Five Suspended! Thousands Strike! And One Undelivered Yacht!
The Occupy movement has merged with the recent strikes to make themselves heard.
Teachers, staff and students from the Universities of Brighton and Sussex took part in a national one-day strike against University employers on Tuesday.
John Duffy, Sussex’s registrar, has deemed previous protests as “trouble”. In reaction to this regime, the East Slope porter has requested that Mr. Duffy should “violate yourself brutally with a pineapple”. It is believed Jon (the porter) will no longer be working for the university for some reason.
A lecturer at the University of Brighton this week revealed that the majority of teachers in their department are working almost double their contracted weekly hours out of necessity. This means that for many, their rate of pay equates to little more than £1 per hour.
The tabled offer was a 1% increase in wages, (which in reality is not an increase at all as inflation is over 2%) this amounts to a 13% pay cut since 2008. Higher management, on the other hand, are getting a 6% pay increase. The employers describe their offer as ‘sustainable, fair and final’. The staff describe the offer as disrespectful.
The strike itself has grown in support from the one that took place in October; all entrances onto Sussex University and Brighton University’s Falmer Campus were occupied with picket lines by crowds of staff and students sporting banners and diverting traffic.
“The support has been great” said one student, who was also taking part in the latest Occupy Sussex effort, “we’ve had a lot students, delivery men and other workers drive up to us and talk to us who were unaware of the strike but they’ve turned their car around rather than break our picket line in support of what we’re doing”.
A yacht being delivered to campus even got turned away; some speculate this was for Michael Farthing and John Duffy’s romantic Christmas get-away, whilst others suggest it was meant to be a new addition to the Falmer House moat.
Later that day, after the success of the strike, members of the various unions gathered at Brighton’s Victoria Gardens for a peaceful rally and an opportunity to discuss the next steps in their on-going feud with their employers.
In the aftermath of the strike it has been revealed that five students, labelled as “leading figures” in the movement and occupation of the University of Sussex, have been suspended. According to members of the Occupy Sussex group, they have been singled out for “persistent disruption of the university operation” and banned from the Sussex campus. Whilst the official line says they have been suspended because they are “a threat” and “a potential hazard”.
In reaction to this, a demonstration was staged yesterday with full support from the Students Union, it is believed over 500 turned up, with another 300 continuing today.