Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas has lent her support to students at the University of Sussex who are fighting against decisions by University management to privatise many of the institution’s student services.
In May 2012, the University announced its intentions to outsource its facilities management and catering services to external providers by August 2013, which the University of Sussex Students’ Union (USSU) fears will lead to declining standards of service and could harm satisfaction amongst those studying at the institution.
Students have led the campaign to stop the impending privatisation with protests and the start of a petition, which Caroline Lucas has now added her name to along with 1,500 others. Lucas is also confirmed to have been in dialogue with Trade Unions on the issue and has written to University management outlining the concerns.
The MP has said: “I am concerned that the University of Sussex is proposing to outsource key services to a third party provider. Outsourcing is frequently seen as a way for organisations to increase efficiency and cut costs. The reality is that, all too often, staff lose out because of changes to pensions, working conditions and job-security.
“I fear that students may lose out too, if pressure to return a profit leads to private sector management putting less value on long-term investment. I have written to the University to raise my concerns about the proposal and support the petition for the University to engage with relevant parties to find an alternative solution.”
Sign the petition to stop privatisation at the University of Sussex here.