Students against Cuts force meeting with VC after occupying his office floor
Security were called
This morning a group of approximately 15 students occupied the entrance to Sir Christopher Snowden's office to express solidarity with striking staff and to raise a series of demands to university management.
Security were present but according to Students against Cuts were largely supportive and no physical altercations took place.
The group demanded the following:
Reduce the VC's salary from the current £433,000 annually.
Scrap the proposed changes to the PASNAS and USS pension schemes including the switch from defined benefit to defined contribution schemes.
Introduce a moratorium (a suspension) on all staff cuts.
The occupation ended with the VC meeting with students where these demands were discussed.
The press release given to us by Southampton Students Against University Cuts, says that:
"Snowden was largely roundabout, sticking to the standard management line and bogging himself down in how UUK makes decisions. His answers were largely meaningless"
The University have responded saying:
"The VC is always keen to hear from students, and in fact, over the recent weeks has personally written to over 200 students who have contacted him about a range of subjects…He holds regular student forum sessions throughout the year at which all students are welcome"
"Universities, Vice-Chancellors' and local UCU representatives are not directly involved in USS negotitations. The decision ultimately rests with USS (Universities Superannuation Scheme). The VC has regularly and consistently given his public support for meanigful talks…This point was reiterated just this morning on SUSSED."
The students are now calling for a public, student-organised, town hall meeting to address concerns from both students and staff in a public forum.
Videos of the meeting will be published on the groups Facebook page here.