Save Our Statute 21
Save our Statute 21 at the University of Sussex
* Defend Academic Freedom * Maintain Job Security * Sustain
an Academic Community *
At the initiative of the national employers’ association (UCEA), a number of universities across the UK are making moves to take protections for academic freedom and job security out of their statutes and put them in separate and revised policies that are easier to amend and weaken.
Statute 21 at Sussex provides concrete measures to protect academic freedom and covers redundancy, capability and dismissal. To change any statute, the University has to get the permission of the Privy Council (an external parliamentary body). The management at Sussex wish to take such policies out of Statute 21, making it easier to change them within the university and without external involvement.
Simultaneously, they want to revisit all our policies on issues like redundancy and dismissal and the relevant procedures and appeals processes.
This is a major issue of job security - and of academic freedom, the right of academics to say controversial things or speak against the grain without fear of losing their jobs.
UCU representatives are negotiating on Statute 21 and new job security policies. At other universities decent protections in the statute have been maintained after such negotiations.
But if we are to achieve this we will need more than talks. Staff across our universities need to stand together and make their views known to make sure academic freedom and job security are properly protected.
Whether you are Sussex staff, an academic or otherwise, or someone else who feels strongly about this - please sign the petition.
* We, the undersigned, note the University of Sussex’s intention to change Statute 21 and revise policies on academic freedom and job security. We call on the University to keep meaningful and substantive job security measures and concrete protection for academic freedom in Statute 21. *
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