Unions voice their concern at the loss of campus resources and services
Union members have voiced their concerns about a range of issues from the employers’ derisory pay offer to cutbacks in resources, in a series of campus meetings held across the University of Ulster last week.
The meetings were held in advance of Thursday’s industrial action, during which many members complained about the decimation of campus facilities over the past ten years.
To date Jordanstown has lost its swimming pool, student lockers, the Post Office, the book shop, student accommodation wardens, health clinics, the Student Union bar, crèche facilities and now Deano’s coffee bar.
Coleraine campus has lost two bookshops and now the long established Senior Common Room has been given its marching orders to move to a lesser location and will not be allowed to serve refreshments. The Student Union campus shop has been refused permission to sell soft drinks.
Magee has also lost a bookshop, its crèche and its Senior Common Room assistant. The Student Union bar in Belfast went several years ago.
The running down and closure of services is seen by many as part of senior management strategy aimed at creating a near monopoly for the newly privatised Mount Charles outlets. The result has been a restriction of choice on campus for staff and students alike, and rising prices.
The changes have ushered in an environment increasingly inimical to the idea of a university as a place of collegiality, where people come together to pursue knowledge and mutual understanding in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Instead campus resembles a shopping mall, dedicated to making as buck for senior managers.