Meet your committee

To help you get to know your UNISON committee you can take a look at our who we are and something about our trade union activism that is important to us.

Kit Eves
LGBT+ Officer

Who am I?

I’ve been at Sussex since 2009 working in roles in a School Office and the library. I stood for LGBT+ Officer because the attacks on LGBT+ rights the past 10 years has only intensified, especially for our trans and non-binary comrades. I want to see Sussex keep to its historical, radical roots and fight for progressive transformation (and not just in the workplace). 

Why is strike action important?

Collective solidarity and action works! It’s the most powerful tool workers have at their disposal to improve their working conditions and our employers are terrified of what we can do when we work together.  

Together we are stronger.  

Gemma Harman
Deputy Chair

Who am I? 

I have worked in Higher Education since 2009 and at Sussex for five years, firstly as School Administrator and now as Senior Research Manager in the Science cluster. I stood for Deputy Branch Chair because I believe strongly in collective solidarity, support and action and the work of Unison at Sussex. I believe in people power and collaboration to achieve wide reaching results and want to work together to make Sussex a supportive workplace that prioritises staff experience and prides itself on equality for all. 

Why I believe in fairness. 

I am passionate about every staff member’s right to an excellent working experience. I believe you are all entitled to trained competent line manager and a consistent application of policy regardless of where in the university you work. I proactively work with HR and organisational development to identify and assess where the Sussex experience is not meeting your needs and I will lobby tenaciously to address any inequalities of policy, rules, or local policy that is impacting you as a member. 

Kathy O’Regan
Welfare Officer 

Who am I? 

I work in the Students Union as an adviser and have worked here since 2006. I wanted to be Welfare officer because I have many skills from my day job that help in this role and I also have a counselling background. I am passionate about mental health and well being and want to help members as much as I can. 

Why are unions so important? 

I joined Unison after some restructures at my employer which were stressful experiences, and I wanted extra support in case they happen again in future. I also value the rights that working people have fought for over the years- we wouldn’t have paid sick leave, equal pay, minimum wage, maximum working time and many other rights if it wasn’t for Union’s lobbying! 

Ruben Brett
Young Members’ Officer

Who am I? 

I’ve been working in the Student Centre since May 2022 – I’m on the front desk there most afternoons, so feel free to come and say hi! I stood for Young Members’ Officer because I want to support other young Sussex staff to get active in making our workplace (and society) a better and fairer place. Within UNISON a young member is anyone aged 30 or under, so if that includes you then please get in touch. 

Why is strike action so important? 

Strike action allows us to put pressure on senior leadership to do better, and to reward us more fairly for our work – which keeps the University running every day. Our salaries haven’t kept pace with inflation, which should be the bare minimum, so it’s time we do something about it collectively. We should also remember our strike action is part of a wider social struggle for justice – we’re not alone. Unity is strength! 

Chloe Jacob
Communications Officer

Who am I?

I’ve worked at the University since 2017, and I am currently the Events Officer within the Careers and Entrepreneurship Team. I’ve really enjoyed being part of the UNISON committee and becoming an activist – it has given me such a broader experience of work which I find extremely interesting and rewarding. Seeing the real and significant difference the union makes to staff and working life is inspiring. Getting stuck into my Communications Officer role has been great; reworking the website, social media channels and organising our communications strategy so you can get the most out of your membership.

What the trade union movement means to me

Being part of a trade union means you’re not only supported on a local level with your employer, but you’re engaged in something far wider reaching. UNISON has 1.3 million members across the public sector, meaning our memberships supports campaigns and the lobbying of causes we all really care about. I’m heartened to see the fantastic outcomes activists can achieve for their workplace, with equality, fair conditions and dignity in the workplace is the core of what we do.

Tom Vidler
Health and Safety Officer

Who am I? 

I have worked at both universities in Brighton since 2016. I started working in estates, doing accommodation maintenance, but over the past year I have worked an admin role in the MPS School Office. I’ve always been active in my local union wherever I’ve worked, and in March I became a steward and H&S officer so that I could be a better source of solidarity and assistance for my fellow workers. 

Health and safety and its radical history 

Health and Safety is important to all workers, and we all have the right to work in a safe environment. This right was only won in the 20th century by the collective action of unions. It is important that we continually seek to improve conditions in the workplace so that they can be accommodating for all types of people, lowering the barriers for more marginalised and vulnerable groups.

This is only possible when we organise and act together!