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Call for Researcher Society reps

Many faculties now have internal researcher society committees which we are keen to keep in contact with by having an SUCU member sit on each.   Are you a member of one of these committees, or would you like to become one?  They are usually very pleased to add new members.    If so please email ucu@sheffield.ac.uk — it only takes an hour of every month or so would be extremely helpful to SUCU’s work with researchers.

Annual General Meeting this Thurs 12 June 1pm

We look forward to welcoming and hearing from our guest speakers Lambeth College strikers and Students Union Officers.  Its a great opportunity for us to offer our support to colleagues.  A collection towards the Lambeth College strike fund will also be taken.

This should be a lively meeting so please do come along.  In addition to our guest speakers business will include the election of next year’s Branch Committee and Branch Officers.

A sandwich lunch will be served at 12.45 and an Annual Report will be available on the day.  Venue:  Council Chamber, Octagon.

SUCU AGM agenda 12June2014

Lambeth College went on all out strike last Tuesday against terrible new contracts.  Read more and visit their website.

Please support the Lambeth campaign:

Lambeth indefinite strike to defend contracts – UCU DISPUTE OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

Members of UCU will begin indefinite strike action at Lambeth College on Tuesday 3 June.   Members will walk out next week and have vowed not to return to work until their increasingly bitter dispute over proposed changes to terms and conditions is resolved.

Read more…

Representatives of Lambeth UCU striking workers will be touring Yorkshire Branches next week and will be talking to us at our AGM next Thursday 12th June 1-2pm (Council Chamber, Octagon Centre).

Message from Mandy Brown, Lambeth College UCU Branch Secretary:

Dear colleagues

On behalf of our branch, thank you to everyone who was at Congress, and beyond, for the support and solidarity you have shown to our members, and the very generous donations we’ve received.

Lambeth Strike now has a website up and running here:   




And more pages are on the way.

Lambeth College has also produced its very own song, written, performed and recorded by UCU and Unison members!

Called ‘Gimme Some Education’ by Zero HRS, you can listen to and buy the track for £1 towards our hardship fund here: 


Please circulate to everyone you know and ask them to buy it.

And please sign the national UCU petition if you haven’t already done so


Many thanks

Mandy Brown

UCU NEC member

Branch Sec Lambeth College UCU


Number 1 for student experience… and solidarity

We are very pleased the University has won the THE Number 1 for Student Experience award. It’s significant that Sheffield has won it as this is a University with a campaigning activist students union which has strongly supported the industrial action which staff have undertaken this year, while the survey was being done. The support from students during our dispute was great and very welcome. We are proud to have been working in solidarity with the Students Union, rejecting the view of students as ‘customers’ and welcoming them instead as part of our learning community and future colleagues.

Coping with casualisation

SUCU Lunchtime workshop: How do researchers and other casualised academics suffer from insecure contracts, and how do we cope with it?

Wed May 7, 1-2pm
TV Lounge, Octagon Centre, Western Bank S10 2TQ.

May 7 is National UCU Anti-casualisation Day and to mark it we are inviting all Sheffield researchers and other casualised academics to bring their lunch and their friends to discuss how casualisation has affected them and how they handle it.

Most of us got into academia on unrealistic expectations of career progression and teaching jobs, but the reality now is that most (5/6) of us will work on a series of casualised contracts well into our 40s, and often our 50s and beyond. Despite this, research is now big, well-funded business (200M/year at Sheffield) and has become a lifetime career for many of us.

How does casualisation affect your family life and productivity? Are you planning to stay “mobile”, and delay or avoid having children? Does this risk destroying your marriage or relationships with your kids, and are you concerned about the increased risks of health problems that are sometimes associated with delayed parenthood? Will your partner follow you around? Does regular redundancy make it harder to concentrate at work? How do we manage to collaborate with our colleagues when we know that we will be competing with them to get on the next grant? Or do you relish the idea of constant change and new places in your career, and want to share your tips on how to thrive as a casualised academic?

Please come along to discuss all this and more. Non-members welcome.