Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 23 October 2014

University students go to the polls in bid to save Queen's security jobs

Bobby Kane is one of the student security staff who is affected

Students at Queen's University are voting today to try and overturn a decision to privatise their jobs – which could lead to none of them being employed in the Students Union (SU) in the future.

The referendum follows the collection of over 1,200 signatures against outsourcing security positions to the private company G4S.

G4S has provided staff to the QUBSU since 2009 but will now have sole responsibility for all security related jobs, most of which are currently held by students.

Despite assurances from both G4S and the Students' Union Management Board that all employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer their contract, students are worried that no guarantee can be given of future employment.

In a statement the university's Dance Committee said: "Members have been left with few options – take a job offered with G4S (on a zero-hour contract, without the support and protection that comes with being an employee of the university/union), or lose their job.

"We won't allow current employees in our union to be dispossessed. They work as a team for the benefit of the union and students."

In order to be successful the referendum would firstly have to obtain a vote of 10% from the 25,000 student population, something that has not been achieved in the past five years.

SU employee Fiona Kidd added: "The dedicated stewarding team within QSU have made this a lifetime of memories, and we appeal to all students to ensure we keep on creating memories and that this is not the end of it."

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