Sussex University Frontline & Other Stories

Rounding up a few of this weeks “Campaign Against Fees & Cuts” action.Short Summary or go to the full version:
Download this summary as a Word file Sussex University Frontline Summary 

The Sussex Occupation
The Sussex occupation was in support of the Sussex Six,- but also demanded the university reverse its plans to make 115 teaching staff redundant and make 8million pounds of cuts over the next two years. On Friday, an open letter signed by students and SU officers urged University employees earning over 70,000 per annum to take a “voluntary 10% pay cut, in order to help protect the welfare of all staff and students.

At the EGM 18th March, over 1000 students voted overwhelmingly “No Confidence” in the Vice Chancellor and the Senior Management. Many students joined the picket lines at the front of the University as lecturers and workers closed down the campus with strike action. As a result, management agreed to extend the consultation period regarding the cuts until June 7th. Letter sent by Sussex University Student Union to every student, urging support for the UCU strike.

Newcastle University’s Free Education Network held a rally against cuts 18th March, as a shot across management’s bows. The University is rumoured to be planning in secret cuts across all its departments.

On Wednesday March 17th students at the University of Aberdeen held a demonstration in defence of education on campus. It followed the collection of over 1500 signatures on a petition demanding the university management gives assurances that budgets at the University will not be cut. The students complained that theses cuts come as the Principle, Duncan Rice is reciceving a 17% salary increase.  On the 18th, The students returned to the University’s management offices for a twenty four hour occupation.

Last month, a mass meeting of students, lecturers and staff at Westminster University voted ‘no confidence’ in their Vice-Chancellor. This was their response to 10% budget cuts across the University with 280 job losses. On March 1st, 250 students and staff, against the cuts, stormed the governors’ meeting and took over the Vice Chancellor’s office. They occupied the University’s main management and administration rooms for three days. The Student Union, tried to play the impartial mediator between the University and the “No Cuts At Westminster” campaigners. We at SUACS find the Student Union’s attitude cowardly and distasteful in the face of such devestating cuts.

The students sent a letter to the Vice Chancellor, Geoffrey Petts demanding no compulsory redundancies; -all documents pertaining to the university’s finances be made freely available to the unions (UCU, Unison, Student Union) -and a guarantee that no staff or students involved in the demonstrations would face repercussions.

Leeds University
On 1st March, the anti-cuts campaign joined UCU members for a demonstration against cuts. The demonstration highlighted that the University was set to cut 35 million pounds off the budget- roughly 10% per school. The cuts will mean up to 700 job losses. A formal challenge accuses the senior management of bypassing The Senate, breaking the University’s charter and key statutes. There was a strike planned for the 18th March but it was called off after the UCU (lecturers union) had their demands met by university management.

 University Of East Anglia
At the University of East Anglia a well-attended protest on March 3rd was accompanied by a heavy police presence disgracefully called in by the university management. The UCU are currently voting in a strike ballot.

The government’s HEFCE announced its proposed funding cuts today. The cuts are small in comparison to the cuts made by many universities. University management teams are using this opportunity to make huge cuts of their own, in-order to restructure their universities and orientate them towards a financial competitiveness within a ‘free-market’ of education.

National Campaign Against Fees And Cuts