Student organisers have scheduled a rally outside Trinity’s Great Gate against the cutsLouis Ashworth for Varsity

Students at Trinity College have launched a campaign in opposition to the introduction of 12-hour shifts for the College’s porters.

In an open letter addressed to Trinity administration, students have accused the College of eliminating paid breaks for porters following a contract change. The move has been described as an “unacceptable attack on workers’ rights”.

“Such stingy ingratitude towards our porters could only bring shame upon our College, especially amid the current nationwide cost of living crisis,” the letter stated.

The student organisers have scheduled a protest rally outside Trinity’s Great Gate on Saturday June 15 to demand the “immediate and permanent cancellation” of any contract change that takes away paid breaks.

A member of the Trinity College Student Union (TCSU) committee told Varsity that College administration had neither informed the TCSU, nor the Trinity student body, of the contract changes.

The open letter has garnered over 100 signatures, including from a majority of TCSU Committee members.

A student organiser told Varsity that the campaign has also received messages of support from fellows and members of staff. When questioned on potential courses of action should their demands not be met, they said they were ready for “the long haul”.

“While we are optimistic about our chances of a speedy victory [...] we do not foreclose the possibility of organising further demonstrations in the next academic year,” the organiser said.

One Trinity student told Varsity: “Trinity has consistently shown us students how little they value the wellbeing of their staff. It doesn’t surprise me that this lack of concern extends to their treatment of the Porters.”


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A spokesperson for Trinity College told Varsity: “From 1 October 2024, Senior Porters and Porters at Trinity will work 12-hour shifts on a four-on, four-off rotation, averaging 40 hours a week.”

“This schedule serves the College’s 24-hour, 365-day-a-year requirement to provide a secure environment for students, Fellows and staff, and enables sufficient rest time for Porters, in line with industry standards,” they said.

“The College carried out an extensive process involving individual and joint consultations with staff concerned. All eligible members of staff at Trinity including Porters can have a meal, free of charge, during their unpaid main break. In addition, free fruit and hot drinks are available,” the College added.