University of Bath Students Occupy Vice-Chancellor Suite: The Latest

A group of around 10-15 students at the University of Bath have been occupying a private suite of the vice-chancellor of the University for over 24 hours. The group are holed out in an area near to the office of vice-chancellor Dame Glynis Breakwell. They are campaigning in support of staff members who are currently engaging in 14 days of strike action. The occupation is aligned with the visit of Chancellor Prince Edward, and the Annual Founders’ Day celebrations. Read on for a full recap of what has happened so far. We start with the group of students who are occupying the area…

 

 

A group of students entered the Management building, before gaining access to a private suite of the vice-chancellor Glynis Breakwell. The occupation is in support of staff on strike, and timed to coincide with Founders Day and the visit of Prince Edward. While it is believed relations were amicable to begin with, the occupation took a more sinister turn when those occupying the room were supposedly denied toilet access. This led to some students resorting to urinating in bottles.

 

A pulley system however was hastily constructed, which allowed the bottles to be disposed of in a timely manner. The pulley system also allowed breakfast and other supplies to be handed over, following an overnight stay. In the morning, following heavy criticism, the University confirmed the students were allowed to access toilets.

 

 

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There were also accusations that the students were being intentionally sleep deprived, following the news that lights were turned on, and loud music played during the night and early morning.

 

The group of students who occupied the private suite outlined the following three points – stating they wouldn’t leave the room until they were satisfied:

  • Dame Glynis to condemn the Universities UK’s pension plans and urge more negotiations to take place.
  • Money from lost staff wages to go towards student and staff mental health services.
  • Improved senior management governance structure to be implemented, and for some individuals to immediately leave their post.

 

Many students have been providing support outside the building…

 

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As mentioned above, students are supporting staff members who are currently on strike. The strike is taking place in response to planned pension changes by Universities UK. Universities UK are planning on changing the pension scheme, with a switch to a model that would see pension income linked to changes in the stock market. This would replace the current model, which provides a guaranteed retirement income – and is universally more popular. Most see the planned change as a negative step, causing concern for staff. The strike action is taking place over a period of four weeks.

 


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Over one week later, the occupation continues. Occupying students have started a rota to ensure all students are able to take a break when required. Currently, the occupation remains, and there seems to be little sign of its culmination. We’ll continue to update this article upon hearing further news.

 

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