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Staff member had head 'stamped on' by students at protest

Police were called to deal with a sit-in protest at Aberdeen University on Wednesday.

Protest: Staff were left frightened.
Protest: Staff were left frightened. STV

A member of staff is said to have had their head stamped on during a sit-in protest by students, forcing police to be called.

Students from Aberdeen University staged action in support of staff who are on strike over pensions.

They occupied different rooms of the administration building on Regent Walk on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Officers were drafted in after "frightened" staff were said to have been pushed, with one having their head stamped on.

Staff were also left shaken and distressed, the university said.

A spokesman said: "Police were called to the university office by our staff following an incident whereby a group of protesters forced their way into the building, leaving staff shaken and distressed and resulting in one staff member being knocked to the ground and having their head trodden on.

"As frightened staff were forcibly pushed aside by the group they protected themselves as best they could but categorically deny inappropriately handling any individuals.

"We are extremely disappointed with this turn of events. We support the students' right to peaceful protest and since taking up their occupation of a corridor in the university office on Tuesday, the demonstrators have been provided with blankets, food and water by staff who have worked through the night so they could maintain their demonstration safely."

'As frightened staff were forcibly pushed aside by the group they protected themselves as best they could but categorically deny inappropriately handling any individuals.'
Aberdeen University spokesman

Planned changes to the pension could mean a £10,000 per year reduction in retirement income for staff, according to the University and College Union (UCU).

An agreement between the UCU and Universities UK had offered a deal but this was turned down at a meeting on Tuesday.

The student group Aberdeen Students Support the Strike and representatives of the UCU hit out at the actions of the university.

A spokesman said: "The university security team acted in a manner entirely contrary to proper health and safety practice.

"We believe that the safety and wellbeing of students and staff was put in serious danger by the actions of security management.

"We saw members of security shoving students against the door they were apparently attempting to move them away from, resulting in a potentially hazardous crushing effect for students caught in the middle of the incident.

"No attempt was made to open doors on either side of the small enclosed stairwell around 15 people were crammed into."

The action has threatened to disrupt final exams and assessments in the summer term.

Students in Dundee and Edinburgh have also staged sit-ins this week.

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