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Sign to support an alternative to Sussex University management's proposal to privatise key services
Staff, students and the unions at Sussex are shocked and disappointed at the University's sudden proposal to privatise its estates and catering services. 235 dedicated and loyal staff, more than 10% of the university’s workforce, who have worked hard to support students, and improve services for the University are devastated at the news their jobs may be transferred to a commercial provider. This will involve loss of pension rights, and possible future changes to their working conditions, pay and job security. We may all pay higher prices for services, and have less say in how they are provided. Senior managers have simply accepted the groundless myth that private services are more efficient and cost-effective than public ones. They believe that external providers cannot only transform services but significantly cut costs. However, outsourcing can be very expensive, it can lower standards, and the pressure to return a profit means private sector management is less likely to value long-term investment. On the other hand, in-house services can be run efficiently, and studies show that people who work in the public sector have a greater commitment and emotional attachment to their work. Services such as security, health, safety and welfare, may be especially unsuitable for profit oriented businesses to run.
We, the undersigned, call on the University management to work in partnership with staff, students and their unions to identify alternative, practical solutions, and to demonstrate the value they place on the commitment and dedication staff continue to provide.
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Sussex staff, students and their unions