Sussex occupation of construction site ends, claiming victory

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The student occupation of the New East Slope construction site has come to an end after four days, with protesters claiming to have achieved victory.

In a series of tweets, Sussex Supports the Strikes said that the occupation came to an end this morning after Balfour Beatty agreed to meet with representatives of the Unite union to discuss their labour practices.

They added: “We sent a powerful message of support to striking staff, highlighted the failure of [Sussex University Vice-Chancellor] Adam Tickell to support his staff and students, and sent a strong message to Tickell urging him to support the UCU.”

“Having achieved these victories we decided to leave the occupation as a show of good faith on our part. We thank you all for your support.”

It is unclear what achievements were made by the occupying students in relation to another of their demands – forcing the University to cut the rent of the new accommodation to the same level as the current East Slope residence.

Students originally occupied the site early on Thursday morning in solidarity with striking lecturers as part of the UCU’s dispute with Universities UK over pensions.

Adam Tickell is expected to contact all staff and students tomorrow on his latest thoughts on the ongoing UCU industrial action.

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