235 Support

Thursday 14 February

“Dear Occupiers….
Thank you for your hospitality this evening. The Bramber house conference centre has never felt so warm and welcoming. I was absolutely blown away by how much you have all achieved in one short week. For the first time since i was told my job was going to be outsourced (told, not consulted) i actually felt there was some hope that this privatisation can be stopped. You are all truly amazing and this action on your part is something that i, and many others on the staff at the Uni have been hoping for. Dont stop til you’ve won. You have management on the back foot and they are making mistakes. You are truly inspiring. Massive thanks to each and every one of you for your participation.
As one of the 235 I have never felt this fight was about pay, conditions or pensions. I was a student at sussex before working here and I stayed on campus after graduation because I liked the community; and it is that cooperation between students and staff that makes the campus what it is. I do not oppose the outsourcing for the sake of the 235, or for the sake of the 12,000 students currently enrolled. I oppose it on behalf of the numberless students of future generations who won’t have the opportunities i did to build meaningful friendships with the cleaners, porters, building managers, housing assistants and so on. I oppose it because as a member of staff i don’t want my hands tied by corporate policy or cost effectiveness, quotas and profit margins, dictated by some faceless soulless beaurocrat when it comes to helping people out…Of course that is the Sussex that Michael Farthing and John Duffy were sent here to create; and that is why i hope that you don’t stop fighting (peacefully) until they see clearly that there is no place for people like them on this campus and that the only sensible thing for them to do is put their hands up, admit they are wrong, apologise and leave.
Keep up the good work…And if they don’t want to let me keep my job for having just said that, then it only goes to prove that they are not the kind of people who should be in charge of your university and education. Yours in solidarity”

Monday 18 February:

“To the students who are occupying Bramber House Conference Centre,
I have worked at Sussex for over ten years and I am good friends with a number of staff that are working in areas which would be affected by outsourcing. They don’t want to work for an external company. It’s not good for them, it’s not good for our services and it’s not good for our students.
Thank you for putting yourselves in the limelight and shouting loud that you are not happy with managements proposals to oursource campus services. Your passion and fight is an inspiration which I hope will encourage more affected staff to join one of the campus unions enabling them to strike with support to end this outragious attack on our University.
In solidarity
Anon (UNISON member and staff)”

Tuesday 19 February

“Hi guys !
I just wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ for your actions and support – not only during the occupation but generally too.
Thanks to you the ‘divide-and conquer’ tactics of a few in the administration are floundering because now we no longer seem alone. The growing fear that our feelings of community were somehow outdated and of no regard or import to anyone has proven to be unfounded.
We feel appreciated by you – our real ‘customers’.
Despite the spin by the VC, windows on campus are now beginning to reflect the true opposition from the silent majority with the yellow flyers of support, so please continue to promote those and hang in there for as long as you can.
Thank you so very much once again.

A grateful member of staff.

From a member of the 235”

Wednesday 20 February

“Dear all,
I wanted to let you know how impressed and appreciative I am regarding your occupation and ongoing support. Thank you for your time, energy, helping raise media coverage and even getting Noam Chomsky’s attention! I was quoting him in my A-level essays back in the early 90’s and can’t believe he’s still alive, let alone visiting campus to show his support.
I’ve been delivering course packs and internal mail (amongst other things) around campus for 13yrs and am deeply worried/unhappy about the outsourcing – I believe it’s morally corrupt, and I for fear of my job conditons and security. I also think the University and student experience will be affected negatively. Knowing you guys are behind us in resisting the outsourcing is a comfort and well, at the risk of repeating myself, THANK YOU all.

1 of 235”

Wednesday 20 February

“I’m one 235, your support means everything, loving your work guys :-)”

Monday 25 February

Café workers can be moved around so they don’t work in any one café for long. Now they aren’t even informed of any changes, it appears on their rota.

From two café workers:

“ It could seem like a small thing, moving an employee to a different cafe on campus… but after years of building a rapport with customers and colleagues, to have your place of work changed, with no consultation, and only be informed via a rota change, demonstrates an appalling lack of consideration for the employee or even the most basic level of the respect or appreciation.

The only logical motivation for treating your employees with such blatant disrespect, is that the management WANT the current staff to feel helpless and insignificant enough that they either leave or submit willingly to any conditions and treatment that the management sees fit to inflict upon them. ”

“ It’s to make the catering services look more appealing to the potential buyers. It works in 2 ways:

1) The current staff will be unhappy at how they are being treated and therefore more willing to accept the pay offs they are offering and leave. This leaves behind only the staff that will willingly be beaten and not cause any trouble for the new private owners.

2) The staff are able to cover all the different cafes (rather than only working in 1 and actually forming relationships with customers and putting their own personality into it – grrrrr). Doing this means they don’t need to pay wait staff to cover when people are ill or extra hours etc. so they save money in wages and the business looks more profitable. Also all the cafes will be standardised so there won’t be variation in what they provide… Just beaten robots serving them”

Wednesday 27 February

We are one! We refuse as staff affected by the vceg plans to politicize education! education is for all, demonstration is for all and as the vc says this is a legal occupation! We need everyone on this page to support the 235 and spread the word! ! Love to the occupiers from the 235 , keep fighting! !!”

Tuesday 19 March

“Just wanted to send a quick message to show support for what you guy’s are doing.

I worked in the very room you are currently occupying (bramber house) and left last year when they announced the privatisation, the whole processes execution was deceitful and underhanded.

Initially they fought to change the facility and catering staffs contracts then within weeks of the contract changes passing (after a cash incentive had been paid) they announced the privatisation plans, something which had never been discussed prior to us agreeing to sign up for the contract changes. Had we known that this change to working conditions were a precursor to the larger plan and one that was aimed at making the facilities a more attractive investment opportunity it may have been a harder fought issue.

It as I see it is a grossly unfair approach towards staff to offer a new contract that wasn’t favourable for the staff under the guise of internal restructuring which has ramifications to there lives that are greater than the changes they had agreed to. How can it be seen as fair to ask people to make a decision that when they can’t factor in the entire picture. A decision that for many of the staff who have children has huge ramifications.

Ok not such a quick message but keep fighting guys, me and many ex-sussex staff support you.”

Tuesday 2 April

Lots of love and respect to all who have occupied and fought for freedom of speech, freedom to protest, and fought against the privatisation of 235 people’s jobs and against the storm of privatisation about to hit all in the higher education sector . Your fight has not been in vain, the support world wide from students academics and others will make sure the next step in the campaign, The popup union and affected staff pressure on the 3 recognised unions (ucu, unite and unison) to take legal strike action, will keep our plight in the headlines and force management, to give up their UN supported privatisation plans.

Tuesday 2 April



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