Sussex SU votes to support students demanding compensation from strikes

The strikes are set to take place from Thursday onwards

The University of Sussex Students' Union has voted to support individual students demanding compensation due to strike action and to support the creation of a ring-fenced hardship fund.

This evening, the Students' Union held an emergency council meeting to debate, and vote on, issues regarding the upcoming UCU strikes. The upcoming strikes are as a result of the Universities UK (UUK) move to change faculty pension schemes. According to the UUK website:

“Universities UK (UUK) wants to transform the scheme from a defined benefit scheme that gives a guaranteed retirement income to a defined contribution scheme where pension income is subject to changes in the stock market.”

The University and College Union (UCU) claims that these changes could result in lecturers losing £200,000 in retirement.

It was announced by the Students' Union earlier today that "assessments and examinations will be amended so that you will not be assessed on content that is not delivered because of the industrial action". Now, Sussex SU has taken a vote to decide their official position on the strikes. They have announced that they will support students who are seeking compensation as a result of the effects of the strikes.

It was also announced that the SU would support the creation of a ring-fenced hardship fund which would be created from the docked pay of those striking.

Lucy Williams, Students' Union Activities Officer, spoke to The Tab: "I'm really happy that the Union council voted overwhelmingly to support.

"However, I would like to take this opportunity to remind those on the picket lines that the Sussex campus is a public space. Students need to be able to access counselling facilities, the doctors, dentists and other services without being harassed or called names for 'crossing the picket'.

"Campus is home to hundreds of students and there will be students, staff and members of the public going about their daily business and they have the right to do so."