Win for Sheffield University Students' Union workers

Unite victory for workers on zero hours at Sheffield University Students' Union

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Members of Unite employed by the Students Union at Sheffield University have won a significant victory on zero hours and sick pay following a year long campaign.

Hundreds of student workers, on precarious contracts, employed by Sheffield Students’ Union have been calling on management to address its sick pay policy and the use of zero hours.

COVID 19 prompted the workers’ union Unite to step up its call to management to introduce sick pay entitlements for casual staff in line with full time staff, and to end poor employment practices.

The board of trustees have now voted to support the union’s proposals which include minimum hours for current and future staff and full sick pay after 12 weeks service.

Unite regional officer Harriet Eisner said, “Unite is delighted that the management of the Students’ Union has agreed to improve the terms and conditions of their casual workers. Sheffield Students Union have done the right thing by leading the way for casual workers. Unite has always campaigned for better contracts for these workers and now they will have proper contracts throughout their employment and will be eligible for sick pay. These are important cornerstones of collective bargaining and important gains for our members.”

Unite Sheffield Students union representative Lois McCallum added, “The trade union movement was new to me 18 months ago. I had never belonged to a union but together we have ensured that precarious workers at the Students Union now have secure employment and more rights. We have proved that through careful planning and organising we can win for workers.”

The workers are employed in the Sheffield Students’ Union’s bars, cafes, shops and night spots which serve over 29,000 students. Sheffield Students’ Union (Sheffield SU) gets significant funding from the University of Sheffield.

By Ciaran Naidoo

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