Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/704/13697
The Socialist 8 February 2012 |
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Leeds Trinity students fight canteen cuts
Samantha Garratt, Leeds Trinity Union general secretary
Leeds Trinity University College canteen services have been stopped on Saturdays and Sundays for the foreseeable future. Staff have been made redundant and others have had their hours cut.
This is a breach of students' part-catered accommodation contracts, which state that term-time catering services are provided seven days a week. Vending machines have replaced cooked food, with most of the products available being more expensive than in the canteen.
In a half-hearted attempt to apologise for this, the university has given students £50 on their student cards, which can only be spent in the canteen and on soft drinks in the bar, not on food at weekends.
Students' catering facilities are inadequate. For example, in one hall each kitchen has four hob rings and one sink between 25 people, with no fridge or freezer.
The excuse for weekend closure was that there weren't enough students coming in. However, the opening hours weren't suitable for students - there have been complaints about this for years. One student moved accommodation last year in response to the unsuitable opening times.
Leeds Trinity Union has begun a campaign to bring the canteen back. Our petition got 415 signatures in just three hours. We plan to organise formal complaints and hold a protest on campus.
- The canteen is open at weekends to provide suitable provisions for all, with opening hours that suit students' needs
- The canteen re-employs all canteen staff made redundant
- Part-catered halls are equipped with suitable cooking facilities, including fridges