna Wiggins