Students occupy Senate House in London…send messages of support

4 December 2013

An independent network of over 100 students is occupying the headquarters of the University of London at Senate House. We can be contacted at londonoccupation@gmail.com and 07754768945

 

We have taken over the main management corridor and the Vice Chancellor’s office in opposition to the way our university is being run and the way the higher education sector as a whole is controlled. This action is restorative; displacing the undemocratic and unaccountable management with a democratic space for the free pursuit of knowledge, critical enquiry and dissent. University of London management is behaving in a disgraceful and unaccountable manner, and we have no choice but to take direct action.

 

We are inspired by the actions of our striking staff – both in the fair pay strike and in the 3 Cosas campaign – and by the wave of student occupations across the country.

 

We will not leave under our demands are met:

 

1. That all outsourced workers at the university are awarded a pension, and have improved sick pay and holiday pay so that it is in line with that of in house staff. The University of London should recognise the IWGB as the representative union of their outsourced workers.

 

2. That the University of London Union (ULU) remains in student hands – democratically run by students – and has its block grant returned.

 

3. That the Garden Halls – Hughes Parry hall, Commonwealth hall, and Canterbury hall are not outsourced, and that there are no job losses there. UoL halls should have their prices reduced to less than the annual undergraduate maintenance loan (currently £4988/annum).

 

4. That the University of London, makes a public statement opposing the privatisation of student loans, and Adrian Smith – the Vice-Chancellor of the university of London – should sign up to the Council in Defence of British Universities and the Campaign for the Public University.

 

5. That the University of London write to the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) to ask that they concede to the demands of striking HE workers in Unite, Unison and UCU for fair pay.

 

6. That the pay ratio between the lowest paid and the highest paid staff in the university should be reduced to a maximum of 10:1.

 

7. That financial statements of the University’s academic departments and non-academic services should be published so that they can be scrutinised so that the University’s decisions can be properly held to account by the community. In addition, that the university produces a publicly available Ethical Investment and Procurement Policy which is reported on annually with plenty of opportunity of engagement with staff, students and the wider community.

 

8. That students and staff are allowed free access in and out the occupation and senate house – with the exception of senior management.

 

9. That the university refuses to admit the Police into Senate House and refuses to collaborate with any requests by the police for information regarding this action.

10: That there are no disciplinary actions undertaken by the university against any student or staff member participating in this action

3 comments

  1. William Edmondson said:

    Courageous – keep going.

    4 December 2013 at 6:26pm
  2. Isobel Urquhart said:

    you have my total support. The increasingly authoritarian behaviour of universities towards their own students, the suppression of legitimate protest, the complete acquiescence of the universities to privatisation of student loans, their willingness to make job cuts, introduce casualised and precarious working conditions, and underpay workers in the university – as well as their outrageous collusion with police interference in the university space and in the democratic and free exchange of ideas and protest are why your action today – and in many other universities – is so important. I wish you all well and hope many more students and academics will join your protest as well as the demonstration today in London.

    5 December 2013 at 11:43am
  3. Dr Michael Hrebeniak said:

    A thousand thanks for your courageous resistance to the latest manifestation of the neo-liberal insurrection–& the meshing of young people within the terminal paralysis of global debt finance. You are taking great risks, but this is what it means to be fully alive & I support you entirely.

    5 December 2013 at 12:01pm

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