Letter to VC Koen Lamberts 14/09/2023

Dear Koen,
We are now just a couple of working days away from the start of local strike action at the University, which threatens significant disruption to new students’ induction and first impressions of the institution, and which will set the stage for yet another disrupted semester for everyone. In previous rounds of sector wide action, this university has publicly taken the position that there is nothing that can be done locally to resolve the issues underpinning the action; however, that is not true in this case, and the university has even made it clear in all staff communications that resolving this action is possible, and outlined one step which could be taken to do so.

At our meeting with Ian, Mary and Rob last week, having presented the position we had brought from our branch, they revealed that there was nothing that they were willing to offer to try to avert the strikes. This is hard to comprehend given the scale of what’s at stake. We left the meeting making it clear that we would be happy to meet at any point should you decide that there are matters on which you can engage.

With the strikes set to go ahead next week, we expect to be arranging regular meetings of our membership to discuss developments, which would allow us to put an offer from you to our members, should you be prepared to make one. In that spirit, should you be willing to meet to explore the ground that might lead to a resolution, we reiterate once again that we would be very happy to do so.

Kind regards,
Robyn Orfitelli, Branch President,
on behalf of the Sheffield UCU committee
Cc Ian Wright, Director of HR