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UoL spent over £400k on extra security during peaceful protests at Senate House

Students and staff are still fighting in support of the university’s many outsourced workers


A Freedom of Information Act request has recently revealed that the University of London spent £415,134.88 on extra security to combat peaceful student and staff protests during March and April.

An article released by The Guardian revealed that for specific weeks between 19- 28 March (around the time of the main university strikes ending), "the university spent £99,690 on extra security guards".

The various protests, including a student occupation of Senate House library, took place in support of outsourced workers on strike demanding better and fairer working conditions from the university, with issues such as sick pay and zero hour contracts taking the forefront in the demonstrations.

Their spending has been met with criticism from students, staff and politicians, with the co-leader of the Green party, Jonathan Bartley, talking to The Guardian of his astonishment to "see a university which failed to give workers the pay it promised spend nearly £415,134 on security for a peaceful protest".

It would have been cheaper to just bring the workers in house..UoL managers blew £415,000 on a month of extra security…

Posted by Justice for University of London Workers on Monday, June 4, 2018

Bartley also spoke of the success of the protests, which pressured the university into deciding "to bring contracts of outsourced workers back in house. But if UoL wants to see an end to protest on its campus it must clarify the vague nature of its promise by giving a timeline for when this will happen".

A university spokesperson has responded to the criticism, claiming that the extra spending was in "order to ensure the safety and security of staff, students and visitors after a series of protests and attempts to occupy the building".

Although the university has agreed to bring all its outsorced workers in-house , protests are still being scheduled through the month of June in an attempt to ensure the changes are implemented as soon as possible.

The Tab King's have contacted Justice for University of London Workers for a comment.

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