Student-organised demonstration takes place at University of Sussex
By: James Hakner
Last updated: Thursday, 15 March 2018
A student-organised demonstration took place at the University of Sussex today in support of the ongoing UCU industrial action over pensions.
A few hundred people gathered at the University from around 1pm this afternoon, with the main march around campus ending in Library Square at approximately 2.30pm.
Some protestors have unlawfully entered the construction site at East Slope owned by Balfour Beatty and occupied a building still under construction.
Balfour Beatty are taking every necessary precaution to ensure the safety of the protestors and everybody on the site. However, as this is only a partially built building, there are obvious safety risks to the protestors and others.
The University is in constant contact with Balfour Beatty, who are taking steps to resolve this situation as soon as possible.
Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor, said: “With emotions running high at the moment, I am grateful to the vast majority of people at today’s demonstration for respecting our campus and community.
“I am concerned, however, for the protestors who have unlawfully entered the East Slope construction site. I hope that they will see that they are putting themselves and others in potential danger.”
The final day of the current round of UCU strike action takes place tomorrow (Friday 16 March). However, there is the possibility of further industrial action if a resolution to the dispute is not found. A proposal agreed by Universities UK and UCU negotiators at talks with the conciliation service Acas was rejected by UCU members this week.
Adam added: “This has been a hugely challenging time for everybody and I will be writing to all students and staff on Monday to share my thoughts on how we can move the situation forward. I will also be hosting some open events so that I can answer any questions.”