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Occupy Sussex takes control of lecture hall to support staff strike

Posted on Wednesday, 30 October by

Occupy Sussex Mar25 Stefan Filby

The University of Sussex will be in the headlines again after the Occupy Sussex campaign, which was brought to an abrupt halt by university management earlier this year, has taken control of a lecture theatre in solidarity with teaching strikes that will take place tomorrow.

Hundreds of students were evicted from a conference centre in the University of Sussex earlier this year after leading an occupation in protest at plans to privatise non-teaching services at the institution. This latest occupation from the Sussex Against Privatisation campaign comes in support of a higher education staff strike.

In a statement released just moments ago, Sussex Against Privatisation said:

We fully encourage all students and lecturers scheduled to take part in lectures here today to come and join us. It is in no way our intention to disrupt your learning, and we have not disrupted any academic events today. Unfortunately, Estates and Facilities Management are attempting to stop people from getting in, but we highly encourage everyone to come along! We have ensured open access to the building and everyone is welcome!”

The one-day strike by university staff comes in protest at an offered pay rise of just 1%, which is claimed to represent a wage cut of 13% in real terms since 2008. This is in stark contrast to the pay rises enjoyed by university management in 2011/12, which equated on average to £5,000.

The University of Sussex began the process of outsourcing campus services in May 2012 and it will continue into the early part of 2014. The plans were met with widespread criticism from the student body and academic thinkers, with the Sussex Against Privatisation campaign leading an occupation of a conference centre at the University of Sussex that lasted for eight weeks.

Read the full statement from Sussex Against Privatisation on the latest occupation here.

Image: Stefan Filby

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Corey Pellatt
22-year-old editor of SQ Magazine and Media Studies student at the University of Sussex. Freelance writer for clients including BHAFC.

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