Unions angry as more than 200 staff risk their jobs being outsourced

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Staff and students at the University of Sussex are today demonstrating in protest at plans to privatise the university’s catering, facilities and estates department.

The UCU, which is protesting alongside Unite, UNISON and the Students’ Union, say the changes will result in 235 members of staff having their jobs outsourced and making them employers of a private company, with a likely drop in pay and reduction of benefits.

The changes will affect staff across a range of services provided by the university including cleaners, post room workers, porters, security and catering staff.

The demonstrators will be outside Arts Piazza Cafe (one of the services under threat of privatisation) from 10am-3pm. There will be speakers, including representatives from the unions, at 1pm.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: “People employed by the University of Sussex want to remain staff of the institution. They do not want to see their contracts auctioned out to private firms. History tells us that private firms cut pay and benefits in their drive to make money, which results in a bad deal for the staff and a bad deal for those who use their services.

“The University of Sussex needs to think again. Knee-jerk reactions to try and save money in the short-term will do nothing for the university’s reputation in the long-term.”


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