Students Caught In Potential Labor Dispute
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
November 1, 2002
DERBY, ENGLAND--If the Fire Brigades Union and its employees go on strike next week, Richard Shakespeare and other students with disabilities at the University of Derby will have to do without certain classes, the BBC News reported Thursday.
The university's emergency evacuation plans currently call for students with physical disabilities to gather in specific safe places, or "refuges", if their classes are on floors other than the ground level. When fire and rescue workers arrive, they know to go to those places first.
But if the fire and rescue workers are on strike, those students would be at risk. So university officials said they will order the students to stay on the ground floor.
"It is not particularly helpful as most of my lectures are upstairs," said Shakespeare, who has cerebral palsy.
"It is just wrong," said fellow student John Ross of the university's decision. "They should have planned for eventualities like this."