Keep our nursery in house!
Parents, students and staff are very concerned at the proposed sale of the University Nursery by the Students' Union into the hands of a private company. We are very concerned that this decision has been made, and formal negotiations with a buyer started before any attempt at consultation was made. We are also concerned that the research on which the Union bases its claim that the nursery is not as important to students, and is not in the core aims of the union is flawed and misrepresentative. We feel the sale of the nursery will have a negative impact on many marginalised groups in the union and university, has not been thoroughly researched and would impact negatively upon the nursery and the welfare of the children who attend. We feel that: * Sale of the nursery into private for profit hands would subject it to cuts to quality, to long term unstability and lack of direct control by students and staff. * Grants for student parents are not guaranteed with a possible Tory government, and that the nursery is key in sending the message that parents can be students too. In addition government grants for childcare are not available to international students for whom the nursery is a lifeline. * The staffing and set up of the nursery are what makes it especially good and private interests, driven by profit, would change this. Private nurseries often see a high turn over of staff, bad conditions for staff and fewer staff to children. * The 'International partners' creche' currently run by the nursery is a vital service for many international students and their partners. Although being taken over by the buyer, as this service currently runs free of charge it would be unlikely that a for profit private company would keep it this way. * For many student parents the nursery provides them with their only link to the union, and an opportunity to get in touch with and socialise with other parents. * The Union's core aims should be to ensure representation and support services for minority and marginalised groups, not to redirect resources to represent a majority identified by market research conducted in bars or on union mailing lists which marginalised groups are often missed out of. We ask the union to: *Stall all proceeding and negotiations pending full research into the situation of parents using the nursery and possibly impact on these users. *Consider the views of parents, students and staff outlined above and reconsider keeping the nursery in house!