Newstack 16/11/15

Oxford: Rhodes statue removal

Last weekend Oxford students demonstrated outside Oriel College against the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes. The protest followed a petition and was planned by the Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford campaign. Over 2,000 people have already signed in support of removing the statue of what they see as a glorification of a racist murderer which is, as the campaign states, ‘a visual reminder of the colonial apologism rife in one of the world’s most esteemed educational institutions’. The RMF campaigners have been criticized for their threatening tone and questioning whether the protest is an appropriate form of expression. Whilst in a recent press release Oriel College stated that it is happy to engage in a debate, it still hesitates to accept this petition, drawing a distinction between Rhodes’ charity and his political views.

Warwick: Research Partnerships

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has recently been signed by Warwick University and Sun Yat-sen University in China. It will create a research partnership focusing on the diagnosis and specialist care of cancer. The MoU assigned by Professor Lawrence Young (pro-vice-chancellor at Warwick) and Professor Chao-Nan Qian (vice president at the Cancer Centre at Sun Yat-sen) at Mansion house in London. The upcoming research will focus on various specific areas like nursing, digital pathology, anti-cancer drug development, as well as systems biology and precision medicine. After announcing this partnership doors will be opened for special training in the field for SYSUCC senior oncology nurses at the University of Warwick, along with the training for SYSUCC pathologists at Warwick and University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire too.

Birmingham: Staff Living Wage Row

University of Birmingham has recently been called on for not paying many of their workers the living wage. Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe and Councillor Stewart Stacey attended a rally after the claims that around 350 members of staff are paid below the living wage of £8.25 an hour. According to Unison, the University brings in more than £578 million per year and it would cost less than £1 million to provide the living wage for all. A University of Birmingham spokesperson said, ‘the university takes its responsibilities as an employer very seriously. Support staff on the very lowest rates of pay currently earn £7.85 per hour, well above the £6.70 National Minimum Wage’. It has also been stated that those who are paid less than the living wage are the catering, cleaning and library support assistant staff members. The UoB will be revising the wages on 1st of August as they do so annually.

Sheffield: Doctors for McDonalds

A University of Sheffield student has been noticed on national media after posting a picture on Facebook with the caption that that she’d be better off working in McDonald’s than becoming a doctor under Jeremy Hunt’s new contract proposal. 23 years old Lianne Sellors posted on Facebook while on a work break at McDonald’s saying that ‘The new contract is not fair (I’d be better off staying at McDonalds), and it’s NOT SAFE’. This contract threatens to remove the safeguards that prevent hospitals from overworking junior doctors which means that 70 – 90 + hour weeks could become the norm and to impose longer working hours on doctors with no corresponding pay rise. Many people have already started campaigning for the revision of it. On Tuesday 3rd of November, Hunt released a second statement offering small concessions for doctors, including an 11 per cent pay rise in attempt to prevent further disruption.

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