Nursery closure will hurt the local community says union.

A union has called on the University of Brighton to rethink proposals to close a Brighton nursery.

Monday, 26th April 2021, 2:00 pm
A stock image from Pixabay

A union has called on the University of Brighton to rethink proposals to close a Brighton nursery.

Unison has said the loss of the One World Nursery at the university’s Moulsecoomb campus would be a devastating blow to the local community.

A statement from the union says the nursery, which looks after around 50 children of students and has been operating for 40 years, is due to close in July with the loss of 11 jobs.

The union, which represents the nursery staff and other non-academic staff on the campus, has lodged a formal dispute with the university and plans to ask staff if they would be prepared to take strike action over the proposed closure.

University of Brighton UNISON branch secretary Ivan Bonsell said: “This knee-jerk decision is a terrible one. It will only save a few pounds, but would end a tradition of decades of dedicated childcare and early years education at the university.

“One World Nursery is a shining example of the university’s commitment to widen access to higher education by providing excellent quality childcare and early-years learning to students with young children.

“Higher education should be a possibility for everyone. One World Nursery is vital way of making that happen. We can’t afford for it to close.

“The university should think again, keep the nursery open and save jobs.”

Staff at the nursery issued the following statement: “Anyone who has been touched by the nursery will be heartbroken at the University’s decision to close it. It’s unlike any other early years setting I have known. I feel privileged to work there.

“One World feels like my home and my family. Something that meant so much was it becoming a setting of sanctuary working alongside refugee families.

“These people need our support and care and if the nursery closes this will be taken away.”

“This is a mean-spirited cut to essential jobs and services. The nursery and its workers are being sacrificed for short-term financial gain. If it closes it will be a devastating loss for the local community.

“The nursery’s history and ethos have helped keep it at the cutting edge of best practice. One World is an irreplaceable resource that has flourished within an institute that has education and learning at its heart.”

The University of Brighton has been contacted for a comment.