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Students occupy University of Sussex

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A number of students at the University of Sussex are occupying the university’s conference centre to protest plans to privatise support services at the university.

The university states that the plans involve improving its campus services by expanding them. University staff said that there would be no redundancies and that all staff would be transferred to new employers under legislation governing transfer of undertakings in the public sector.

Protestors have pushed for the university to immediately halt its plans and undertake "a full and proper democratic negotiation" with students and staff about the future of campus services.

The demonstrators said they resorted to the protest after their opinions were ignored. They said: "The management at Sussex have shown a blatant disregard for the views and wishes of the campus community in the way that they have instigated these proposals."

"The lack of transparency, and openness from a university that has a reputation as a "radical" institution, is tantamount to a management position which is eroding the spirit of Sussex.

"All methods used by staff and students to engage with management in discussion are being ignored."

The protesters are also asking for student and trade union representatives to be fully represented and informed during all stages of future processes and decision making.

A spokesman for the university said the students had been given access to food, water and toilets, and were free to leave whenever they wish. He said: "We're keeping the situation under review. The university campus continues to run as normal."




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