University South Wales protest: ‘Hands off our nursery’

Public services union, UNISON is urging the University of South Wales to reverse its decision to close its crèche facilities. Today (Wednesday), university staff, students, members of the public and their children will attend a protest rally at the Treforest campus at 10am. They will argue closure of the play centre will impact negatively on all parts of the university community and the wider area.

The decision to close the crèche follows last week’s announcement by the university that it intends to cut 139 teaching and support staff jobs.

Dan Beard, UNISON branch secretary said,

“The crèche provides a vital facility for the children of students, staff and the wider community in what is a deprived area of the south Wales valleys. When Welsh government says it wants to widen access to education to mature students, closing this facility could deny some the chance of ever going to university. It could also affect the university’s ability to recruit and retain staff.

“These plans demonstrate the university does not prioritise equal opportunities.

Women still do the majority of childcare so this decision will disproportionally affect female students and university staff. In addition, the crèche is staffed by a female workforce. We want the university to urgently reconsider this damaging decision.

“We are asking Welsh government to review this decision too, given its commitment to create free childcare places.”

UNISON representatives have already spoken with local politicians including Owen Smith MP to enlist their support.

UNISON is urging members of the public to support the campaign to save the nursery by signing a petition.