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Rumpus after staff demo at Matriculation

Debate rages after ceremony happening by part-time staff was turned away by guards

A demonstration by University of Copenhagen part-time staff at the Matriculation ceremony has now turned into a raging debate on the University Post sister site

This is after a featured comment by chairman of the part-time staff Morten Hjelt, who relates how the demonstrators were heavy-handedly removed by university ‘gorillas’.

»As we were about to unfold our banner, and stand on the stairway under the eagle, a couple of the university guards, I am tempted to call them gorillas, jumped in and told us firmly, that we were not to stand there. As a matter of fact, we were not supposed to be on the campus area.«

»I protested, that we were university staff but that we could go back on to the pavement if we were considered to be a hassle. But this was not enough. We had to leave the pavement in front of Vor Frue Plads,« he writes.

‘Not expelled’, says U of C

Quick to respond, University of Copenhagen head of communications Jasper Steen Winkel, writes that »the few part-time teachers that demonstrated in front of the main building were not expelled,« he says.

»The part-time teachers withdrew onto the square and maintained good contact with the students and used In the first of the three ceremonies, a couple of part-time teachers went all the way up the stairs with big banners. This made it hard for students to gain access to the entrance and for the guards to supervise who came in. The guard asked them politely to keep the stairway open«.

»The part-time teachers withdrew onto the square and maintained good contact with the students and used the opportunity to deal out flyers etc.,« Jasper Steen Winkel writes.

Waiting for the EU

The part-time staff are protesting against what they consider to be poor regulations and contracts.

»More than half of the normal teaching hours in many departments are carried out by staff under absolutely hopeless conditions,« Morten Hjelt writes.

He himself has been hired by the University of Copenhagen for 38 semesters with no permanent contract, pension or right to sick leave.

»With the help of the The Danish Association of Masters and PhDs (DM) I have sent the case on to the EU Commission, so I now hope that the Danish government is put in order: New regulations mean that the Danish rules are illegal, so we are awaiting a decision,« he says.