Sussex University: Put strike wages into a hardship fund
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The UCU will soon be undertaking 14 days of strike action due to catastrophic cuts to the pensions of their members. This strike is absolutely vital to protect the rights of university workers and the long-term future of the higher education sector and it has our full support, with many of us signing this petition planning to stand with staff on picket lines.
Due to the strike caused by the negligence of the UUK, many lectures will be cancelled and many students are understandably concerned by this and how it will affect their education. While there have been calls for refunds to be given to students we believe this is an unrealistic and unachievable goal. Therefore, we are calling on Sussex Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to take the wages that will not be paid to striking lecturers and use them to establish a hardship fund for working class and international students, for the purchase of essentials such as heating and eating.
International Students are those who will be hardest hit by the crisis that the bosses have caused, they rely on self-funding for their degrees, pay double the cost of national students, and often find that they are excluded from financial assistance available to British nationals. We hope students will choose to stay at home and do independent study during the strike. However, students from lower income backgrounds often cannot afford to heat their homes, with 55% feeling too cold in their accommodation. Therefore, this hardship fund will enable us to continue learning in a comfortable environment during the strike.
Such a fund has already been set up at Goldsmiths University and at UCL, and we urge Sussex university to follow suit.
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