SUCU Branch News 30 Oct 2014

USS assessment boycott to start 6 Nov

UCU members in 69 UK universities will begin an assessment boycott on Thursday 6 November. The assessment boycott will stop students being set coursework or receiving formal marks and feedback, as well as halting exams.

UCU press release.

Bullying & Harassment Awareness Day tomorrow

The campus unions will be holding a stall on the concourse on Friday 31 October between 12 and 2pm to raise awareness around bullying and harassment in the workplace and how to tackle these serious issues. We are working with the HR team to develop new policies for the University on this theme and welcome your input. Please get in touch by email or drop by the stall. We welcome volunteers to help staff the stall on the day!

​Bullying in academia – Guardian Higher Education Network article

Members are encouraged to read this article about bullying in academia and complete the Guardian survey.  The survey is anonymous and aimed at professionals (both academics and support staff) working in universities in the UK and overseas who have been / are being bullied. It should take no more than a few minutes to complete.   The findings will be published on the Guardian Higher Education Network.

A short survey on workplace cyber harassment

We are aware of this study which has been ethically approved by the Sheffield University Management School.  The survey asks about your experiences of negative work-related behaviour both face-to-face and via technologies (which can include text messaging; pictures/photos/video clips; phone calls; email; instant messaging; social networking websites; video software and general websites).

TUC “Pensions for All” seminar 19 November 2014

The regional TUC equality fora, led by the Retired Members’ Forum, are holding a seminar on pensions aimed at pensioners, pension activists and working members who will also be affected by the implications of the 2014 Pensions’ Act. Speakers include Bryn Davies and Dot Gibson. See attached flyer and registration form. Venue: The Tramways Club, 1 Mill Street, York YO1 9PY.

Help to stop anti-choice campaigners who are threatening to close down abortion services

There has been a significant upsurge in anti-abortion protests by a group called Abort67 over the last couple of weeks. This is a group which protests outside clinics with posters of aborted foetuses and which aggressively accosts and harasses women trying to access clinics.  They have recently targeted an NHS clinic in Southwark which is deeply worrying – it is not just that they are harassing women, staff and members of the public near clinics – they are trying to prevent women having any access to abortion services in the local area full stop. If they were successful in closing down the service, this would set a worrying new precedent in the UK. Our friends at Abortion Rights (to which UCU is affiliated to) have set up a petition.

Stonewall LGBT survey

We would encourage members to complete the Stonewall survey recently circulated by the University to hear from staff about their views and experiences of LGBT equality at work. Please use the University of Sheffield Three Digit Code: 719.