Student occupiers return to Senate House in support of outsourced workers
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Twenty students from the University of London have occupied Senate House as part of an ongoing campaign to end outsourcing at the University. The occupation began on 5th June in support of the outsourced workers' strike the following day. The occupiers left on the evening of 6th June to join the demonstration. In a statement, they demanded a clear commitment to bringing all outsourced workers in-house and end insecure contracts within the next 12 months. They also demanded that the University give workers a pay rise as promised in 2012 and that the right to protest is guaranteed at the University of London. The campaign against outsourcing at the University of London, led by the Independent Workers' Union of Great Britain (IWGB) and supported by student and trade union activists, has been ongoing since September 2017. The University had previously promised to bring the outsourced workers in-house over the next few years in response to the campaign, but the IWGB criticised the response severely, describing it as a "vague commitment" lacking in detail and containing an excessive number of caveats. Its General Secretary Dr Jason-Moyer Lee said then: "Until the University of London announces the termination of all outsourcing on a reasonable timescale, IWGB will continue to campaign." This latest student occupation comes on the heels of the recent disclosure by the University of London that it spent £415,000 on security during student protests in March and April alone. Nearly one-hundred thousand pounds (£99,690) was spent during a 10-day sit-inbetween 19th and 28th March. The increased security has led to incidents between protesters and security, with security staff drilling bolts onto emergency exits to lock occupiers in, as well as allegedly physically and sexually assaulting protesting students. In a statement released after the occupation, which saw the University of London concede to ending zero-hours contracts by autumn 2018 but not to the other demands, the occupiers promised further action "until every demand is met."
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